Managing an SAP environment goes far beyond just daily monitoring and providing repetitive basis tasks. Organizations require skill sets through the entire IT stack. From hardware and infrastructure, to OS and database, up through the SAP application layer – all components play a role in keeping SAP optimally running. This is where not all Managed Service Providers are created equal. MSPs need to be knowledgeable enough to provide complete solution support that is required to ensure your SAP systems are maintained at peak performance.
So how does a MSP deliver true support? Simple, through a solution that is supported by a fully knowledgeable staff, proven through a transparent relationship of those delivered services. SAP consultants should provide monitoring support, but also must have the knowledge to provide complete technical support of your SAP landscape ranging from standard maintenance to mentoring and guidance of evolving technologies.
How shallow is that pool?
So how can you tell if your MSP truly has the full depth of technical knowledge to support your SAP landscape? Ask questions that don’t involve the SAP application directly. When you ask a standard SAP question you get an answer instantly. However, when you ask a question regarding the database or infrastructure, how long does it take to get it answer? Does it take days to get an answer or worse get lost in a ‘black hole’! Behind the scenes the MSP is scrambling to track down the right person with that specific knowledge. At best your answers are delayed – at worst they are never answered. This simple litmus test is a telltale sign that your MSP doesn’t truly have the answer or doesn’t have a full staff that is trained beyond the SAP application itself.
To be fair, IT technology in general is vast and constantly evolving. Having an individual that knows all technologies is not realistic. Collaboration within your MSP to find the right answer is to be expected at times. The key is for your MSP to have right-staffed your support team with the appropriate mix of technology backgrounds. For example, you wouldn’t want a Basis consultant well versed in Oracle and AIX supporting your Windows environment running on SQL. Collaboration is welcomed – poor staffing is not.
The sad truth
The reality is that I hear from customers time and time again how they know the lights are being kept on with their SAP system, but do not truly feel confident that their SAP system is receiving the full breadth of support required, with an endless amount of questions that get lost in the ‘black hole’. Quite frankly this is unacceptable. Clients put trust and budget dollars into their MSPs. In turn, they deserve to have questions answered within the proper SLA time frame and have the confidence that their SAP environments are being optimally supported and maintained for the long term.
Transparency is in the proof
Let’s not forget transparency! Having a transparent relationship with your MSP is vital. When a MSP is truly transparent it will show through their actions. It’s one thing to say you have the knowledge, but it’s quite another to prove it. Quick response times, expert support and ongoing technical guidance of your SAP system will give you the peace of mind and trust that your system is being optimally supported.
Make sure your SAP system is getting the proper and complete technical support beyond the basic ‘basis’, with a fully transparent MSP relationship from an expert SAP support team – contact Managecore.