SAP Solution Manager
SAP Solution Manager is a product developed by the software company SAP SE. It is an integrated end-to-end platform intended to assist users in adopting new developments, managing the application lifecycle, and running SAP solutions.
SAP Solution Manager is an integrated platform to align business and IT on one business process landscape and drive the “business of IT” from a common understanding of business value, business models, operating models and solution powered by IT. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is the current release, and was made available to all SAP customers on August 15, 2016. With this release, SAP Solution Manager becomes a modern and integrated platform, managing the “business of IT” with four key value chains:
- Portfolio to Project (P2P) to drive the portfolio of projects and balance business initiatives and their business value against IT capacity, skills and timelines. This provides the strategy to balance and broker a customer's portfolio, and gives a unified viewpoint across Program Management Office (PMO), enterprise architecture, and service portfolio. Data quality for decision-making is improved, and KPIs and roadmaps are available to improve business communication.
- Requirement to Deploy (R2D) to build what the business needs, when it needs it with measured business outcome. This provides a framework for creating, modifying, or sourcing services, for support of agile and traditional development methodologies. Visibility of the quality, utility, schedule, and cost of the services SAP customers deliver is improved with continuous integration and deployment control points.
- Request to Fulfill (R2F) to catalog, request and fulfill services. This helps IT organizations transition to a service broker model, with a single catalog with items from multiple supplier catalogs. The process efficiently manages subscriptions and total cost of services, and manages and measures fulfillments across multiple suppliers.
- Detect to Correct (D2C) to anticipate and resolve production problems. This brings together IT service operations to enhance results and efficiency, enabling end-to-end visibility using a shared configuration model. Issues are identified before they affect users, with reduced mean time to repair.
SAP Solution Manager 7.2 supports SAP and non-SAP components in all four value chains. In addition, while it is an integrated platform across all four value chains, it is also open to integrate into 3rd-party tools complementing SAP Solution Manager.
SAP Solution Manager 7.2 provides unprecedented support for SAP customers' digital transformation journey, offering support for the complete lifecycle of SAP S/4HANA as well as SAP HANA. It provides a completely new way to model and manage business processes, and comes with predefined SAP S/4HANA content. Because cloud offerings are a reality in most customers’ solutions today, all capabilities of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 can be extended to integrate with cloud solutions seamlessly, thus catering to the customer need to manage hybrid solutions. Finally, the customer-centric improvements of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 result in a much-improved user experience.
Some of the new key capabilities of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 include:
- Improved user experience, with more visually attractive graphics, and browser-based user interfaces.
- Powerful implementation capabilities, providing a comprehensive design and build environment that allows customers to efficiently implement SAP’s new ERP flagship solution: SAP S/4HANA.
- Agile implementation. With the Focused Build offering, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is delivering a seamless tool-based requirements-to-deploy process. The solution includes business demand and requirements management as well as integrated risk management, clear-cut collaboration features that allow to orchestrate global development teams remotely.
- Hybrid support. SAP customers either already are or soon will be reaping the benefits of cloud-based solutions. This means that existing SAP Solution Manager customers need to include SAP business cloud solutions in their on-premise solution landscapes. SAP cloud support is especially important for SAP S/4HANA because many customers are expected to leverage the new ERP solution mostly in the cloud or together with cloud solutions.
- Support for SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA. SAP HANA has become the de facto standard for in-memory databases. From an SAP Solution Manager perspective, this means that the new SAP Solution Manager release needs to provide support for managing SAP HANA during its complete lifecycle.
- SAP Solution Manager 7.2 can run on SAP HANA. 7.2 is the first release that leverages the SAP HANA database, so customers can choose to use a standard database management system, as in previous releases of SAP Solution Manager, or SAP HANA. For existing SAP Solution Manager customers, SAP offers a one-step migration during the upgrade; that is, customers can combine their upgrade to version 7.2 with an SAP HANA migration. The SAP HANA license is included with the SAP Solution Manager's usage rights. SAP HANA version 2.0 is also supported.
As SAP Solution Manager 7.2 has seen massive investment into the build side of the lifecycle, it is the platform of choice for outcome-based delivery; SAP's customers have determined that it is critical that their IT organizations must innovate iteratively with faster cycles to the business. Standardized methodologies and tools are required to support outcome based delivery in four aspects:
- Implementation requires a jumpstart for business value prediction and measurement of realized business value. Project plans and roadmaps are required specifically for the implementation of SAP S/4HANA, mapped to services in the SAP Value Assurance programs. Best practice process, provided by SAP Activate methodology and content, can be used as a starting point to discuss to-be operating models with the business, reflecting the operational execution of new innovative business models which are required to stay competitive in the marketplace. Business process models can be consumed in the new graphical modeling environment of SAP Solution Manager 7.2. From those graphical models, a user can jump to a trial system to assess the system reality with the business.
