A funny thing happened over the past ten years.
As the internet has matured, new approaches to IT were introduced, and new technologies arrived to support different systems worked together. Meanwhile, the way we’ve worked to support and maintain IT investments has largely remained the same: Problems arise, messages or phone calls alert people, who in turn assemble a team to address and solve the problems. This framework provided updates and fixes that were applied to systems as they became available – a reactive approach, like going to the dentist once a tooth hurts.
At SAP, we began to examine this approach and question its merits. Using the dentistry analogy, it’s important to be able to fix a troublesome tooth, but what if more preventative care was taken? Like regular twice a year check-ups and cleaning in addition to daily brushing and flossing. When these steps are taken, potential problems are found and fixed before they become severe, painful problems.
As IT systems have become more proactive and predictive, seeking to anticipate business changes, we began to explore this approach for support and maintenance. We began to question whether or not we could change the model to support our customers in lowering the risks they faced with their investments, and what this would look like – how we could become proactive and predictive to effectively support customers in avoiding severe, painful problems.
Support & Maintenance 2.0
Our answer is what we introduced as SAP Enterprise Support, a more proactive approach towards managing our customers’ IT investment, supporting lowering operations costs, while increasing their system availability and delivering even more business value. Proactive, with greater accountability.
Like modern dentistry, we have gone beyond just reacting to emerging problems. Enterprise support certainly addresses the expected bug fixes, patches and solving system issues, but introduces an entirely new model for customers. Reflecting the strategic importance of their IT systems, SAP Enterprise Support supports business continuity and streamlined solution operations with the introduction of end-to-end solution operations standards. Run SAP methodology supports reducing the cost of system administration, and our best in class mission-critical support is supported by SLAs, 24×7 root cause analysis, and a departure from other offerings in the market, support for SAP and non-SAP code. This commitment is meant to support reduction of downtime while supporting our customers’ desire to accelerate business process innovation with our enhancement packages.
Much like using x-ray technology to identify emerging problems in teeth, SAP Solution Manger, our global support backbone, provides the transparency to our customers’ IT environment. It helps make proactive and smarter decisions to align business and IT, manage upgrades and other projects effectively. It is with the Solution Manager that we can generate the SAP Enterprise Support Report, which allows customers to see what specific potential risks exist in their system, while also providing insight into how they can tap advantages in their investment they’ve not already applied. This is like finding money in the pocket of a coat you’ve not worn in awhile – it’s money you already had, but didn’t know you had available.
In my next installment, I’ll take the opportunity to begin drilling into some of the more specific aspects of SAP Enterprise Support, which I think will help you see why we think this is a game-changing approach that will significantly benefit our customers and their IT landscapes.
In the meantime, visit the new Software Support and Maintenance page to learn more about SAP Enterprise Support and many other related topics.