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If you have used the self services in Solution Manager you will have noticed that you still need to do a lot of work manually. Before anyone starts commenting that you can automate data capture I will state it myself. Yes you can automate data capturing but only to a certain extent. To be able to have as much data fetching as possible you need a buck load of agents and tools in place. Still there are many pointers left that are not captured automatically.

This then calls for exporting data from SAP into Excel, swapping cells around and using formula’s to get the result you want to have. Wait; isn’t SAP based on database tables? Why are we exporting data and manipulating the data in Excel?

Do you find that the previous question is a valid question? I do find the question to be valid and it raises even more questions. Why haven’t those services been automated properly instead of stating the instructions to export to Excel and sorting the fields and so on? The importance of the whole deal is that you have proper human interpretation of important data in the end. If you have to spend too much time on exporting and manipulating data you risk having timing issues and the interpretation might seriously suffer because of that. At least that is the impression I have after having seen heaps of service results and the interpretations that go along with them.

Have you done reviews of Go Live checks or other services done for your SAP systems? How good were those if you are really honest?  The ones that provided the most value are the ones that were done onsite by a whole team of SAP consultants. Why? Because time is invested into the service in that case. Persons are doing an actual interpretation and not just copy/pasting the opinion of the artificial intelligence. You can spot a service result from miles away that didn’t get proper human interpretation.

Don’t you dislike reading a recommendation that states: “Please review the parameters for Oracle”? Seriously, is that a result we want to see? I could have stated that before the service was done. I tend to have to spend a significant amount of time translating the recommendations in meaningful sentences and what is worse I have to do all those checks because the service recommendation is inconclusive. I want to see which Oracle parameters should be changed if you make a recommendation to review the parameters. I don’t want to find out the parameters are fine and I just wasted my time for no good reason.

I’m not stating the Self Services are useless, by far, they can have proper value but it all depends on the effort put into them and the proper human interpretation of the accumulated data. I can conclude that it could be much better if more effort would be put into automating the mere fetching of data. That way more time would be available for the human interpretation of the data and better recommendations and results would be provided.

I dislike performing actions that could be easily automated: “Export X and Sort column Y cut the top ten lines and so on”. I will be looking at automating it as much as possible myself but it would be nice to see that SAP would take this into account and does something about it.

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Penn

      Self services won’t yet feature much of a problem for most customers. At the moment there are only a few number of large SAP customers who have access to a lot of those self services in order to process the services themselves.

      In the future there might be more and more services that are done by customer SAP support/design teams instead of by SAP.

      The real reason for dispatching the functionality to the customers is most likely cost cutting. Like I mentioned in the blog there is a lot of manual work to be done on getting the correct data into the service in the first place. Afterwards you still need to do a proper interpretation.

      This blog is more a heads-up to be careful accepting something which is presented as a present that might not be a present after all.

      I have some other blogs related to Solution Manager. By clicking my name on top of this blog you will be able to see my blog list author page.

      I continue to blog but as always it’s nice that someone comments the blog is appreciated. That really is what keeps me going so thanks for your valuable feedback.

      You are also welcome to follow me on twitter @tomcenens. Solution Manager tweets can also be found using hashtag #solman and #sapadmin.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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