Sapdup Blogging about SAP

19Apr/130

New Site: RunWithSAP.com

Many of you will have observed that this isn't the most frequently updated blog around the web. One of the reasons is that I dreamt this site up when I was still a technical consultant, with the intent to use it as a repository for information I might need when on a customer site.

Over time, my career has tracked in a different path and I would now call myself a specialist customer-side SAP Operations Manager. A few posts on SAPdup have gone in that direction, but generally SAPdup has continued based on the content I wrote many years ago.

I've now launched a new site to fit in with the current focus of my career:

runwithsap.com

The intent of this site is to provide a resource for other managers who are responsible for managing internal SAP operational teams. I have a lot of ideas for useful content, but a lot will depend on whether the site is a 'solution looking for a problem' or is actually useful to people. Check it out and feel free to engage with the conversation (via the forum or posts) and share with your network.

20Jan/120

Best SAP Blog Post Ever

A Friday fun post.  Top 40, SAP "Facts":

http://sapfacts.elsewhat.com/top/?nr=40

Filed under: SAP No Comments
8Jun/110

SAP Jobs at Auckland Council

Things are pretty frantic at Auckland Council. Since we merged all the local councils of Auckland together in November last year we have been struggling to keep up. Now we're finally doing some recruitment.

The first position we're looking to fill is in our logistics area.  This role is focussed on the support and development of our purchasing solution (using SRM PPS (Procurement for Public Sector) and MM).  Ideally you'll have several years supporting and developing an SAP Purchasing solution with SRM as part of it.

https://careers.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/jobseeker/safelink=JSJD&O_p=VRY09&

Next up is a position to fill a gap created by a project that's already in flight.  We're doing a massive consolidation of our asset maintenance functions using SAP Plant Maintenance and Real Estate.  So we're looking for someone with these skill sets to step onto the project and then transition it through to support and ongoing improvement.

https://careers.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/jobseeker/safelink=JSJD&O_p=PVY09&

Finally, we're looking for someone to bolster the ranks across the board.  Someone who is happy to "float" between various modules.  The work will range from purchasing to finance to HR and even include elements of workflow, performance management and workload management (queue monitoring) for the team.  The key to securing this role will be proving a depth and breadth of SAP experience and a willingness to be flexible and agile in supporting the rest of the team.

https://careers.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/jobseeker/safelink=JSJD&O_p=WPY09&

If you've got any questions, drop me an email at peter.corin@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.  But please apply via those links.

21Oct/100

SAP Mobile Application Collaboration

Is anyone interested in collaborating in mobile application development?  I'm interested in teaming up with some developers/mobile app architects to produce some apps for popular mobile devices such as the iPad/iPhone, Android or Windows Phone platforms.

I would provide the user viewpoint and insights into what would sell to customers globally.

Drop me an email if you're interested (pete@peteandmegan.com).

Filed under: SAP No Comments
9Jun/100

Real Value in SAP’s Customer Appreciation Program

Just a quick note to any SAP Customer out there.  Are you part of the SAP Customer Appreciation Programme?

If you occasionally host conference calls or face to face meetings with potential SAP customers, then you either are or should be.

For my tenure at my organisation we have regularly conducted demo's and conference calls.  We're honest with our experiences both positive and negative and I'm sure this honest feedback is of significant value to SAP.  In the past I have assumed that doing this was just part of our license agreement, but it turns out you get stuff for it.

Over a number of years we had accumulated over 5000 points.  You can redeem points for training or SAP consulting.  We decided to redeem them for training and since most of my team are engaged on projects, decided to make it online training.

So we 'purchased' over NZ$8k (~US$6k) worth of training for essentially nothing.

It's not often you really get something for nothing out of SAP, so I would recommend you investigate with your account executive.

19May/100

SAP Support in ‘the Cloud’

This is the first in a series of two posts (can two posts be a series?) about SAP and Cloud Computing.  In this post I’ll be talking about services, and specifically SAP Support delivered ‘from the cloud’.

Before I get too far I think it’s worth throwing a few definitions out there and suggesting a working definition for my posts.

University of California Berkeley

Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS), so we use that term. The datacenter hardware and software is what we will call a Cloud.

Gartner

A style of Computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies

IDC

An emerging IT deployment, development and delivery model enabling real time delivery of products, services and solutions over the Internet.

