SAP solutions are powerful business tools that can help companies of all sizes to streamline operations, break down silos and understand their clients needs more effectively. 

However, SAP ERPs are not set-it-and-forget-systems. They require regular care, maintenance and monitoring from SAP professionals expertly-versed in SAP products and services to maintain peak performance.

This is where a SAP managed service provider can help. This article will explain what a SAP managed service provider is, what role they can play in your organization and tips on how to choose one ideal for your company’s needs.

What is an SAP Managed Services Provider (MSP)?

With an SAP managed service provider, businesses outsource key SAP support and maintenance services to an external company with demonstrated expertise in SAP environments. This allows a company to ensure their SAP investment is properly cared for without the cost of bringing a full-time SAP specialist onboard.

Other reasons why companies consider outsourcing their SAP services to a managed provider include:

  • Lack of SAP knowledge
  • Long-term SAP strategy development
  • To lower SAP ownership costs
  • Proactive legacy planning
  • Maintain SAP IT infrastructure
  • Specialist support models 

What Services Does an SAP MSP Provide?

Every SAP MSP firm is different and caters to different SAP users. Some firms may specialize in uniquely complex SAP modules, such as SAP S/4HANA or SAP FI. Others may focus more on support services for established SAP systems.

In general, however, a SAP managed services provider ensures a company will meet the requirements for compliance, data protection, agility, and integrity of its SAP ecosystem.

This is executed by SAP certified professionals and typically includes some of the following:

SAP Managed Services

SAP HostingProvide infrastructure and support for hosting cloud-based SAP applications. This includes the systems database, operating information, server hardware, storage, backup and data security.
SAP MaintenanceCertified SAP maintenance support, software updates, SAP license updates and management, SAP EarlyWatch alerts, ongoing issues and recommendations.
SAP Security and GovernanceThis can include vulnerability assessments, regular updates and security patches, endpoint protection, firewalls and multi-factor authentication setups.
SAP Application Management ServicesOptimization and enhancement of applications, manage/ implement SAP upgrades and rollouts, and monitoring of application performance.
SAP Business ContinuitySAP MSPs ensure business processes can operate at maximum capacity with regular monitoring and maintenance to prevent downtimes and outages in SAP solutions.
SAP InfrastructureSupport for SAP infrastructure, including on-premise and cloud platforms, infrastructure consulting, long-term migration planning.
Implementation and SupportImplementation and deployment of new or upgraded SAP solutions and applications. Team training for new systems.

SAP Managed Services Provider

3 Key Benefits of SAP Managed Services

Services offered by SAP managed professionals produce numerous business benefits to organizations who rely on SAP products. Three high value benefits include:

1. Reduced Total Costs of Ownership (TCO)

The cost of running a SAP system can shift out of scope without the right people and checkpoints in place to control its operational and associated costs. SAP consultants and MSP help businesses lower their SAP TCO by offering specialized guidance in two ways:

  • Provide specialized guidance on SAP budget planning
  • Reduce the need for in-house SAP specialists, thereby lowering personnel costs and resource allocation.
  • Provide support on an as-need basis and for special projects.

2. Maximize SAP Solution Capacities

SAP systems are highly complex environments that can serve numerous functions and be optimized in multiple ways. SAP owners often don’t have the knowledge and experience to fully exploit their SAP ecosystem’s potential and may be underutilizing their investment.

With guidance from SAP MSPs that have the right certifications and intimate knowledge of all things SAP, businesses can maximize the potential of their SAP products. This can result in increased efficiencies and customer engagement levels across their business.

3. Strategic Migration Planning

ERP technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. These new innovations are driving impressive solutions businesses can use to harness automation, machine learning, and superior iOT integrations. Companies working with legacy SAP products may not be able to leverage these new opportunities without migrating to a newer version or solution suite.

SAP MSP providers can help businesses chart a successful migration path that ensures a successful, cost-effective and frictionless migration implementation and deployment experience. 

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What to Look For in An SAP Managed Service Provider

Before committing to an SAP managed service provider, it’s vital to hire a provider that can meet your company’s unique SAP service needs, budget requirements and business goals.  Consider the following when searching for managed services for SAP systems.

Relevant Industry Knowledge 

SAP solutions, such as SAP Business by Design or SAP CRM, are extremely versatile and add value to a wide array of industries. Any SAP specialist, consultant or service provider you work with should have experience with SAP products in your chosen industry.

Access to Specialized SAP Experts

Worthy SAP managed services providers should connect you with professionals with expertise in the applications and solutions you need help with. 

While a general expertise of SAP frameworks and capabilities is valuable for ongoing maintenance and functional support, certain issues that arise may require someone with a deeper understanding of the module. Consider providers with a healthy network of diversified consultants, including those with expertise in SAP staffing.

Security and Compliance

Cyber security is crucial for any SAP environment, regardless if it’s an on-premise, cloud-based or hybrid infrastructure. SAP MSPs should prioritize keeping their client’s environments protected from cyber attacks, data breaches and maintaining compliance with relevant regulatory bodies.

SAP Certifications

SAP certified professionals have undergone extensive training and testing directly through SAP and are qualified to administer support, services and consultations regarding all things SAP. To ensure your SAP solutions are in good hands, choose MSP firms with professionals with certifications applicable to your solutions.

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iT Services 2 is a dedicated team of SAP specialists committed to helping SAP owners connect with the right support and specialist level. 

For a clearer understanding of how to optimize your SAP operations and leverage platinum-level SAP specialists, contact us today.