T&D World Magazine

Central Application Management Platform Offers Up-to-the-Minute Visibility

SAP AG (Waldorf, Germany) has announced enhancements to its application management platform, SAP Solution Manager, offering customers improved processes and tools for managing their SAP landscapes. The enhancements to SAP Solution Manager strengthen its role as the central IT value driver for SAP customers, helping them gain optimal governance, control and traceability of their entire maintenance management process while significantly lowering the cost of implementing and running SAP applications. In addition to improving service processes for existing installations, the enhancement sets the stage for an application management infrastructure designed to support the changing service needs of customers as they migrate to enterprise service- oriented architecture (enterprise SOA).

Available free of charge for SAP customers that have licensed mySAP Business Suite applications, SAP Solution Manager serves as a dashboard. Providing tools, integrated content, services and best practices from SAP, this centralized platform helps customers implement, operate and monitor applications with optimal visibility across the entire SAP landscape. It helps customers reduce total cost of ownership while enabling CIOs to sharpen focus on leveraging software to drive business process innovation.

Available January 2007, SAP Solution Manager will be the primary source for maintenance updates, which then still can be delivered over the SAP Service Marketplace in parallel. Starting April 2007, SAP Solution Manager will be the only source from which customers receive maintenance updates for mySAP Business Suite 2005 applications and beyond. It can also serve as the source for maintenance updates for earlier releases of SAP components.

The release 4.0 of SAP Solution Manager will offer significant enhancements for maintenance processes and activities, such as:

  • End-to-end and fully pre-configured maintenance management process.
  • Planning and deployment dashboard for all maintenance-related activities.
  • Source for all support packages provided by SAP as part of customers' maintenance agreements.

Customers who are using the 3.2 release of SAP Solution Manager and receiving maintenance from SAP can also receive an enhancement as part of maintenance that allows them to run a limited set of the new maintenance optimization features.

In addition to the extensive functionality in SAP Solution Manager supporting the entire software life cycle, the new maintenance features pave the way for companies transitioning their IT from traditional architecture to leverage services-based architecture. The features are designed to help companies efficiently transition to an enterprise SOA, while meeting their immediate goals and demands for optimizing returns on their IT investments. Standardization and streamlining of support processes is a necessary step to prepare the customer's support organization.

According to a recent AMR research study, SAP Solution Manager is fundamental for SAP customers to streamline their support and maintenance processes.

"With the expense of post go-live maintenance and support representing up to 80% of current operational budgets and up to 40% of total life-cycle costs, companies must carefully manage their enterprise applications throughout their long-term life cycle in order to squeeze costs and maximize business benefits," said Derek Prior, research director, AMR. "The payback is clear: Greater automation of the underlying operations processes can typically translate to a reduction in overall labor cost or higher operations team efficiency."

The maintenance enhancements will further strengthen an application management tool that SAP continues to optimize for its customers. They allow companies to manage their software environments centrally while handling both ABAP and Java-based maintenance software packages. This centralized and proactive control of SAP applications provides organizations with maximum control of risk in implementations and operations. SAP Solution Manager governs the technical implementation process, allowing companies to establish reliable change control within their support organization to easily comply with external regulations. Among the benefits of the current release, SAP Solution Manager offers:

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