Challenges for successfully managing an IT environment include growing demands to support rapidly changing business requirements, which often involves leveraging new technology to support and enable innovation. How does a company detect and realize business process improvement potential and manage SAP innovations like SAP HANA or hybrid IT landscapes, while at the same time ensuring that it maximizes its SAP investment?
For many SAP customers, SAP Solution Manager is already the centerpiece of their support engagement that helps them improve their IT management, leverage ITIL-aligned IT Service Management and best practices for application lifecycle management (ALM). With the highly anticipated release of SAP Solution Manager 7.2, planned for mid-2016 or later, customers will be able to get even more out of their SAP investment by powering implementation and easing the communication between the business and IT. Highlights of the new release include adoption of SAP HANA, simpler business and IT alignment with new process management, full support of SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, SAP hybrid solutions, and an improved user experience.
To learn more about how to best prepare for SAP Solution Manager 7.2, we invited John Krakowski, Senior Product Manager, Solution Management for Application Lifecycle Management, SAP, to join us for a Live Q&A on Oct. 27 when he fielded readers' questions on the topic. During this live online chat, John answered a wide-range of questions, including:
- Can we expect to see a lot more intricate monitoring within the applications monitoring space?
- Will there be collaboration options with 7.2?
- Does Solution Manager support Hybris integration to configure the alert monitoring (Technical Monitoring)?
- How will you think the Business Process Structure will get impacted by the upgrade?
- In 7.1 ChaRM and ITSM are nicely integrated in that they both are accessed via the Web-Client. Will we see BPCA and Test Management share the same GUI or will that still be in the work center?
Prepare for SAP Solution Manager 7.2: Q&A with SAP's John Krakowski on the new release
Ken Murphy: Hello everyone! Welcome to today’s Q&A on SAP Solution Manager 7.2. I'm Ken Murphy with SAPinsider and insiderPROFILES, and I'm pleased to introduce today’s panelist, John Krakowski of SAP. John, thank you for being here today to answer readers’ questions about SAP Solution Manager 7.2!
John Krakowski: Thank you Ken.
Ken Murphy: We look forward to a great chat today. As a reminder, here is the URL for readers to post questions for John: http://sapinsider.wispubs.c...
John Krakowski: I'm excited to introduce some of the new capabilities planned for SAP Solution Manager 7.2
Ken Murphy: Great! Perhaps to get us started, can you address what is the expected release date SAP Solution Manager 7.2?
John Krakowski: We are planning to start ramp-up EOY2015 and typically the ramp-up phase runs approximately six months.
Comment from Lee: I’d like to know about the new feature and time for the release. Thanks.
John Krakowski: New features will be in three focus areas: Business Process Management; Operations and IT, and SAP HANA support
Comment from Bala Amirineni: Hi John, Thanks for the time. How will you think the Business Process Structure will get impacted by the upgrade?
John Krakowski: We are completely introducing a new process management architecture in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 that we will be reviewing at the upcoming SAP Projects 2015 preconference.
Comment from Thomas Frank:
- What is the exactly GA date?
- Are there new features / functionalities for ChaRM between 7.1 and 7.2 (e.g. reporting)?
- What are the new features for Monitoring? Is there a better and easier way for how to setup the monitoring dashboard?
- What are improvements of the BPM monitoring?
- Is there an automated way to look for already existing OSS incidents?
- Is there an auto search for SAP Security Notes to automatically detect the Security leaks in a SAP system?
- Is there an automated way to find out about any side effects within SolMan, instead of reading through all the documentation?
John Krakowski: Any release is subject to change at any time without notice. Planned ramp-up is EOY2015 and typically the ramp-up phase runs approximately six months. If all goes well and all quality checks are met, we are looking at an approx. mid-2016 general availability.
We are planning for 7.2 to provide a new standard dashboards that will be easily personalized.
Business Process Monitoring has already in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 been greatly improved as of SP12. What occurred is a harmonization of the classic BPMon with the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure (MAI). Check out the release notes I previously noted.
For obvious serious legal and confidentially reasons we can never expose externally existing customer incidents.
There are existing, proven and comprehensive capabilities in SAP Solution Manager to support SAP Security Notes:
1) For SAP Enterprise Support Customers, there is the extremely valuable Security Value Map https://support.sap.com/sup...
