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Pictograms & Postcards from Africa: 11 Basic Lessons for ALM Newcomers

Customers new to Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) topics recently got an introduction to SAP Cloud ALM and an overview of SAP Solution Manager from subject matter experts. These images, which the experts shared with me, inspire me to personally interpret a wide range of basic lessons learned during the June 2019 Saphila conference in South Africa.

Basic Lesson #1:

These representations for separate ALM offerings should bring to mind distinct associations:

Here’s your starting point to learn more about all ALM offerings, including Focused Solutions and Cloud Extensions.

Basic Lesson #2:

When walking through the tall grass in Africa, it’s probably best to stay away from the big gray rocks.

Basic Lesson #3:

This image shows that when researching a choice between ALM offerings, it’s important to know that both platforms effectively co-exist and will continue to do so years down the road. As we approach 2021 and beyond, you can anticipate more details to be published for the long-term roadmap.

Basic Lesson #4:

Deciding where to best monitor your landscape in the future comes down to interpreting big house vs. big cloud in this graphic. You can choose an ALM offering based on whether you will keep a primarily on-premise solution or move towards a cloud-centric solution.

Basic Lesson #5:

If you don’t pay extra for the upgrade to the deluxe safari, you only get the guaranteed rear-end view.

Basic Lesson #6:

For SAP Solution Manager 7.2, these images show paths to developments in the future. While you can expect SAP Solution Manager 7.2 to continue to evolve for state-of-the-art cloud and hybrid business solutions (1st path), you can also join in on the development process. Customers’ improvement ideas for 2019 via SAP Customer Connection (2nd path) have so far resulted in high percentages of new features being developed in Process Management (62%), Test Management (80%), and Change & Release Management (78%).

Basic Lesson #7:

Regarding SAP Cloud ALM components, this graphic shows the process of onboarding project teams to the implementation portal for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. With just 4 screenshots to show the process, it’s easy to see how a user can go from receiving a new invitation to tracking their progress in 20 minutes.

Basic Lesson #8:

If your friends suddenly play hide-and-seek and then, shortly afterward, a lion comes charging at you, you should find new friends—fast!

Basic Lesson #9:

This common-sense formula applies when adopting the latest support package (SPS 9, new as of July 2019) for SAP Solution Manager 7.2. Upgrading to the latest support package significantly reduces maintenance effort required for implementing SAP Notes.

If you’re still using 7.1, this formula also applies because an upgrade to 7.2 is critical for:

  • Transitioning from customer-specific maintenance back to mainstream maintenance
  • Becoming GDPR-compliant for data protection & privacy regulations
  • Staying connected to SAP Support Backbone for opening incidents and implementing SAP Notes

Basic Lesson #10:

Once you start down the slippery slope of taking pictures of someone else’s vacation pictures, you could end up tragically never leaving the office and secretly congratulating yourself on all the money you saved on plane tickets.

Basic Lesson #11:

When building a business case for SAP Solution Manager, save time and effort by taking advantage of the free value calculation tool. It provides estimations on the benefit potential of key functional areas.

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