While cloud computing growth predictions couldn’t be brighter this year, they represent a potential nightmare of challenges to CIOs. IDC forecasts at least 50 percent of net-new IT spending will be cloud-based by 2020.

CIOs rank supporting digital business and delivering innovations top priorities in the latest Gartner survey. But even as CIOs embrace their new role driving agile, fast innovation, they grapple with ensuring a stable core for mission-critical applications and integration with new cloud solutions. It’s a delicate balancing act to provide integrated support across any company’s complex business process landscape for digitalized business. This is also the case with SAP environments, which typically include both cloud-based and on-premise software.

“Strategic digital business cannot be run in silos,” said Jens Bernotat, vice president of Strategy for Maintenance Go-To-Market at SAP. “SAP has always focused on harmonized support that delivers the greatest value to our customers as they’ve made major, long-term investments in our solutions. Our approach is to help CIOs manage a hybrid business process landscape for a seamless experience across a broad set of SAP solutions.”

In many ways, SAP’s support journey mirrors the one that its customers have been on during the past few years. The company recently achieved what’s widely considered the next milestone in harmonized support. SAP ONE Support now covers Concur, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass in addition to already harmonized cloud solutions including SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP S/4HANA Cloud editions, and SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

As companies increasingly innovate with cloud-based software to manage human resources, customer service, and other business processes, more decision-makers are also realizing the importance of integration. “Our customers have told us that they need to connect data and processes from every department, whether their SAP solutions are on-premise or in the cloud, so they can monitor business processes aligned to strategic objectives. With our ONE Support approach, we’re helping to elevate the Suite principle into hybrid landscapes,” said Bernotat.

These are the three main steps SAP has taken that offer CIOs harmonized support for hybrid scenarios.

Learn the 3 steps that offer CIOs harmonized support for SAP hybrid scenarios

Step 1: Harmonization

Customers now have the same support coverage for all of their cloud solutions based on cloud editions of SAP Enterprise Support. This includes service-level agreement (SLA) policies such as timeframes for problem resolution proposals. SAP is also bringing greater consistency to operational governance by offering one standardized system availability service level for all major cloud solutions – at 99.5 percent for all major Software-as-a-Service solutions and 99.9 percent for Platform-as-a-Service solutions.

“We are providing unified support for our entire solution portfolio,” said Bernotat. “If you are a CIO today you need to effectively and efficiently manage an end-to-end landscape that meets dual demands for agile innovation on a scalable, stable mission-critical backbone of integrated solutions.”

Step 2: Single Entry for Support

Regardless of which solution a customer is contacting SAP about, with SAP ONE Support the plan is to have one access point to obtain support. This is already in place through phone support, and for many solutions through the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. “Customers don’t have to pursue multiple routes to find the right contact or even know exactly where the problem is,” said Bernotat.

Using the SAP ONE Support Launchpad, which is built on SAP Fiori, customers can easily access status, information, and complete history of their support tickets in one single place for an expanded set of solutions. It also offers one single access point for information on cloud solution availability starting with SAP SuccessFactors. This simplifies management of hybrid landscapes substantially

Step 3: End-to-End Monitoring

With the ability to monitor solutions across a customer’s hybrid landscape, SAP helps companies realize the greatest value from their solution investments. Bernotat is quick to point out that this kind of integrated support, powered by SAP Solution Manager, is impossible when solutions are in disconnected silos from different vendors. “CIOs cannot manage a group of loosely coupled cloud solutions from different providers,” he said. “Our umbrella of support covers the entire SAP landscape.”

Future Innovations – Intelligence Everywhere

SAP’s shift from reactive to proactive support for customers is just the beginning, with greater innovations on the horizon.

“Live businesses need live support. We already offer Expert Chat, where users can talk to an expert, and soon will offer the opportunity for customers to book time with a support expert at their convenience,” said Michael Kleinemeier, Executive Board Member of SAP SE and head of Digital Business Services. “We are also exploring artificial intelligence and machine learning embedded in the software, which will provide users with real-time technical assistance as well.”

As more CIOs wake up to the innovative value of cloud-based computing, support is radically changing in sync, simplifying under one umbrella and embedding intelligence everywhere to meet the challenges of digital business.

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