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Author's profile photo Susan Galer

SAP Mission Control Center: Formidable Learning Engine Powers Digital Innovation

As the world deals with the cascading impact of the coronavirus, experts from the SAP Mission Control Center are at the forefront riding a huge wave of customer innovation. While rock-solid digital systems were particularly important to industries during the height of the pandemic crisis, so was support for fast innovation.


“Companies have needed more guidance to safeguard their environment and also rapidly scale to meet unpredictable, spiking market demands,” said  Andreas Heckmann, head of Customer Solution Support and Innovation and executive vice president at SAP. “Our customers immediately realized that SAP’s integrated intelligent business suite had an essential role in helping them produce medical equipment like PPEs and ventilators, find alternate supply chains, and quickly develop solutions like apps for contact tracing and bringing stranded citizens home.”

Success comes from failure

Taking the lead to resolve problems when something goes wrong is all in a day’s work for the SAP Mission Control Center. This global organization delivers 24/7 support for over 400,000 SAP customers every day of the year. Advocating tirelessly for the customer, they respond and anticipate issues, triaging the most critical incidents, and pulling the right teams together to identify, address, and resolve issues as fast as possible. Preventing future problems is baked into their daily activities.

“There is no better way to learn than from failure, making the SAP Mission Control Center a formidable learning engine for both customers and SAP,” said Vivian Luechau-de la Roche, senior vice president and head of SAP Mission Control Center. “We learn from every situation how to make improvements in our own processes and products, cutting through the complexity of hybrid cloud and on-premise systems to make things right for the customer’s business continuity.”

She added that integration between SAP solutions and third-party applications has become a critical success factor for customers with hybrid landscapes.

Preventing problems before customers are even aware of them is one of the latest capabilities of the SAP Mission Control Center. Now available with SAP Ariba, this technology monitors people’s experiences to detect performance degradation and other preventable issues, heading off problems before they can occur.

Shared learning experiences

According to Luechau-de la Roche, some customers are adjusting to the “new normal,” proceeding with planned go-lives of SAP solutions, many with greater urgency to take advantage of fast-moving business opportunities. The SAP Mission Control Center’s culture of shared learning neatly aligns with the highly changeable market environment.

“We are engaged in an ongoing, mutual learning experience with customers as they become intelligent enterprises, integrating business processes for new efficiencies and market growth,” said Heckmann. “We share our learnings as we work together, providing feedback and best practices to both customers and internal SAP teams like product development. We also create task forces to systematically and quickly solve critical issues that could impact more customers.”

Machine learning takes pressure off

SAP Mission Control Center working norms were tailor-made for some pandemic-related challenges, with  a virtual customer support model already in place. Teams now working on their laptops at home, receive the same dashboard alerts to customer emergencies worldwide. Machine learning fuels visualizations that immediately capture patterns. Traffic lights indicate priority levels, triggering experts to take the next steps towards resolution. The tools automatically evaluate trends and make recommendations based on historical incidents, along with the calculated business impact to the customer. Up to 20 percent of machine learning-based recommendations are accurate enough without human intervention.

“Our objective is to resolve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible in these high-pressure, time sensitive situations,” said Heckmann. “Machine learning mines data, such as texts from previous incidents and lessons learned from resolved problems, providing experts with more informed guidance to make better, faster decisions.”

No-fault support

Interestingly, over 90 percent of cases that the team resolves don’t require direct fixes to SAP software. Often it’s something that went awry in how the customer was operating the system.

“Someone may have introduced an innovation into the system at the wrong point in the process, or without taking into account the cascading impact,” said Luechau-de la Roche “We aren’t interested in who is at fault – the customer, partner, or SAP. We fix it regardless.”

Timely help when every minute counts

System downtime and other issues cost companies money and brand reputation. No organization can afford the fallout when business comes to a standstill, whether it’s the factory floor of a manufacturing plant, a logistics company that can’t schedule delivery trucks to meet customer expectations, or healthcare providers unable to access information for the urgent care of sick patients.

“We are the last line of defense, and we understand that every minute and hour counts for our customers,” said Luechau-de la Roche. “With our help, customers can execute their business processes flawlessly across their integrated intelligent business suite.”

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This blog also appeared on the SAP News Center

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      1 Comment
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      Author's profile photo Sophia Stolze
      Sophia Stolze

      Great insights, Susan! Thank you for sharing on SAP Community!