8 New ChaRM Features with SAP Solution Manager 7.1
- by Nathan Williams, Director, Keen Fusion
- April 16, 2012
Learn about the new features of Change Request Management (ChaRM) delivered with SAP Solution Manager 7.1. Discover the value your change management processes receive by implementing or upgrading to 7.1. Learn eight brand-new features that aid in developing a strong business case to use SAP Solution Manager as a single platform to manage changes to your IT landscape.
SAP Solution Manager 7.1 is the result of integrating SAP Customer Relationship Management 7.0 best-of-breed IT service management (ITSM) messaging capabilities with processes that compose application lifecycle management (ALM). The integration of ITSM and ALM, coupled with an overhauled Web user interface, introduces the market to an all-new platform to manage services associated with IT (specifically ChaRM).
Since the inception of SAP Solution Manager, there has always been a value proposition for leveraging as much functionality as possible in an effort to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase return on investment (ROI) regarding supporting an SAP environment. Although there was value in adopting a tool that was integrated into the SAP landscape, was business process driven, and was included as part of the company’s maintenance fee, there were challenges. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges and relate them to the topic at hand, Change Request Management (ChaRM).
Challenges with SAP Solution Manager 7.0 and earlier include:
- User acceptance levels of Solution Manager (ChaRM in particular) were mixed between both consultants implementing SAP systems as well as SAP customers themselves. On the consulting side, SAP Solution Manager was often perceived as a tool that lacked the powerful functionality that could be performed by third-party alternatives. The look and feel of Solution Manager was often perceived as too closely related to the standard SAP GUI of an SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) or SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Specifically for a change control tool, where end users may typically not be SAP savvy, Solution Manager did not offer the intuitiveness that a third-party Web-based or in-house tool offered.
- Third-party tools for managing changes made their stake in the market early on and continued to build on their expansive functionality to better serve the requirements of their customers. The investment in licensing, deploying, and maintaining these tools further slowed the momentum to develop a logical business case to replace them with ChaRM.
- Even when SAP Solution Manager matured as an operational application life cycle management (ALM) platform, it lacked specific capabilities to manage customer solutions beyond SAP. As system landscapes became more complex with business processes spanning multiple products, the demand rose for a central platform to extend beyond SAP to manage the holistic IT solution.
Solution Manager 7.1 allows you to overcome many of these challenges. The enhancements and new functionality delivered with 7.1 present the SAP market with solutions to pain points associated with prior versions of Solution Manager (ChaRM specifically).