Those definitions seem to me to go from a pretty narrow definition where Cloud Computing is the hardware (Berkeley), to IDC’s where Cloud Computing is just a ‘model’ where pretty much anything delivered over the internet can be called Cloud Computing.

I’d like to take a line more similar to Gartner’s definition.  Their use of the wording ‘IT capabilities’ also lets me talk about the topic of this post, Support.

In this post I’m talking about Support, not Services.  The primary service (other than support) that exists in the SAP world is consulting.  Having consultants log into your system remotely isn’t cloud computing in my opinion since theoretically consulting isn’t something that should be repeated, so shouldn’t benefit from scalability, agility and long term cost reduction.

It may be useful to divulge my background for infrequent readers of this site.  After a few years as an SAP Consultant for Hewlett-Packard I took a role in the UK as Service Delivery Manager for one of HP’s clients, Proctor & Gamble.  For a number of years Proctor & Gamble had outsourced all of their IT support and IT provision to HP, retaining only their data centres (this may have changed since I left in 2008).  I am now the SAP Support manager for Auckland City Council (approximately 2.5k SAP users).

What is SAP Support

SAP Support is the provision of support to SAP end users allowing them to execute their roles in an efficient, compliant and cost effective manner.  SAP Support for me is about providing the best support you can at the best price to allow customers to realise their investments in SAP.

While projects are important, the ability to deliver on a project’s business case depends primarily on the post Go-live support.  Whether this is internal or external is not necessarily important.

Benefits of SAP Support ‘in the Cloud’

Firstly, I hate the use of the phrase ‘in the Cloud’.  “The Cloud” doesn’t exist.  It makes much more sense to talk about ‘SAP Support in external vendors’ or ‘SAP Support by IBM’.  But that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

Scalability.  This is the single most important benefit.  Regardless of whether any of the other four are valid, this will always be true (as long as you pick the right provider).  At HP, getting an additional FTE to support a particular module for a month or two was the matter of a few emails and a couple of days.  Internally, there are business cases to be written and signed off before recruitment can even begin.  The average recruitment process can take a minimum of eight weeks and then you’re lucky if you even find someone appropriate.  In those eight to ten weeks, you may have missed the opportunity that was there in the first place.  Many are the times I’ve said, “sorry, we can’t do it” simply because I live with these realities.

Efficiency.  The flipside to scalability as I’ve discussed above is efficiency.  When support requirements drop, you can drop your FTE numbers.  Forget redundancies and the associated human capital costs of letting people go, it might even be completely without penalty depending on your contract.

Improved Quality.  Since you’re drawing from a larger pool of resources, the quality of those individuals should be higher.  Even if this is not the case, their support frameworks (knowledge management, peer support etc) will usually be better than anything you could foster internally.

24x7 Support.  One thing I’ve almost forgotten working for a local 9x5 organisation is the need for 24x7 support from large multi-national organisations.  Using the likes of HP, Axon or IBM means that you can leverage their global support offices for ‘follow the sun’ support. Though you’re likely to pay through the nose for it.

Lower Cost. This is one that I find at the top of most people’s lists and I find spurious.  It is possible to make Cloud Computing lower cost, but it must be tightly controlled and the right resources need to be retained in house to drive these efficiencies.

Drawbacks of SAP Support ‘in the Cloud’

Reduced Control. No list of drawbacks or cons to Cloud Computing would be complete without this at the top of the list.  With support, this comes down to picking and choosing resources for tasks.  At HP we had it written into the contract that the resource assigned to specific work could not be dictated by the customer.  So the customer could only comment on performance.  This was not a frequent problem since resources all tended to be of a high standard, but our very fast turnover was a frustration to the customer.

Loss of Knowledge. Take the decision to externalise support very carefully, because once you do it and you allocate staff to other areas it is very difficult or impossible (read: costly) to reverse the change.

Support is a Commodity. In the cloud you are just one of hundreds of customers.  Delivery to each customer is measured against Service Levels and contracts.  Expect Account Managers to decide they can take a hit on missing your Service Levels to ensure they don’t miss a crucial (read: costly) SLA for another customer.  This model of support also means that vendors are unlikely to develop in depth business understanding in their support staff.

