Quick Messages for SAP Partners and their Customers

Feature Article | May 7, 2008 by admin

Customers of corporate groups are familiar with the support process. SAP Solution Manager directs user messages from inside a group, subsidiaries, and branch offices to a specific competence center at SAP. The competence center processes the message and attempts to solve the problem. If it cannot find a solution, the message is sent to SAP Active Global Support.

Customers of SAP channel partners -– system integrators or resellers – faced a more complex problem. These customers, usually from small or midsize companies, had to log on to the SAP support portal to enter their messages. The customer service center at SAP then filtered the messages and directed them to the appropriate partner, who worked with the customer to solve the problem. If the partner couldn’t find a solution, the message was sent to SAP Active Global Support.

New service desk scenario for partners

Now, the customers of channel partners can send messages directly with the service desk of SAP Solution Manager. Partners then attempt to solve the problem and send it to SAP Active Global Support if they cannot resolve it. Messages are handled exactly as those of corporate groups, but some additional hurdles must be overcome.

Unlike corporate groups and their internal users at subsidiaries and branch offices, small and midsize companies do not usually have a direct connection to the instance of SAP Solution Manager that is run by their SAP partner. That usually has little to do with technical restrictions; IT departments in small and midsize companies tend to avoid the effort that a direct connection demands.
Development of the service desk had to take this situation into consideration. The solution is that customers of SAP partners now use a Web-based work center, which serves as the user interface of the service desk functionality of SAP Solution Manager. The work center presents a simplified version of the message assistant in the support system at SAP.

This approach presents some technical challenges. Users who work with SAP Solution Manger normally have access only to the data of their own company. Customers of partners, however, have their own SAP customer numbers. A solution had to be found that allowed users on the partner side to view the messages of the partner’s customers. The solution also had to ensure that customers could not access the messages and confidential data of other customers. If the messages were sent to SAP, personnel at SAP Active Global Support had to know exactly which customer was involved.

If a system integrator operates in production with the service desk of SAP Solution Manager, the message assistant in the SAP support portal informs its customers’ users of the changed message process. They receive a link to the support page of their SAP partner, along with the appropriate authorizations. Conversion to the new message process involves only minimal effort.

Benefits for partners and customers

A customer message that is transmitted to a partner’s work center with the new procedure is automatically distributed to various support teams with the service desk of SAP Solution Manager. Criteria like the specific component of SAP software, the customer number, or the customer’s geographical region play a role here. The employee processing the message searches in SAP Notes or the SAP solution repository, which is available only to SAP and SAP partners, for an answer to the customer’s query. If the employee cannot help the customer, the partner then sends the message to SAP Active Global Support, which works through the issue and sends an answer to the partner. The partner can then redirect the response to the customer. If a customer issues a message with high priority when the partner is closed for the day, the message is automatically redirected to SAP Global Support to avoid any delays.

Up until now, SAP Active Global Support handled all these messages for customers and partners. The new process transfers the burden to the instance of SAP Solution Manager running at the partner site. This approach gives system integrator partners all the options available in SAP Solution Manager so the system integrators can better meet the needs of their customers.

Currently, only 50 system integrators still process customer messages in the support system provided by SAP. New partners will work with the service desk of SAP Solution Manager as soon as they come on board.

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1 comment

  1. Steve

    Can a customer contact SAP directly instead of a partner?
    The reason is that in case a customer is not happy with its current partner do we have the option to contact SAP ?

    Regards
    Steve

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