Providing “Training by Experts for Experts,” the SAP Enterprise Support Academy offers customers a platform for all the service modules and topics covered by the support model of their maintenance agreement – in other words, a structural and planning tool for the various elements of SAP Enterprise Support. Unfortunately, however, customers are often unaware that such an offer even exists, according to Dr. Heike Laube, Global Head of the SAP Enterprise Support Academy: “The topic of value of maintenance is a matter close to our hearts. Maintenance of the software landscape should not just be seen as a burdensome duty, but instead provides companies with a range of options for shaping their own business strategy, and focusing on the latest market requirements. A stable support infrastructure centered on SAP Solution Manager provides the freedom for innovation.”
With 248,500 SAP customers worldwide, every company has its own perspectives and understanding of SAP solutions depending on whether the organization was one of the first customers to use SAP software or whether the company came to know SAP software as the result of a merger. In addition to their different levels of expertise and experience, companies also find themselves in different lifecycle phases: for example, while one company may be preparing for an upgrade, another may be planning to implement a new solution or create a road map for innovation. Different service offerings are available for all of these companies, each of which takes into account the various areas of responsibility or roles of a company. As such, there is no restriction on the number of employees in a company who can access the Academy platform and its contents.
Flexible and role-based offerings
“We offer permanent and demand-based support throughout the term of the support agreement,” according to Laube. “The customer decides which information to access. This ensures flexibility when a company decides how often it wants to train and develop its employees. Companies can plan according to two different time plans: a short-term level for mapping project demands, and a medium-term level in which the company can choose which other topics may be of interest.”
As such, the Support Academy should be regarded as a complementary offering to SAP Education. While SAP Education focuses on application skills and grass-roots training (for example “How does an ERP system work?”), the Support Academy focuses more on software operation (see SAP.info article: SAP Learning Hub).
Content prepared for experts on the customer side
On the SAP side, support engineers prepare the contents specifically for experts on the customer side. The following formats are offered worldwide in eight languages:
- Best Practices: Self-reference guidelines covering the various tasks faced in a typical day, for example a checklist for performing a backup
- Guided Self-Services are included with SAP Solution Manager, and can be used by customers at any time at their own pace and in their own system landscape
- Expert-Guided Formats
Expert-Guided Implementations: Workshop-style remote sessions over three to four days with experienced SAP service engineers that aim to give customers the skills they need to implement the necessary customizing settings in their own system landscape, for example commissioning the service desk or setting up test management in SAP Solution Manager.
Meet-the-Expert Sessions: Live webinars with direct expert interaction focusing on SAP Enterprise Support, SAP Solution Manager, and the support aspects of the latest SAP technologies.
Accelerated Innovation Enablement: Live sessions used to evaluate the innovation potential of enhancement packages for SAP Business Suite
Quick IQs: Mini tutorials specifically designed for groups who prefer visual guides, for example screen-led mapping of customizing settings.
From October, two new formats will be added to this varied offering:
- SAP Enterprise Support value maps, which group service packages by subject or problem area, for example issues concerning data volume management or security. Each step can be completed independently by the customer. Using the SAP Jam portal, customers can also communicate with experts and peers. Answers can even be accessed on mobile devices. SAP Jam allows peers and experts to communicate in protected rooms within the community. The first pilot projects will start at the beginning of October
- Deployment Best Practices for SAP HANA are an extensive package of articles and guidelines for implementing and operating the SAP HANA platform and applications that run on the platform. This new format can be integrated directly into the customer’s system using the local SAP Solution Manager application. In addition to its online options, this is the first offline package offered by the Support Academy.
According to Heike Laube: “The SAP Enterprise Support Academy provides customers with answers to all aspects of support for both new and existing technologies – and there is even a mobile app.”
How SAP customers benefit from the SAP Enterprise Support Academy
Vespa manufacturer Piaggio: “With SAP Landscape Optimization Service, best practice, and meet-the-expert sessions we decreased our total cost of operations by more than 10%.”
US technology firm PerkinElmer: “By attending the expert-guided implementation session for solution documentation, we expect to reduce our implementation efforts for future projects by 40%.”
Public service provider in Canada: “Within 10 months of implementing SAP Solution Manager 7.1, we achieved a 30% savings in cost, thanks to SAP’s guidance and facilitated expert-guided implementation session.”