SP05: Breakthroughs in Change Request Management

  • by Nathan Williams, Director, Keen Fusion
  • July 25, 2012
Manager
Learn how Support Package 5 of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 advances the capabilities for managing changes to your IT landscape. Understand the enhancements delivered with SP05 that respond to demands for more flexibility when deploying Solution Manager for a central Change Request Management (ChaRM) platform. Understand how the latest capabilities of ChaRM in Solution Manager require less (or zero) reliance on third-party change control solutions.
Key Concept

SAP Solution Manager 7.1 provides significant improvements over prior releases of the product. Functionalities to support all phases of Application Lifecycle Management either received a significant boost in functionality or entirely new features and infrastructure. Support Package 05, released in June 2012, is keeping pace with this momentum. It includes breakthrough changes related to Change Request Management. It overcomes pain points associated with prior releases and fills gaps related to common customer requirements.

Having studied, implemented, and supported SAP Solution Manager since its earliest versions, I was really excited last year to be included in the 7.1 Ramp-Up program. Specializing in IT service management (ITSM) capabilities, I was particularly excited with the new look of Application Incident Management (AIM) and Change Request Management (ChaRM) and all the new capabilities that came with the SAP CRM 7.0 infrastructure. At last, these services and processes were given the overhaul needed to make it easier for companies to stick with what they are already paying for and adopt Solution Manager to handle all types of change, not just changes related to SAP.

Throughout the time I have implemented these scenarios (Service Desk and ChaRM), I have come across what seems like every requirement imaginable. Most requirements were met with standard functionality, some achieved with development, and some just couldn’t happen. The development hours on the table and the fact that key requirements just weren’t going to happen led most companies to look at third-party alternatives for a change control tool. Understandably, if a tool is selected as a central platform to manage change, you want to go with something that is the best fit for your organization.

Over the years, SAP has continued to expand ChaRM’s capabilities, making it harder to develop a business case to procure, license, deploy, and maintain a change control tool when Solution Manager has come close in satisfying core requirements. Release 7.1 provided the interface, openness, and best-of-breed messaging capabilities. Support Package 05 (SP05) shows that consistent customer requirements, where third-party tools once ruled the field, are now available in ChaRM.

I’ll walk through some questions and requirements that I’ve heard during my experience as an introductory note to each section. Then I’ll describe the feature in SP05 that addresses these common requirements. But first, I’ll provide a quick introduction on maintenance cycle strategy to set the stage.

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams is a senior SAP management and technology consultant with a prominent concentration in SAP Application Lifecycle Management and SAP Solution Manager. Coordinating with IT, business, and program management teams, he has effectively defined strategies and roadmaps to help SAP customers seamlessly transition to SAP Solution Manager processes and capabilities. Nathan is also experienced with all technical configuration aspects of SAP Solution Manager, including security, Basis, and SAP CRM. He is the author of the SAP PRESS book IT Service Management in SAP Solution Manager.

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