- Requirements can be implemented following agile methodologies and tooling. Instead of lengthy blueprinting exercises, solutions can be built iteratively with continuous feedback loops with the business. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 supports an agile release train allowing continuous delivery into production, based on solid quality gates and release management procedures.
- Tiresome and error-prone labor can be automated. Program Management Office (PMO) and project dashboards do not require administrators to consolidate statuses across different teams. These dashboards are always up-to-date, provide a single source of truth accepted by customers, partners and SAP, and they can be centralized for all projects of a customer word-wide.
- Out-tasking of work packages for the requirements that need to be configured or developed on top of the best practice solutions provided by SAP Activate content and trial systems. Configuration and development work can be packaged and distributed, and orchestrated centrally. Solution readiness can be checked against due dates for specs, coding or tests that need to be ready for a planned program increment in SAP Solution Manager.
As part of an overall digital business transformation strategy, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 was explicitly designed to be the support companion to SAP S/4HANA, providing tools, content, best practices, and methodologies to allow SAP's customers to transition to the new release. This support is independent of the transition scenario a customer can choose, such as a new SAP S/4HANA implementation, a system conversion, or a landscape transformation. In summary, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 delivers support for SAP S/4HANA, from readiness checks and custom code management, to testing, deployment, and integration support.
To support customers who wish to implement SAP S/4HANA, SAP offers services such as value assurance packages; SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is the delivery infrastructure for these services. It provides the foundation for project plans, service delivery planning, delta scoping workshops, managing business requirements, managing work packages, and providing comprehensive reporting.
In addition to the launch of SAP Solution Manager 7.2 in 2016, SAP also announced the availability of Focused Solutions for SAP Solution Manager. Focused Solutions for SAP Solution Manager are turnkey solutions, made for immediate consumption in a SAP Solution Manager system. They are ready-to-run, highly pre-configured and provide automation for repetitive tasks in IT. They provide all the benefits of a personal consulting solution without the cost involved, and users receive complete maintenance and support for Focused Solutions with the same service level agreements with SAP. Focused Solutions are available to all customers through the SAP Store.
The current portfolio of Focused Solutions for SAP Solution Manager consists the following offerings:
- Focused Build is a turnkey solution to support agile implementations, specifically of SAP S/4HANA.
- Focused Insights enables easy creation of dashboards across all SAP Solution Manager scenarios within minutes without any programming.
- Focused Run is a service provider solution designed to scale secure application operations of ten thousands of productive systems.
- Availability Management
- Capacity Management
- Change Management
- Event Management
- Financial Management
- Incident Management
- IT Service Continuity Management
- Knowledge Management
- Problem Management
- Release & Deployment Management
- Request Fulfillment
- Service Asset & Configuration Management
- Service Catalog Management
- Service Level Management
- Service Portfolio Management
The SAP Solution Manager Product Roadmap presentation has been updated with more details on the new release: 
The SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Release Notes site is now updated with the latest information on feature delivered by the recent support package stack 06: 
In addition, SAP Solution Manager Product Management released several YouTube videos announcing 7.2, and how it can be used with SAP S/4HANA: 
More information is also released via Twitter: @SAP_AGS #solmgr.
Competing and complementary softwares for Solution Manager
Solution manager provides variety of features and functionalities and some competing solutions provide partial functionality and focus on specific capabilities (in alphabetical order):
- Melich, Matthias (2011). SAP Solution Manager (3rd Edition). SAP Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-59229-388-9.
- Melich, Matthias (2016). SAP Solution Manager for SAP S/4HANA: Managing your Digital Business (First ed.). SAP Press. ISBN 978-1-4932-1414-3.
- SAP. "SAP S/4HANA The next-generation ERP business suite". SAP S/4HANA The next-generation ERP business suite. SAP.
- SAP. "SAP Best Practices". SAP Activate: What's the story behind the SAP Best Practices optimized for S/4HANA?. SAP.
- SAP. "SAP Activate". SAP Activate homepage. SAP.
- SAP. "SAP Value Assurance Packages". Support Offerings. SAP.
- Schaefer, Marc. "Focused Solutions Overview" (PDF). SAP.
- Schaefer, Marc. "Focused Build Homepage". SAP.
- Schaefer, Marc. "Focused Insights Homepage". SAP.
- Focused Solutions. "Focused Solutions Home". Focused Solutions for SAP Solution Manager. SAP.
- SAP Solution Manager - ITIL Certified
- Marc Schäfer, Matthias Melich: SAP Solution Manager (3rd Edition) SAP Press, 2012, ISBN 978-1-59229-388-9
- Nathan Williams: IT Service Management in SAP Solution Manager SAP Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-59229-440-4
- Lars Teuber, Corina Weidmann, and Liane Will: Monitoring and Operations with SAP Solution Manager SAP Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-59229-884-6
- Michael Kloffer, Marc Thier: Performing End-to-end Root Cause Analysis Using SAP Solution Manager SAP Press, 2008, ISBN 1-59229-189-9, ISBN 978-1-59229-189-2