Security.  While the majority of Cloud Computing security concerns exist with the actual hosting of solutions, it should be considered in regards to support also.  At one extreme, consider the defence forces.  I worked for NZDF once.  I had to pass a security clearance and then had access to various pieces of information about their equipment, even where and how many sidewinder missiles they had.  You can bet they won’t be adopting ‘the Cloud’ for SAP Support any time soon.  The same applies for the sensitive corporate information held in every SAP system worldwide.

Cost.  As I mentioned above, I have serious doubts whether customers who undertake Cloud Computing for a purely cost saving reason will achieve their aims.  Vendors are not inclined to give their customers ‘freebies’ or accommodate Scope Creep.  So while you may be paying less for the service catalogue you initially started with, the actual monthly bill may well exceed what you were paying for your internal support.

Remote Working.  I know of a large SAP customer locally who I’ve also spent a lot of time working at.  About four years ago they decided to outsource all their IT functions.  What they quickly worked out was that their organisation didn’t want to work remotely.  They wanted consultants sitting in front of them and attending their meetings physically.  The fact they had given the contract to HCL made things difficult for them.  If your organisation doesn’t like conference calls, virtual presentations and remote working, be very careful about moving towards ‘the Cloud’.

Conclusion

I’m still learning about Cloud Computing (as is the rest of the industry) and there are likely to be many benefits and drawbacks in regards to SAP Support that I have failed to identify above.

However I believe the right approach is to take two approaches.  Firstly, develop a hybrid support environment.  Develop a core group of business savvy, highly intelligent and efficient SAP experts in your organisation.  Peer these with an efficiently run and tightly contracted Cloud Computing support vendor (or more than one) and I believe you can have best of both worlds.

Secondly, put a heavy focus on understanding your processes and technology well before you start moving towards Cloud Computing.  Adopt ITIL if you haven’t already and invest a good amount of time and money in the tools and other resources to get your operations running effectively before changing anything.

I hope this article has helped in your decision making or maybe raised a few questions for you.  I would be interested in any comments, questions or other feedback.

13May/100

SAP Employees on Twitter

I've recently joined twitter (www.twitter.com/petecorin) so I'm on the lookout for new people to follow, so it was interesting to see that there's a list of SAP employees who are active on twitter:

http://twitter.com/SAPAffinityGrp/sap-employees

Filed under: SAP No Comments
27Mar/096

SAP ECC 6.0 Enhancement Pack Overview – EP 1 & 2

This post is exactly what the title says it is. 

I was looking for an overview of the functionality available in the ECC enhancement packs and couldn't find this all in one place, so decided I would put it together here.  However, after starting to write this post, I realised what a mamoth undertaking it is and decided to split it per enhancement pack, in this case 1 & 2.

Enhancement Pack 1

If I'm to believe the SAP Release Note site, there was no Enhancement Pack 1 for ECC 6.0. Can anyone enlighten me?  It's possible all the functionality was rolled into Enhancement Pack 2.

Enhancement Pack 2

Availability: In Unrestricted Shipment since 30th November 2007.

Contents:

Financials

  • FSCM (Financial Supply Chain Management) Functions; new SAP Dispute Management options, new Credit Management options and new Collections Management options including additional processing options and portal roles.
  • New component, SAP Bank Relationship Management.
  • Portal Content for Cash Manager role.
  • New component, SAP Biller Direct Buy Side (gives your vendors the ability to upload of bills in XML format with attached documents in the portal, display of open bills in the portal and display in the portal payments made by the customer).
  • New component FICAX_CI_1.  Does that mean as little to you as it did to me?  Well apparently it lets you; create balances variants for the account balance display in Customizing, extract business partner items and dunning histories in SAP NetWeaver - Business Intelligence, dun receivables in accordance with flexible collection strategies in Collections Management and create, manage, and process collection work items, connect external cash desks, send data to external systems using information containers, update the creditworthiness of a business partner on creation of an installment plan, display information in SAP CRM Financial Customer Care Interaction Center, such as the last payment of a customer, post an incorrectly assigned payment on account to the clarification account during clarification processing for payment lots, consider a direct debit limit in the payment run and create and valuate promises to pay.
  • Information Container.  As of SAP ERP 6.0, Enhancement Package 2 (Release 6.02), you can use the information container as a tool to save information within a specific process, such as returns processing, to send it to an external system later using a mass activity.
  • Enterprise Services. As of SAP ERP 6.0 Enhancement Package 2 (Release 6.02), in Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable, you can use new Enterprise Services as XI interfaces.
  • Payments via External Cash Desk Services
  • New Archiving Objects: Promise to Pay, External Payment Information, Totals Records for External Payment Information, Collection Worklist, Collection Work Item, Information Container.
  • Enhancement for Archiving Objects: Business Partner, Dunning History, Convergent Invoicing, Document Archiving.
  • New function in Business Consolidation, Group Close.

