The influence of support in SAP’s strategy of making things simple for customers.
Take a moment to think about the following scenario. Many of you have a computer at home and have bought various software programs to use on it. Some of these programs may be compatible with each other and data could be exchanged between them. What these software programs usually don’t have is a connected support/help desk function for when something goes wrong in one or more of them, such as when a connection can’t be made. This means you need to deal with each software one-by-one until the problem is figured out. And even worse: what if the problems lie in between two software programs? Who can you then contact?
Change scenes and consider this scenario with SAP customers. The customers also use various SAP and non-SAP solutions that work hand-in-hand and produce data that is compatible with each other – with some of these solutions potentially being cloud-based. How does their support infrastructure work to support all the solutions? Are they aligned? And now think about what happens if something goes wrong on the customer side. Does the customer need to also access different support systems to fix the problem?
In April 2014, SAP announced it will expand and enhance its support program across all products and solutions to ease the customers’ journey to the cloud via the SAP ONE Support program. Designed for flexibility and simplification of the customer experience, the program will help deliver a harmonized and integrated support experience to companies of all sizes and across all deployment scenarios – no matter if they choose to stay on-premise, move completely to the cloud, or select a hybrid mix.
The SAP ONE Support program is fully aligned with SAP’s strategy of becoming the cloud company powered by SAP HANA. It helps customers to make use of their existing on-premise investments, while driving value in hybrid environments and then, ultimately, helping them to move their business to the cloud at their own pace. SAP’s approach for the upcoming years will focus not only on developing and enhancing the cloud offerings, the company will also continue to expand on, and commit to, on-premise innovations for SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, as recently announced. This will give customers time to recognize the benefits that cloud solutions can offer them.
Supporting the smooth integration of SAP acquisitions
The harmonized and simplified support experience also expands into the various SAP acquisitions made over the years – in particular with the cloud-only solutions.
Consider the following behind each acquisition: the existing customer base using the (cloud) solution and the (cloud-based) support experts and infrastructure. This customer base may also be using on-premise SAP solutions. Take a moment to think about the situation a customer would have if different solutions are affected. They may need to contact different support organizations to get help, or post an incident through separate channels. Alternatively, the customer might need to access different support portals to build up their IT knowledge around the solutions in question. This could also be the scenario that SAP on-premise customers could worry about when deciding to invest in SAP Cloud solutions. They want to have just one support destination for all their needs and concerns.
With SAP ONE Support, SAP customers only need to interact with one support organization no matter what (acquired) SAP solution is affected – thus having one contact into support, one location for incident handling, and one support portal for benefiting from key support knowledge and best practices. “Customers moving from their on-premise world towards the cloud, either entirely, or by creating a hybrid landscape, experience the advantages of the SAP ONE Support program for providing a seamless and single molded support access. SAP ONE Support is a clear competitive advantage for the solutions SAP offers”, says Christian Müller, VP and Head of maintenance sales DACH.
Delivering on the simplification promise
The deliverables behind the SAP ONE Support program focus on 4 areas of simplification and harmonization:
- One web access by providing a central, integrated access point for all support inquiries, whether these be by phone or over the web.
- One support portfolio with aligned and harmonized support coverage provided through SAP Enterprise Support, and extended to cover hybrid environments
- One support delivery with focus on aligned and integrated incident management with one harmonized escalation process
- One end-to-end supportability and solution lifecycle management by developing on-premise/hybrid lifecycle management scenarios, powered by SAP Solution Manager
When SAP announced the SAP ONE Support program the company also made some specific promises to customers on what simplification and harmonization would mean for them. SAP held to those promises and has achieved some great milestones during these past months. Take a moment to watch the short video to get more insight into the deliverables achieved in each of these areas and those to come in 2015.
Help to adopt innovations: what customers say
Analysts and user groups have also recognized the potential of SAP ONE Support for customers:
“… IT organizations are looking for support providers that can simplify and unify interaction with and access to support resources. Programs like SAP ONE Support, with a focus on comprehensive support delivery, can help customers integrate cloud technology, reduce complexity in daily operations and maximize their IT investments.”
- Elaina Stergiades, research manager, IDC (Quoted in press release)
“This is a sensible move by SAP to reduce gaps and inconsistencies in the customer experience, between traditional and SaaS (Software as a Service) products. It will help them cross-sell on premise and SaaS.”
- Forrester Research analyst Duncan Jones (Quoted in press article)
“This is a great step forward in simplifying customers’ support interactions with SAP as more and more customers find themselves operating in a mixed environment of cloud and on-premises. SAP is a cloud company. [CEO] Bill McDermott has made that very clear. As such, combining support under one roof is essential to that vision.”
- Americas’ SAP Users Group CEO Geoff Scott (Quoted in PCWorld online (USA))
“Naturally we welcome any enhancement to the Enterprise Support service that will help customers adopt the latest innovations from SAP or realize business value from deploying and utilizing SAP solutions, regardless of whether they are on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid of the two.”
- UK & Ireland SAP User Group chairman Philip Adams (Quoted in Computerworld.com)
- Further information around SAP ONE Support: http://www.sapsupport.info/onesupport/
- Find out what customers say about support from SAP: http://www.sapsupport.info/references/reference-overview/; http://www.sapsupport.info/references/reference-navigator/
Top image: Shutterstock