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In today’s economy, none of us can afford to pursue skills that are not economically viable. We need to make sure that our long term strategy is grounded in the pursuit and acquisition of skills that are in need now. For that reason, I was glad to have a chance to sit down again with Ajay Vonkarey of Alpha Sirius to continue our conversation on Run SAP and Solution Manager skills trends.

This time, the podcast conversation takes place live in Orlando on the last day of the conference. One thing that surprised me at Sapphire: we heard plenty about Solution Manager, but there was very mention of Run SAP, SAP’s post go-live methodology that is closely tied to Solution Manager and Enterprise Support benchmarks. I wanted to find out from Ajay if Run SAP was still relevant since we heard so little about it in the keynotes. This podcast digs into that question and also how Solution Manager and BPM are converging.

I also wanted to ask Ajay about the resentment some customers have told me they feel about Solution Manager. Some feel that this tool is being imposed on them, and they are not always clear on the benefits versus the learning curve.

During this twenty-four minute podcast, Ajay and I get into the latest on Run SAP and Solution Manager skills and why they are relevant. This podcast has been available on my web site for a while but Ajay and I wanted to make sure it was downloadable for SCN visitors as well. In actuality, this is the second podcast I have done with Ajay. If you haven’t heard our first podcast on the emergence of Run SAP and Solution Manager skills, you may want to check that out also.
If you want a few key takeaways from our most recent podcast, here are a few:

Ajay still sees Run SAP as a priority for SAP. He provides an example: many more Run SAP partners have been signed up. Last year, there were only five Run SAP partners. This year, there were more than 15. It’s the partners working on the ground with the customers that are the key to Run SAP’s future success.

Solution Manager was all over the conference. In my Twitter feed, I posted from the conference floor that Solution Manager was coming up in just about every SAP context at Sapphire, from Enterprise Support to BPM. But some customers resent the imposition of Solution Manager as a “must use” tool. Example: I talked to a customer at a pre-conference ASUG event who was a little frustrated because they had used a different tool for their implementation and were not lacking the in-house capabilities in Solution Manager SAP was pushing. Ajay believes that Solution Manager is here to stay, and he has setup Solution Manager for a number of customers. But some do feel they are being forced to use the tool. The good news is that there is deeper functionality in Solution Manager than ever before, but a roadmap is really needed on how to use the many functions in this tool.

How does an individual get a handle on this skill area? The challenge Ajay sees is that the standards of Run SAP and the functions of Solution Manager are pretty broad. For example, a Basis person can find certain functions in Solution Manager that fit into their skill set. But there are also uses on the functional side for project managers and functional experts, either through upgrades or post-go live optimizations. It’s not just one focus – Solution Manager is a broad tool that requires a focus on which aspect of the tool is the best fit with your skills.

There’s more detail on these topics, as welll as how Solution Manager and BPM connect, in the podcast.

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