Human Capital Management (HCM)

  • New component, Learning Solution 01 (SAP Learning Solution).  Includes new functionality and roles etc.
  • New component, Enterprise Learning (amongst other things, allows use of Virtual Learning Rooms as a delivery method).
  • New component, Administrative Services 01.
  • Improved eRecruiting integrations. 
  • EIC (employee interaction center) integration with HCM processes and forms.
  • Improved integration between HCM processes and forms and ESS & MSS.
  • New design time for processes and forms.
  • Additional BI content for the Shared Services area.
  • New sample processes for HCM Processes and Forms.
  • New functions for the configuration of Processes and Forms and in the workbench for the Administrator.
  • Enhancements to the EIC.

Operations

  • New enhancements in MM. 
  • New MM BI Content.
  • New component, 'Retail Purchasing'
  • New manufacturing execution components in 'Lean Manufacturing, MRP Evaluations.'  Including functions for 'Heijunka Process' and 'Kanban'.
  • New components in 'XSteps. Campaign Weighing (LOG_PP_PI_EHM)
  • New components in 'SD Complaints Handling.
  • New enhancements to 'SCM ERP Integration'.

Corporate Services

  • New Real Estate Functions, including; Rent Adjustment Based on Cost Efficiency Analysis, Contract: Lock UI to Retroactive Changes, Condition Split, Enhancements of CO Integration, Master Data: Graphical Integration, Long Term Seating Arrangements and Move Planning, Room Reservations, SCS: Modified Initial Screen, Contract: Different Posting Term for SC Settlement, Accrual/Deferral: Transfer of Service Charges Not Yet Posted, Integration with Cash Management and Forecast, Contract Processing: Multiple Assignment of Objects, Conditions in Foreign Currency, Change to Processing of Conditions, Post Sales-Based Settlement Using Cash Flow,
  • New components in Enterprise Asset Management, 'Project Oriented Maintenance'.
  • New enhancements in EAM, 'Maintenance Event Builder' and 'Hierarchical Task List'.
  • New portal roles and functionality for EAM (PM) including; Basic Maintenance Processing (New), Maintenance Technician Role (Enhanced), Maintenance Planner Role (New), Maintenance Supervisor Role (New), Attachment Configuration (New), Mass Changes for Equipment and Functional Locations (New) and Basic Order View (Enhanced).
  • New components and enhancements to Travel Management (including integration with HCM).

Mill Products

  • New components in Mill OrderToCash and Global Trade, including; Fast Entry in the Trading Contract, Sales Order Fulfillment with Stock Reduction in Pieces, Control of Batch Determination, Make-to-Stock Production for Configurable Materials with External Planning, Changeable Characteristic Values in the Returns Order, Parallel Picking with DTUC, Enhancement in 'DTUC Pool' and Printing DTUC Shop Papers, Alternative Units of Measure in Production, and Classification at Time of Goods Receipt using BAPIs.

Travel & Transportation / Aerospace & Defense

  • New components in A&D Maint, Repair & Overhaul including; Maintenance Program Definition, Configuration Control
    Logbook, Maintenance Event Builder and, Hierarchical Task List.

Retail

  • New components in the business functions; Retail Supply Chain, Retail Planning & Master Data, Retail Buying and Retail Store & Multichannel.

Wholesale

  • New components in the business functions; trade commodity management and trade agency business.

Utilities

  • New components in Waste & Recycling including; a Controlling Cockpit, integration with the Customer Interaction Centre and enhanced sales processing.
  • New function, Compatible Unit Management.
  • Significant number of new components in Utilities General Enhancements including; Billing of Energy and Services, Meter Reading Services, Energy Capital Management, Collaborative Services and IDE, Customer Service Management and Customer Financials Management.

Media

  • New components in Media Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable.
  • New function, Media Press Distribution. 

