How Enterprise Architects benefit from SAP for Me
Just two weeks ago I had the great opportunity to talk about SAP for Me at the ASUG Next-Generation SAP Enterprise Architect Virtual Conference. Thanks again to Paul Kurchina for giving me this opportunity.
At this point, for those who don’t know what Enterprise Architecture is all about, I would like to recommend the video “What is Enterprise Architecture?” which I created a few years ago and which I think still has relevance.
To all enterprise architects out there, I want to send a clear signal that SAP for Me will become a valuable tool for them.
What do SAP Enterprise Architects need to be successful?
For enterprise architects, it is a regular task to identify improvements in the environment of the software used in order to continuously work towards the corporate strategy, or to generally pave the way to the intelligent enterprise. There is a need for:
- Transparency in the context of the business
- The complete picture of the business
- Preparation of valuable decisions and actions
In addition to modeling the business processes and technical architecture, I believe that information gathering is an essential ingredient for the success of an enterprise architect. After all, an enterprise architect can only work as well as the information base available to him allows.
What makes SAP for Me so relevant for enterprise architects?
As a customer portal, SAP for Me aims to help our customers use SAP software and services as successfully as possible. It brings together a large, ever-increasing amount of data and can thus answer an increasing number of questions. Not every user will have a concrete interest in all the information in SAP for Me. But we think that this is where the Enterprise Architect differs decisively from all other users in SAP for Me.
No one needs more comprehensive information than an enterprise architect, who needs to understand all aspects of the implemented solutions, from the Strategy View to the Capability and Product View to the Technical View. Furthermore, it is a matter of continuous improvement, so it is also important to have new information available at an early stage.
The challenge for the enterprise architect so far is that she/he has to know and use various SAP tools to gather the required information (see picture above). These tools are absolutely valuable and provide helpful information on their own for the individual layers in the enterprise architecture. However, many of these tools are not integrated with each other, so gathering information can be very time consuming. We want to change that.
With SAP for Me, we want to cover many information needs of very different people at the customer. However, SAP for Me is particularly exciting when it comes to bringing very different types of information together in one place.
Stronger together: SAP.com, SAP Community and SAP for Me
It’s important to note that SAP for Me is not alone. As indicated in a press release in 2020, SAP for Me, along with SAP.com and SAP Community, represents the three primary digital entry points to SAP. With SAP.com as the Digital Frontdoor, all the needs of those who are not yet customers are met. Of course, customers can also look around here.
SAP Community is the place for digital interaction, between customers, partners, developers, SAP employees, and anyone else who wants to share or exchange information in the context of SAP. And then there is SAP for Me, the digital access for our customers.
The rest of the SAP tools move down the line of “Secondary Entry Points.” This means they are still accessible to customers. However, they will also be reviewed over time, possibly retained, or perhaps completely replaced by SAP for Me, SAP Community, or SAP for Me. Clearly, we want to simplify the tool landscape and drive information integration across the three primary entry points. I think there will be more to report on this in the second half of 2021.
What’s different with SAP for Me?
What exactly does SAP for Me do differently than other SAP tools before it? The main difference is the consistent consideration of context, the consideration of a complete scope and the focus on self-services.
More concretely, displayed data from SAP for Me is based on a semantic network of information. The customer should not have to put the information in context. We do this where possible, making it easier to explore content that is always in the context of a specific entity (for example, an SAP product). If you take a closer look at a product from your purchased SAP product portfolio in SAP for Me, you will always find a complete overview of licenses, orders, systems, learning, contacts, roadmap content and other related information, if available. Where does the data come from? We take care of it!
Of course, it’s usually not always just about the product. As a license manager, you might come in more from a financial perspective. For this reason, for us Completeness means offering different facets of information. Specifically, these are:
- Portfolio & Products
- Systems & Provisioning
- Finance & Legal
- Maintenance & Support
- Knowledge & Learning
- Users & Contacts
Finally, as mentioned, it is also about self-services. SAP for Me should not only provide an initial insight (View). You should also be able to view details (Inspect) and derive decisions from them (Act). The Usage Patterns View, Inspect and Act play a central role for us. I have wanted to write a blog post about this for some time and will try to do so in March.
It’s time to try SAP for Me for yourself
As said earlier, for an Enterprise Architect it is of particular value to get different perspectives on the enterprise. In the context of SAP, this means getting an overview of the SAP software in use, understanding the associated licenses, identifying possible potential for making software use more efficient, and, if necessary, exploiting this potential directly.
Already today, SAP for Me can help here very well. Available functions allow the enterprise architect to display purchased SAP products, to view the associated licenses and also to highlight license usage. Please note that currently you need an S-User to start.
Of course, looking into the future is also important for the enterprise architect. Since SAP for Me knows the customer portfolio, we can also connect to the content of the SAP Road Map Explorer. In a first attempt, we have integrated it to our Product Detail Page.
Just go to Purchased SAP products -> choose a product -> click tab “Road Map & Innovations”.
If there is content available for the particular product, it will be displayed there. This will be further extended over time. My colleague Bertram Ganz is going to write a blog post about the Road Map & Integration feature in the near future.
