When chatting with SAP colleagues on the Palo Alto campus, whether it is at one of the lunch cafes, at the bus stop, in the gym or anywhere else, a typical talking point is the department we work in. I talk to people in marketing or development or mobility or sales or some other easily identifiable group. When I mention that I’m in Value Prototyping, I get a perplexed look accompanied with a “What is that”. Considering the number of successful projects completed and projects currently hosted in Value Prototyping (VP), I find it unusual that even on the SAP campus it is somewhat of a mystery.
Converged services and experience
In the past ten years, the Value Prototyping groups in Walldorf and Palo Alto have run over 3000 Proof of Concept and Value Prototyping projects spanning a multitude of industries from customers all over the globe. The group encompasses employees that can help in all phases of a project including at the business level, development, technology and infrastructure. PHDs, MBAs, Certified Solution Architects, application and development experts, OS/DB migration experts, Basis admins and infrastructure experts all work under one umbrella. Having a team that contains such a wide range of skills and expertise helps alleviate the burden of having to consolidate all the required human capital a successful project requires. The core team of experts delivers in their specific areas and application specific resources can be brought in as needed.
Speed and agility
Time from conception to value is greatly reduced and companies can start realizing benefits much quicker than if they were to run the project internally. Value Prototyping’s infrastructure team leverages Virtual Appliance Factory (VAF), virtualization and storage vendor partnerships to rapidly provision tightly integrated SAP landscapes. Using an industry leading Landscape as a Service technology, implementations that would normally take many weeks are deployed within hours.
In addition to the speed of deployment, VP’s methodology provides a very agile environment. New components and updates can be applied and rolled back with ease. New systems can be spooled out and integrated without disruption to existing systems. If there is a swivel in project scope, the landscape can be quickly adapted to meet the new requirements. A system needs more resources to handle additional load? Not an issue. Resources can be added on the fly. Providing this tremendous flexibility in solutions is a key advantage that VP delivers.
Accessibility and Delivery
Value Prototyping landscapes are deployed on and accessible via a secure cloud, so users can access the landscape from anywhere in the world where there is internet access. This is very important in today’s world where teams are geographically dispersed, but cloud access also makes it easy for company end users to logon and perform testing or data validation even from behind their company firewall.
Running a proof of concept in the cloud is great, but system integrators (SI) or SAP customers don’t want to have to start from scratch to build out the environment behind their corporate firewall. This is where Virtual Appliance Factory proves itself as a differentiator. The system or landscape is provisioned in the VP cloud, customized and even loaded with data provided by the customer. After the proof of concept project is complete, the SAP system can be delivered to the customer separate from the operating system. VAF systems can be easily moved from VP’s data center to a hoster, SI or customer site and be up and running in a production environment within days, without the need for a system export/import. There are a variety of delivery methods available, depending on the sensitivity of the data and the size of the systems.
Each of these points can be explored in extensive detail and I could probably dedicate a blog for each topic, but I was hoping to provide a brief informative synopsis on a very valuable service at SAP. I didn’t hit all the areas that Value Prototyping can assist in, but the resources below provide more detail in all aspects of SAP Value Prototyping. Additionally, TEC114 will include a session on VAF at TechED Las Vegas.