As the new year quickly approaches and vendor contracts are coming up for renewal it got me thinking about the value Managecore’s SAP-centric tools deliver to our customers. This blog post will examine the critical use these leading-edge tools and how Managecore leverages them to provide the best-in-class service to our customers. In turn Managecore customers also have access to the best of breed SAP-centric tools without the hassle of maintenance, contracts, annual expenses, training, etc. When partnering with the right Managed Services provider you not only get access to receive direct support from SAP consultants but also the added benefits of having direct access to a toolset to best serve your SAP landscape.
Access to the Best for Your SAP Landscape
I was recently negotiating a support contract with one of our premier vendors and it made me start to wonder how SAP customers that have not outsourced to the proper managed service provider are left managing all of these vendors and critical SAP tools on their own. Not only do all of these vendors have their own separate contracts to manage, there are also hefty costs associated with best in breed tools, not to mention the heavy burden of ongoing maintenance required.
From a pure IT management perspective this can become a time-consuming task in itself, to ensure all products your team has in place are continuously up to date (licensing) and best in breed to support your SAP environment (i.e. back up products, security products, monitoring tools, etc.) The value our customers get from working with Managecore is access to all of these industry leading tools without the cost and headache of ongoing maintenance (both business and technical).
Costs Add Up
This procurement process really got me thinking about how frustrating and costly it would be for an SAP customer to try and secure their own individual tools. For example, an SAP customer might only have 20 servers so they would need to pay a premium price to get access to SAP support tools that are priced based on per server charge. That would be very expensive for a customer.
As a leading MSP, Managecore manages hundreds of landscapes so we are able to leverage a discounted volume rate for the very same tools. Through Managecore’s service delivery model our customers now not only get access to these valuable toolsets but also a skilled SAP team to manage and utilize these tools within in our customer’s environments.
This proves to be a huge benefit for customers, as they no longer need to purchase a monthly, or annual subscription to multiple expensive tools. This operating expense is completely eliminated when working directly with an MSP.
The Contract Negotiation Dance
There’s also the ongoing management of these SAP management tools, and overhead associated with contract negotiations, annual renewals; each year the budget needs to factor in the expense of these tools. Added to that the on-going personnel responsibilities it takes to truly maintain all these different vendors and make sure the proper contracts and payments are always in place to optimally support your SAP environment. In addition, customers’ needs to factor in the time and effort it takes to ensure there is no lapse in product coverage during the re-negotiation period.
Software Maintenance Headaches
Another benefit of working directly with an MSP, is simply the maintenance of the product itself and making sure that it’s delivering and functioning as it should. The ongoing effort can get complex and intensify if an SAP team needs to keep track of multiple vendors and products simultaneously, in addition to maintaining the full SAP environment.
Does your internal team have the time to become experts in each of these tools? When the tool itself breaks or when an upgrade is due, the time and energy required to resolve those issues goes up. An MSP will have experts in these toolsets because they are actively working on them in volume every day.
Your trusted MSP takes on this role to ensure your toolset is always properly maintained and working in your favor. SAP customers also often use the analogy a “single throat to choke” meaning it’s much easier to maintain a relationship with one MSP versus managing several products with corresponding vendors.
Evaluating Product Performance at Your Expense
One other large factor is evaluating the products and vendors themselves to ensure you are getting the very best solution to support your critical SAP environment. Managecore stays abreast of the latest technology by continuing to evaluate and only use the very best of breed products for our monitoring tools, backups, alerts, security, etc. When you are not SAP savvy, having this burden placed on an internal IT team to have to research, and evaluate what the best tool is available in the marketplace specifically for SAP workloads would be frustrating to say the least. Managecore has already done this leg work on behalf of our customers specifically regarding SAP landscapes. Our management and consultant teams have such a deeply rooted history managing SAP landscapes, we know what is required and what technology should be used to deliver the very best performing SAP landscapes for our customers.
This even plays a bigger role for mid-sized SAP customers who may only have a few dozen internal IT staff, as it is a large effort to find these best of breed products and have the proper SAP experts on staff to know what criteria to use to evaluate the very best products to use. Each Managecore consultant has 15+ years of technical SAP experience to use when evaluating tools to know if they would be up to the task for our customers.
Training, Implementation and Daily Use of the Tool
Granted some SaaS tools don’t have a lot of maintenance required, but most SAP support products today are complex enough that it requires specific training of how to use the tool and daily care of these products. For instance, if you have a small internal IT team they will now need to take on learning the product and becoming experts themselves of how to use the tool itself, to then implement it for your SAP landscape. Buying a really expensive tool isn’t necessary the answer either, worst case scenario if that tool isn’t configured properly and months later a crisis occurs because the initial setup wasn’t implemented correctly (i.e. a back-up wasn’t occurring like it should have or an alert wasn’t properly setup), this could have detrimental impacts to your SAP environment, even while using best of breed SAP tools. Having not only a solid understanding of the tool itself to implement, maintain, and use is critical but also its the most time consuming of all. Now factor in employee turn over or new technology releases multiplied by several products.
Managecore maintains these SAP tools on behalf of our customer as well as we offer training to our customers of these tools so they can access everything we can. Our motto is “our customers see what we see” and support models are built for our customers to get the best in breed technical support and tools. I truly believe having the right MSP as your SAP partner, gets you very best the industry has to offer for your SAP environment without the headache of paying, maintaining, and learning a complete toolset.