By Hartmut Braun – Manager of the Global Alliance Partner Portfolio for HP Proactive Services
As part of the HP SAP Alliance team my focus is on joint customer support services. With more than 25 years of country and worldwide IT industry assignments, I’d like to share my thoughts on the value of proactive services and “end2end” business solutions support; commonly referred to as “appliances”.
The HP Converged Infrastructure solution for the SAP High Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) is the most recent in a series of business solutions where two leading vendors, in this case HP and SAP, have developed an integrated solution to address a major business problem.
The HP Converged Infrastructure Solution for SAP HANA greatly accelerates the response time for data queries, transforming the enterprise into a faster, smarter competitor. Shipping as a predefined and integrated solution, you need not worry about the complexity in the number of components nor do you have to worry with the integration and interdependencies between the infrastructure layer and the application layer of the solution stack.
Once the solution is moved into production, however, you’ll need to ensure it is continuously available to the business whenever it is needed. This requires mature and bulletproof processes for operation and support with the entire solution in mind. To accomplish this IT will first need to check the basics of service level management, including: what is my SLA with the business, and, do I have all the underpinning contracts in place, for all elements of the “end2end” solution stack? IT then needs to evaluate the solution support capabilities of the vendors; do they just support their product or do they also understand the broader context in which the product is used in your environment. While this sounds easy, it is often overlooked and given lower priority than it should have.
As with outages—where technology accounts for only 20%, leaving 80% caused through people and processes—it is the people and the processes in support that can often make or break your ability to consistently achieve your business SLA’s.
HP recently announced a new service for HP ProLiant Servers, called Critical Advantage that provides this capability for the HANA solution. The new HP Critical Advantage service provides clients with an assigned account team to deliver support and maintain uptime of business-critical, virtualized environments. Account teams focus on problem resolution and process improvement, which enables clients to redirect staff resources toward innovation.
This service offers flexible hardware support for all HP components from 13*5 up to 6h call to repair, giving you the capability to scale the service to your needs. It also comes with SAP collaboration for reactive incidents to ensure we focus on problem resolution, not on finger pointing.
By the flexible nature of the service, you can add proactive deliverables, to complement your in-house capabilities, either SAP/HANA specific or of more generic nature to get assistance with e.g. virtualization, performance optimization and capacity management. For more information: HP Critical Advantage service brief
Whomever you engage for supporting your SAP environment, you should always check on their vendor collaboration capabilities. They must have an understanding of how each product is used inside the solution and must have the people and processes to collaboratively prevent and resolve issues.
I look forward to your comments and feedback.