Business Process Monitoring (BPMon), as part of Solution Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager means the proactive and process oriented monitoring of the most important or critical business processes including the observation of all technical and business application specific functions that are required for a steady and stable flow of the business processes.
The core business processes that are implemented in an ERP or other software and operated by a company are of particular importance, and Business Process Monitoring is intended to ensure a smooth and reliable operation of the business processes and, thereby, that the core business processes meet a company’s business requirements in terms of stability, performance, and completeness.
The following blogs discuss some new special features of the Business Process Monitoring Functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.
- New Business Process Monitoring functionalities in SAP Solution Manager – ALE / IDoc Monitoring
- New Business Process Monitoring functionalities in SAP Solution Manager – qRFC Monitoring
- New Business Process Monitoring Functionalities in SAP Solution Manager – functionalities For Inconsistencies in SAP Solution Manager
- New Business Process Monitoring functionalities in SAP Solution Manager – BPMon Trend Analysis Reporting
- Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Manufacturing
- Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Procure to Pay
- Best Practice: Business Process Monitoring for Order to Cash
You can learn more on this topic overall in the following hands-on session at TechEd 2009 in Phoenix, Vienna and Bangalore:
Business Process Analysis & Monitoring
During this session you will learn how Business Process Analysis & Monitoring within Enterprise Support helps to optimize the return on your investment in SAP ERP software, by identifying optimization potential for your core business processes. You will learn what kind of errors/problems could be identified by analyzing customer systems. The benefits of this service are the following and should all help lowering your Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO):
- Allows internal benchmarking of different organizational units, e.g. sales organizations or manufacturing plants
- Learn in which organizational areas you
– Could speed-up and streamline your most critical business processes
– Could improve service levels
– Might need to train your end-users to better follow intended procedures
– Could improve your daily operations
You will also learn how the Business Process Analysis can be a good starting point for setting up Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager.
Business Process Monitoring setup for a typical Order to Cash process
This hands-on workshop describes a use case for business process monitoring for a typical order to cash scenario. In this session you will use the SAP Solution Manager in order to set up the continuous alert & trend monitoring of important application specific key figures in SAP ERP. Typical examples are overdue sales orders, overdue deliveries, goods delivered not invoiced, incorrect billing print-outs. You will also learn about integrated reporting capabilities using the trend analysis SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse dashboard. Everything will be presented with the new role-based user interface (a Work Center environment).
The SAP Solution Manager provides a graphic to visualize a company’s (distributed) system and solution landscape and all related business processes. By using Business Process Monitoring, it is possible to define and customize alert situations from a basic set of configurable alerts provided by the SAP Solution Manager. These alerts are then visualized by green, yellow, and red alert icons for each individual business process step in the graphical business process representation. Business Process Monitoring is intended to detect and respond to critical situations as early as possible in order to solve problems as fast as possible. So instead of waiting for end-users to complain via phone or trouble ticket and then solving the incident as quickly as possible the SAP Solution Manager tries to improve and speed-up support processes even further. With the help of Business Process Monitoring the support organization should be enabled to detect problem situations even before end-users notice the problem and hence the (possible) problem should be solved before an end-user create a trouble ticket. In addition, the SAP Solution Manager offers extended functionality for error handling and problem resolution, i.e. via Business Process Monitoring you are directly guided to the root cause of the problem. For example you get a list of outstanding sales documents and can directly access the individual document for further analysis. By the definition of contact persons and escalation paths, Business Process Monitoring can be integrated into the company’s overall strategy for Business Process Management and Solution Management within their Solution Support Organization.
Functional Scope of Business Process Monitoring
The functional scope of Business Process Monitoring within the SAP Solution Manager comprises the following features:
1. Cross-Application Monitoring Functionalities
Via Cross-Application Monitoring you get a set of rather technical monitors in order to ensure the technical performance and reliability of your business processes, e.g. the average response time of your core transactions is better than 1 second or your important background jobs started and finished in time. Additionally you can detect problem situations which occur in your Solution Landscape between your Systems, i.e. monitoring the most important interface technologies like RFC, IDoc’s and Flat Files.
2. Application-Specific Monitoring Functionalities
You have also the possibility to check application specific functionalities and detect as soon as possible problems within your applications or at the interfaces between different SAP applications like from MM to FI. You can also identify if your end-users are well-trained or if they are bypassing your system. Measurements for an Order-to Cash scenario could be number of Sales Orders where no delivery was created and the planned Goods Issue date lies in the past, or the number of outbound deliveries where the Goods Issue was posted but no invoice was created, or the number of sales invoices which were not posted to accounting. For a Manufacturing scenario you could check for the number of Planned Orders which have not been converted to Production Orders although the conversion date lies in the past, or the number of Production Orders which have not been released ontime. For a Procure-to-Pay scenario you would check for overdue Purchase Order items or the number of inbound deliveries where not Goods receipt was posted.
3. Data Consistency Monitoring Functionalities
Data Consistency is a very important topic. To ensure the consistency in your Solution Landscape (within one system or across system boundaries) you have a huge amount of standard data consistency checks available which help you to detect inconsistencies, for example between Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management or between Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management (liveCache, CIF). The Business Process Monitoring can help you to evaluate the output of these check reports automatically.
Behind the follwing link you can find a complete list of all available Monitoring Objects and Key Figures (more than 200) that the SAP Solution Manager provides out-of-the-box. A full list of all possible Monitoring Objects.
The Trend Analysis Reporting is an additional feature which can be used within BPMon by using the Business Intelligence (BI) functionality included in SAP Solution Manager as it runs on SAP NetWeaver 7.0. The BI Standalone Reporting (Dashboard) can be used for
storing monitored data (measured values and assigned alerts) for a long-term availability
displaying monitored data in a graphical chart for a period of time to visualize a trend or for comparing different sales organizations or plants
enabling further analysis of stored monitored data with usage of Business Intelligence tools
The dashboard is designed technically as a query working on the collected and stored data in the BI and is included in a web template which can be accessed directly following an URL in a web browser or accessing the Reporting section of the corresponding Work Center.
If you are interested in more information about the Business Process Monitoring you find a lot of information in the Service Marketplace.