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26/09/2013:

<update>please note that this is an outdated blog post – you can expect an updated perspective soon. I’ve formatted this blog post since I noticed the formatting was messed up due to the SCN migration</update>

Introduction

Some weeks ago we installed a Solution Manager 7.1 to be used for internal training and setting up demo’s. In this blog series I provide some thoughts on Solution Manager 7.1. You can expect more content from me on #solman as time progresses.  Let’s take a look what the angel on my right shoulder has to say about it.

Solution Manager 7.1 knowledge available

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There is a lot of good content made available by SAP.

One of the best sources for those looking into Solution Manager 7.1 is https://service.sap.com/rkt-solman which is the Ramp-up Knowledge Transfer base for Solution Manager. The guides are nicely done and pretty clear, something that cannot always be said about documentation that is available.

Then there is the coverage done by vivid community members such as Tony De Thomasis who has nice videos on YouTube on Solution Manager 7.1 which are worth checking.

You can learn more about expert-guided implementations by checking the introduction video from SCN-TV and read up on it on SAP Service Marketplace where you see which topics are currently available and where you can also book an expert guided implementation. A prerequisite to benefit from an expert-guided implementation is the need of Enterprise Support.

All of this in combination with recorded sessions from SAP TechED make up for a nice catalog to start learning about Solution Manager 7.1. Even if you don’t have it running yet you can already learn a great deal about new features and possibilities.

A big +1 for SAP on this point.

CRM based end-user experience

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The combination of SAP Netweaver Business Client and CRM 7 is really nice. It’s one of the most remarkable differences for end-users compared to previous user interfaces. It’s not used throughout Solution Manager though. In area’s like IT Service Management the end-user can benefit from a really nifty interface that can customized according to his/her preferences. You can drag parts around on your screen and you can easily add and remove parts. You can even place a weather widget on your screen for example.

Reporting / dashboard possibilities

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The fact that almost all scenarios place data in BI is in my opinion a positive thing since it also enables you to easily pull reports and adjust the results according to your own taste. On the same note the recently announced dashboard are also very much welcome.

Looking at raw monitoring data is a drag and even a simple dashboard can make a big difference in that case. For monitoring purposes you should be able to spot SAP system issues by having a single look at the screen that has the dashboard outputs. I know some third party vendors had similar dashboard applications available for Solution Manager 7.0 and it comes in very handy to properly display monitoring data on a screen hanging on the wall.

It shows SAP has listened to the feedback of customers and influencers and acted upon it as well. It’s nice to see activities of the new SAP.

Conclusion

SAP TechED 2011 has a lot and I mean a lot of content and sessions related to Solution Manager. It shows that SAP has a strong believe in Solution Manager 7.1 and that actually means something.

SAP is doing a lot of effort to show the customers that you can have a positive impact on IT and Business by implementing Solution Manager scenario’s. I really feel like they are leaning into Solution Manager now and that’s needed to make it successful.

I’ve always found Solution Manager an interesting area and I will keep on digging in Solution Manager 7.1 to see what value can be extracted. Very small things happening in and around the SAP atmosphere tell me this time around Solution Manager will get much more implementation projects at customer side than it ever did in the past.

Before you get too excited you should also read the accompanying blog “Impression of Solution Manager 7.1 by the devil”.

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2 Comments

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  1. Kevin Grove
    Tom

    Appreciate the work you put into these blogs. We have been debating whether to upgrade to 7.1 or just update to the latest 7.01 SP level. (Probably have to do update before we can upgrade..) With no compelling new features we will probably postpone the 7.1 until later next year.
    FYI after a snote application on our SolMan last week, MOPZ is no longer requiring download approval. I have not had time to try and understand the causing note.

    Best regards,

    Kevin

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Kevin

      It depends on how much data you have in your Solution Manager because if you use nothing and you don’t have too many managed SAP systems it might be a better idea to go for a new installation instead of an upgrade.

      That way you have a clean system for sure (no obsolete old data and waste of db space).

      I wouldn’t state there are no compelling new features but using the latest features does require some effort (as almost always is the case).

      If you don’t plan to do anything with any of the new features just yet you might be better of to wait a bit until (a few SP’s further things will already be smoother and more functionality will be available of course).

      I could have created longer lists of good vs bad stuff but I wanted to keep the blog somewhat “ok” in length to keep it readable.

      As a #sapadmin the topic I look into for the future are Solution Manager, Virtualization & Cloud ,BW and HANA (not necessarily in that order) but Solution Manager is there and becoming more and more important to have knowledge on.

      Concerning MOPZ, the approval step is performed automatically on your download basket if you run through a maintenance transaction. It still doesn’t take a way the annoying need for approval for certain files on SAP Service Marketplace, especially in cases where you only need a single file.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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