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Implementing SAP Solution Manager has helped Accenture keep its single instance of SAP aligned with its evolving business strategy, ensuring its contribution to the company’s commitment to remain a high-performance business remains substantial. The new tool has also reduced documentation effort and manpower needed for certain operations.
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Organizations that are serious about building competitive advantage and delivering high performance know that their SAP journey does not end when the initial implementation is complete. Forward-looking organizations constantly adjust their SAP solution through evolving business needs, environmental changes and new technologies, as they emerge, to deliver the most value and the greatest return from their SAP investment.
One aspect of driving this return on investment and keeping pace with constant change is making sure that the SAP instance is reliable, performing at its maximum potential and that the processes are in place to manage change efficiently and predictably.
To keep its multi-tiered single instance of SAP in step with the needs of its constantly evolving business and workforce of nearly a quarter million, Accenture recognized the need for a repeatable process for managing SAP changes promptly, without distracting from the continuous tasks of delivering new business functionality, lowering operations costs year on year and improving application lifecycle management processes and controls.
Accenture sought an application management solution to address the full spectrum of its SAP software and the many applications related to SAP. After considering a variety of vendor solutions, and drawing on experiences with clients, a team of Accenture’s technology and applications performance management experts selected Solution Manager from SAP. This decision was driven by ease of use, the integration advantages of SAP Solution Manager with Accenture’s single SAP instance and Accenture’s long-term systems landscape strategy. The solution was customized slightly to meet Accenture’s specific business process needs.
The new solution was introduced in parallel with the old over a two-month period to allow the team to thoroughly test the new solution without causing major business disruption. Once all of the components were running smoothly, Accenture transitioned fully to the new solution.
The solution implemented by Accenture delivers considerable advantages over the application management solution that it replaces. It streamlines the ability to monitor system components across all landscapes, giving Accenture visibility into system performance and stability at greater speed and reduced cost.
Improved integration with Accenture’s single SAP instance, tighter handling of production changes and improved automation capabilities have virtually eliminated code migration errors and allowed changes to be pushed through faster, reducing costs. New functionality allows Accenture to push multiple projects through to production simultaneously, improving efficiency.
The company enjoys better stewardship of its information. Automated reporting provides change control evidence to audit groups. Trends in defects are more easily recognized, enabling preemptive measures that reduce system downtime. All process documentation is located in one place with appropriate version control, and all updates can be carried out from one interface. When system changes are initiated, Accenture can easily see how changes will impact existing functionality.
The ability to document changes within the tool itself is also an advantage, decreasing documentation efforts by 20 percent when making production code or configuration changes, preventing data errors or loss and easing transfer of data between teams.
For major releases as well as routine fixes, the manpower required to move blocks of code and configuration is reduced by 25 percent and there are further economies across other teams.
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