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following Mike Kerrigan’s blog yesterday about frustrations with OSS Messages,
it’s high time we share some tips and tricks on working with the OSS system.

Doing my fair share of OSS Messages for Customers where I am engaged has lead
me to develop some tips and tricks and techniques for maximising the response
to OSS Messages.

The goal of this blog is to share those tips and on top of this, furthermore,
request others who have good tips and tricks for OSS Messages to add their gems
and pearls of wisdom in the comments.

I have also included in here (without permission), an items from a SAP
Support CIC Presentation which we were given at one Customer. Hopefully the
good intention and synergy of the content will allow this information to be
published.

Where shall we start, let’s start at the very beginning a very good place to start ,

as Julie Andrews said in The Sound Of Music which my daughters keep watching.

  • Step 1) The Message Priority

When you post an OSS Message you begin with the priority of the message.

Making the right choice in the beginning between LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH

priority, is extremely important.

Where and when to use a MEDIUM or a HIGH ?

I’ve experienced regularly, that if you open a MEDIUM as a MEDIUM and it is a
straight black or white question you often get a very very fast response and
closure. I guess it’s to do with low hanging fruit, we all do tickets and the
low hanging fruit are the easiest and if an OSS Case comes in as  a MEDIUM

and with a straight yes or no question it’s an easy one to close.

I’ve experienced getting answers to MEDIUM questions within hours on several

occasions in the last couple of years. So my point is, use the message priority

with care.

  • Step 2) Selecting Correct Message Component

It can be confusing trying to select the correct or most appropriate Message
Component for your OSS Message.

Quality time invested in choosing the correct Message Component, getting this
right will speed up message processing by reducing the wasted time with the
message ping ponging with the wrong processing Component Team.

How to choose the correct Message Component, or as close as possible to the
correct one ?

Look for OSS Notes which are similar to the issue you are working on, find
and OSS Note similar to the issue you are working on and then in that OSS
Note look for and make a note of the Primary Component of the OSS Note.

Then, use that Primary Component as the Message Component for the OSS

Message.

Here’s an example, you have a problem with PDF’s generation in HCM through

Portal. Your ADS is the ADS of the Portal. You quickly open a Case to SAP and

put the Message Component as EP something or other. EP something or other

is not the ADS/PDF Team at SAP and therefore, there will be a delay while the

Message Processor from the Portal Component Team at SAP gathers all information

and then concludes this message is for the ADS/PDF Component Team.

How to find the ADS/PDF Component Team, find an OSS Note on ADS and PDF’s
similar to your issue, and look at the OSS Note Primary Component and use
that as your Message Component.

Tip from Sudhir S.V for ABAP stacks:

      Just go to SE38, run the report RSSTATUS.  You will get a pop up screen,

     in that screen give either t-code or program name or table or data element

     or domain.  Finally, you will get the component for raising the OSS message.

  • Step 3) Entering the Message Details and Information for SAP

When you enter the information for SAP, remember, garbage in, garbage out.

When entering the Message Details, make as much effort as possible to provide
as much information as possible:

      • Describe the issue in detail
      • Even provide a word document with screenshots showing all of the

steps required to reproduce the issue and the result

      • Provide log files
      • Provide full System Information
      • Describe the Operating System and Database and their versions
      • Open the System Connection and put the logon details in the secure

area

      • Make sure the Contact Details in the Message are correct
        • email
        • telephone number

All of these items, will help speed up the message processing and reduce the
ping ponging, the more effort you make the more you will be rewarded by
faster processing of Message

  • Step 4) Working With SAP and Supporting The OSS Message

It is a revolution in OSS Message Support that we now get emails when the
Message status changes, this makes tracking the message much easier and
more fluid. Nevertheless, if you have an important message you should keep you
eye on the status of the message.

It is very important to make a qualified judgement of the quality, correctness,
and standard of the replies from SAP as there may be a need to request and
where necessary escalate to get messages moved to the next layer of support.

If you are not happy with the quality of the response from the Message
Processor then call SAP Global Support CIC and discuss with them and also
provide clear feedback in the Message and politely request with justification
that the Message is moved to the next layer of support

Keep attention on Messages by where necessary giving regular calls to SAP
Global Support CIC to request attention to the Message from the Message
Processor

  • Step 5) Be Polite

Treat people as you would like to be treated

  • Step 6) When Issues Become More Urgent

(this slide is taken without permission from a SAP presentation, if requested

I will remove it from the blog)

OSS Support When Issues Become More Urgent.PNG

Finally, the icing on the cake is to be a Max Attention Customer. But nonetheless,

from my own experience, yes nothing beats Max Attention, but if you’re not

at a Max Attention Customer and you make the right effort then you will get

the highest possibility of efficient message processing.

As already requested, please add your OSS Message Support Tips and Tricks to the
blog comments.

