The proactive approach to improving business process performance for SAP landscapes

We all know that experiences matter most to our customers. Perceived delays in completing an online store order or attaining value from a paid digital service can quickly result in business lost to the competition. This means organizations need to continuously and proactively take the pulse of the underlying end-to-end business processes that deliver those customer experiences. In that way, root causes can be quickly identified and remediated before customers are impacted.

This is often much easier said than done. First, most business processes today involve multiple vendor products. For example, an online store might deploy an e-commerce website, a warehouse managed through SAP, and a payments transaction provider.

All of those products would need to communicate with each other over a network — like the Internet — not controlled by the organization. When migrating an entire business process to run on a third-party cloud provider’s infrastructure (like AWS or Azure), the situation becomes even more complex, adding several points of potential failure that could impact customer experiences.

Organizations must continuously and proactively take the pulse of the underlying business processes that deliver customer experiences, quickly identifying and remediating root causes before customers are impacted.

The approach taken to this challenge by most organizations today is the infamous reactive war room. When customers experience a problem, the organization gets all vendors into a physical or virtual room and doesn’t let them leave until they each prove not to be the source of the problem. The last vendor standing must be the culprit.
This reactive approach cannot resolve all issues before some have already impacted customer experiences. Because it offers no holistic visibility into the end-to-end process, Mean Time to Identify (MTTI) and remediate issues is slow. Finally, managing the overall monitoring of crucial business processes requires organizational overhead and expertise that would be better focused on core competencies.

Full Stack Observability (FSO) with AppDynamics and ThousandEyes

Delivering the digital experiences customers expect and demand requires end-to-end visibility into the applications and infrastructure that support the underlying business processes. Fortunately, Cisco offers two of the most innovative tools in the market today:

  • AppDynamics provides visibility into application performance with a business lens through its Business iQ capability, correlating full-stack performance with key business metrics mapped to customer experiences and desired business outcomes. AppDynamics provides end-to-end visibility for both SAP and non-SAP applications along the business process journey and its linkage with the underlying application code, infrastructure and network.
  • ThousandEyes provides visibility into the networks that applications and infrastructure rely on to communicate with each other. Whereas traditional network monitoring tools provide visibility into internal enterprise networks, they can’t measure, monitor or help remediate issues created by network traffic flowing over the Internet. This is where ThousandEyes uniquely comes to play.

Regardless of whether SAP is run on-premises or in the public cloud, AppDynamics and ThousandEyes offer the ability to monitor and manage an organization’s business process built on SAP. When delivered as a managed service, clients can benefit from an end-to-end solution, enabling them to devote their limited resources to strategically advancing their core competencies versus tactically managing IT infrastructure. An experienced partner can set up an industry-specific dashboard that enables you to view the health of your business processes and compare them against industry benchmarks.
For organizations that want to insource this ongoing management responsibility, they can create their own centers of excellence devoted to managing business processes that rely on SAP.

Reducing cloud migration risks

In addition, the FSO capabilities of AppDynamics and ThousandEyes can play a big role in moving SAP instances to the cloud. The information they provide about app and network performance helps easily compare business process performance before and after cloud migration to reduce the risk of problems created by the migration.

Proven results

One major utility company struggled with a lack of visibility across its SAP enterprise when incidents caused severe disruption to business processes. Working with Atos, they installed AppDynamics, which dramatically improved the company’s operational efficiency. For example, MTTR decreased by 45%, saving the company $17 million in the first year alone. In addition, the client achieved a 250% return on investment in under two years, with an overall business benefit of $21 million.
Similarly, a global manufacturer had employed a manual approach to address application performance issues, leaving it with very limited visibility to help pinpoint performance bottlenecks. As the company grew and SAP performance became a bigger issue, the company realized it didn’t have the internal expertise to scale. They turned to Atos to implement digital performance management leveraging AppDynamics. What they got was a single tool to monitor end-to-end performance of SAP applications across all platforms, resulting in a 70% decrease in production interruptions.

Understanding the value of performance management

In partnership with Cisco, Atos offers a one-of-a-kind Digital Performance Management service for SAP. This solution makes it possible to analyze end-to-end business process performance across SAP and related systems, identifying bottlenecks and issues occurring in the applications, infrastructure, and network. Service disruptions can be reduced through proactive monitoring and MTTI can be reduced through end-to-end visibility, ultimately improving business process performance and customer experiences.

Of course, the reality is that it’s difficult to understand the value of proactive business process monitoring to an organization until it has been implemented. To help quantify this benefit, Atos offers a proof-of-value exercise, which helps demonstrate how much proactive performance management could be worth to your organization. It can reveal the scale of the savings and benefits you could enjoy, enabling you to make a more accurate business case for implementing business process monitoring.

Sound interesting? Learn more about Atos Digital Performance Management services and AppDynamics SAP Monitoring.

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About Andy Fleck
Head of Application Performance Management, Atos
Andy Fleck has been working in the area of Application Performance Management for the past 20 years. Based in the UK Andy started his career with Mercury Interactive working for one of the original APM start-ups in the late 90s. With Mercury’s acquisition by HP joining Peregrine Systems (the originators of ServiceNow) Andy experience expanding into the wider IT Service Management market. Andy has for the past seven years been focused on expanding Atos Service Management solutions with key APM vendors delivering accelerated value to customers and internal Atos sponsors.  

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About Robert Madl
Partner Alliance Executive, Cisco
Robert Madl is leading the strategic alliances with SAP and Citrix for Cisco. His work focuses on driving co-innovation in new areas to create unique value for joint customers. Before leading the strategic alliances with SAP & Citrix, Robert was part of Cisco’s European SAP Competency Center where he led Channel Development and Enablement. In addition to his work at Cisco, he is passionate about sophisticated cooking, is a tech gadget freak, and loves to spend time with his kids.