WALLDORF — SAP has launched a new control center approach to help customers get the most out of their SAP investments. Delivered by the SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS) organization and unique in the software industry, the control center approach helps companies achieve the most effective and efficient implementations and optimize ongoing operations. It also enables businesses to drive growth and increase customer satisfaction by quickly and easily deploying innovations such as the SAP HANA platform and cloud and mobile solutions. The control center approach is available to customers using, SAP MaxAttention and SAP ActiveEmbedded services.
Innovation cycles are becoming shorter, so the ability to maintain a competitive edge often depends on quickly implementing the latest technology. Based on the long-term support experience of SAP AGS, the control center approach helps customers to innovate better and run their business more cost-efficiently. It is designed to fix issues, enable smooth installations and increase satisfaction at all stages of a customer’s relationship with SAP.
The control center approach consists of three components: the innovation control center and the operations control center, both located at the customer site, and the mission control center, located remotely at an SAP facility. Each is designed to complement the other and provide high-level support through the life cycle of an SAP solution.
The innovation control and operations control centers are connected in real time to dedicated remote mission control center locations to help ensure best practices are being used for the implementation and that ongoing operations are supported. The mission control center locations are managed by experts from support, development and product management. A major advantage is to have all experts in “one room” at the same time focused on the specific customer situation. These interdisciplinary teams proactively monitor a customer’s installation in real time, allowing issues to be quickly identified and addressed. This also helps customers to adopt SAP Best Practices and resolve functionality concerns. To date, SAP has launched three mission control center locations, including two in China and one in the United States. Additional locations are planned to be opened in Germany, Brazil and Mexico.
“As businesses need to innovate constantly to compete globally, we see a much higher ‘need for speed’ when dealing with implementations today,” said Dr. Uwe Hommel, executive vice president and head of SAP Active Global Support. “SAP’s control center approach offers customers a way to optimize their implementation, have a close link to development in a tangible way to reduce the number of developments needed, stick as close to SAP standard as possible to achieve a sustainable solution. This would later enable them to maximize investment in innovation.”
Interconnected Control Centers Help Ensure Tight Customer Integration
The approach brings together SAP experts and members of customer teams in high-tech, purpose-built control centers. Connected through the SAP Solution Manager application management solution, these centers work together to provide customers with guidance on how to utilize existing SAP functionality to fulfill business requirements.
At the outset of an implementation or innovation project, the innovation control center delivers customer support aimed at modification-free implementations and continuous improvement within the business. The center is run by an on-site lead from SAP and supported by functional experts from the customer or the customer’s implementation partner. Using SAP Solution Manager, this team works together using the innovation control methodology in which “SAP solutions are built to run as efficiently as a factory.”
“Tate & Lyle is in the midst of adopting the innovation control center capabilities through SAP MaxAttention services in execution of our business transformation strategy,” said Stephen Byers, global VP and CIO, Tate & Lyle, a London-based global provider of ingredients and solutions to food, beverage and other industries. “We are very happy with the progress thus far and believe the framework will allow us to avoid unnecessary modifications by ensuring SAP Best Practices are deployed through our systems integrator, thus lowering the overall implementation and ownership costs.”
As the implementation approaches the go-live date, the innovation control center transitions to the operations control center using the same setup at the customer site. The purpose of the operations control center is to help ensure that SAP and third-party software solutions run efficiently and without disruptions. This center supports the streamlined, efficient operation of the SAP solution with a focus on the prevention of problems and immediate reaction to any issues.
“The innovation control center carried out comprehensive monitoring during the entire process of the financial upgrade project. This center played a mission-critical role in the SAP Best Practices implementation for Minmetals,” said Yan Xiaoqing, deputy manager of IT department, Minmetals, a Beijing-based international metals and mining corporation. “The upgraded new system will play a positive role to promote the business development of Minmetals.”
The control center approach is exclusively available through SAP MaxAttention or SAP ActiveEmbedded, delivering a combination of an embedded support team that is backed up by deep expertise and engineered services from SAP tailored to a customer’s specific needs.