When it comes to making the most of your SAP solutions, finding the right solution to help manage solutions within your SAP system, monitor the progress of implementation or integration projects across business units, and optimize the functionality of your core operations platform is critical to your success.
The solution? SAP Solution Manager.
Read on to learn how SAP Solution Manager can help optimize SAP enterprise solution management functions, as well as where our team of SAP consultants can fit in your organization.
What is Application Lifecycle Management?
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a business process framework that involves the people, processes, and products needed to manage the entire lifecycle of a software application.
With the help of an ALM platform, companies can create, manage, and maintain innovative applications and extend their functionality to create better business value across their organization and beyond.
ALM solutions, like SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Solution Manager, are designed to improve collaboration across your organization, consistently manage and deliver app functionality over time, and support DevOps and agile methods for the development, deployment, and deliverance of technically-sound applications.
How Can SAP Cloud Solution Manager Help?
The SAP Solution Manager is a functional ALM solution that provides the tools and resources needed for organizations to manage on-premise, hybrid, and cloud-based enterprise operations and improve process efficiency throughout their entire SAP community.
With SAP Solution Manager (also known as “SolMan”), users are enabled to…
- Streamline application development and integration processes
- Integrate SAP solutions designed to support various phases of the application lifecycle
- Leverage private cloud edition to manage solutions in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- Optimize communication and collaboration between employees, teams, and business units involved in app development, deployment, or maintenance
- Support detailed business process documentation to enhance functionality across teams
- Test solution updates and monitor functionality in real time
- Provide better support for underlying IT infrastructure and core business operations
Product Documentation Version vs Full Version
Let’s take a closer look at the two available versions of SAP Solution Manager for SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers…
Product Documentation Version
The Product Documentation version of SAP Solution Manager is deployed in a single-system landscape, meaning that your team can make changes directly on the productive system rather than having to jump through hoops with multitiered systems.
And, while the single system approach does simplify things in terms of deployment speed and agility, it does pose a few potential risks for SAP users, including…
- Any changes in app customization or development will be active immediately in your SAP environment, so even the accidental changes have an impact on the whole solution
- Limited flexibility for the adaptation of certain functional areas (i.e., IT Service Management, Project Management, and Change Control Workflows)
- Lack of opportunity to check or test changes on a quality assurance system before deploying across your organization
- No opportunities to check for conflicts between SAP Notes or support packages and custom code or modifications before deployment
The Full version of SAP Solution Manager operates on a dual-system landscape, meaning that any change in the system has to pass through both the Quality Assurance tier and the Production tier before going live for customers.
The Full version supports all functional areas (i.e., Project Management, Process Management, Test Suite, Custom Code Management, Change Control Management, etc.) with no limitations. And, with the Full version, SAP Solution Manager customers are able to check changes on the Quality Assurance system before they are passed on to the Production system, and eventually the end-user.
Because any change in the system has to pass through two separate checkpoints before becoming available to users, the Full version reduces risk for errors or erroneous changes across the entire SAP Solution Manager operations platform.
Key Components of SAP Solution Manager Software
1) Operations Management
The Business Process Operations component provides management functionality for all application operations and process-related operational procedures within the SAP Solution Manager platform to improve time-to-value for business process execution across the organization.
This component provides a suite of functional tools to improve process execution, including…
- Job Scheduling Management: Provides a central management location for background operations to establish standardized processes and streamline integrations with external scheduling software systems.
- Business Process Improvement: Maximizes the functionality and efficiency of existing SAP solutions to identify inefficient business processes and proactively resolve issues.
- Business Process and Interface Monitoring: Offers a central automatic monitoring tool to ensure business processes are executed properly and users are automatically alerted of any issues within the Solution Manager.
- Business Process Performance Optimization: Leverages transactional performance tools to analyze and optimize core business processes during operational or test phases of an SAP implementation, integration, or upgrade.
- Data Consistency Management: Tracks inconsistencies within a company’s data to ensure accurate and up-to-date information is easily accessible and SAP users can quickly resolve data errors to make more informed decisions for their SAP-supported solutions.
2) Change Control Management
Change Control Management in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 helps users coordinate any changes to the full software landscape between business units to ensure that they don’t conflict with each other and are made without disrupting current business operations.
This component offers functionality from the technical layer to the process layer, including…
- Change and Transport System (SAP and Non-SAP solutions)
- Transport Analytics and Change Diagnostics
- Central Transport Management
- Quality Gate Management
- Change Request Management
- Release Management
3) Project Management
The SAP Solution Manager Project Management component helps project teams determine the scope and scale of their project needs, create projects that add value, and execute them properly across teams and areas of the organization.
