As the end of support for SAP ECC looms, the option of migrating to SAP…
SAP Technical (or Basis) support is the glue that holds your business critical, SAP Systems together — you may not notice it when everything is operating correctly, but when one thing fails, everything falls apart. Core business processes, like tracking inventory and fulfilling orders, depend on Basis and business operations can be brought to a standstill when the SAP technical components fail.
Because Basis is mission-critical, many companies prefer to keep it in the hands of internal IT. It’s under their own control that way, they reason, and they know they can get ahold of support if something does go wrong. Unfortunately, enterprises often stretch their IT too thin, demanding they split their attention between SAP Technical Basis support and strategic business goals. As a result, both suffer. Hiring an SAP Basis managed services partner can support your IT department, increasing productivity, improving stability, boosting morale, and saving money.
Basis managed services keep internal IT on schedule.
When SAP Technical support runs well, daily maintenance tasks are quick, and easy to schedule. When a bug creeps in or an update fails, however, you need expert IT personnel who can drop everything and work on SAP — for however long it takes.
The problem is, even apparently minor performance issues can sometimes be signs of a more serious problem. SAP Basis support requires dozens of daily proactive maintenance checks, and any check could lead to an issue that needs attention. Subsystems and apps interact in complex ways, which means just figuring out how severe a problem is can take time.
Take the SAP Lock function, for example. It locks an object when an application or user is modifying it, preventing any other application or user from modifying it at the same time. Normally, it should release quickly, allowing other processes and users to modify the object afterwards. When it doesn’t work right, however, requests to access the object build up in the queue, or are stopped altogether.
This can affect core business operations, such as customer orders, but the seriousness of the problem can vary. For example, a problem with the lock could be a fluke; being just a minor problem that slows down the system, or a major problem that can crash the business entirely. Without investigation, it’s hard to know. Therefore, the administrator will need to investigate.
Once internal IT support looks into it, things can start to get complicated and time consuming. SAP locks can be caused by a program accessing the lock, the network, the application server, the lock server, and several other systems — or a combination of multiple factors. It can be a result of a particular application accessing the lock function more frequently than usual, poorly set lock release settings, or dozens of other issues.
This type of problem needs to be handled right away, even if your IT department doesn’t have extra time to put out fires. Your enterprise never sleeps, so your SAP Technical managed services team can’t either — otherwise, a glitch in the middle of the night could lead to a crash by morning.
Even planned projects, like a SAP Data migration, can spin out of control, adding unexpected delays that can throw off other projects. If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, there’s a good chance that your legacy system contains extensive data issues. There might be inconsistent abbreviations, incomplete or incorrect data, sets different formats, data structures, or codes between different parts of your organization — particularly in acquisition scenarios. Various departments will have to do extensive tests and trial runs — which probably take longer than you or your team expect.
Symmetry’s SAP Basis managed services let you keep your IT department on track. Time-consuming glitches won’t have a knock-on effect, slowing down other projects or forcing you to pay overtime. Whether you need occasional after-hours help, someone to cover for an employee on vacation, or someone to host and run your business’ SAP ecosystem, Symmetry can provide the SAP certified technical support you need.
SAP Basis managed services lead to better stability.
Many companies think keeping SAP up and running is good enough. Ironically, this attitude contributes to many of the most serious SAP service outages. Minor problems can crop up in the running of an SAP system, but the most serious problems — the ones that paralyze companies, tank revenues and lead to shakeups — are almost always the result of organizations not understanding their IT systems or not effectively communicating their SAP needs somewhere along the line.
Often, the problem is a gap in understanding between the business team and IT team. Management does not describe the business requirements in enough detail, or specify the business processes and variations in the blueprint phase. An inexperienced internal IT team or “white label” vendor thinks they understand, and implements without double-checking with the business owner. As a result, the system never gets off the ground. At launch, or even during UAT, the testers find that it will work for certain basic procedures, but won’t execute end-to-end procedures. It’s not even buggy — it’s dead on arrival.
Worst of all, your in-house SAP expert might not be able to fix it quickly, because it’s not an application problem — it’s an issue having to do with how the application interfaces with your business operations. Unless you have a team with a deep background and up to date in Basis technical configuration, operation, and architecture, it’s hard to avoid this sort of design oversight, and even harder to fix.
Sometimes, poor architecture can make an SAP Basis ecosystem become unstable once the load grows past a certain point. In 2010, Kimberly-Clark faced a series of SAP outages because their architecture automatically concatenated new processes. According to former CIO Ramon Baez, “every time there was a new need or demand coming in, we just stuck another instance on it.” Combined with inadequate support from their IT vendors, it was enough to cause SAP to crash repeatedly.
Whether you’re planning, launching or operating your SAP Basis ecosystem, Symmetry can help you avoid costly downtime. In the initial phases, our SAP managed services can help you plan clean architecture. We’ll make sure your system is as complex as necessary to carry out needed business operations, without added complexity that leads to instability. If you’re running SAP, Symmetry’s performance tuning assessments can ensure efficient workload distribution and hardware utilization, reducing downtime, increasing productivity, and minimizing the chance of catastrophic failure.
SAP Basis managed services lead to better human resource allocation.
Your IT department should spend their time doing what they know best: working on strategic business goals. For companies that don’t have the budget to hire a dedicated Basis expert, the advantages of SAP Basis managed services are obvious; outsourcing provides an IT managed services team to handle optimization tasks that may be difficult for non-certified staff to do efficiently. This makes your internal IT department more productive enhancing competitiveness while saving money.
