Today I attended a very interesting webinar with Evan Stoddard, Senior Product Manager, about SAP Solution Manager Road Map. I have to thank Tammy for giving this tip in one of her tweets and to Stephanie Redivo for setting this up (check this blog http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-33207). For those who will attend ASUG 2013 and/or SAPPHIRENOW 2013, he will be there to provide more information.
There is a lot of innovation planned for Solution Manager and Evan described them a little bit in this webinar. The first information was that the Support Package 10 will be released together with Support Package 09 in September 2013, and SP11 is planned for 2014. We will have two packages released together so that most of the problems found in SP09 will be corrected with 10, avoiding the need to implement a large number of notes. Of course some notes will be necessary anyway after implementing SP10, as usual.
One of the things that came out from the attendees was a question about the future of transaction SMSY (System Landscape). According to Evan, this transaction should disappear but not before SP11. It will start to be not necessary in SP09 and 10, but will still exist. It will be replaced by LMDB (Landscape Management Database). At the moment we fight with SMSY, SLD, LMDB…
Another question asked was related to the Digital Signature functionality integrated to ChaRM as standard. By now if we want to have digital signatures in ChaRM processes, specially for Pharmaceutical companies, we need to develop it ourselves, there is nothing standard. Unfortunately the answer is “Not available yet”. Evan Said he will follow this up.
Evan also answered a question related to SuccessFactors integrated to Solution Manager. He said SAP is planning it. He also said there is a plan to get Solution Manager on Netweaver 7.31 with BI 7.31 and CRM 7.02 after 2014. So…we will have to live with and old CRM version for some time.
Talking about the presentation, the plans for Solution Manager in the next 12-18 months include the complete coverage of Applications, Analytics, Mobile, Database and Technology and Cloud, as we can see in the slide below (the slides I show here are part of the presentation’s pdf that we can download from SMP):
Some new guided self-services will be available, such as Data Consistency Management and Transport Execution Analysis, which provides inputs to improve transport processes.
The main idea is to have SAP Solution Manager as an integrated end-to-end orchestration plataform supporting the end-to-end customer solution, accelerating innovation, application lifecycle management, improving operation quality and lowering coasts, and this is available today.
In Evan’s presentation each of this topics are described in more details.
Then came the planned innovations. One planned innovation that I think is very interesting is the integration of Solution Manager projects with cProjects on the same system. cProjects, or Collaborative Projects, is part of SAP Project Portfolio Management. In older releases of Solution Manager, it was possible to integrate cProjects with Solution Manager, but this integration refered mainly to the status of cProjects phases which could be used to control Solution Manager Project phases. With the planned innovation, it will be possible to manage resources, time and project phases through Solution Manager. This will fill a gap that many project managers mentioned to me about Solution Manager project management.
In Test Management there are some innovations related to TAO (Test Acceleration Optimization) release 3.0, which will enable test automation of CRM 7.0 Web Client, and related to Test automation framework, which will have a function called Standard Regression Testing (available in Q2 2013). But I believe the most important innovation in this area is the EHP scope and effort analyser coming with SP11 in 2014. This functionality will also be available for Custom Code Management.
In the Change Control Management and ITSM areas, which I’m very interested since they are my main focus in Solution Manager, there are important innovations planned too. The first of them, related to Change Control Management, is the cCTS, or Central Change and Transport System. I’ve been hearing about it for some time, and could finally have more practical information during last SAP Teched. This subject was first announced in 2009, mentioned in the Teched 2010, then “slept” for some time, and “woke up” in Teched 2012. In the links below you can check some blogs and comments about it, but the best source of information that I had was the TechEd 2012 session ALM204: Change Request Management based on Central CTS. Unfortunately this session is not available in the Virtual SAPTeched site.
Central CTS is an evolution of CTS. We had CTS, then CTS+ to handle non-ABAP transports, then cCTS for syncronization and bundling. As I heard during the excellent session ALM204 in Teched Madrid 2012, presented by SAP employee Michael Dohle: “It’s all CTS!”. cCTS will work with collections and clusters, making easier the bundling of transport requests belonging to the same change or belonging together on parallel transport tracks. It will bring more transport flexibility making possible to change Project assignment at any time and in any status. And it will enhance Lock Management, making possible to have Project specific locks and allowing Local CTS to be switched off.
There are also other areas improved, as shown in the slide below:
For the Incident Management, we will have two important areas with innovations. One is IT Service Management, which will have Service Request Management integrated to Change Management, and will finally have an integration with Service Catalog, which is something some of my customers already requested.
Another area with innovations is the License Management. With Infrastructure Management, there will be an auto discovery not only for IT infrastructure objects, as we already know, but also for installed software and automated calculation of software packages, and Discovery of as-is situation for landscape and licenses.
I will continue talking about this webinar in another blog, part 2, where I will mention some of the innovations related to Application Operations. But if you have access to SAP Service Marketplace, download the complete presentation from this link: https://websmp104.sap-ag.de/~sapidb/011000358700001435482012E.pdf