Partner Support is not a band new area to me, I had been doing Wily dev support for the past years. However I used to treat Wily as a product of SAP and never thought about how Partner Support should be like until recently I joined Global Parnter Suppot (GPS).
I was assigned several partner products and started to think about how to support these partners to integrate their product into SAP AGS world. I did quite some investigation in SLD modeling, Customized introscope instrumentation, and RCA functionalities integration. Then I realized properly there is another direction.
It’s true, the integration of the partner product support into Solution Manager is important. Besides this, partner support does not only mean “support partners to integrate”, but should also have the meaning as “support customers with their non-sap product”. Imagine I bought a Honda CRV car because it was titled as the “Most Reliable Car”, when the car has some problem with air-conditioning, I do not really care which vendor of Honda produced the air-conditioning machine, all I believed in is Honda’s warranty and maintenance service.
So the same important thing for GPS is service development as well support tools development. For each partner product resold by SAP, SAP should be able tell a proper maintenance plan and support road map.
For maintenance plan, the standard services(TIC/TFC/SMA) could be introduced to partner side and had knowledge database setup. Proper designed questionnaire should be in position which can truely reveal customers’ current status. Because of the lack of knowledge, the service development should consider involve partner’s support team. Following conclusion should be drawed at the end of development:
1, service strategy: Questionnaire, Check Points, Future Plan Review, Health Estimation, etc.
2, scope and responsibilitys: A clear responsibility devision should be made between SAP and Partner. We can define serveral scopes for a certain kind of service. For each scope, partner has different involvement and responsibilities. For example, partner can act as A. onsite team member; B. Remote Support Team member; C. Backoffice member…Cooperation with partners in service delivery can be a win-win solution, only if we have a way to enable partner’s support as if they were SAP AGS.
3, Report and alert: Every SAP service ends with a nice report and potencially alerts for customer’s IT scenarios. For each partner product, the “what’s interesting” points should be pointed out explicitly by both SAP and Partner during service development. Labs could make reporting or alerting tools based on these input and make servcie easier.
I think the well designed regular involvement of Partner in SAP’s standard service will be a win-win solution. My personal experience was once in an escalation, we decided to have a CA guy to help us do the E2E trace integartion with weblogic. The guy flew from Australian, and worked with us for 4 days. The decision was made as an urgent request from SAP because we don’t want to be in trouble of license issues with Oracle and CA, but it proves to be a success. We beautifully traced through the weblogic and customer’s self-developed system.
To this extent, it may make life easier to have a partner from partner.