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Author's profile photo Caroline Oakes

Solving Implementation Challenges With SAP Cloud ALM

SAP Cloud ALM is an application lifetime management system designed by SAP to help project managers and the program office deal with software releases and updates. Built to help businesses with implementation challenges, SAP Cloud ALM gives enterprises a suite of tools that they can use to onboard multiple different departments and keep everyone “in the loop.” Each stakeholder should be included in consideration during planning and implementation. Yet each of these departments may have its own issues that need to be dealt with independently. SAP Cloud ALM was designed to offer a cloud-native solution that addresses all these implementation challenges. Let’s see how SAP Cloud ALM could help solve some of the obstacles to implementation within each of these stakeholder departments.

Customer Challenges

An SAP implementation is expected to run efficiently and rapidly without lag. Cloud distribution removes processing from the on-premise suite and gives businesses access to cloud servers built with heavy lifting in mind. Customers expect that they can customize their functionality while retaining the cost-effectiveness of their implementation. Unfortunately, project leads have to balance the IT portion of the job with the client’s expectations. Instead of wasting time developing project and test management tools, the program office prefers dealing with business problems and implementation.

SAP Cloud ALM offers a simple method for managing the requirements of a project and keeping it from being overwhelmed by the framework that needs to be implemented. With design functionality built into the package, Cloud ALM gives businesses the tools to see what they need to implement before it is required. Planning in this way allows the program office to dedicate its time to build the frameworks and infrastructure before being presented with the implementation. This has the bonus effect of helping the business reuse architecture between projects.

Partner Challenges

Partners form an essential part of the SAP landscape, and many of the add-ons that businesses use are championed by partners. SAP’s partnerships stretch across several disciplines, but the partners have some things in common. They each have to deal with a shifting code base. With each new iteration, partners must hurry to outfit their add-ons with the code necessary to interact with the new release of the software. Partners have a vested interest in retaining their individuality while delivering solutions to their clients efficiently. Instead of building configurations and extensions for a particular customer, they would prefer to spend time solving problems related to their own tools to better support existing clients.

Application lifetime management services were initially designed to deal with hurdles like this. SAP Cloud ALM is perfectly positioned to give partners the tools to do regular rollouts and hotfixes as things become available. The partner can focus on working out the bugs that may occur from a new SAP version update while still paying attention to the complaints from specific clients. Additionally, complaints can be collected and categorized, allowing developers to see what sort of issues plague the most customers. Hotfixes can then be developed to deal with a particular problem instead of trying to fix issues as they occur. Cloud ALM is the epitome of asking partners to work smarter, not harder.

Cloud ALM and Its Impact on Planning and Design

SAP Cloud ALM isn’t a brand new tool. It’s been around for quite a while, and many businesses have realized how useful it can be for planning and design within their development departments. Because it’s cloud-based, companies can access a client and set it up to start running in minutes. The tool allows enterprises to develop a proper plan to take the business’s current processes and methodology and improve its efficiency. It can help track project problems and deal with cataloging and categorizing issues as they arise. Most importantly, it provides a reliable method of managing code rollouts across the entire enterprise.

Cloud ALM approaches this by addressing several critical points, including:

  • Methodology: What is the timeline involved in the project, and what teams are attached to it?
  • Scope: Is this for internal use only, or is it usable by anyone inside or outside the business?
  • Analytics: How can the processes be improved and made more efficient?
  • Processes: Can the business use the processes already in place, or does it need to develop new ones?

Additionally, SAP Cloud ALM looks at the project’s requirements to be completed and helps managers break it down into actionable tasks. New features can be added to the development queue, although this may inadvertently lead to scope creep if the team isn’t careful. Test cases and defects can be easily housed in one locale so that developers know what issues have arisen with test data and can formulate solutions based on that feedback. User stories can combine with feedback to give a better idea of how to approach a fix. Data logging can help with tracking issues across different development teams if necessary, utilizing different test-case data.

For more on SAP Cloud ALM, check out the support page. You also have tons of information on application lifecycle management in the community. Lastly, feel free to his me up in the comments with any questions!

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