SAP Solution Manager in the Cloud
By now you may have already seen a lot of different terminology regarding the cloud and Solution Manager. There are 3 main areas where Solution Manager interacts with the “cloud.”
- Solution Manager FOR the cloud – With 7.2, SAP added the ability to monitor and manage the new SAP cloud products. Applications like SAP Ariba, SuccessFactors, Hybris, and the Cloud platform itself can be integrated with Solution Manager for things like End User Experience Monitoring and Exception Management.
- Solution Manager WITH the cloud – In 7.2, SAP began moving tools from on premise to the SAP Cloud. Tools like the Maintenance Optimizer were retired in favor of cloud based solutions such as the Maintenance Planner. Solution Manager 7.2 integrates and uses these tools seamlessly. In addition to the maintenance planner for landscape management, the KPI catalogue can be used to establish monitoring thresholds in Solution Manager. It also gives you a single point of access for transformation tools such as the Roadmap Viewer, S/4 Readiness Check, and S/4 Best Practices, all hosted in the SAP Cloud
- Lastly, we have Solution Manager IN the cloud – SAP can deliver Solution Manager in the cloud in 2 different ways. The first solution is via the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (or CAL). This version can be spun up for a customer for a fee and it will have a limited set of features. The purpose of this system is to get you up and running quickly if you are doing an S4 implementation and don’t have time to build out your SolMan environment before the Fit/Gap analysis activities. This is intended to be a temporary instance that can be transferred at a later date. The second way it can be provided in the cloud is Solution Manager as a Managed Service, or SMaaMS. And this will be our focus of conversation today.
What Does SAP Solution Manager Do?
But first, let‘s talk a little about what Solution Manager does and why you might want to start using it.
- Process Management – Process Management is base for other functionality in Solution Manager. It is the single source of truth for Process and Technical Documentation.
- Application Operations – Application Operations is the technical operational activities that proactively identifies problems in your IT environment through monitoring and alerting.
- Business Process Operations – Like Application Operations, this proactively identifies problems in your environment through monitoring. However, it focuses on the key business processes as opposed to the technical operations
- Change Control Management – Change Control Management is a series of tools to help ensure that changes made to the SAP environment are done in a consistent and quality way. The natural integration with the technical aspects of the managed application are really what sets it apart from other change management tools.
- Test Suite – In 7.2, SAP offers a fully functional testing and change impact analysis tool that will help you facilitate testing and identify impacted code or business processes due to a transport or upgrade. No other 3rd party tools are needed or recommended.
- IT Service Management – This is an ITIL compliant Incident and Problem Management ticketing tool offered for free with your SAP Support contract.
- Data Volume Management – This is a set of tools that help provide analysis and transparency of your data footprint and consumption rates.
- Custom Code Management – This provides you with a detailed analysis and transparency of your custom code. It helps you understand what custom code exists, how much it is actually used, and if it is appropriate or not.
Obstacles to Implementing SAP Solution Manager
Now that you’ve heard all the great functions that Solution Manager can complete for you, the question has to be “why ISN’T everyone using Solution Manager?” So, we’ve compiled some common obstacles that our customers encounter when trying to implement or use Solution Manager. These include:
- I don’t have the hardware to run another system
- I don’t have the knowledge to set the system up
- I don’t have the resources to run the system
- I don’t have the time/resources to keep the system up to date
- I don’t understand the processes
- I don’t have the time to run the processes
The Solution: SAP Solution Manager in the Cloud
To overcome most of these obstacles, SAP has partnered with NTT DATA Business Solutions to offer an official Solution Manager as a Managed Service (SMaaMS) public cloud solution. SMaaMS is a software as a service for SolMan. It is offered via the NTT DATA Business Solutions cloud and can connect to your on-premise or 3rd party hosted SAP systems. Or, if you’ve got SAP Cloud products, it can be used to manage them through web services.
With SMaaMS you get a subscription to access a fully configured, cloud-based Solution Manager system operated by certified ALM consultants. The system is regularly updated so you always have the most current version. SMaaMS is powered by a HANA 2.0 database. With your subscription, you will get access to additional full services and roadmap services so you can focus on using the application for insight instead of focusing on setting it up.
The benefits from SMaaMS to our customers are clear:
Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
- No need for hardware or software configuration
- No upgrade costs
- Use SAP best practices and methodologies
- 24/7 availability
- Certified ALM/Solution Manager consultants
- Key performance indicators
- Insight into SAP/business environment
- Fixed cost subscription
Faster Time to Market
- Go live in just a couple of weeks
- Gain efficiencies from standardization
If you‘ve used solution manager in the past you are probably thinking, “Oh great, now I have to have the GUI installed and setup to connect to this and have to ensure it’s the right version.” None of that applies anymore. All you need for SMaaMS is a browser.
Since you are using the system and not worrying about the setup, everything can be done from the Fiori Launchpad. A total game changer. There will be a permanent connection for any system to system communication needed for things like monitoring and managing systems. And, again, SMaaMS can integrate with your on-premise, 3rd party hosted, NTT DATA Business Solutions, or SAP Cloud systems.
Interested in learning more? View a replay of our recent webinar – Introducing: Solution Manager in the Cloud!