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Saturday, June 20, 2015

SAP Solution Manager : The Under-utilized One..

How many of you remember ASAP, which used to come in a CD format? It had the necessary tools and content (right form QAdb to CI templates, if you remember) necessary for SAP Implementation. It evolved into ValueSAP & which finally evolved into Solution Manager.

Now I know, most of us from the SAP community are aware of SAP Solution Manager (fondly called as SolMan for brevity sake:-)), but are blissfully unaware of the rich functionality it has & so we end up utilizing it, to maybe, only 10% of its features. 

Don’t believe it?

Ok, let me ask you a simple question. Will you buy a smartphone and use it only for morning alarm?
Absolutely NO!

...But that’s what we’re doing with SolMan (which incidentally comes free bundled with the SAP licenses you purchased) Most of the SAP customers are using its only one feature of SolMan, and that is to configure the SAP Router as a diagnostic agent connected with SAP and vice versa.

But unlike other freebies, SolMan is a power-packed tool, an integrated online platform to support implementations, operations and optimizations, in short the entire suite of ALM (Application Lifecycle Management). The ALM approach is holistic, because it covers aspects of deploying as well as optimizing your SAP solution.

During the deployment (more popularly called as ‘Implementation’) phase, it helps you in (related ASAP phases mentioned in brackets) are:

  • Central maintenance & access to all managed systems  (Project Preparation & On-going)
  • Central design & storage of all your business processes (Business blueprint)
  • Central definition, maintenance and storage of all business processes & technical documentation  (Business Blueprint & Realization)
  • Central creation of storage of test information (Realization)
  • Central creation and storage of custom development  (Realization)

Once the Implementation phase is over, Solution Manager comes handy in the post-Go-Live support (popularly called as Sustenance phase) for IT Service management. Solution Manager can easily be configured as a ticketing tool to manage the incidents/tickets. Considering other ticketing tools (like Remedy / Peregrine) come with a heavy price tag, it is worthwhile for customers to explore Solution Manager as a better (& cost-effective) option.  

More importantly, SolMan is very effective for Technical Monitoring during the Sustenance phase. It provides:

  • System monitoring – Allows you to access the latest snapshot of monitoring data for systems, databases & hosts
  • Jobs & BI monitoring – Allows monitoring of backgrounds jobs or complete BI scenario
  • End User Monitoring – Provides you availability and performance       information from end user point of view
  • Integration Monitoring – Provides central access to monitor interfaces for performance, usage, availability & exceptions
  • Alert Inbox – Provides you access to alerts coming from different areas
  • Automated reporting – Provides access to view EWA (Early Watch Alerts) & Service Level Agreements
  • Interactive reporting – Provides you various pre-built reports about availability, performance, capacity & usage of your systems, scenarios, databases & hosts

Most of the reports are available as a Dashboard, which is a big plus.

For those who follow ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) closely, SAP Solution Manager 7.1 has been also verified as ITIL compliant in following 15 core processes (to name a few ranging from Availability Management, Change Management to Service portfolio management etc.)

Now, again ask yourself the question, “How much functionality of Solution Manager my organization (or, my client) is using?”


  1. Another big aspect of Solman that is underutilized is it's test management capabilities. There is TDMS which is an add-on component for test data management and TAO for test scripts and results management. For companies that have other tools for testing such as HPQC, there are adapters to tightly integrate Solman to the external testing tool. Even for service management or monitoring, you can integrate with your external tools easily. Another feature of underutilized is the CDMC or custom development management cockpit. This will allow you to manage your custom development, end-to-end impact analysis of changing one custom object all the way to the test scripts and scenarios. Oh then there is BPCA, business process change analyzer.... In short, you are right, Solman is a Porche used for grocery shopping. --- Srinivas

  2. Thanks you for sharing such a useful article. Good Work.
    The Solution Explorer is a tool window, so it can be docked, floating, opened, closed, resized or set to auto hide.