There are times, such as after the summer holidays or at the beginning of the year, where a significantly higher amount of tickets is generated, which often leads to a great strain placed on the departments. This is where application management services – AM services for short – come in. They offer external support to provide professional assistance to the internal teams during peaks or staff shortages.
Resetting a user, creating a new account or generating a password in SAP usually doesn’t take more than two or three clicks. What is time-consuming and laborious, however, are the processes that the support ticket itself generates: the request must be read and answered; replies are often delayed and setting the status takes additional time; employee absences or bottlenecks result in a higher workload at short notice. Combined with a large amount of tickets during certain time periods and, of course, simultaneously handling the actual work, efficient support is rare in many companies. The consequence: long response times regarding authorizations and users.
However, if an employee does not receive the required authorization even after days, this has a negative effect on the work itself because no proper authorization means no access to the system. Consequently, dissatisfaction grows, both for the employee who makes the request and has to sit out the long waiting times as well as for the support employee who is overwhelmed by the steadily increasing workload.
Furthermore, support teams also have to handle the rapid changes in the SAP systems. With constant development and innovation, support employees are confronted with new requests almost daily that did not even exist in this form the day before. This means additional training, which takes away from employees’ actual work time.
How AM services can help support teams
As an external service, AM services can provide significant relief for employees and SAP teams. The services are designed for both mid-sized companies that want to cope with high ticket volumes in a small team as well as large companies with a high number of employees and the desire to shorten response times for more efficient work.
Leveraging standardized AM services, external specialists take over the user and authorization administration in SAP and professionally take care of support tickets remotely and full-time. The experts are up to date on the latest SAP developments and are therefore able to react competently to new problems and ticket requests.
Outsourcing application management significantly reduces the workload of a company’s support staff, which means that employees have the time to focus on essential projects in their own departments – something more important than ever considering the shortage of specialists and experts. As with all business processes, AM services must be integrated in the company using suitable steps as detailed below.
- Analysis. At the beginning, there is an analysis phase in which companies evaluate requirements and basic framework conditions. Important questions need answering, such as: Which SAP modules are involved? What is the scope of the project? What is the time frame?
- Transition. In the so-called transition phase, the focus is on becoming familiar with the system environment. An on-site consultant analyses the IT landscape, takes a closer look at the involved SAP systems, obtains an overview of roles and contacts, and prepares comprehensive documentation. This phase also includes the technological preparation.
- Implementation. In the implementation phase, the designated specialists take over first and second level support for the company. Incidents are accepted and processed, change requests are identified. Regular feedback and reporting is provided to the customer.
- Evaluation. Through regular monitoring, the external service providers work together with the companies to ensure goal-oriented cooperation and to evaluate how AM services are developing and what the current demand is.
This often reveals where SAP systems are particularly ‘stuck’. It might make sense to evaluate whether software solutions such as Identity Manager could be suited to permanently relieve support teams. This module electronically manages and documents all SAP system access rights and authorizations. Role Manager can also decrease the workload by managing all roles in an SAP system landscape so that the amount of tickets pertaining to authorizations and user access can be reduced in the long term.
The demand for external solutions will continue to grow in the coming years. AM services provide basic support to the support team itself. In view of the ever-increasing amount of work and the shortage of specialists in today’s labor market, it is essential that employees focus their limited capacities on projects that truly matter.