Monday, 29th November 2021
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Transforming enterprise system moinitoring

Adding new monitored elements is a long and complicated process. Even the most highly trained and experienced teams find it difficult to sustain consistent observation and service levels across the SAP installation with its accompanying dissimilar system elements. By Heiko Mannherz, Chief Innovation Officer, Avantra.

With so much time and effort expended collecting massive amounts of statistics in hopes of no action being required, it’s no wonder that SAP system monitoring is regarded by IT leaders as an unpleasant afterthought.

As painful as it is, high availability monitoring is absolutely critical. For manufacturing companies, the downside of an outage is simply too great. Increasing levels of automation and distributed shopfloor intelligence has made enterprise-wide systems more critical than ever. Unplanned system disruptions can create immense losses in productivity and profitability while impacting customer confidence and trust.

With end-to-end visibility through a common platform specifically designed to provide a high level of data analysis and system observability, managed service providers (MSPs) can now meet the growing needs of the manufacturing industry. This enhanced level of service means manufacturers can have greater confidence in the stability of their critical systems and minimize the risk to their businesses.

Multiple apps and complex interfaces make IT monitoring inefficient

Advanced Applications GmbH is an innovative SAP partner, headquartered in Germany. It provides all services in the SAP environment to manufacturing companies in multiple sectors, including high-tech, medical technology, automotive, mechanical and plant engineering, plastic and process manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries.

Having over 250 clients from the industry, Advanced Applications, like many MSPs, offers management options for IT environments on-premise or in the cloud and is required to automate SAP operations and consistently monitor client systems. However, using a monitoring tool based on the SAP Computing Centre Management System, exposure to databases for monitoring was limited.

Using multiple apps for different purposes made issue monitoring overly complex and inefficient, while consuming valuable high-skilled resources on simple tasks.

Delivering new-age capabilities

Advanced Applications turned to an AIOps-based automation platform for solving success-critical issues. Using AI and real-time monitoring, such systems add new levels of observability, reduce the manual effort required to monitor systems, and can automate and improve the efficiency of maintenance and service-level reporting processes. More advanced systems not only offer all essential functions for monitoring but can also provide self-healing functionality whereby failures can be predicted and prevented. For manufacturing firms, this cutting-edge capability provides exciting options.

According to Manuel Weggler, Team Leader of SAP Basis at Advanced Applications, “We needed to advance our service from the limited options of using SAP Solution Manager. By employing AIOps technology, we have a system that meets our current needs and reduces the manual work needed to support our clients. It also provides us with some interesting possibilities to provide more proactive monitoring services in the future.”

Sophisticated service-level reporting within the monitoring system has significantly reduced the time taken for Advanced Applications to create reports, improving customer experiences, reducing manual errors, and enhancing its image. By automating mundane processes, it has freed highly skilled resources to concentrate on other important areas of the business.

Weggler adds, “With the new system in place, we receive fewer queries from customers, and we are all saving time to concentrate on value-add areas of our businesses. It is a win-win scenario.”

Saving around 30% in costs

Advanced Applications saves around 90 person-hours a month by using its new monitoring software. The company is anticipating its costs being 30 percent lower each year for each system monitored. Using AIOps, Advanced Applications can also quickly analyse the data from SAP systems, enabling swift anomaly identification and response.

“Working perfectly in the Azure cloud”

Alongside its data centre, Advanced Applications is also increasingly working with hyperscalers for hosting. It already has its first applications running in the Azure cloud using the new monitoring system.

Summary

A new era of automation has increased the criticality and complexity of IT environments. The cost of losing a production-critical system is enormous and potentially devastating for a business. MSPs need to support this with increased visibility and more efficient and proactive systems monitoring.

Like many MSPs, Advanced Applications was facing challenges using separate tools for SAP and database monitoring and requiring excessive manual overheads to serve its manufacturing clients. Its outdated solution did not provide service-level reporting, and manual compilation of information generated an unacceptable level of errors.

Using an innovative monitoring platform, Advanced Applications has discovered a competitive edge to in the changing times. It now has a standardized solution, effective monitoring through template-based service-level reports, and a system that is both simple and efficiently scalable.


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