All the best, and remember, have fun with your OSS Messages ๐Ÿ™‚

Andy.

p.s. Personally I don’t agree with using the SCN Platform as an instrument for
complaining about SAP. Personally I see SCN as a positive medium for bringing
out the best and improving in all areas. For me, regarding complaints to SAP,
if there is an issue, there are proper commercial Customer Account channels
which can used to report back to SAP and escalate where necessary.

p.p.s. Note to self – remember to practice what you preach

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12 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Andy, good tips (especially step 2), thank you for sharing.

    I’m afraid the p.s. note just lost you most potential commenters on the blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ But still I’d like to point out that for some reason even after diligently following step 3, in many cases the person responding is again asking for the same things that were already provided in the initial message.

    I always note this in the closing survey, but somehow haven’t seen any improvement. Although we haven’t submitted any messages for months, maybe things changed recently. It’d be interesting to hear about most recent experiences how these tips helped improve response time/quality.

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    1. Andy Silvey Post author

      Hi Jelena,

      thank you for the feedback and cheekily sneaking in that comment about not seeing any improvement did not go unnoticed ๐Ÿ™‚

      By the way, congratulations on your recent promotion ๐Ÿ™‚

      Andy.

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  2. Former Member

    Hi Andy,

    Congrats on writing such a wonderful stuff!

    The steps 2 and 3 are really helpful! Because there have been instances where I had raised a high priority message and SAP couldn’t help much just because the message component was not accurate enough. They were just ping ponging ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for letting us know how to find out the correct message component.

    Ah then, time to raise another OSS message ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks & Regards,

    Abhishek

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  3. Former Member

    Have said this elsewhere on scn in the past:-

    We have to go through these steps unfailingly before we can get to a solution

    1) User raises OSS note. Gives detailed information, and attaches documentation, provides steps to reproduce issue – preemptively opens a service connection and uploads access data into secure area.

    2) SAP comes back immediately, with some two OSS notes, which are already implemented in the system or not relevant,.

    3) User goes back to SAP pointing out this fact, SAP asks to check a few things.

    4) User confirms those have been checked.

    5) SAP says the issue is being forwarded to development team

    6) Development team comes back and asks the same questions.

    7) Then they say to open the system for a service connection.

    8) User points out it is already open.

    9) SAP says the password does not work.

    10) Basis gets into the act and finally they get to log in to the system

    11) SAP asks for detailed steps to recreate the issue

    12) User points out they are already uploaded.

    13) Finally SAP identifies there could be potentially an issue.

    14) They haggle to reduce the priority to medium, promising that they will continue to process as if it were a high.

    15) Finally an OSS note or solution is provided.

    Glad to know it works for you. In general, the process is not expedited even if we follow all your guidelines.

    Still, that doesn’t mean your guidelines should not be used, definitely it is  better to get it right the first time when giving information to SAP. It may not make it any faster to get the resolution though.

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    1. Andy Silvey Post author

      Hi Harish,

      something which has really helped is getting email notifications of changes to the status of OSS Messages.

      When I first started in Basis we didn’t even have electricity no joking there wasn’t the email notification of an OSS Message status change and if you forgot to check your message then you could lose a lot of time to mis information and communication.

      Most people in the Basis area have worked on tickets and understand the concepts of taking the low hanging fruit and the tricks for getting tickets out of our queues, bouncing them around etc.

      If we can get into the psyche of the ticket processor we have the best chance of the fastest turnaround, and isn’t that the job of any expert professional, to know their business and know the tips and tricks to getting what they need the fastest way they can.

      From my list one of the most important is getting the right message component, that is such an easy beginner’s trap to fall into and lose time on, putting the message to the wrong team.

      Thanks to the email notifications of status changes, you have the opportunity to bounce the message back to SAP very quickly, on the other side, if a message stays on the Customer side for days after every response from SAP it will suggest the Customer is not interested and on top of this, each time the processor looks at the message they will need to take time to read and digest the problem again. If on the other side you react immediately when the message comes to Customer Action you have the chance that the message is still fresh in the message processor’s mind and they will pick it up and continue rather than picking it up and starting again.

      A lot of people look at this glass half empty, I see it glass half full, it is our chance to show value how experienced we are at handling Customer Interactions with SAP Support.

      To be honest, I have wondered from time to time, having seen so many people write pages of negativity, whether there is an opportunity to provide a Consultancy Service simply handling Customer Messages for Customers and handling the Customer Message Interaction with SAP !

      There is an opportunity there for somebody.

      Andy.

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  4. Former Member

    Hi Andy,

    I have a small tip here from my side.

    For step-2, selected the correct component for the problem to raise the OSS message.

    Just go to SE38, run the report RSSTATUS.

    You will get a pop up screen, in that screen give either t-code or program name or table or data element or domain.

    Finally, you will get the component for raising the OSS message.

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  5. Former Member

    Is there a way to add an additional contact after the OSS message has been opened? We have a situation where the original person who opened the OSS note had to take a leave of absence so we tried to update the contact but it appears to be greyed out. Is this possible?

    Thanks,

    Kyle

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