Welcome back ---- thanks for reading my blog.
Last time I talked about horizontal vs. vertical “end2end” perspectives. Now I’d like to elaborate, based on some lessons learned while working with major corporate accounts.
We touched before on how to establish the baseline to ensure that all IT components supporting a mission critical business process are protected with an appropriate SLA from the vendor or an experienced Third Party Maintainers.
While TPM’s are clearly an option in order to reduce your costs, they always entail a certain risk. I am not aware of a TPM who can claim to have the same reach-through to vendor development resources as a given vendor itself, unless they have an excellent established support partnership. I also have never seen a TPM provide any guarantees in terms of corrective action to a given issue.
Ideally, you do not have more than two vendors to deal with, such as HP for the IT infrastructure and SAP for the database and application layers.
If multi - vendor hardware is involved, e.g. for storage, this should ideally all be integrated in one support contract from the leading vendor. In SAP environments this vendor of choice for every second installation is HP.
Aside from all this underpinning contract work, there is one element that can never be overrated: the importance of communication.
The way this is proactively managed truly separates the wheat from the chaff.
In our example, this would mean that you have named people from HP, from SAP, and from your support team proactively agreeing on support planning, roles & responsibilities, regular updates, and procedures for incident and change management, etc.
A much-appreciated best practice is to start each engagement between customer and HP with an assessment of the current state, based on ITILv3. That establishes the baseline to later quantify improvements made over time. In addition to the cost of downtime impact, this supports justification of the investment for a Mission Critical support level towards the business.
We have many successful examples and a proven track record that show this approach simply works.
These seemingly simple measures provide you a solid foundation to support and secure your business SLAs, even in an increasingly complex, fast-changing environment.
You may want to check out our recent launch of our Mission Critical Services for SAP environments at: http://bit.ly/771hHM
I am looking forward to your comments and feedback.