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5 services only innovative SAP MSPs can offer

Published on 08.27.2019

With the sheer volume of MSPs that are active in the market right now, finding one that’s a perfect fit for your business can feel like a daunting prospect. If you’re looking for a dynamic, innovative MSP, you’ll want to ensure that these five services are available.

The upwards trend of cloud adoption, not least in SAP environments, across multiple industries, shows no sign of abating, and reflects a global need for agility and efficiency to support innovative businesses. The worldwide public cloud revenue is expected to grow 17.3% this year alone, according to  Gartner.

With this increasing shift towards cloud and S/4HANA migrations, many businesses are turning to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for their SAP and cloud management. In fact, the MSP market is expected to reach a value of $282 billion by 2023. However, with so many providers now offering solutions for SAP-centric companies, it is often difficult to differentiate one from the next, as many of their service portfolios can look very much alike. This means customers are making hasty and misjudged choices, and 57% of MSPs are struggling to meet their customers’ needs.

Clearly, MSPs need to offer both their prospective and current customers something new to prove themselves to be a cut above the rest: they can provide key services that are currently largely missing from the MSP landscape. Let’s take a deep dive into what these services are and why businesses should look for them in an MSP.

1. Operational and Performance Transparency

Undoubtedly, CIOs and IT teams want peace of mind that their systems are healthy and performing as they should be. The way to achieve this is through gaining real-time visibility on SAP system performance and health -- something MSPs often do not provide, but should.

Periodical performance reports are not enough for enterprises to feel confident in the health, compliance with the contracted SLA, and overall performance of their systems. Having full, real-time transparency dashboards into which systems are healthy, and which might require more attention, increases a business’ trust and loyalty to the MSP they are working with.

For example, if a certain system was down for an hour and the enterprise’s users had to call to notify the MSP of the failure, by then it could have already caused significant damage. This would have been reduced or avoided completely had the source of the issue been detected early before the effects grow and the situation escalates. Companies often complain about a lack of awareness of problems when working with certain MSPs, and this is a sure-fire way to avoid that.

 

 

Image 1: Example of a real-time report on system health and performance

2. Performance-based Cloud and Hybrid SAP Landscape Automation

MSPs that offer management of SAP running on cloud and hybrid (on-premise and cloud) environments can help customers looking to save on costs and increase efficiency. Providing services such as SAP cloud migration and performance-based cloud scaling means businesses can manage a hybrid landscape, shifting between on-cloud and on-premise, and save on costs. Visibility into systems’ performance means their customers get complete visibility while their landscape automatically scales according to their needs, optimizing resource use and costs.

If the enterprise is using only the auto-scaling tools that their cloud provider gives them, they are often left with little-to-no visibility into SAP’s internal processes. This means enterprises may not be aware of when they need to scale up to use more resources. In addition, scaling down is too much of a risk as with no visibility inside SAP performance and processes, they could be shutting down vital activities. So, cloud and hybrid automation reduce the need for an MSP to monitor the SAP’s cloud usage manually while allowing their customers to scale their SAP and cloud usage in real-time – optimizing their performance and saving cloud costs.

3. Forecasting and Predictive Analysis

MSPs that offer SAP forecasting and predictive analysis capabilities allow their customers to better budget and plan for their resource needs. By looking at past utilization and providing predictive analysis of where more resources will be needed and when, businesses can make more informed budget decisions, such as adding new hardware or budgeting for more cloud resources.

Further, such capabilities allow businesses to better plan the work schedule of their resources, so they will understand when they might need to work on the upgrade of a server, for example. Alternatively, if companies have multiple servers, these reports allow them to organize the schedule based on priority and the rate at which it is being fully utilized.

 

 

Image 2: For example, in this image, you can see in the bottom row the currently used space, the predictive growth of the resource usage, and how long it will take to be used up.

4. Business Process Monitoring and Management

Enterprises looking for the best solution should undoubtedly look for an MSP that includes process monitoring and management.

For example, an MSP could provide a manufacturing enterprise with the monitoring capabilities to identify business process anomalies in real-time – ensuring that issues will be identified early before they impact the rest of the process. Or, say a company has a manufacturing process with label printers tied to it, an MSP could provide a service that proactively identifies when the printers break down (or anything else causes a line stoppage) and then reset them with a script that automatically fixes recurring problems. With this level of real-time automation and anomaly detection, the organization receives higher cost savings from the MSP services in areas that they traditionally were not part of.

 

 

Image 3: This is an example of real-time visibility of a business process. Issues and their source can be easily identified.

5. Audit Readiness

Almost every enterprise goes through a yearly audit -- it’s unavoidable. However, not many MSPs realize the added value that offering immediate audit readiness can provide to their clients. The audits usually consist of a technical snapshot ensuring market security best practices are in place and that the customer’s policies are correctly implemented in each system. Typically, an MSP helps collect the data for an audit and then backs away – hoping all is fine. This is a lengthy, expensive drill for them. However, an added benefit that an MSP can provide to its customers is 24/7/365 monitoring and reporting on all of these audit points, giving the customer peace of mind that the security and compliances policies are in place or that change documentation is prepared for an audit.

With the sheer volume of MSPs that are active in the market right now, it could be easy to succumb to decision fatigue. But, by looking for all five of these services in an MSP’s portfolio, forward-thinking companies can select a first-rate partner who they can trust to help them optimize their resource usage, solve problems in real-time, and ultimately drive positive business results.

 

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