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Only a few days away from the first ‘switching day’ – are you still uncertain about the way forward? Let’s share some thoughts on the support decision in front of you.

 

First of all, if you are not deciding now and providing SAP a confirmed written notification, nothing changes and you continue to benefit from the advantages SAP Enterprise Support if this is your current support offering. One key aspect to note is if you are on the ramp-up reference curve, the upper percentage cap remains unchanged at 18.36% for 2010.

 

SAP Enterprise Support is clearly about the benefit you generate with IT and, even more importantly, the business value to ensure and drive the competitiveness of your company. Choice in support model puts you in the driver’s seat. You have to determine your demand based on your business requirements. The importance of the SAP ERP applications to support key and critical business processes and your knowledge level, capacity, complexity, and more become criteria for your decision. To approach the topic in a more structured fashion, three areas should be evaluated to determine the support offering that maps to your business requirement best.

 

Maturity

Having already a long standing relationship with SAP and using the SAP application to support key and stable business processes also in the future could be one topic driving your decision. In this case, the operation of SAP is well understood, efficiencies already implemented or already identified, your team is skilled and confident. That’s already a good start. But what about governance? Is IT perceived as the ‘techies’ in the data center, or have you been able to conduct a ‘content dialogue’ with your business leaders? Focusing only on smooth and stable IT-operation might not be sufficient going forward. Get transparency about the business process performance. Educate the business about their responsibility, for IT costs should be a more sustainable strategy. Show the business that workflows unexecuted, unnecessary reports or respective frequencies, frequently canceled transactions, demand for long online availability of data and etc., should have much more impact in the business. For this, SAP Standard Support will help to manage IT-costs; new, more value generating (and IT-positioning support) will be provided by SAP Enterprise Support.

 

Flexibility

In today’s economy, volatility of the business seems to be increasing, estimations becoming more predictions; strong business today could become a burden tomorrow. Business and business processes are under constant change, affecting also the way and demand IT has to support business processes. Constant change of the application with reasonable impact/disruption in the business required is even more. An excellent understanding of the functionality available, either in the already implemented release or by upgrading, installation of Enhancement Packages, and managing testing, have an infrastructure in place for smooth training and optimized support becomes critical.

 

SAP Enterprise Support is designed to address such topics by enabling the IT-department with tools, methodologies and direct support. Business Processes are in focus, supporting even mature IT-organizations to look beyond technology and operation.

 

 

Criticality for your business

Supporting key business processes is generating an obligation for the provider of the applications to ensure seamless operation. SAP Standard Support is already designed to provide the standard backbone offering and support for business continuity. It is a market typical reactive support offering, helping customers if an incident occurs. In today’s volatile business environment, two concepts become important here: a) defined response if an incident is reported; and b) measures taken to avoid incidents before they occur.

 

New support mechanisms have to be developed and implemented to execute on the concepts outlined. Incidence and the respective impact in the business are getting more predictable and manageable. It is even better to avoid incidents altogether/prevented maintenance. SAP Enterprise Support seeks to avoid them by constantly analyzing the applications and taking corrective before an incident happens, provided the required prerequisites are executed by the customer.

 

Choice is giving you the opportunity to map your business demand with the support offering that you feel best meets your business needs. The value you gain with SAP can generate for your business can quickly offset costs. It is your choice – on an annual basis.

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