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SAP Cloud ALM and Solution Manager – When to Use Which ALM Products

SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Solution Manager – When to Use Which ALM Products


I would like to continue with the topic of Application Lifecycle Management options for Cloud and On-premise explained in previous blog.Please find the below link for the same.

When it comes to application lifecycle management, which tool to choose depends to a large part on what sort of landscape setup you are operating. In my previous blog around Application Lifecycle Management, gave you an overview on the two different ALM products SAP is offering at the moment – SAP Solution Manager and SAP Cloud ALM. In this blog we are going to take a look at different use cases and which product is better suited to each scenario. This should give you an idea when to use which product and where the focus for each lies.

We consider the following possibilities that might be applicable for you at this stage:

1.     On-Premise

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is your best option if you have an on-premise centric landscape. SAP Solution Manager can cover all your ITIL processes. It does offer some functionality (like exception monitoring) for Cloud products as well, so really in this case it should be your ALM tool of choice.

2.     Private Cloud

If you are running your landscape in a private cloud environment like HANA Enterprise Cloud, your situation would be similar to an on-premise scenario. Your best option once again is to use SAP Solution Manager 7.2 as your ALM tool and make use of all the functionality it is offering. You will be able to cover all your main requirements including certain parts of Software-as-a-Service cloud products.

3.     Public Cloud

If you have a landscape that is mainly public cloud centric, SAP Cloud ALM could be your best option going forward. So if the focus for you is on SAP S/4 HANA in the public cloud or Software-as-a-Service products like SAP Success Factors, you should have a look at SAP Cloud ALM as it adds more and more products and features.

Please note that at this stage, the implementation portal for SAP S/4 HANA Cloud has been released as the first step towards SAP Cloud ALM. It is offering the following:

  • Instantaneous availability – no setup or configuration needed
  • Fast on-boarding of project teams by email invitation
  • Self-guided and content-driven implementation of SAP S/4 HANA Cloud based on SAP Activate methodology
  • Supports fit-to-standard workshops with access to SAP S/4 HANA systems and efficient solution scoping as well as the implementation requirements capturing
  • Real-time progress monitoring of implementation activities

SAP plans to make SAP Cloud ALM available step-by-step, with full scope expected by 2021. Target customers of SAP Cloud ALM are cloud-only, cloud first, and cloud-centric customers of SAP. The functional areas that are relevant for the anticipated audience are the following:

  • Requirement to deploy (SAP Cloud ALM Build)
    • Discovery and functional scoping
    • Fit to standard
    • Change, release, deployment down to production
    • Manual and automated testing
    • Managing Extensible and Integration
  •   Detect to correct (SAP Cloud ALM Run)
    • Integration & user monitoring
    • Process monitoring
    • Root-cause analysis
    • Auto-reactions to alerts

It might be possible to integrate out-of-scope functionality via third-party interfaces.

In contrast to traditional ALM processes, SAP Cloud ALM provides an implementation process based on fit-to-standard approach. It has a high degree of role-based task sequencing and offers release-specific best practice process content to the extent possible. Taking the example of SAP S/4 HANA Cloud implementation, the workflow would look like that:

4. Move towards Cloud/Hybrid

If your company is currently having a hybrid landscape but embarking on a journey towards the cloud, it will depend on your individual circumstances when choosing between SAP Solution Manager and SAP Cloud ALM. At some stage you will reach a point where it makes more sense to focus on SAP Cloud ALM. So while there will still be use for SAP Solution Manager, the closer you get to a cloud-centric landscape, the more important SAP Cloud ALM will become.

Now let’s look at this scenario in some more detail – how support is provided in hybrid landscapes in terms of operations management.

When going hybrid, the customer IT needs to set up the relevant monitoring capabilities and tools, supported by best practices and operation standards, i.e. managing consistency of data, integration monitoring, exception management, transparency on availability of services and components and job management. In addition, managing end-to-end business process continuity is another essential element of hybrid operations. It provides transparency of business-critical events that could cause disruptions in an E2E business process; it frames the management of disruptions with all relevant service providers and provides the status of all relevant IT elements.

What is available to ensure flawless operations in the Cloud and in hybrid scenarios?

  • Integration Monitoring to ensure reliable data exchange between on-premise and cloud components and vice versa
  • Exception Management to forward relevant application exceptions from SAP Cloud components to customer on-premise operations
  • Job Management to manage and monitor jobs in cloud products necessary to execute business processes
  • Data Consistency Management to ensure consistency of data stored in SAP Cloud and On-Premise solutions
  • Business Process Monitoring to provide business process KPIs for SAP Cloud scenarios
  • User Monitoring and User Tracing to ensure availability and performance of SAP Cloud scenarios from end-user perspective

The above mentioned scenarios are powered by SAP Solution Manager and Focused Run add-on.

In conclusion, it will depend on your landscape setup to decide which ALM tool is the best going forward for you and your company. Currently in on-premise and hybrid scenarios, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is most likely your best option. But SAP Cloud ALM is looking to add more products and functionality over time and is already a good option for your SAP S/4 HANA cloud edition project. Of course, in the end it all comes down to the requirements that you have for an ALM tool in your company.


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