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The Case for Solution Manager On-Demand

On-Demand solutions are one of the most exciting trends in IT. There are some clear benefits for on-demand such as quick deployment, no capital expenses and reduced operational responsibilities.

SAP has finally started to catch on to this trend by offering a handful of products on-demand for the large enterprise (I’m not including SMB products like ByDesign):

  • Sourcing
  • Business Objects BI
  • Sales
  • Carbon Impact
  • Travel (coming soon)
  • Career (coming soon)

In my discussions with large enterprises, there has been a consensus to continue investing in on-premise systems, but to consider on-demand for applications that are not critical, not heavily integrated with other systems, and that do not contain sensitive data. That sounds like Solution Manager to me.

Solution Manager
Solution Manager 7.1

My clients have always had mixed reactions to Solution Manager. Primarily that they are forced to use it. While the business case for the functionality is fundamentally positive, it comes at a high cost. SAP is expensive and complicated to install, configure, and maintain. When customers want to upgrade ECC, first they have to upgrade Solution Manager. When they want to apply a simple patch, first they have to approve this request through Solution Manager. It slows everything down.

Now what if Solution Manager were on-demand?

  • Always up-to-date. We would never have to start our ECC upgrade with a SolMan upgrade.
  • Reduced infrastructure. The system takes a lot of resources, though processes very few transactions relative to other systems.
  • Newest content. Sub-components like the SLD could have the newest content, eliminating steps to constantly update.
  • SAP would have access to the system landscape and monitoring components for even simpler troubleshooting.
Also, this component meets the requirements for on-demand for large enterprises:
  • Non-critical to business operations.
  • Minimal interface bandwidth.
  • No sensitive data.
Now, if SAP would combine this with a HANA-based on-demand reporting, I think some customers would really get excited.

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