SAP MaxAttention provides end-to-end support for the SAP environment. It extends SAP’s role beyond that of a software vendor to that of a trusted partner. SAP MaxAttention is an adaptive set of support services that benefit customers like Postbank in Germany. “We needed support that is fast, customized and completely reliable,” says Dr. Thomas Mangel. The IT Director Postbank Systems AG sums up: “SAP MaxAttention meets these criteria.” Reducing the risk of downtime and ensuring system stability through optimum support have been key challenges. For Postbank it was exactly the right solution and besides reduced operating costs and optimized operations it also resulted in improved system security and faster response times as key benefits. SAP MaxAttention is designed to ensure that individual customer requirements are fully aligned with comprehensive support and SAP solutions strategy. It embraces two main components, Management Engagement and Expert Services, and is tailored to the needs and demands of the solution management lifecycle.
SAP MaxAttention delivers SAP expertise on time and on demand by assigning one or more technical quality managers, based on customer requirements. They are responsible for managing on-site service delivery and are the main contacts for the customer. When needed, the technical quality managers can call on solution, technology, and development experts, as well as service and support specialists from SAP’s global network. These professionals work on-site or remotely, depending on what’s needed. For example, a technical quality manager can call on experts using remote access in order to accelerate trouble-shooting on site. For complex projects and strategy management, in particular, SAP’s customers have a designated support alliance manager who meets regularly with the executives to discuss any issues.
The experts help define the solution scope; they assess, manage, and mitigate risks. Throughout the full solution management lifecycle SAP experts measure, monitor, and enhance the system’s stability. They also work to enable continual evolution, so that the solution can adapt to changing business demands, thus reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO). With SAP experts handling these tasks, the user can reduce significantly the amount of maintenance support required from the in-house team, which can be deployed to value-added, strategic activities.
Safeguarding for Implementations
When it comes to complex solutions, the guidance and support of experts is needed. SAP MaxAttention offers guidance throughout the process, providing end-to-end support that connects the customer and SAP experts directly and ensures smooth operation from day one. Leveraging experience gained from countless SAP solution and optimization projects, this service begins with a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved. SAP specialists proactively analyze and evaluate progress to improve the quality of the technical solution and minimize project risks. This generates greater value from the investment starting with the go-live.
The support service Safeguarding for Implementations is based on the balanced scorecard methodology, with eight key focus areas (KFAs). These KFAs are the result of experience gained from countless solution projects over the last three decades. They comprise solution feasibility, change management readiness, program and project management readiness, technical readiness, architecture and IT strategy, operations readiness, functional and integration readiness, and support readiness.
The approach of Safeguarding for Implementations includes a continual analysis of the KFAs to identify risks. Next steps, activities, roles and responsibilities, and deadlines are determined on the basis of the results of the KFA analysis. Continuous observation of activities and their impact on risk enables preventive measures to be introduced if required. These measures are then monitored monthly at the KFA level to determine their impact.
A service plan based on the entire spectrum of SAP services – standard services, safeguarding, solution management optimization, empowering, system landscape optimization, and tailored solution reviews – is updated regularly. A central project overview contains the results of analysis by all implementation partners, who jointly create a monthly status report detailing risk-related issues, along with a plan of action. Risks occur more often if, for example, too few test runs are planned, employees are not sufficiently prepared for their support tasks, or responsibilities are not clearly defined. SAP offers services for risk analysis. The consolidated results are presented to the project steering committee with a recommendation to adopt them.
Implementing continuous improvement practice
SAP MaxAttention bridges the gap between IT department and business unit by establishing and improving IT Service and Application Management. It delivers operations standards to lower TCO, mainly cost of operations, protect the investment by reducing integration and upgrade costs and a quick ROI by minimizing implementation costs.
SAP MaxAttention specialists work with the customer to tackle the costs associated with running the solutions while ensuring maximum availability through application change management, business process optimization, data change management optimization, custom code optimization, support organization optimization, release and upgrade strategy and so on. This offering leverages the full set of available expert services, known individually as SAP Solution Management Optimization, SAP Safeguarding, and SAP Empowering. Of course, the specific services deployed depend on the needs.
Implementing Continuous Improvement Practice begins after the needs have been assessed and objectives have been jointly defined. The customer is free to select individual SAP services depending on the needs, according to the jointly defined service plan. Continuous status tracking and reporting as well as transparency at the SAP executive management level keeps executives and administrators in the picture.
Upgrade and release planning
Complex custom-coded solutions, IT infrastructures, and system landscapes result in upgrades and system migrations that are difficult, time consuming, and costly. SAP customers want to improve their current business applications and keep them maintainable rather than re-implement them after the release cycle. Furthermore, solutions need to be flexible and adaptable in view of potential organizational and business changes. They need a clear value proposition and a feasible customized upgrade or migration strategy.
SAP offers a portfolio of services to address the business needs and challenges involved with upgrades and new releases:
- Distributed systems and heterogeneous technologies
- Timely upgrades to match the release cycle
- Preservation of custom solutions and interfaces
- Maintenance of a productive IT infrastructure
With SAP MaxAttention, complex upgrades and migrations are supported by the development of a customer-specific value proposition, a tailored release, upgrade, or migration strategy, and a technical upgrade plan. SAP solutions are maintained accordingly and prepared for the actual upgrade. The benefits of SAP MaxAttention for upgrade and release planning are decreased cost of ownership with integration and upgrade costs reduced through careful planning, a higher ROI achieved by preserving custom solutions and interfaces, and the enhanced ability to adapt to changing business demands by upgrading existing business applications or implementing new solutions.
SAP MaxAttention goes above and beyond operation, driving ongoing enhancement, and maintaining competitiveness. It ensures increased uptime, performance, data consistency and maintainability, and a lower total cost of operations. Solutions always remain state-of-the-art, ensuring investments in SAP are safe and future-proof. SAP MaxAttention provides the perfect set of services, resulting from SAP’s experience from countless customer projects over the last thirty years. And the service experts haven’t stopped in their quest to be the best partner and advisor to customers. They continuously improve the services on the basis of feedback from more than 2,500 on-site service sessions and over 34,000 proactive service sessions with more than 84,000 installations worldwide.