October 3, 2017

Is your SAP maintenance manual up to date? Getting the best out of your system with Certified Application Lifecycle Management

Auli Peltola

Head of SAP Application Lifecycle Management, Application Services, Tieto

Did you know that Tieto is currently the only service provider in the world with a Gold level certificate in SAP Application Lifecycle Management? In this blog, I will tell you what this entails and what benefits this brings to our customers.

Digitalization, economic trends and new SAP technologies are all factors which create buzz in the SAP world. Companies are investing in modernizing their applications and developing their user experiences. The new SAP S/4HANA platform enables companies to develop their digital services and processes even further.

It really makes a difference what is the process, tools and people who manage the ‘backbone’ of a company’s operations.

Run SAP certification improves trust and quality    

Tieto believes that investing in certification is critically important. Certified expertise increases our customers’ trust in our capabilities. It is also a key tool in our quality assurance process.

Tieto joined the Run SAP Partner program and the SAP certification process a few years ago. It has been very beneficial both for us and for our customers. I strongly believe that collaborating with and being trained by leading SAP experts is the best way of learning. 

At the Gold certification level, one needs to be at forefront of the development and to be committed to continual improvement. Through this we can demonstrate our expertise and our compliance with SAP best practices.

We recently carried out audits for five of our customers, representing the forestry, retail, building and construction and industrial technology industries.

Our customers have benefited from the results of this audit process and the ideas developed through it. With some customers, the audit focused on SAP-native Solution documentation, which provides a good foundation for transparent, traceable and efficient application lifecycle management. In addition, efficient management of documentation and personal data makes it easier to fulfil the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

With other customers, the subject of the audit was the Test management process, utilizing the Solution documentation structure highlighted above. This enables the implementation of test automation in addition to test process descriptions. More efficient testing saves costs and contributes to a more consistent, stable production environment.

Positive effects on our business

What does the Gold level indicate? To me, it specifically demonstrates that we have the latest SAP knowledge and skills. We are able to implement SAP environments for our customers using best practices and taking in the entire application lifecycle from project management to change management and support. Here we can utilize SAP Solution Manager and leverage our connections with leading experts on SAP’s side. Our expertise also means that we can listen carefully to our customers and predict their needs more accurately.

This work has paid off. We have dozens of customers in the Nordic countries, operating in different industries globally, for whom the SAP environment is the backbone of their enterprise management. Our business has grown faster than the market, and we also have new customers in our key growth market, Sweden. In Norway, we supply SAP application services to a system that oversees electricity distribution to a large number of Norwegian households and companies. 

Lots of efficiency potentials

We have found that companies that use SAP often have scope to manage their application lifecycle more efficiently. Companies pay for tools that are part of their license investment, but do not always utilize these as effectively as they could. For example, business continuity can be improved by automating the interface monitoring process to allow the timely execution of remedial actions. The transparency of process performance can be improved through monitoring business KPIs – these can be selected from a library of over 100 readymade or customized KPIs. The integrity of the production environment can be assured with change management functionality, even if there are multiple vendors in the same system. These and many other functionalities can be adopted easily in SAP Solution Manager, which we dub the ‘SAP environment maintenance manual’. If the maintenance manual is in order, changing suppliers and operating in a multi-vendor environment is easier to accomplish.

In many companies, the SAP systems they use were adopted decades ago. Since then, business and market requirements and technological capabilities have changed radically. Because of this, many customers are considering greenfield implementation rather than migration in order to ensure that their business environment is not weighed down by legacy issues and structures. As part of the preparation for S/4HANA implementation, we recommend that customers familiarize themselves with SAP best practices and also with how their existing tools can be utilized prior to, during and after the project. In this way they can maximize the benefits they derive from the maintenance manual and ensure the smooth development and operation of their applications lifecycle.

Amongst other advantages, S/4 HANA technology allows the utilization of real-time business processes, operative reporting and simplified table structures.

Could a customized process be replaced with Tieto’s pre-packaged alternative?

We know how the transformation to S/4 HANA should be implemented. Tieto offers a wide range of SAP services and expertise. In the spring of 2017, Gartner listed Tieto in the distinguished Magic Quadrant of SAP Service Providersin the EMEA region.

Certified expertise makes the process more ordered and systematic. It improves efficiency as well as enhancing quality and risk management!

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Tieto’s SAP operations in a nutshell:

  • We are one of the leading SAP service providers in the Nordic region  
  • We have a Gold level certificate in SAP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • We managed the first SAP S/4HANA implementation in the Nordics
  • Over 700 SAP consultants
  • Over 200 SAP customers
  • Included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant of SAP Application Services in the EMEA region (2017)  

 

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