With the Project Management component, users are enabled to…
- Create and structure projects according to their needs
- Calculate project costs and assign accounting objects to each project component
- Manage resources and outline baseline requirements for each project
- Execute tasks and record time accurately
- Report on each phase of the project (i.e., adjustment, project closure, etc.)
The Test Suite is a component of SAP Solution Manager that is tightly integrated into the software change process, allowing users to analyze the impact of any software change on their existing business processes before the change is made available to users.
The Test Suite and Test Automation Framework offer a few main capabilities, including…
- Test Planning: Create test plans for all test cases associated with your implementation, integration, or upgrade project or for other planned changes in assigned test cases.
- Automatic Test Execution: Test Automation Framework integrates SAP business systems and third-party automation products to allow customers to select the test automation capability that best aligns with their software testing needs.
- Manual Test Execution: After a test plan has been created and released, testers are sent an email notification when the test begins. After the test is complete, testers are required to document the results in a test note and manually set the status of the test.
- Execution Reports: Perform reporting on both Test Plan and Test Package levels to document all testing activities and ensure traceability for external auditing functions.
5) Application Management
The Applications Operations component offers a single solution for monitoring, analyzing, alerting, and administering SAP solutions across organizations and lowering total cost of ownership (TOC) with predefined content and centralized management tools.
This area of SAP Solution Manager offers a few key components for operating SAP applications, including…
- System and App Monitoring: User Experience Monitoring, SAP S/4HANA Cloud System and Host Monitoring, Interface and Connection Monitoring, SAP NetWeaver PI Monitoring, SAP Solution Manager Self-Monitoring, and more.
- Dashboards and Analytics: Application-specific dashboards integrated directly into corresponding monitoring applications and cross-application dashboards to create reports for BW queries, business process analytics, and functional modules.
- Technical Administration: Tools and capabilities to support IT Operations and Technical Management teams with operational activities such as, step-by-step execution, automatic steps, activity logging, activity descriptions, and more.
- Cause Analysis and Exception Management: End-to-end root cause analysis to standardize technical configurations, performance metrics, exceptions (i.e., critical log entries, queue errors, dumps, etc.), and changes made to the software landscape.
SAP Cloud ALM vs Solution Manager – What’s the Difference?
While SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Solution Manager are both tools designed to help users create, manage, and monitor the functionality of their cloud SAP solutions, there are a few key differences between each solution. Let’s take a closer look at the core capabilities of each solution…
SAP Cloud ALM
SAP Cloud ALM is an agile, cloud-based solution that allows SAP users to access project data anywhere and simplify the way companies operate cloud or hybrid solutions across their organization.
The Cloud ALM solution provides built-in integration capabilities that make connections between other cloud-based SAP solutions easier, real-time analytics to monitor and track project progress, and simplified tools to enhance the user experience and accelerate time-to-value across business units.
SAP Solution Manager
SAP Solution Manager is a comprehensive tool that spans the entire application lifecycle, and its proven track record for success ensures its accuracy and reliability for customers in need of a robust business process monitoring solution.
With the SAP Solution Manager tool, customers can not only tailor the functionality of each component to meet their needs, but they are also able to leverage pre-built compliance management resources to ensure business operations comply with standards and regulations.
This tool also provides end-to-end monitoring capabilities and support for all SAP applications to ensure SAP systems are managed efficiently and issues are identified and resolved quickly.
How Can We Help?
Whether you need additional support implementing new SAP solutions into your current technology landscape, an extra hand integrating multiple cloud services into a centralized enterprise cloud service solution, or just some help learning how to use SAP Solution Manager and teaching your employees to do the same, Surety Systems is here to help.
Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the technical skills, functional expertise, and hands-on development experience needed to get you where you need to go (and fast.)
Even better, we’ve included a sample profile of one of our expert SAP consultants to help you know what to expect when partnering with us…
Surety Senior SAP SolMan Consultant
- 26 years of experience in SAP Basis/SAP Security
- Last 13 years have heavily focused on SAP Solution Manager
- SAP Certification in E2E Solution Operations as Application Management Expert in Solution Manager 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
- Very strong with configuring DVM in SolMan
- Well-versed with the SOFFCONT1 table
Getting Started with Us
Interested in learning more about our SAP consulting services?
Contact us today to get started with one of our expert SAP consultants!