How to Select an SAP Application Management Service Provider
One of the most robust and complex enterprise resource planning applications, SAP users account for a staggering 87% of total global commerce.
Today’s average company uses 100+ applications, and for larger enterprises that number jumps by hundreds or even thousands. Coupled with the move of mission critical applications to cloud, t’s no wonder, then, that SAP Application Management Services (AMS) are so in-demand.
IT leaders managing complex SAP workloads require deep expertise and support to keep their systems and applications running smoothly while getting the most value for the business from their SAP investments.
If your organization is seeking an SAP AMS provider, this guide is for you. In the sections that follow, we’ll cover what’s included in these services, their benefits, and how to choose the right managed services provider (MSP) for your business.
- SAP Application Management Services include comprehensive support in launching, migrating, and/or maintaining SAP applications.
- Business benefits of SAP AMS services include cost savings, access to SAP expertise, scalability, better security, and innovation capabilities.
- Referrals from hyperscale cloud partners and your peers are reliable sources to help you vet potential providers.
- Best-in-class SAP AMS providers are SAP Certified, offer a wide range of SAP services, have a strong track record, and can design solution plans that meet your unique needs.
Basic of SAP Application Management Services
SAP Application Management Services support companies in launching, migrating, and/or maintaining their SAP applications and IT infrastructures. They support a variety of business needs, including:.
- First-time SAP implementation
- Application development and modernization
- SAP Basis management
- Cloud migration
- Troubleshooting and problem management
- Ongoing maintenance and optimization
- Performance monitoring and reporting
Starting with basic infrastructure management and building all the way up to transformative projects and initiatives, the “solution-as-a-service” AMS framework outlined by SAP enables customers and MSPs to design solution plans to address unique business needs.
Benefits of adopting SAP Application Management Services
Adopting SAP Application Management Services significantly lowers your IT total cost of ownership (TCO). With an expert support partner, you can optimize your application portfolio for lower operating costs, maintain a more fixed budget, and eliminate the need to pay for full-time (and potentially underutilized) in-house support staff.
Access to expertise
SAP’s extensive library of products, modules, and capabilities makes it impossible for any one consultant to be an expert in everything. When you partner with an SAP AMS provider, you get access to a team of experts who are able to support a wide range of technical, functional, and strategic needs.
Most SAP AMS providers make it easy to scale your services up and down as needed depending on your current business situation. For example: You may initially need a temporary consulting service, then decide to scale up to ongoing services later. Conversely, you may decide to scale back to a simpler service plan after completing a major project (like a cloud migration).
Security and compliance
Security and compliance are complex areas to navigate for any business as it relates to IT infrastructure. Data privacy and other compliance laws constantly evolve, especially for companies operating in highly regulated industries.
An SAP AMS provider can put your mind at ease — and keep your enterprise safe — by applying best-practice SAP security standards, including more modern DevSecOps solutions that are aligned across the business.
Continuous improvement is fast becoming less of a differentiator and more of a competitive imperative. SAP AMS providers need to know how to approach SAP projects with an innovative mindset, keeping you up to date on latest versions, upgrade opportunities, and other capabilities to further optimize- all while staying on track with your business outcomes
Selecting your SAP service provider: How to prepare
Determine your needs
Prior to beginning your search, be sure to have a clear understanding of what you’re looking for so you can easily narrow your options to the MSPs that best fit your needs.
What prompted you to seek SAP Application Management Services in the first place? Are you running on a hyperscaler today or looking to migrate to the cloud? These questions will guide you in the right direction as you outline your business needs.
Consider both your pain points (problems that need to be solved) and future goals (i.e. transformations you want to achieve, KPI benchmarks you want to hit, or target IT states you want to reach).
Do your research
The internet has made B2B research easier than ever — but you shouldn’t start and stop with a Google search. Complete your list of potential SAP AMS providers using sources like peer referrals and industry-best lists such as G2. These sources are more reliable and objective than a Google results page or company website, on which every MSP is selling their own brand.
Decide who will participate
Establish in advance who will take part of the decision making process for selecting an SAP AMS provider. Ideally, you should include representatives from every stakeholder group that will be supported (or even impacted in any way) by the services you adopt. This both ensures you have all necessary perspectives and avoids confusion later on when it comes time to purchase.
What to look for in your SAP service provider
SAP Certification indicates that a potential provider has met the proper training, quality, and integration requirements set by SAP for their partner organizations. You can usually find logos (like the one pictured below) on a company’s website to show that they’re SAP certified.
Wide range of services provided
Ideally, the SAP AMS provider you choose will be certified and qualified to provide a wide range of SAP-related services, including cloud migration and management expertise. Ensure that your SAP managed services provider has experience in ECC, HANA, S/4HANA and modern services such as FinOps, DevOps, and data intelligence.
Clear processes that include thorough planning
While the specific details will vary for each customer, your SAP AMS provider should be able to outline their general approach when it comes to onboarding new customers and implementing their solution plan.
Protera, for example, takes a three-pronged approach to SAP Cloud and Application Management Services to ensure they address end-to-end business needs:
- Operate - We provide technical management of your SAP+ related applications, including basis support, database, OS, security, patching, and performance.
- Improve - We support your agile development projects with automations, self-service, and project support to help you improve your business.
- Optimize - We continually improve your performance, reduce your costs, and provide insights to help you optimize how you run SAP.
The process involves thorough customer discovery and current-state assessment to design solution plans that are realistic, transformative, and prepare the business for continuous modernization.
Proven track record
The best way to confirm your potential provider has a solid track record is to look for previous client successes and speak to your hyperscaler partners about your chosen MSP. Does your cloud and application managed services provider have a deep engineering relationship with various hyperscale cloud providers?
Putting it all together
There is no one-size-fits-all solution or SAP Application and Cloud Managed Service provider for every organization — but there are best practices, certifications, and quality standards every provider should meet.
Knowing what to look for in your SAP AMS provider ensures that you find a provider that both meets SAP quality standards and is a good fit for your individual needs, goals, and company.
Manage your SAP applications with confidence
Solve business challenges, optimize cost, and mitigate risk with Protera’s proactive services for enterprise workloads and a support model providing transparency into cost, configuration, applications, and environments. When you partner with Protera, you can be confident you will have access to:
- Deep SAP and Cloud Expertise - Since 1998, Protera has been serving clients’ most complex mission critical application and was a pioneer of enterprise cloud services
- First to run SAP on public cloud - Protera migrated and managed the first SAP systems in production on public cloud in 2012.
- Real Cost Savings - Accelerate cloud adoption securely, maximize performance, and realize cost savings of 30-50%.
- Superior Service - We deliver personalized service, the highest performance, and have a 100% customer satisfaction rate.
Contact us to speak with an expert today.