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CCOE – Laying the foundation for a future safe IT (Part 1)

There is a saying “I can’t see the wood for the trees”


This saying resonates with many customers I talk to, when talking about their CCOE.

Most customers today struggle with balancing IT costs and cost of support to the business.


Most CCOE’s are today considered a Service Provider.  The associated costs can soon mount up for them.  Many outsource their Service Desks and Basis activities, in an effort to save money.  However if they don’t have the right SLA’s in place, the accountability can reduce the effectiveness of the support.


As companies move towards digital transformation, how can the CCOE keep up?

By have a strong strategy, and moving towards becoming an innovative enabler for the business, the CCOE needs to mature.


Having SAP systems with minimal custom code, utilizing such technology as S4/HANA and utilizing simplified and standardized business operations, will help with lowering the cost of support and the ability to move support resources into the innovator roles.


This picture (below) of the “9 Golden Rules” shows the steps required to be able to have a CCOE that is moving towards innovation


  • Optimize Effort for day-to-day tasks with no business visibility
    • Proactive and automated processes for your IT Operations
  • Get rid of historic ballast
    • Why does the customer still have so many legacy systems?
  • Develop executable plans and clear visions
    • Match to the objective of the business
  • Perform regular solution and project risk reviews
    • Such things as utilizing Custom Code Lifecycle Management – mitigate risk in upgrades by eliminating code
  • Industrialize project execution
    • SAP Activate – utilizing SAP Best Practice, pre-configured solutions
  • Prepare staff for innovations
    • Utilizing SAP Solution Manager (7.2) to have a more proactive and automated approach (OCC) in IT Operations and Support,
    • Moving resources from day to day support towards innovation
  • Focus on IT tasks according to their value for the business
    • Aligning IT objectives with the business
  • Setup operations, project and business reporting based on smart KPI’s and benchmarks
    • KPI’s and reviews can provide details of the value in terms of efficiency and cost savings (rather than perception)
  • Move IT staff closer to the end-users
    • Making IT staff more responsible for bring efficient value to the business


These 9 golden rules also lay the foundation towards Advanced Certification

9 golden rules.jpg



Becoming Advanced certified, helps the CCOE reach a new level of collaboration with the business.


  • Minimizing custom code, and implementing Custom Code Lifecycle Management is a key factor for stability
  • Implementing OCC, and setting up proactive monitoring and alerting across business processes, interfaces and technical components to, enables IT to focus on innovation and changes, and ready for new challenges
  • Premium Engagement customers have the MCC / Expert access
  • Maximize value to the business, through value driven KPI’s and benchmarks, and standardized best practices End-to-End


advantages CCOE.jpg




The service portfolio for the SAP CCOE team provides customers the ability to review their maturity, and create a roadmap to excellent end-to-end solution orchestration and the Advanced Customer Center of Excellence Certification.

Services include:

  • SOPW – Laying the foundation – a baseline assessment of current state maturity
    • Deliverables include a summary wrap up at the end of a 4 day onsite review
    • Roadmap to work on key areas to improve maturity
  • QM E2E60
    • Quality Management within the CCOE to bring continuous improvement, develop key KPI’s bring value to the business (another blog on this subject is forthcoming)
    • Customer participants become certified in Quality Management, through a 3 day workshop, taking an online test at the end of the workshop

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      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal

      Excellent write-up Laura! Expecting to see more on the subject. As I was part of a CCOE for quite long time, from inception to its maturity, I experienced many of the steps you’ve mentioned. However, I noticed that if solution operation standards are implemented sequentially with the phases organization is in after going-live with SAP, the move toward innovation could be faster.

      For instance, initially as soon as solution is ready for productive use, the most important step is to ensure support is readily available (achieved through the step 9 in your list). As soon as users start using SAP system fully for their day-to-day transactions, the legacy system(s) could be turned off (step 2 of your list). When solution is stabilized, its good time to get additional functionalities implemented. Utilizing Solution Manager (as you mentioned in point 6) helps a lot to ensure additional implementation is aligned with existing solution. Having best-practices solutions could help businesses in getting better market share. As soon as the business grows, the need to rollout solution emerges which could be implemented by having clear vision and executable plans (as you mentioned in step 3). At time when the solution is adopted by all throughout the organization, the focus should be to align IT & Business (point 7) by reengineering the business processes & procedures with technology solutions. It’s at this time that IT processes are revisited, SLAs are clearly defined, KPIs are defined etc. (as you mentioned in 1 & 8).

      Should you like to see summary of my experience at the COE I referred, it’s at following link:

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks so much your feedback. 

      you make some very good points...

      I Shall be visiting the subject of new CCOE versus established CCOE in a later blog.

      My next blog will be around Quality Management..explaining the roles involved and how the responsibilities of those roles will help bring value to the organizatio...and touching on some of the points you make.

      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal

      Wonderful, it's good to have a detailed reference here on the subject to guide customers in establishing or maintaining COE and facilitating in business-IT alignment. I think your contribution, as you have planned it to be in different episodes, would be of great help. I'd be happy to share my knowledge of & experience on various support roles I had.

      By the way, my last role at the referred CCOE was of Integration & Quality Assurance (for 2 years). And it'd be nice to see more on QM role(s) and to relate my earlier experience with your description. Looking forward : )

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Perfect timing for after ASUG/Sapphire and to head into the CCOE Roadshows.

      Author's profile photo Achim Töper
      Achim Töper

      excellent Laura, hope You will allow me to use some pictures at #SITBERN, regards Achim.


      Author's profile photo Harris Veziris
      Harris Veziris

      Hi Laura,

      thanks for the insights. While SAP's roadmap statement for Solution Manager in the future is to be a business portal, there are already tools today that fit the gap of IT and business alignment, specifically in the TBM (Technology Business Management) space like and that provide a top-down approach from IT financials/value and business model/enterprise architecture to fine-grained service catalogue mapped to business processes.