Prevent System Down Time with SAP Active Global Support
Prevent System Down Time with SAP Active Global Support
Remote Access & Supportability, Tom DiAntonio, Oct 8 ‘09
Blog. Blogger. Blogging. I swear those three words have entered my vocabulary more in the last few months than plural nouns. The other day I was enjoying some quality time with my dog playing a game of fetch. He’s really good at watching the ball, finding it and then bringing it back to me to do it all over again. However, every now and again he gets distracted by a harmless squirrel and the ball is gone. I said to him (I swear on Facebook): ‘Jake, find your blog!’ He found it.
I have entered the process of finding and fetching as well. SAP Active Global Support hot topics, that is. This is the start of a blogging series entitled Active Global Support Hot Topics where I will interview SAP subject matter experts on different areas of software support and maintenance provided by SAP. Topics range from the Customer Center of Expertise to the 7-2 Maintenance Strategy to End to End Solution Operations, and many more.
Something eating away at you and want to learn more? Please let me know and we will do our best to dive a little deeper into a specific topic area.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom DiAntonio, Senior Director, Active Global Support at SAP to understand the concept of Remote Access & Supportability provided by SAP. One of the first things that a new customer does when getting started with SAP support is to set up and establish their remote connection to SAP. The following is a recount of our discussion.
So Remote Access & Supportability means what, exactly?
In order to best support their customers and the software they are running, SAP provides a remote network connection to customers; essentially a direct link between the customer and SAP. A component of SAP’s Global Support Backbone, this connection enables communication, between customers, SAP and SAP’s software solution partners through a variety of methods allowing the customer to take advantage of many different services and support functions that SAP has to offer.
And how does this benefit the customer and their business?
Customers, benefit from having an efficient, integrated, collaboration mechanism that enables end-to-end supportability of partner and SAP solutions across the ecosystem.
In other words, customers have full access to SAP and support for their entire solution landscape.
The ability to connect remotely can accelerate root-cause analysis, mission-critical support, and incident management for today’s complex support situations, providing the ability to link any expert within SAP to a customer issue, in an “on demand” way…thus creating a “supply chain of expertise”.
This means that customers have access to all stakeholders in a single operational model. In the past, this could require multiple steps and communications- so now the process is quite streamlined.
Root cause analysis – I’ve heard the term several times. Can you give me a real-life example of what it is and its value for the customer? Does it help solve the problem faster?
Yes. The term “root cause analysis” refers to the ability to correctly diagnose the cause of an issue. Often, a problem may occur that appears in one part of the solution but the real cause may be coming from somewhere else.
SAP provides advanced tools, capabilities, and support to quickly and easily determine the source of an issue, regardless of where it is coming from. This helps customers avoid lengthy business disruptions.
Are there other benefits to remote connectivity?
The remote connectivity capabilities can also be used proactively. SAP uses this connection to deliver the Continuous Quality Check services offered with SAP Enterprise Support.
This connection is utilized by nearly all SAP customers-approximately 99%. It is used every day and is an active part of interactions between customers, SAP and SAP Software Solution Partners.
What is unique or new about this feature or component that you would like customers to know?
SAP has continuously enhanced the capabilities of its remote connection capabilities. It allows many different types of connections into a customer’s environment which has strengthened the support we provides to customers. For example, SAP Active Global Support can leverage an integrated tool called “Netviewer” which can provide the ability to view exactly what the end user is seeing (and doing) along with having the ability to have a live chat, or even a video conference.
Additionally, we now have a new program and certification, SAP Enterprise Support Integration for our software solution partners. It ensures that a partner solution is integrated with the SAP Global Support Backbone, confirms that there are common support processes, service level agreements will be met, and escalation procedures are defined, all of which are in accordance with SAP Enterprise Support standards. This certifies that a partner has implemented and leverages the SAP Solution Manager for incident processing and remote diagnostics.
How is Remote Access & Supportability a Superhero?
Unfortunately, production-down or mission critical situations sometimes occur. The remote connectivity capability speeds up the time to required for performing root-cause analysis and resolution of customer issues. Imagine trying to provide mission critical support without this capability: We would most likely have to try to recreate every issue or scenario in a remote lab environment, take into account any relevant customer specific variables and attempt to provide a fix…or even worse fly teams of people to a customer site or location to fix a single issue. This is not practical and would be very costly. We would never be able to meet our SAP Enterprise Support Service Level agreement commitments.
The remote connection provides a much more interactive and efficient way of helping customers resolve issues, especially the mission critical ones.
OK, one minute to go…what are some key takeaways?
We haven’t touched on one area that I know our customers are concerned with – that of security. The connection between SAP and the customers is secure. SAP provides software, as part of the maintenance offering, called “SAP Router” which encrypts and secures that connection between the two organizations.
The customer has full control of accessibility; they must initiate and authorize SAP to access their system before we can utilize the connection.
Want to learn more?
Visit the Service Marketplace Support Portal
View the document: Quick Guide for Support and Services for Customers of SAP Enterprise Support. There is a detailed chapter just on the connection topic we’ve discussed today (begins on page 25).
Additional technical details are available at the following: http://service.sap.com/remoteconnection