Many companies are wary of outsourcing SAP Basis support. They’ve heard horror stories about negligent managed services providers, hidden costs, and frequent turnover. They’re wary of budget offshore MSPs, whose break-fix approach to SAP and escalation based IT support can lead to chronic poor performance and unplanned outages. At the same time, they’re hesitant to sign up for onshore SAP Basis support, with complicated pricing models that can subject them to hidden charges and budgetary overruns.
In-house, things aren’t any better. Most SAP users have severely overburdened IT teams who can’t give Basis the attention it deserves. Many have faced the sudden departure of SAP professionals, requiring them to scramble just to keep SAP running. Even a temporary illness or a vacation can strain operations. So, they do what they can to keep SAP Basis running — for now.
This situation is completely unsustainable. Basis is the glue that holds your SAP landscape together. Companies need to stop scraping by with short-term SAP consultant contracts and temporary hires, and retain a true, long-term SAP Basis partner.
How to Choose Your SAP Basis Support Team
Look For a Wide Range of SAP Skills Beyond Basis
Your SAP Basis support partner isn’t just responsible for routine SAP administration — they’re the lynchpin of your ERP landscape. That means they need a wide range of skills. Your SAP team should understand your entire landscape, including your O/S and runtime as well as the application level. Your SAP Basis administration should also have deep knowledge of SAP security and compliance issues, and have demonstrable experience in meeting rigorous industry and organization-specific compliance needs.
Ideally, your team should be able to expand beyond SAP Basis administration to provide hosting, migration and other services if needed — even when you intend to keep a particular task in-house or with another vendor for for the foreseeable future. For example, if you have an IBM AS/400 landscape onsite, you may have no immediate plans to move to the cloud. However, if you partner with a Basis provider who can also offer AS/400 cloud and hybrid cloud hosting, you’ll have a trusted resource available, should you wish to evaluate or pursue other hosting strategies down the road.
Choose a Flexible SAP Technical Partner
There’s no one-size-fits-all SAP Basis solution. Some companies will just require minor support and training from their Basis partner, and occasional monitoring when in-house Basis personnel go out of town. Others will need a partner who can execute extensive remediation and performance tuning, and provide around-the-clock monitoring. You need a provider who can tailor their service to your particular needs, and adapt quickly as those needs change.
At the same time, your provider needs to be up front about pricing and service level. In a long-term SAP service contract, clear expectations and costs are good for both the client and the provider. If an MSP is vague about costing support, it’s a serious red flag.
Expect High-touch Customer Service
When SAP starts to break, you can’t afford to wait on a helpline. With untimed downtime costing an average of $5,600 per minute, navigating an escalation-based helpline could easily cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having a resident “Basis expert” on standby isn’t enough, either. Every landscape is different, and you can’t afford to wait while the night shift Basis tech learns your SAP system. You need to be able to talk to someone who knows your system, and can quickly resolve the issue.
Scaling Basis Managed Services
With such a range of SAP Basis support services available, it can be difficult to determine exactly what you need from your administrators. And honestly, there’s no general answer that applies to everybody. Many companies are unaware of what goes into their current in-house SAP Basis maintenance, or how tasks are divided up This can leave holes in your routine SAP administration. The developer doing double duty as a part-time Basis administrator might not have the time to apply updates and patches regularly. Your IT security tech might be focusing on other parts of your environment, while neglecting SAP.
To figure out what you need, it’s crucial to get input from all stakeholders — your onsite team, management, your partner and your end users as well. You need to take an honest look at the cost your company incurs from system performance issues, and opportunity costs, as well as spend. In many cases, more extensive Basis support save money, by freeing up your internal IT staff, and improving productivity throughout your company through better system performance.
The Benefits of Symmetry SAP Basis Support
Symmetry is an industry leader in SAP Basis support. We have and the highest client satisfaction rating in the SAP Basis industry, at 96%. A major part of that is due to our extensive skillset, technical capabilities and emphasis on continuous training in SAP. From formal classroom training and certification, to in-the-field mentoring, to brown-bag lunches for our consultants to share and learn from their experiences, we make sure our team never stops learning and improving.
But it’s more than that. We take a unique approach to SAP Basis support, emphasizing clear, open communication and high-touch customer service. We coordinate with both management and technical stakeholders in your business to learn your SAP requirements, and ensure our approach addresses your business and strategic needs as well as your technical requirements. Our service benefits include:
- Unparalleled support: Your business never stops, so your SAP Basis support shouldn’t either. Symmetry provides 24/7/365 monitoring, alerting and support of your production environment.
- Direct access to your dedicated Basis team: We don’t believe in helplines and escalation-based service. As our partner, you’ll have a direct line to your own client manager and Basis admins. If you need to contact them, day or night, all you need to do is call.
- Scalable service with clear pricing: We offer extremely flexible Basis support, from temporary support to augment your staff, to complete management of your entire SAP environment. All our services come at fixed, competitive prices, eliminating the risk of uncertain budgeting and cost overruns.In fact, our services provide clients substantial savings. Take it from Kubota Engine: “[Symmetry’s] Basis Complete service saves us at least 25 percent on salaries and benefits compared to maintaining a new full- time Basis employee.”
- Unrivaled monitoring, management and maintenance: SAP Basis support isn’t about heroics — it’s about planning ahead, so you don’t need the heroics. Our sophisticated monitoring and alerting provides both real-time visibility and deep insights into ongoing system performance and usage trends. Instead of putting out fires as they happen, we can plan ahead, ensuring your system stays healthy over the next month, quarter and year.
- The power of a full-service SAP technical partner: Need to upgrade to HANA? Looking for a partner to help you take an ambitious new SAP project to production? We’ll take you there. With a successful track record of hundreds of SAP upgrades and implementations, we have the experience to take your landscape to the next level.According to Mikael Elley, Karma Automotive VP of IT and Planning, “The SAP S/4HANA project led by Symmetry was ahead of schedule & under budget. Our SAP S/4HANA platform shows a payback period of less than 6 months.”