2) There is the central System Recommendations functionality
3) There is the Configuration Validation capabilities that support SAP Security Notes
4) There is the guided self-service Security Optimization Self-Service (SOS) All are valuable quick wins!
Comment from Ramanatha: Does Solution Manager will support Hybris integration to configure the alert monitoring(Technical Monitoring)?
John Krakowski: Hybris support exists today in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 particularly in the scenario of Application Operations.
For the latest release notes you can go to http://help.sap.com/solutio... -> What's New Release Notes and the following SCN wiki: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wik...
Comment from Joe: What are the new features of note implementation in change management?
John Krakowski: Concerning Change Management we will be introducing Release Management, Requirements Management, Integrated ITSM features such as a central inbox, checklists, bulletin boards, SAP Jam integration, UI improvements, improved search and reporting
Comment from Vessy Panayotova: In preparing to migrate documentation from Solar01/02 to the new Solution documentation what is better in case we need to consolidate documentation from two implementation projects – merge them before the migration, or wait and merge while on 7.2?
John Krakowski: We are already publishing transition support best practices and tools that all can leverage today in 7.1 to prepare for the upgrade to 7.2. Typically no merging is necessary. On our wiki today we offer the latest preparation best practices and tools: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wik...
John Krakowski: What are we planning to do in Business Process Management that we will discuss in detail at the upcoming SAP Project 2015 conference:
1) Improvements for using SAP Solution Manager in new implementation projecs
2) easy to use new graphically modeling based on BPMN 2.0
3) a true single source of truth concerning projects and implementations
4) true linking of process documentation to the usage in the systems
5) a planned open interface with 3rd party modeling products
John Krakowski: Our unique and unprecedented best practices for preparing for the transition to 7.2 focus on three areas:
1) quick identification of the parts of your solution documentation(projects and solutions) which matter the most to you
2) decision support to plan and execute existing content activation
3) best practices and tools for content activation during the eventual upgrade to 7.2
John Krakowski: We are also planning to offer all customers to test drive the content activation in the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). We hope to have this offering available around the start of ramp-up. We plan to pre-load the 7.2 appliance with helpful sample projects which you can use for your evaluation and activation efforts. All, way before you actually execute your upgrade.
Comment from Ricardo Fredericks: In 7.1 ChaRM and ITSM are nicely integrated in that they both are accessed via the Web-Client. Will we see BPCA and Test Management share the same gui or will that still be in the work center?
John Krakowski: Test management enhancements will not be part of the initial release of 7.2 but rolled out later. More information will be published closed to its release.
Comment from Ricardo Fredericks: Can we expect to see a lot more intricate monitoring within the applications monitoring space? And have there been further efforts to monitor non-sap applications, to a point of seriously competing with other third-party products?
John Krakowski: Our Application Operations priorities are in the areas of:
- Unified User Experience based on SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori
- Unified Dashboard approach especially for cross use case utilization
- Support of operations for SAP based Hybrid scenarios
- Support of operations for SAP's latest On-Premise innovation
Comment from Tilo: SAP Solution Manager 7.2 on HANA, would this help with performance with the CRM UI and reporting?
John Krakowski: SAP Solution Manager 7.2 will be the first release which will leverage SAP HANA. All customers who have a valid SAP maintenance agreement can(optionally) use SAP HANA as the database for SAP Solution Manager. There is no additional cost for the SAP HANA license.
Comment from Guest: Will there be collaboration options with 7.2?
John Krakowski: SAP Jam is planned for ITSM integration.
Comment from Thomas Frank: What are the new features for Monitoring? Is there a better and easier way for how to setup the monitoring dashboard.
John Krakowski: Planned are customizable and personalized Run SAP like a Factory application dashboards (i.e. a unified shell concept based on SAPUI5)
Comment from Tilo: SAP Solution Manager 7.2 on HANA, would this help with performance with the CRM UI and reporting?
John Krakowski: During ramp-up we may receive indirect performance improvements feedback.
Comment from Sameer: What is the effort required to migrate, including min Solman current version to 7.2 upgrade?