Even if you are lucky enough to have resident SAP experts, there are still better uses for their skills than mundane SAP Basis support tasks. Basis professionals usually possess a keen understanding of how the Basis ecosystem works to support your business. That makes them ideal candidates for — well, almost anything. From optimizing and retooling your business processes, to business intelligence, there are plenty of areas where they can give your organization an edge.
With a little professional development, they can become even more valuable. A Basis expert with leadership and communication training can negotiate outsourcing contracts, explain products to major clients, or interpret the concerns of business departments to IT teams.
Whether you have Basis neophytes who aren’t up to the task, or experts who could be helping your company at a higher level, Symmetry’s SAP managed services can help you make the most of them. By taking care of the time-consuming daily tasks, SAP Basis support gives your IT department more time to produce, learn, and grow.
SAP Basis managed services will make your internal IT happier.
Let’s face it — you’re probably not offering free lunches and massages to your IT talent, and bigger firms might. What you can offer, though, is more compelling work. Remove the boring maintenance from your IT department’s plate, and they can focus on the passions that brought them to your company, rather than putting out fires and feeling overwhelmed. You’ll be more likely to keep your best and brightest — the employees who get bored when they aren’t being challenged.
A good SAP Technical administrator takes pride in keeping things working, and solving problems as they crop up, or anticipating them ahead of time. Symmetry employs people who are meticulous, detail oriented efficient, and cope well with the sort of “fix it now!” stress that leaves IT administrators in the corner shaking.
Think about whether you’re letting your IT department do the work they love. Even a programmer with overlapping skills — someone who helped to technically design your SAP landscape, for example — does not want the responsibility of the up keep and performance tuning headaches of administering an SAP landscape. They’ll feel like they’re standing in place, day after day, and eventually they’ll leave for an employer who lets them spend their time programming. Our IT managed services can protect your SAP implementation — and your programmers’ sanity.
Symmetry’s Basis managed services give you access to a wealth of experience.
It’s hard to fix something you’ve never seen before; enterprise software is complex, and a problem that might take three minutes to fix when you’ve seen it before can take three hours when you haven’t. Fortunately, we’ve seen it all.
Working with Symmetry means having certified SAP experts on your side when you need them. We aren’t a distant offshore support line; our U.S. based industry professionals know your system inside and out, and are available 24/7.
But in many ways, we’re even more valuable to your internal IT department when everything is working. Symmetry provides a complete range of enterprise IT managed services. That means we’re there (and up to speed) anytime your internal IT department needs to borrow an expert.
Want to ensure a new enterprise software implementation will work smoothly with your existing SAP landscape? Call us. Looking for a little more speed out of your SAP implementation? Our performance tuning services will increase worker efficiency, and user satisfaction. Looking to make sure a new application fits into your compliance regime? We’ll put our SSAE 16 certification to work for you, helping with anything from monitoring user activity, to a complete security audit and overhaul. Need a disaster recovery expert to make sure your company is prepared for anything? Just give us a call.
Symmetry’s basis support means easier scaling
As your organization continues to grow, so do your infrastructure and IT needs. A small business might do just fine with an on premise, non-hosted, solution until it grows and needs a hybrid cloud, along with some external support. As it gets bigger and more complex, it might need new software and more hardware power, a private cloud and an array of managed services to stay competitive.
Being able to anticipate and budget for your company’s next phase is essential for any growing business, but it can be hard to predict how much SAP Basis technical support and hardware infrastructure you’ll need. Fortunately, Symmetry is there to help you, every step of the way. Our SAP Technical Architecture Assessment and Roadmap Service will audit the way your hardware, SAP system, operating systems and third party applications interact, to get a clear picture of your SAP infrastructure as a whole. Then, we’ll help you plan the right infrastructure upgrades for your company.
Our 24 month technical project plan will govern the evolution of your SAP infrastructure for the next two years. We’ll help your organization anticipate the exact needs of future projects, and have the right hardware and software in place to support your next initiative. We’ll spot risks and deficiencies so you can avoid costly mid-project surprises, while saving money with a long-term buying strategy.
Unlike typical IT infrastructure consulting firms, however, Symmetry can actually put that plan into action for you. Whether you need a public, private or hybrid managed cloud, we can provide plenty of hardware power for your company’s next move. We can help drive and deliver a technical upgrade, manage a heterogeneous migration or transfer your current systems to the in-memory game changing SAP HANA. We can provide security tools and training so that your company stays compliant as it moves into new markets and industries. And because you’ll be working with a single, onshore vendor, you won’t have to worry about the costly misunderstanding and miscommunications that can set major SAP and infrastructure upgrades back.
Symmetry: Simply is the Best Basis Managed Services in the Industry
At Symmetry, we don’t see ourselves as a Basis vendor, support provider, or consulting firm. We’re here to be your SAP Basis and cloud hosting partner. For some of our partners, we’re there to lend a helping hand; we keep SAP running optimally when internal IT members are on vacation, perform routine maintenance tasks, or help with those technically complex issues that a small IT team may not have expertise in.
For others, we’re a full extension of their internal IT workforce. Enterprises know they can depend on us for out-tasking day-to-day operations, providing 24 hour support, or even completely planning, executing, and running an upgraded SAP environment. Whether you need a complete SAP solution, or just a little extra help, Symmetry can provide the right level of SAP Basis Managed Services for your organization.