The four phases of SAP Application Management Services (AMS)
my Name is Marco Büscher and this is a follow up blog post to the blogpost: SAP Application Management Services (AMS). This blogpost will focus on how to perform an SAP AMS engagement at a customer site.
Engagement Management Preparations
The Contractor providing the AMS Service and the Client shall each appoint an Engagement Manager. The Engagement Manager is an employee who has the necessary authority to make decisions and coordinate the implementation of those decisions within the organization. The Engagement Managers from both parties work closely together to implement the provisions of all Order Forms.
An AMS engagement, or the order to provide AMS to an enterprise, typically consists of the four phases: Transition, Stabilization, Operations, and Closure.
The Transition is used for the joint development of all roles, processes and tools required for the successful delivery of the Application Management Services. In the Transition phase, no messages are processed yet. It is therefore a type of preparation.
The company offering the application management services provides a support structure so that the resources required to provide the application management services are available and have the client-specific knowledge of the applications being supported. Tasks within this phase include designating the engagement manager. Involving employees such as key users and users in the SAP Service Desk processes. This is followed by the transfer of knowledge regarding the SAP solution customized at the customer’s site, including in-house developments and industry-specific add ons, etc..
At the beginning of the transition phase, a joint project plan is developed in detailed meetings with the client, on the basis of which all services are tracked throughout this phase. An important part of the transition phase is the knowledge transfer. In this part, the AMS team gets the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the SAP solution they will find at the customer’s site. It is important that the customer gets time to familiarize himself with the customer’s IT landscape. These system landscapes can vary in complexity (number of systems, application scenarios, business processes and changes within the SAP solution, number of non-SAP applications and interfaces, etc.) and therefore require thorough familiarization. The knowledge transfer phase is coordinated by the engagement manager of the company providing the AMS service in close cooperation with the client or its responsible contact person. The knowledge transfer primarily relates to the business processes listed in the associated scope document.
At the time of knowledge transfer, the client provides the AMS team with the knowledge necessary to deliver the services, which may include information, functional specifications in preparation for the rollout, process documents, general documents, test scripts and data, and live demo sessions related to the delivery of the services included in the scope to the client by the AM service provider.
The Transition phase represents a separate project and is composed of two basic steps: Transition Planning and Transition Execution. The duration of each phase depends on the complexity of the AMS engagement. Shadow support and/or reverse shadow support can be optionally agreed with the client. In Shadow Support, the Contractor observes the Client Team and provides on-site or remote support (location to be determined).
In the case of reverse shadow support, the contractor provides the services, while the client team provides the support and acts as a contact in the event of escalations. During this phase, it must also be ensured that the contractor receives all necessary access authorizations for the client’s systems (SAP and NonSAP).
The Stabilization Phase aims to stabilize all aspects of the solution’s operation to the point where productive SLA measurements can begin in the Operations Phase.
Messages are handled according to the Event Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management or Request Fulfillment process. During this phase, application landscapes are stabilized and consultants’ familiarity with and knowledge of the system landscape grows.
The duration of this phase depends on the complexity of the AMS engagement. The stabilization phase is divided into tasks such as the kick off activities, finalizing the documentation of the previous phases and IT Service Management (ITSM) documentation and the actual end of the stabilization through the acceptance of the stabilization with the signature of the customer.
The Operations phase is the actual task of the contractor in the AMS engagement.
The services described above are provided remotely during the Operations Phase and documented in a ticket system. The messages are processed according to the event management, incident management, problem management, change management or request fulfillment process. All messages are processed according to the agreed SLAs and the resolution scope defined in the associated scope document. During this time, continuous monitoring of tasks occurs to avoid SLA violations. In addition, control meetings are held on a regular basis. These meetings, which are held both internally at the contractor and externally, i.e. with the customer, serve to ensure the quality of the AMS but also to identify, discuss and agree on optimizations as part of a continuous improvement process. The documentation is also regularly checked and revised. Reporting to the customer, in the form of reports, takes place at regular intervals. It can be agreed that on-site support is also provided for an agreed number of days.
The Closure Phase is the final phase of the AMS engagement. The beginning and end of this phase are not yet determined at the time of contracting, but are agreed upon when the client or contractor submits a Closure Notice; the duration of this phase depends on the completion of activities. The objective of the Closure Phase is to jointly close the AM Service at the Contractor by transferring responsibilities to the Client. In this process, all documents received from the Client will be returned and the Contractor will provide support for knowledge transfer meetings upon request from the Client during the Closure Phase of the engagement.
During the Closure Phase, service delivery continues as described in the Operations Phase; this includes, in particular, message processing in accordance with the Event Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, or Request Fulfillment procedures.
Other activities will be included in a project. In the initial stage of the Closure phase, a joint project plan (exit plan) is developed in detailed discussions with the client, based on which all services are tracked through this phase.
This means that in knowledge transfer meetings, the knowledge that has accumulated at the contractor is transferred to the client. Finally, a meeting is convened and the engagement is accepted (terminated) by the client through his signature. Thereupon, all processes are completed and a final invoice can be generated. In addition, all users in the complete system landscape, SAP and NonSAP, are deactivated at the client.
Thank you for reading, I hope I could give you a small overview of the different phases that an application management service can include. Here the different phases, from the business initiation to the end of the AMS, were highlighted. Please follow me on my community Profile. Please do not hesitate and leave me a comment.