Where do SAP Best Practices come from?
While I am not exactly a technical guru, I am fortunate to work with a team that is, and, lucky for you, we are dedicated to making your life easier with free tools, tips, and tricks. Many of the customers and consultants I’ve spoken with as a product manager over the past 4 years have told me that our team’s tools are some of SAP’s best-kept secrets. Our goal is to help you the customer, the partner, or the SAP independent consultant get SAP solutions deployed faster, cheaper, and easier, without over simplifying the solutions, or degrading the value they provide.
From our team’s days as the SAP Labs Simplification Group when we delivered the Made Easy Guidebooks and the PCC or Preconfigured Client, and to now with our exclusive focus on the implementation suite called ‘SAP Best Practices’, our goal is to enable projects to both learn how to use SAP functionality, and know exactly how to configure the system to perform most commonly required “business and IT” scenarios. I know that the term scenario is fairly overused recently, but since we’ve been using it for more than 4 years, I claim personal immunity from the BS Bingo games.
Why should you care?
So how can SAP Best Practices help you do with your next project? By giving you scenario-based step-by-step instructions, and when appropriate, preconfiguration and other technical objects, you can quickly implement a fully funtioning system quickly – whether SAP ERP, mySAP CRM, or SAP NetWeaver. What technical objects do we provide you which you can import into your various SAP systems? We provide Business Configuration sets (BC Sets), ECATTs, user roles, and even SAP Portal business content. This content is delivered for free to SAP customers and partners, and to the general public on help.sap.com under SAP Best Practices. Additionally, SAP NetWeaver based SAP Best Practices are also offered on SDN.
Who can use SAP Best Practices?
Even experienced consultants can benefit from the suite of tools. Examples we most commonly see is when a company wants to prototype new business process functionality, such as: Time & Material Billing, or Warehouse Management. Or perhaps a company wants to implement functionality in an SAP solution they haven’t used before such as: Billing Booking and Backlog analytics in SAP BI, or Executive Cockpits in the SAP EP, or, Lead and Activity Management in mySAP CRM. The scenario documentation and technical objects provides excellent content for experienced consultants whom are branching out into content areas or processes that they are not familiar with.
Additionally, our scenarios are documented in a way that even less experienced team members can enhance their learning while setting up a system at the same time. In either case, a project team can use SAP Best Practices for both a prototype system, or as the foundation development system that they can further refine. The SAP Best Practices solution scope may provide a close fit to a company’s requirements, and in other cases, it provides a solid foundation whose business processes work as out of the box as possible which can be further configured or customized.
For SAP NetWeaver, SAP Best Practices currently delivers the following solutions,
- SAP Business Intelligence: This solution is in its 6th release and spans SAP BW 3.0b through SAP BW 3.5, and has over 20,000 deliveries, and over 25 analytic scenarios. Today’s hottest BI scenarios are Data Mining-ABC Classification, Sales Planning, Sales and Credit Management Cockpits and Cost Center Planning
- SAP Enterprise Portal: In its 3rd release, the latest version covers scenarios for effective company communication, working collaboratively, most common SAP R/3 business processes, and Executive Cockpit scenarios. Additionally, you can find examples of how to work with the SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer to create portal content, how to work with Ad-hoc Workflow, MS Outlook integration and more. There is an accompanying EPA file with Roles, Worksets and iViews to bring over 250 of the most commonly used SAP transactions and SAP BW analytics used in the SAP Best Practices for BI into the portal.
- SAP Best Practices for Mobility: This recently released solution highlights one flagship business scenario, SAP Mobile Asset Management-Work Order management. Covering the installation of SAP MI 2.5, configuring SAP Web AS & delta configuration of SAP R/3 to enable working with the mobile application, deploying the mobile app to the client, and using Mobile Asset Management.
- SAP Best Practices for Process Integration is also coming in early September: For those of you confused by the name, this translates to: SAP Best Practices for SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI). Do you want more details or to provide your deepest desires for nstructional content? Simply post a response to this blog. We would love to hear your ideas! You should understand that we will not be trying to solve world hunger with this first release, but instead will be providing people with solid instructions to get a working SAP XI communication scenario fully functioning.
Functional scope of this first release will cover the exchange of the following documents using SAP XI in Application to Application and Business to Business scenarios including: Sales Order, Purchase Order, Purchase Request, Advance Shipping Notification, and Invoice Notification.
An oversimplified explanation of how we will structure the document flow is:
- A2A: From SAP R/3 to SAP XI to SAP R/3
- B2B: From Partner A’s SAP R/3 to SAP XI to Partner B’s SAP XI to R/3
- B2B: From Partner A’s SAP R/3 to SAP XI to Partner B’s Partner Connectivity Toolkit
Take a look at the SAP NetWeaver-based SAP Best Practices today and see what scenarios you can use and let us know if they helped you, or how they can be improved. Then, check back in September for our next releases.
As we receive updates, success stories, or other tips and tricks that projects gained from using the SAP Best Practices, I will post additional blogs in the relevant development areas. For example, I will be writing about a “BYOB party”, or, I should say… a workshop we hosted with the Americas SAP User Group (ASUG) chapter where customers and partners ‘Bring your own box‘ instead of beer, and install the SAP EP using both the SAP NetWeaver Rapid Installer, and the SAP Best Practices for Enterprise Portal. And in 6 hours, we got both the installation, connectivity, importing business packages and more basic portal skills learning done.
To learn more about SAP Best Practices, go to the alias /bestpractices in either the SAP Service Marketplace, or on the public SAP webpage. You can also find our documentation on the public SAP Help Portal under the “SAP Best Practices” tab on the first level of navigation.
Hasta la Bloga! Marian