There are many aspects of business transformations that have changed recently as organisations have embraced a move to cloud-based systems. Business transformation now occur more quickly, with fewer people and reduced scopes, than ever before, and often involve greater changes to the way the business operates, as less customization occurs to the systems supporting the transformation.
Whilst the adoption of a cloud mindset has changed the priorities of many business transformations, there are aspects of these transformations that remain the same, even after the move to the cloud. Examples of these include:
Transformations are often planned and delivered by a small group of people with a controlled budget, scope and timelines, i.e. delivered through projects
All projects at some point come to an end. The people involved in those projects may move back into the business, but many leave the organisation to commence other projects and take their significant knowledge with them
The new systems supporting the transformation are typically handed back to internal groups to support, including the organisation’s IT team, who must take responsibility for providing ongoing support for new systems.
At the point where the project team disbands and internal teams, including the IT team, take ownership of supporting the new applications, it is critical that the support teams have easy access to information about the new business processes and configured systems that were deployed by the project team. This information is typically captured by the project team to ensure a smooth transition to ongoing support, before the project team disbands and is no longer available.
In many instances, the information required to support SAP systems, is captured in SAP Solution Manager. The remainder of this post describes how an integration between SAP Solution Manager and SAP Enable Now can be used to ensure that all impacted groups, including end users and IT teams, can access the information that they require to effectively use and support the new systems.
Defining the information challenges
A significant challenge for any organisation undertaking substantial business transformations is to ensure that the decisions taken, and knowledge gathered during the project are retained within the organisation, following the disbandment of the project. This information must be readily available to the teams supporting the new systems and processes, including the organisation’s IT group.
The types of information that must be captured and available to the internal teams supporting an organisation, following a transformation, include:
Details of the implemented business processes
Details of how standard system functionality works
Details about how the standard functionality was configured or modified to achieve the final solution.
In the case of SAP-related business transformations, this information is often captured in SAP Solution Manager during a project, which ensures that the information remains available to the business following the project. The effort and cost of capturing this information can be substantial, so it is critical to ensure that the the most efficient processes are used to capture and maintain the content.
There are several factors that can impact the overall effort and cost of capturing and maintaining quality information for SAP systems, which is critical to providing effective support for the new systems. These factors include:
Some of the information required by IT teams to support systems is very similar to the information required to train and support the end users of those systems. It’s critical that this information is available to all groups that require it, without the need to duplicate content, which significantly increases the effort and cost of making this information available
Cloud-based systems frequently undergo change, which can impact all organisations using those systems. This means that organisations must have an efficient way to update the information about their systems and ensure that all impacted user groups have access to the new information
Organisations with global a workforce are often required to maintain this information in multiple languages, to ensure that all support teams and end users have access to the relevant information, in their preferred language. This can significantly impact effort and cost, if there is not an easy, cost-effective method of translating new and modified content into all the supported languages.
Ultimately, a major challenge for all organisations is to ensure that all impacted groups, including end users and IT teams, have access to relevant information about the systems deployed in their environments. It’s critical that this information is created and managed efficiently, without duplication of effort, and that information is available in multiple languages, if required for a global workforce.
Reducing the impact of the challenges using SAP Enable Now
SAP Enable Now is a solution designed to rapidly create, manage, and distribute information to support business transformations. It can be used to create media-rich eLearning content to inform end users about non-system topics, such as a change in business processes. It can also be used to rapidly develop Simulations, which can be used to train end users on new system functionality. SAP Enable Now also has components that allow for information to be embedded in applications, so end users can access the relevant content with a few clicks of their mouse, without leaving the application.
SAP Enable Now has an integration with SAP Solution Manager that allows the sharing of useful information between the two systems. This integration provides an easy, cost effective method of ensuring that useful information is available to all user groups, including end users and IT teams, to allow them to effectively operate and support the new systems.