Of course, all this is just a start. And we are very interested in continuing along the path for enterprise architects. Here in particular, there is a need for the kind of broad information coverage that SAP for Me is able to and increasingly will provide.
To give just one more example, for the end of the second quarter of 2021 we plan that SAP for Me will not only create different user access options, but will also show users which products, in addition to those already in use, represent a useful extension to the portfolio. However, SAP for Me should not be misunderstood as a sales tool. Rather, the focus here is also on using existing licenses and investments more efficiently.
As soon as there is further progress, I will of course report on this again in a blog post. Until then, I recommend the following steps to Enterprise Architects who are out in the SAP world.
- Get an S-User if you don’t already have one by reaching out to your local SAP Customer Interaction Center via phone, emailor chat to identify a super admin in your company who can create an S-User for you.
- Make sure you have all the necessary permissions to leverage SAP for Me. The authorizations can be granted by your Super Admin (or Cloud Admin), too.
- If you have an S-User, also look at SAP Universal ID. Because especially if you are an Enterprise Architect, you will surely benefit from this new central authentication method when navigating to other SAP tools.
- Go to http://me.sap.com/Home and start directly with SAP for Me.
- For an overview of all licenses related to your portfolio, take a closer look at the Finance & Legal dashboard.
- For a more detailed insight into the individual products of your portfolio, start with the Portfolio & Products dashboard.
- To review all the systems behind your software portfolio, start with the Systems & Provisioning dashboard.
Please share your thoughts
Are you an Enterprise Architect and have suggestions or feedback on SAP for Me? Just drop me a comment under this blog post. Or read more about how to provide feedback in Anna Withum’s blog post “SAP for Me users, we want to hear from you!”
See you in the next blog,
(Head of Strategy – SAP for Me)
Really informative overview.
And great illustrations. Could 1 + 2 be enhanced with a link list? (Or ALT-txt's in "zoom" mode?)
P:S: For all EA's who have not been there allready - An Enterprise Architect’s View on SAP Business Technology Platform Worth every minutes it takes.
Thanks a lot for your feedback. Good idea! Please find the list below.
One remark to the illustrations. Both just show examples of digital SAP tools in this context. There are many more than that, which is a topic we are looking at as we want to reduce that number of tools over time. The target is that you don't need to know these places. And in fact, SAP for Me already points to these places from the relevant context (e.g. Support & Maintenance Dashboard points to 11 places inside SAP) by what we call Fast Access Cards. As we are going to further integrate tools into SAP for Me, these Fast Access Cards will be removed as the real functionality is then implemented inside SAP for Me.
So already today, SAP for Me is not only a good place for nice functionality but also a place from which you can find other SAP places that can be helpful.
However, here now comes the list. 🙂
SAP Value Lifecycle Manager
Road Map Explorer
(Already in process of being sunset. Will be replaced by SAP Road Map Explorer and SAP for Me)
Best Practices Explorer
Platform Availability Matrix
SAP ONE Support Launchpad
Software Download Center
Great Blog as Usual,
I haven´t got yet the time to go through all the capabilities of SAP for Me in detail, but what is surely interesting is whether we can guide the enterprise architects also through the lifecycle Design to implementation of different Business Processes that actually spans across multiple products, and vary according to the deployment model
Thank you for your question. That's a very good point and I think we can deliver a lot more here in the future.
Currently, there are several tools that cover the topics of architecture planning. First and foremost, there are tools that are based on so-called solution and business capabilities. I am thinking here, for example, of the SAP Road Map Explorer, but also the SAP Transformation Navigator. We have already started to integrate the SAP Road Map Explorer. And I think we will go in a similar direction with SAP Transformation in the future.
We are currently considering how we could integrate the topic of reference architectures into SAP for Me. These actually span processes and various SAP products and would be a great starting point for further planning. Unfortunately, I can't really say right now when we'll be able to bring that to life. At the moment, I would imagine a POC (proof of concept) in SAP for Me for Q3 / 2021. But that's just a current thought, not yet a fixed plan and especially not a commitment.
Just keep following me or Oguzhan Genis on Twitter, LinkedIn and/or here, to stay up to date and be notified directly of the latest enhancements to this theme as they become available, or at least an accurate schedule becomes available.
All the best,
Hi Juergen Jakowski
Great piece. Loved the illustration, describing the scope of EA role.
Shall it be using some of the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 functionalities too?
Thanks for the details 🙂
Thanks a lot for your feedback. Yes, this illustration is also one of my favorites. I'm using it since a long time in several ways. It was a result of a work I did with Dirk Anthony some years ago. 🙂
SAP Solution Manager is currently not much on our radar. Also like SAP Cloud ALM. But sooner or later, we will have to build bridges to these, too. Maybe this already starts when we have fully migrated the SAP ONE Support Launchpad into SAP for Me.
All the best,
Thanks for the details.
The illustration is quite helpful. I have started following Dirk also, to learn from both of you (already following you here and at LinkedIn 😀 )