How many of you remember ASAP, which used to come in a CD format? It had the necessary tools and content (right form QAdb to CI templates, if you remember) necessary for SAP Implementation. It evolved into ValueSAP & which finally evolved into Solution Manager.

Now I know, most of us from the SAP community are aware of SAP Solution Manager (fondly called as SolMan for brevity sake 🙂 ), but are blissfully unaware of the rich functionality it has & so we end up utilizing it, to maybe, only 10% of its features. 

Don’t believe it?

Ok, let me ask you a simple question. Will you buy a smartphone and use it only for, say, morning alarm?

Absolutely NO!

…But that’s what we’re doing with SolMan (which incidentally comes absolutely free bundled with the SAP licenses you purchased) Most of the SAP customers are using its only one feature of SolMan, and that is to configure the SAP Router as a diagnostic agent connected with SAP and vice versa.

And unlike other freebies, SolMan is a power-packed tool, an integrated online platform to support implementations, operations and optimizations, in short the entire suite of ALM (Application Lifecycle Management). The ALM approach is holistic, because it covers aspects of deploying as well as optimizing your SAP solution.

During the deployment (more popularly called as ‘Implementation’) phase, it helps you in (related ASAP phases mentioned in brackets) are:

  • Central maintenance & access to all managed systems  (Project Preparation & On-going)
  • Central design & storage of all your business processes (Business blueprint)
  • Central definition, maintenance and storage of all business processes & technical documentation  (Business Blueprint & Realization)
  • Central creation of storage of test information (Realization)
  • Central creation and storage of custom development  (Realization)

Once the Implementation phase is over, Solution Manager comes handy in the post-Go-Live support (popularly called as Sustenance phase) for IT Service management. Solution Manager can easily be configured as a ticketing tool to manage the incidents/tickets. Considering other ticketing tools (like Remedy / Peregrine) come with a heavy price tag, it is worthwhile for customers to explore Solution Manager as a better (& cost-effective) option. 

More importantly, SolMan is very effective for Technical Monitoring during the Sustenance phase. It provides:

  • System monitoring – Allows you to access the latest snapshot of monitoring data for systems, databases & hosts
  • Jobs & BI monitoring – Allows monitoring of backgrounds jobs or complete BI scenario
  • End User Monitoring – Provides you availability and performance information from end user point of view
  • Integration Monitoring – Provides central access to monitor interfaces for performance, usage, availability & exceptions
  • Alert Inbox – Provides you access to alerts coming from different areas
  • Automated reporting – Provides access to view EWA (Early Watch Alerts) & Service Level Agreements
  • Interactive reporting – Provides you various pre-built reports about availability, performance, capacity & usage of your systems, scenarios, databases & hosts

Most of the reports are available as a Dashboard, which is a big plus.

For those who follow ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) closely, SAP Solution Manager 7.1 has been also verified as ITIL compliant in following 15 core processes (to name a few ranging from Availability Management, Change Management to Service portfolio management etc.)

Now, again ask yourself the question, “How much functionality of Solution Manager my organization (or, my client) is using?”

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6 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    I’m not a SolMan expert, but it seems like a good “executive summary”.

    Interesting analogy with the smartphones. I have a company-issued smartphone and I do use it only to check email and calendar, occasionally as an alarm and, oh yeah, as a phone. 🙂 Perhaps I should add this “smart” phone is Blackberry. It constantly wants to update something called Blackberry World, which seems to be its main purpose of existence. But I blatantly ignore its needs. So maybe the reason why SolMan is not getting a lot of use have nothing to do with lack of information on the user side. 🙂 Just a guess.

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  2. Juwin Pallipat Thomas

    Imagine what could happen if the SolMan isn’t correctly implemented….

    My earlier client was using SolMan just for incident management and some Basis reports.

    Within 1 month of implementation, the business users who were using the incident management module, “renamed” SolMan to SlowMan.

    ~Juwin

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  3. Prashant Pimpalekar Post author

    Good to see the comments, which resonate with the thought-process I had.

    And believe me (& most of you would agree), there are a LOT of such tools/processes/modules/sub-modules in SAP which are hardly utilized (even AFTER implementation).

    It is up to us to evangelize its rightful usage! My articles (yes, initially , they would be ‘executive summary’ kind of articles, just to spread the awareness) is a small attempt..

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    1. Suraj Ramruttun

      Hi Prashant,

      Nice summary.

      Just a simple question: What will the dashboards for Technical Monitoring show?

      I’ve tried to configure the dashboard but getting some issues….

      regards,

      Suraj

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  4. Linh Nguyen

    It’s under-utilized because it’s complicated, lacks flexibility and takes lots of caring and feeding by the already over-worked IT/Basis team, not to mention it has no certified interface to 3rd party systems management framework.

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