John Krakowski: Ramp-up will help identify the effort. Our preparation best practices on 7.1 today are clearly intended to minimize the efforts.
Comment from Guest: John, can you provide more details on those three areas you mentioned (BPM, Operations/IT, Hana support)?
John Krakowski: Our SAP Product Roadmap-SAP Solution Manager on http://support.sap.com/solu... provides all the available details.
Comment from Sameer: What is Solution Manager Stack level min required in order to go for upgrade 7.2?
John Krakowski: SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP01
Comment from Arturo Santillanes: Hello John. This should mean that SolMan 7.2 should be available for all as of June 2016?
John Krakowski: Mid-2016 is the current plan, of course all approximate dates and timelines are subject to change.
Comment from Cesar Aranda: Where can we found out more on the detailed new characteristics of ITSM/ChaRM that you shared to us?
John Krakowski: The SAP Product Roadmap-SAP Solution Manager at http://support.sap.com/solu... It will be regularly updated.
Comment from Guest: Are there any notorious features for ITSM/ChaRM? I remember a big switchup was in SP10... then nothing else happened, what about 7.2?
John Krakowski: We expect little or no ITSM/ChaRM impact since we are not changing the CRM release level, just the Enhancement Pack (CRM 7.01 -> CRM 7.03) from 7.1 to 7.2
Ken Murphy: Hi everyone. Thank you for all the great questions. With about 10 minutes left in our Q&A, I'd like to let everyone know that John will be a featured speaker at the SAPinsider Projects event in Las Vegas Nov. 17-19 - with three sessions on SAP Solution Manager 7.2: http://bit.ly/1POWcNn
Comment from Ricardo: Our understanding is there is a big change to the project and solution documentation area. How smooth is the transition for customers currently actively using this area?
John Krakowski: There will be a new process management architecture. This is why SAP today is making available preparation recommendations and SAPinsider (WIS) has invited me to speak at the upcoming SAP Projects 2015 event.
Comment from Guest: Can we expect more intricate monitoring within the application operations space. Have there been additional efforts made in monitoring of non-sap applications?
John Krakowski: Non-SAP monitoring can be accomplished today:
Comment from Guest: Can you describe new business process modeling techniques that'll be available?
John Krakowski: Highlights include a new solution concept; real project management; integration with change control management; graphical process modeling based on BPMN 2.0; single source of truth process design with reusable libraries. In summary:
- Intuitive process visualization
- Simplified landscape management
- Flexible process management
- Easy process re-documentation
Comment from Thomas Frank: Hi, What are the new features for Monitoring, Is there a better and easier way for how to setup the monitoring dashboard?
John Krakowski: There is planned new application operations UIs that will seamlessly integrate between monitoring, alerting and reporting, customizable and personalized, all embedded in a unified SAPUI5 based shell. In summary: YES much easier.
Comment from Ricardo Fredericks: Many partners and clients had chosen to perform a new installation between the releases 7.0 and 7.1. What would you advise between 7.1 and 7.2. - Upgrade or New Install?
John Krakowski: Longstanding same guidelines apply. If there is data or configuration to protect -> upgrade.
Comment from Manfred: What are the features concerning test management integration?
John Krakowski: All integration scenarios (test management, ITSM, modeling, etc..) are not in scope for the initial 7.2 release. Interface scenarios will become available at a later time.
Comment from Thomas Frank: Is there an automated way within Solution Manager 7.2 to find out about any side effects while doing an upgrade of a backup system, instead of reading through all the documentation for it
John Krakowski: I'm not aware of such a capability.
Comment from Mehul Aghera: Is there any future plan or process which will allow integration of SAP MDG change requests with Solution Manager Incident Management?
John Krakowski: I'm not aware of such planning.
Comment from Pierre Killassy: Any release is subject to change at any time without notice. Planned ramp-up is planned end of year 2015 and typically the ramp-up runs approximately six months. If all goes well and all quality checks are met, we are looking at an approx. mid 2016 general availability.
John Krakowski: Correct.
Ken Murphy: As we wrap up, I want to thank our readers for their great questions which helped make this a really informative discussion! And thank you again John for joining us today to share your insights on SAP Solution Manager 7.2.
John Krakowski: A sincere thank you to everyone for your time.