Telecommunications

  • New Portal roles for Network Lifecycle Management (NLM)
  • Changes to billing in Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable.
  • New function, Telco Enhanced Invoicing
  • New function, Teclo Enhanced Revenue Management

Automotive

  • New function, Automotive Innovations, including; JIT Outbound, JIT Inbound, SD scheduling agreements and Vehicle Management System.
  • New function, Generic Automotive Innovations, including; 8D Report Automotive and Enhancements to Self-Billing Monitor.

So that's it for Enhancement Packages 1 & 2.  Stand by for the Enhancement Package 3 and 4 posts.

Filed under: General SAP, SAP 6 Comments
10Mar/090

Wanted: SAP CRM Resource

As anyone in the SAP CRM space will know, there is an exciting new release of SAP CRM, version 7.0 coming into general release (likely) in May.

I'm potentially looking for someone with experience with SAP CRM, preferably version 6 or 7 (i.e. the new user interface),  who is interested in a mixed project/support environment and who is currently located or interested in relocating permanently to New Zealand.

If you fit the bill, drop me an email at pete@peteandmegan.com and I will let you know the application process.

Filed under: SAP No Comments
10Oct/060

Initial SAP Users

Alternate Search Terms (I searched for these before finding my answers

  • SAP Default Users
  • SAP First User
  • SAP Basis User

Unfortunately, I can't remember where I got this document from, so I'm unable to reference my source. If you wrote this article, or know where it comes from, please let me know. Cheers.

R/3 and AS/400: Changing Administrator Passwords

Ready-to-Run R/3 comes with predefined administrators and other users, at the network domain level, locally on the servers, and within the and R/3 Systems. All these users are delivered with standard passwords.

To make sure that the security of your system is secure, you have to change all the standard passwords as soon as you have finished setting up your R/3 Systems. Thereafter, you should change them at monthly intervals, with the exception of R/3 service accounts and R/3 internal users. You should not change the passwords of these users.

The following tables show the predefined users and their passwords.

Users on PRDSAP

User name Belongs to Group Description Password
QSECOFR *SECOFR Default AS/400 administrator QSECOFR
QSYSOPR *SYSOPR Administrator for backups QSYSOPR
OFR *PGMRR3OWNERR3GROUP R/3 administrator, production system SAPOFR
OFR *PGMRR3OWNERR3GROUP R/3 administrator, development and Customizing system SAPOFR
OPR *PGMRR3OPRGRPR3GROUP R/3 operator SAPOPR
OPR *PGMRR3OPRGRPR3GROUP R/3 operator SAPOPR
SAPUSER *USER R/3 user to be copied when creating R/3 users user
nn R3OWNERR3GROUP Work process background user SAP00PWD (see Note below)

Users on DEVSAP

User name Belongs to Group Description Password
QSECOFR *SECOFR Default AS/400 administrator QSECOFR
QSYSOPR *SYSOPR Administrator for backups QSYSOPR
OFR *PGMRR3OWNERR3GROUP R/3 administrator, production system SAPOFR
OFR *PGMRR3OWNERR3GROUP R/3 administrator, development and Customizing system SAPOFR
OPR *PGMRR3OPRGRPR3GROUP R/3 operator SAPOPR
OPR *PGMRR3OPRGRPR3GROUP R/3 operator SAPOPR
SAPSRV

SAP service user profile pass
SAPUSER *USER R/3 user to be copied when creating R/3 users user
nn R3OWNERR3GROUP Work process background user SAPnnPWD (see Note below)

The nn user profiles are set in such a way that it is not possible to log on to the system and that the password never expires. You do not have to change these passwords. They are listed here for the sake of completeness.

The passwords for the users OPR , OFR , and nn must be the same on both AS/400 systems.

To change the passwords of the predefined AS/400 users, you have to log on to the AS/400. To change R/3 passwords, you have to log on to and .

R/3 Administrators in and in All Clients

User Name Description Password
ddic (not in client 066) R/3 default administrator 19920706
sap* R/3 default administrator 06071992
adminbc R/3 administrator (superuser) init
sapcpic R/3 default user for R/3 program-to-program communication (CPI-C) (no dialog user)No password required; the user cannot be used for logon.

tmsadm Internal user for the Transport Management System (CPI-C, no dialog user)No password required; the user cannot be used for logon.