The integration between SAP Enable Now and SAP Solution Manager
The integration between SAP Enable Now and SAP Solution Manager, enables documentation structures, defined, and maintained in Solution Manager, to be imported into Enable Now. These documentation structures can then be used by SAP Enable Now content developers as a guide to the processes and system steps that the business will perform, following the transformation. This will ensure that the training team is more easily able to define the scope of their training solutions and ensure that those solutions are comprehensive and consider all processes being implemented.
After downloading a documentation structure from SAP Solution Manager into SAP Enable Now, content authors can add content objects to the nodes of the documentation structure and then upload links to those objects into SAP Solution Manager. Solution Manager users can then access the corresponding Enable Now content assets by clicking the links on the corresponding objects in Solution Manager.
This means that content assets developed to support end user training can now also be used by SAP Solution Manager users as solution documentation. This prevents the need to develop and maintain duplicate content assets and significantly reduces the overall effort and cost of making these resources available and keeping them up to date. As the systems change, the documentation can be updated in Enable Now and then become immediately available to SAP Solution Manager users and end users attempting to use the new functionality.
SAP Solution Manager documentation structure imported into SAP Enable Now with assigned Enable Now content on two nodes
Solution Manager documentation structure displayed in Solution Manager with direct access to assigned SAP Enable Now content objects
SAP has developed a library of best practice business process information for many of the common processes implemented by SAP customers. This library of content assets includes business process flowcharts and SAP Enable Now Simulations to document the individual steps in the processes.
It is possible to load the standard best practice Simulations, that document each of the process steps in the best practice business processes, into SAP Enable Now and then update that content, if relevant. It is also possible to load the standard best practice business processes into SAP Solution Manager, which can be used as a starting point for documenting the final processes implemented through the transformation. For more information about loading the standard best practice business processes into SAP Solution Manager, refer to How to Import SAP Best Practice into Solution Manager.
After loading the best practice business processes into SAP Solution Manager, the process documentation structures can be imported into SAP Enable Now. Once in SAP Enable Now, the relevant best practice Simulations can be attached to each of the corresponding process steps. It is also possible to modify the standard Simulations, in SAP Enable Now, if changes have occurred to the corresponding functionality to suit unique customer requirements. The links to the modified Simulations content can then be uploaded into SAP Solution Manager, to make that content available to SAP Solution Manager users. The same Simulations can be used as a training asset, to train and support end users. For customers with a general philosophy of sticking closely to standard functionality, this option provides the most cost-effective means of providing end users and support staff with the content that they require to understand the best practice business processes and system functionality.
Not only does the integration between SAP Enable Now and SAP Solution Manager eliminate the duplication of effort to document new system functionality, and make that available to all impacted user groups, but SAP Enable Now can also be used to automatically translate the content into other languages. SAP Enable Now has an integration with SAP Translation Hub, which allows content created in one language to be translated into approximately 40 other languages. This feature provides global organisations with an easy, cost effective method of providing training and support documentation in multiple languages, to support a global workforce.
For customers using both SAP Enable Now and SAP Solution Manager, there is substantial benefit to be obtained from the integration between the two systems. The best practice business process details managed in SAP Solution Manager can be imported into SAP Enable Now. This can provide the training team with a clear indication of the business processes being implemented and the steps in each process. This can help them to understand the scope of the assets that they must prepare, to train and support the organisation’s end users.
The content created and managed in SAP Enable Now, including the standard best practice Simulations, can be assigned to the best practice process steps, of the processes imported from SAP Solution Manager. Links to that content can then be uploaded into SAP Solution Manager, to make the content readily available to Solution Manager users. This sharing of information prevents the need for duplication of content, which significantly reduces the effort and cost of providing quality content assets to all impact user and support groups.
Along with the ability to provide easy access to the content in SAP Enable Now to SAP Solution Manager users, SAP Enable Now also contains specialist translation capability that allows content to be quickly and easily translated into approximately 40 languages. This capability significantly reduces the effort and cost of providing content assets for customers with global workforces.
If you are a customer with SAP Enable Now and SAP Solution Manager access, why not consider the integration. It’ll save you time and money and may justify that end of year bonus that you have been discussing with your manager.