Last December, Gartner provided a report on “Planning Your Upgrade to SAP Solution Manager 7.1”, advising that careful planning is needed for this upgrade and provided a review of the features. As a result, I was very interested in this ASUG webcast on Solution Manager 7.1.
Evan Stoddard, SAP, provided this ASUG webcast regarding Solution Manager 7.1. Below is part I of a summary of that webcast. For more detailed information I recommend attending the Run Better with Solution Manager 7.1 ASUG Pre-Conference Session at SAP TechED with SAP’s John Krakowski.
Evan also reports that Solution Manager Ramp-up Knowledge Transfer training is available at service.sap.com/rkt-solman site is already live with 7.1 content that the Service Market Place service.sap.com/solutionmanager are also updated (Service Marketplace login is required)
As the product is in ramp up, and the information provided is subject to change.
Figure 1, Source: SAP
Evan Stoddard, SAP, said they are focusing on opening the ALM solution (which contains Solution Manager) to non-SAP processes as well.
Figure 2 – Six Phases of ITIL, Source: SAP
According to Evan, we are following the six ITIL phases in Solution Manager, from requirements design to maintenance. If you have Enterprise Support, they are opening up the rights to non-SAP use as well. For Incident Management they are putting together a full ITSM, IT Service Management. For documentation tools they can provide “re-documentation” tools for projects. Landscape transformation is a new module you can purchase as a service for client mergers and new acquisitions.
Figure 3 Solution Manager 7.1 Highlights, Source: SAP
Evan said the themes of 7.1 are “easy to use”, “openness” and “integration”. Integration is happening by bringing Application Life Cycle Management with IT Service Management, a “full-function” service desk with messaging functionality.
Full solution of IT Service Management is coming in 7.1, as shown in Figure 3. For ease of use, you have the Work Centers, which are role-based. This ties into the web-based interface for Change Management. Solution Manager has CRM in its core; Solution Manager now uses CRM 7. Additionally, there is a new user interface for Test Management, a new UI for blueprinting and solution manager projects for a simple UI.
New / expanded alert monitoring: “Run SAP like a factory” to provide a single central view / dashboard of monitoring end to end solution. This release will provide integration with non-SAP systems such as IBM Rational. They are extending usage rights to work with non-SAP components.
Figure 4, Source: SAP
If you have Enterprise Support and are using some non-SAP components to integrate with SAP Solution Manager you can use it without additional license fees. For example, if you are using printers to print SAP invoices you may want to track that as part of your overall ITSM solution.
Figure 5 Source: SAP
Figure 5 shows they are planning to provide a third party framework for tools.
Figure 6, Source: SAP
Solution Documentation Assistant has been used for ABAP based systems to help document existing solutions to help in upgrade projects, as an example. In 7.1 they are expanding the Solution Documentation to work in the non-ABAP areas using the Usage & Procedure Logging (UPL) as a source.
Before you could only monitor 3 time periods of data, and now this has expanded to 14 time periods. Content enhancements listed in Figure 6 will be available to Enterprise Support customers.
Figure 7, Source SAP
In release 7.1 they are making it so you do not have to be an SAP expert in SAP Blueprinting with a new simple front end based on Eclipse and you install it on your desktop.
Figure 8, Source: SAP
You log in, access a project, and you can do BPMN or flowcharting, models, decision trees.
Figure 9, Source: SAP, Business Process Blueprinting
Figure 9 is a an example screen showing the new Business Process Blueprinting tool. Evan demonstrated the drag and drop features.
Figure 10 Sample Process Flow, Source: SAP
Evan said the idea is to have your business users use this tool without any training.
The business process blueprinting (BPB) must be installed client-side for those who use it. Evan said the first feedback has been positive.
Figure 11, Source: SAP
Test Option 1 is using the Solution Manager Test Workbench and is expanded to include Test Automation Framework, where you can execute test scripts from the test workbench and execute test scripts from third party providers.
Test Option 2 using HP Quality Center and has been expanded to include SAP Test Accelerator Optimization.
Test Option 3 uses Rational software (IBM tool suite).
Figure 12, Test Management Details, Source: SAP
For test scope management, you can use the Business Blueprint or the Business Process Change Analyzer to allow you to limit the scope of testing. It can tell you the impact of enhancement packages.
Figure 13, Source: SAP
For optimized testing, with the change analyzer, you try to rule out what testing is really needed. In 7.1, when creating the test scope you can restrict it to those run the most often. It will also record how long the test took to execute so you can identify how long a test will take.
Figure 14, Change Management, Source: SAP
Quality Change Management ensures that prerequisites are met before the release
Change Request Management and Quality Management were exclusive and now they are “together”.
Figure 15 New Features in Change Request Management, Source: SAP
Figure 15 shows the new features in Change Request Management. New in Change Request Management is using the new user interface for changes, problems. BW reporting is new with Change Request Management.
Figure 16, Source: SAP
Dashboards of alerts, providing full covering of the solution – how well the solution is running is it running to the level of service levels.
Figure 17, Source: SAP
Figure 17 shows configuration of dashboards; may not be ready for the unrestricted shipment. Evan explained this as your app store of your alerts which are configurable, displaying incidents by volume, durations, system availability.
Q: Will this require BI?
A: BW is already in Solution Manager; Solution Manager is the all-in-one solution for application lifecycle management
Figure 18, Source: SAP
Figure 18 shows how you could configure dashboarding.
Figure 19 Unified Service Desk, Source: SAP
7.0 service desk was based on CRM 5.0. CRM 7 is Pink Elephant certified for incident management therefore Solman is Pink elephant certified for ITSM
Figure 20 Demo Work Centers, Source SAP
Solution Manager Work Centers offer one place for alerts.
Figure 21 Incident Management, Source: SAP
Figure 21 shows an example of the Incident Management layout that comes preconfigured.
Figure 22 “Best of Breed” Message
Figure 22 shows an example of the new Incident Management screen, with multi-level categorization, related problems, and service level agreements. This messaging covers any third party application if you have Enterprise Support.
Figure 23 – SolMan Incident Management Upgrade Impacts
Question: Can we migration our 7.0 messages to 7.1?
Answer: No, you cannot due to new infrastructure.
As Figure 23 shows, you process the old tickets until they are closed and create new ones after 7.1.
I hope to complete these notes in a later blog. My takeaways are that there is a more “openness” to Solution Manager, and the new reporting tools provide more transparency to your operations. You still need to consider an upgrade plan, depending on the modules of SAP that you are using. I look forward to an improved Change Request Management interface and BW Reporting.