application management services, application support

What to Look for in an AMS Partner

Traditionally, application management services (AMS) have been focused on tactical tasks designed to keep systems running smoothly – and that has been an important role to increase operational efficiency, contain costs and free up internal IT resources. But in today’s fast-changing business environment, traditional AMS isn’t going to be enough if you want to remain competitive.

Forward-thinking IT organizations are looking at AMS is a different light. They’ve realized that application management should not be an isolated activity, but rather a capability that is tightly linked to business outcomes and innovation. For that, you need a full-service approach to AMS that not only drives down your commoditized run operations, but more importantly, enables your IT organization to deliver tangible value and practical business outcomes.

Not All Engagement Models are Equal

AMS service providers use a variety of engagement models, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting before making a selection. The most common engagement models include:

  • Traditional, Fixed Resource Model, which offers static staffing and skill mix over the term of the contract. The downside is that you run the risk of under-utilization of resources (waste) or lost opportunities to innovate due to staffing inflexibility.
  • Cost-Flex Model offers more flexibility, but requires a change order each time you need to change staffing levels or skill mix. Sometimes the processing time required for change orders results in lag time in getting the resources you need.
  • Value-Based Model provides total flexibility in resources and skill mix, allowing you to scale and adjust resource mix, along with deployment location flexibility (onshore/offshore) and roll-over capability (no waste). This is the resource model most commonly used by NTT DATA Business Solutions.

What Does “Full-Service” Mean?

A full-service application management services partner delivers the following:

  • Industry Expertise: More than just technicians, you get a qualified team with deep SAP experience and industry expertise that adds immediate value for your business.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: A flexible staffing model allows you to flex your mix of resources and skillsets as business needs change. This ensures full use of resources, with no idle capacity.
  • Predictable Support Cost: A value-based model provides deployment flexibility and demand-driven consumption, with level monthly billing and the option to roll over unused capacity throughout the term of the contract.
  • Value-Add Services: Your AMS team brings recommendations tailored to the needs of your business to help you keep current on the technology curve.

There are many good reasons to work with a strategic partner to help you run, enhance and optimize a complex solution and keep your SAP systems at top performance. Working with an AMS partner frees up and empowers your internal team to focus on strategic activities and collaborate more closely with the business to provide the right conditions for innovation.

If you’d like to know more, download our Application Management Services Buyers Guide, where you will get more details on:

  • What to look for in an AMS partner
  • A comparison of the different engagement models
  • Key questions to ask AMS vendors
Bill Strasser
Bill Strasser
Senior Vice President, Managed Services, NTT DATA Business Solutions North America

Bill Strasser is Senior Vice President of Managed Services for NTT DATA Business Solutions. He has more than 20 years in a variety of industries, including Automotive, Manufacturing and Medical Devices, with a focus on building IT organizations that partner with the business to gain significant value from the SAP platform. His specialized focus is on SAP Application Management Services and SAP HANA Transformation. During his time with NTT DATA Business Solutions, he previously served in roles that include Application Management Operations, Managed Services Solutions and Innovations, Managed Services Pre-Sales, and Managed Services Customer Engagement. Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Information Services from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Xavier University.

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