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SAP currently offers more than 150 individual certifications for Associates (people new to SAP), Specialists (people developing skills in specific components or roles), and Professionals (those with deep knowledge of SAP solutions and hands-on experience). They also offer service-level certifications; if you’re looking for SAP Cloud solutions, you want your vendor to have SAP certification in three particular areas: Hosting Services, Cloud Operations, and SAP HANA Operations.

What is required for SAP certification

To become SAP Certified for Hosting, Cloud Operations, or HANA Operations, a service provider needs to enter into an SAP hosting partnership, meet certain IT standards, complete extensive questionnaires, and undergo regular audits by SAP.

SAP hosting partnership

An SAP hosting partnership allows your provider to offer SAP solutions through a hosted services platform. In order to meet SAP’s requirements for partnership, a provider must demonstrate the infrastructure setup, meet underlying IT standards, show SAP certification, and answer questions about project and application management, application hosting and operation, plus service and support.

Regular audits

SAP Certified partners undergo regular audits by SAP AG, conducted every two years, to assess the quality of the hosting infrastructure. Each provider needs to submit their cloud architecture for review to ensure that there is sufficient redundancy, backup, and computing power. SAP also audits the managed services provider’s methodology to protect assets, sensitive data, and the facility’s safety. Finally, SAP AG performs an on-site data centre visit to ensure the physical safety and security of the facility and each client’s data.

IT standards

While not a prerequisite, certifications are important when it comes to your data’s security. For example, the Service Organisation Control 1 (formerly SAS 70, now known as SOC 1) provides written documentation of a service provider’s internal controls that are likely relevant to an audit of a customer’s financial statements. The controls audited are related to both business processes and information technology.

If you are going to be running your business on SAP in the Cloud, you want your service provider to have SAP cloud certification proof that they can make your audits much easier.

What this means for you

When you run your business on SAP in the cloud, your business depends on your hosting partner’s ability to keep your business running at the service level you need. The SAP Certified label means that you can trust that provider to deliver the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) you need, consistently, safely, and with the transparency your auditors will require.

The SLAs you need might be vastly different from other companies, even other companies within your industry. A restaurant chain might find that they want to coupon local regulars if they have an excess of food one day. For that, they need the ability to get data within minutes, whereas an online retailer might need data in near real time. Large equipment, with longer sales and delivery cycles, does not need real-time data, so they can work with lower SLAs to save money.

Given that many companies run their back offices, HR, and finances on SAP, transparency and security become paramount. A small breach in security could destroy the trust and reputation your business has built over the years. Similarly, if it takes you forever to get an audit report for your hosted SAP environment, that could delay your financial reporting or even result in fines.

What Symmetry’s SAP Cloud Certification means

Symmetry customises each cloud installation to build the infrastructure required to meet or exceed the SLAs your company demands. This means we build your compute and storage systems in the cloud specifically for you. This starts by learning how you use SAP, how you want to use SAP, and your main concerns about running in the cloud. Then we work with you to build the best infrastructure for your needs and budget, taking into account SAP cloud certification cost.

Symmetry understands the true costs to host an effective SAP architecture in the cloud. There is no 1:1 correlation between on-premises and cloud systems, so Symmetry designs your architecture based on the performance you need at the desktop, not the system performance in the cloud. Symmetry also proactively tunes and manages your architecture so that it constantly delivers the performance you need.

SAP Certified, customer endorsed

This approach has been so successful that customers have given Symmetry a Net Promoter score of 57 (Excellent), a score that is virtually unheard of in the IT outsourcing and managed services industry. The difference is that Symmetry looks for long-term partnerships, not just engagement fees for migrating to the cloud.

As Bob Gamso, CTO at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics said, “Symmetry brought the speed, agility and confidence that we needed for our complex global deployment of S/4HANA. They have now become a true extension of our team.”

Learn more about SAP Cloud Hosting with Symmetry

Symmetry believes that Cloud Hosting is a destination, not a solution. It is the neighbourhood where you build your data and processes, so it requires constant attention from certified experts. Talk to Symmetry to see how an SAP-certified partner can ease the transition and optimise your new IT landscape.

Cindy Rasey, Compliance Manager

Cindy Rasey, Compliance Manager

Since her start with Symmetry in 2003, Cindy Rasey has been deeply rooted in the SAP ecosystem at every level to gain a holistic understanding of the business. With a BBA in MIS from UW-Milwaukee, she leads audits to validate continued compliance of existing certifications, implements new compliance regimes, and develops and enforces company-wide SOPs and policies to ensure all Symmetry’s services are delivered consistently and securely. She and her team successfully implemented Symmetry’s formalized Quality Program to control documents, approvals and track training - all while meeting 21 CFR Part 11 and other compliance regulations. By leading implementations and upgrades of business critical systems, she ensures the most effective and efficient tools are utilized.