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Author's profile photo Riccardo Escher

Why Solution Manager Service Desk Is Mandatory for a SAP Landscape

The Mongolian Attack

You know the situation: Your company is a little bit heterogeneous (acquisitions, mergers, …) so there are many ticketing systems used in the different subsidiaries.

One day one manager gets struck by the ingenious idea to standardize all the legacy ticketing systems into one (one source of truth!) and initiates a project.

As a SAP Solution Manager expert you are glad that there will be some budget, so you suggest to use the new, really nice Solution Manager Service Desk 7.1 for all (both SAP and non-SAP) tickets.

But your colleagues from the infrastructure team are shy of using SAP software and push one of the many ticketing systems out in the pampas and then, on the contrary, they pretend that you should use this tool for SAP tickets too.

Oh horror! Immediately you have to ward off this Mongolian attack demonstrating why the SAP Service Desk is mandatory for the Solution Manager and therefore for all the SAP Landscape.

The Great Wall

To do so I have collected all Solution Manager scenarios where the Service Desk is integrated into, thus showing what all will be broken when we are forced to adopt an external ticketing system for the SAP landscape, too.

Here is my overview, I hope I have detected all integration items. If not, please add a comment, I will try to insert the missing scenario. I used the “Relevance” column to weight the scenarios for our company, but here I standardized it to one ‘+’: you might add you own priority.

Solution Manager Scenario SolMan Service Message Handling (SM: Incident, Problem, …)
Relevance for us

Frontend (SAP Gui, Portal, NWBC), Call Center (Interaction Center), Mobile, CRM Share Service Framework

Embedded creation action from SAP frontends & clients populated automatically with useful application data

Infrastructure Management (Object Management)

Close integration with CMDB, SM can be opened for configuration item via direct value help, support can drill down via CMDB to vendor maintenance tool


Project Blue Print & Configuration

Tab for SM (creation, status, reporting (Solar_eval) )

Project Roadmap

Tab for SM (creation, status, reporting)


Task management

At every task tab for Service Messages (creation, status, documentation)
Test management (manual & automatic)
In every test package at every test case tab for SM (creation, documentation), consistency check (task plan with open prio 1 messages cannot be closed)  reporting (solar_eval, BI)

Test management (automatic)

When recorded test script is broken tester can create feedback SM , workflow with test engineer to repair the automatic test script


Business Process Monitoring

Alert fires notification via SM

Technical Monitoring (alert infrastructure)

Alert fires notification via SM, deep integration: closing of SM quits automatically  the origin alerts


NW PI Monitoring

Create Incident Button in Component Monitor


Exception Management Cockpit

Create Incident Button in Detail View


Job Scheduling Management

Request & approval of jobs via SM workflow


Incident & Problem Management

Close integration with Change Request & Knowledge Management


Issue Management (SAP Service Delivery)

Tab for SM incl. expertise on demand and sapnet messages, tab for Change Requests

SAP Support

Forward SM to sap support and get SAP solution or correction
Root Cause Analysis Jump from SM into RCA +

I have prepared a little presentation with this overview so I can take it out from the drawer every time a manager gets struck by the ingenious idea to standardize also the SAP landscape into some legacy ticketing system (and yes, we are on our way of implementing the SAP Service Desk in our SAP landscape, but it’s really a jump and run game…).

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      Author's profile photo Ibrahim Dorego
      Ibrahim Dorego

      Dear Ricardo,

      Thanks for blogging this. Unfortunately, I faced the opposite situation where a third party HD tool was selected w/o really going into an in depth analysis. From a SAP only point of view, SD would definitely be the To GO Solution. Your great wall is absolutely valid - no doubt.

      But one of the cons (for not using Solman -SD) could be the license cost. In the likely scenario that not all your end users are SAP Users, you will incur additional heavy licensing cost in case you want to incorporate your general IT support.

      In any other case you would have to select various HD tools for supporting your business. Any ideas, how you can overcome this dilemma.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I don't think the licensing is a problem. Since you've already paid the license for Solution Manager in the first place, SAP won't charge you extra for the Service Desk (even for handling non-sap products).

      Is this a misunderstanding from my side?

      Author's profile photo Ibrahim Dorego
      Ibrahim Dorego

      Dear Magnus,

      I was referring to the scenario that NOT all your end users are SAP Users. In that case you will incur additional licensing cost in case you want to incorporate your general IT support. SAP will definitely not agree to provide access to Solman without charging for licenses.

      Secondly, I think SAP also does not allow to use SD for solutions other then  SAP.

      But I could be wrong here. I would need to find the document where I read this.

      Author's profile photo Riccardo Escher
      Riccardo Escher
      Blog Post Author

      Dear Ibrahim,

      yes, the client licensing is the weak point which prevents the usage of the SAP Service Desk for non-SAP tickets.

      My infrastructure guys which are SAP shy found immediately this Achilles heel and won the battle. I am just glad not to be forced to use their ticketing tool also for SAP tickets.

      There is a documentation from SAP about the usage rights. You might have a look at the service marketplace: -> Column "The Big Picture" 4th item "Understand your SAP Solution Manager usage rights within your support engagement".

      You might download the presentation (link is bottom right):

      Here you can see a pricing example on slide 20. The license costs for 5 additional users don't seem so high, but an IT which has only 5 non-SAP Service Users probably would not need a Service Desk Tool. And compare this costs with the costs for additional non-SAP tickets 😉 !

      Our enterprise for example would have needed about 1000 additional client licenses (at minimum), but nobody seriously  took this into consideration! So we licensed a non SAP ticketing tool for non-SAP & non IT tickets.

      Because of the needed client license - if you focus only the SAP Service Desk usage rights - it is probably for all customers cheaper to pay only for standard support and use SAP Service Desk only for SAP tickets buying an external ticketing system for the rest than to pay for enterprise support, use the SAP Service Desk for both SAP and non-SAP tickets but paying for the needed additional client licenses.

      In my humble point of view there should not exist the need for a client license for the usage of the SAP Service Desk, because the SAP Solution Manager is not a "product" you can buy.

      You get usage rights for the SolMan if you pay for support. Therefore there should not be such a thing as license measurement for SolMan.

      This is may be the last step SAP has to take to really open the SAP Service Desk for non-SAP usage too (when enterprise support) so that it gets accepted by the customers.

      We from the german speaking user group (DSAG) are just trying in helping SAP to think about this, may be your local user group can assist SAP at thinking too 😎

      Author's profile photo Ibrahim Dorego
      Ibrahim Dorego

      Dear Riccardo,

      Thanks for your detailed response. What else can I say then: I totally agree with you! 😥

      We have a similar scenario where we would have to additionally acquire ca. 800 client licenses, not to speak about the licenses for tickets beyond "customer solution".

      In our environment it would be difficult to justify these additional investments, compared to other full blown IT Service solutions.

      While I do understand SAP's motivation - 'nothing is for free', in terms of marketing SAP's CRM based solutions, I would definitely encourage and recommend to rethink the licensing concept for Solman.

      Let us think loudly (based on SAP Enterprise Support)

      1. The SAP Guys want a HD tool.

      2. The IT Guys want a HD tool.

      3. SAP offers a HD tool ('not full blown') that requires additional licenses for Non -sap users and non-customer solutions. (not to mention that we are already paying 22% but somehow we cannot convince our management that we can fully capitalize on our investment)

      4. IT offers a full blown IT Service Management Solution that covers everything, yet licenses need to be acquired for all Users.

      In terms of IT strategy, I am sorry to conclude that any CIO would probably opt for 4. The losers would obviously be the SAP Team.

      Am I too pessimistic about this? 😕