This year, as always, I attended SAP Sapphire in Orlando. Sapphire is an annual highlight for me, not just because I get to see all of the new innovations happening in the SAP ecosystem, but also because I get to meet and talk in detail to a range of our customers, in a relaxed setting, away from the office and its inevitable pressures.
This year I spent the time I had with each customer trying to do a bit of analysis and find out why they chose our software, over anything else on the market. It was an interesting exercise, bringing up a whole host of answers, some of which were specific to the customer and some of which were much more similar across the whole group. One of the recurring themes was that Basis Technologies was ‘responsive, knowledgeable and easy to do business with’. Wow! You don’t hear that from customers in many industries, especially in the SAP world. There were also a host of specific features and functions that came up a number of times (things like Backout and Release Orchestration), but as great as that was to hear, what I found most interesting was how often more general ‘functional requirements’ were mentioned. In the IT world, we sometimes focus way too much on specific features, without spending enough time thinking about how functional and non-functional requirements can have a huge impact on an operation and on-going running of an application.
So, I thought I would share the top ten reasons our customers said they decided to invest in our software rather than choose any other option.
Faster Delivery – Offers unparalleled support for DevOps.
DevOps allows businesses to respond more quickly to the needs of the market through continuous delivery of software change. Our customers are increasingly wanting to switch from traditional development methods to an on-demand change delivery model. Our proven DevOps technology enables their SAP teams to adopt agile development, DevOps and continuous delivery to meet the needs of their businesses faster.
Quality and Risk Management – Eliminates production issues by shifting left quality and risk controls.
Sophisticated quality controls give customers confidence to deliver changes fast and frequently without worrying about the risk of production downtime. ActiveControl offers more than 60 analyzers to enforce risk, quality, impact, and dependency checks before automatically sequencing and deploying transports across your SAP landscape.
Ease of Configurability – Delivers ease of configurability vs. the need for custom developments.
As we all know, custom development becomes costly to support and manage as future SolMan upgrades are planned. Configuration of ActiveControl is simple and intuitive and does not require any specialist knowledge on the part of the user. The ease and speed with which configuration can be changed, without affecting in-flight modifications, is head and shoulders above other tools.
Flexibility – Ensures flexibility and simplicity to manage a live landscape (e.g. adding / removing systems, managing refreshes, etc.).
On-premise SAP landscapes are complex, but as organizations move to cloud-based infrastructure, their requirements change. One of the many advantages of cloud systems is that your landscape can easily become more fluid and dynamic, with the ability to easily copy systems and move them around in the landscape. Tooling that can keep up with this dynamic system deployment and easily keep tabs on which changes are where in a complex landscape becomes a requirement, rather than a nice to have. ActiveControl’s flexibility means that our customers have full visibility and flexibility to set up and change their on-prem, cloud and hybrid landscapes however they need, whenever they need, with little or no effort.
Out-of-the-box Integrations – Offers more out-of-the-box integrations and Basis Technologies continues to partner to develop more.
Integration has become a big topic over the last few years. Organizations are moving to best-of-breed tools and need seamless integration across the end-to-end process. ActiveControl has a whole host of out-of-the-box integrations with ITSM, Agile backlog management and industry standard continuous integration (CI/CD) engines, allowing our customers to create slick end-to-end processes across their SAP landscapes and across different technology stacks, including SAP Cloud Platform.
Ease of Upgrade – Ensures an easy upgrade to newer versions of ActiveControl (as a separate Domain Controller not requiring full Solution Manager upgrade / SP upgrade).
This also impacts speed of adoption for other SolMan-related capabilities given the high testing effort required to regression test. Upgrading ActiveControl can be completely disconnected from any other SAP functionality, with almost no downtime, making the process simple and easy to plan.
Future Proofing – Offers necessary support as companies prepare for S/4 requirements like managing live ECC and S/4 landscapes and the required dual maintenance.
As more and more customers are planning how they will move to S/4HANA, it is great to know that ActiveControl has specific functionality to help with the transition process, no matter how complex this process may be. Managing dual landscapes is never simple, but keeping the legacy ECC landscape in sync with the developing S/4HANA landscape can be even more challenging. Knowing that the tool you select will move with you into the future has been key to the decision making process.
Usability – Enables rapid user adoption and ongoing customer satisfaction.
ActiveControl has a simple and intuitive user interface, allowing quick user adoption with minimal training, and giving unparalleled insight into the changes and transports moving through your entire SAP landscape – all in one place and one version of the truth.
Supportability – Simple to support vs. other tools for managing change through the SAP landscape that are complex and cumbersome to configure, use and maintain.
Other options often require specialist knowledge in particular areas of SAP functionality and can take many months to re-configure when the inevitable process and landscape changes come along. ActiveControl, on the other hand, is simple to deploy and makes keeping up with changes in the landscape, a simple matter of drag-and-drop. This flexibility allows customers to quickly update workflows and manage system re-deployments, ensuring the SAP landscape keeps up with the myriad demands from project teams and the business.
Use Case Coverage – Supports common use cases that are not covered with standard SAP tooling.
From simple requirements, such a supporting non-prod changes (e.g. changes which should only go into test systems and not production), to complex landscape where a single development system may feed multiple production systems, there are a number of everyday requirements that just can’t be met using SAP standard tools. ActiveControl bridges this divide by enabling customers to manage their changes and landscapes in the best way to suit their needs. Having been in the marketplace for nearly twenty years, there aren’t many situations which we haven’t seen before and, of course, we are continuing to add functionality as new use cases arise, as the SAP ecosystem develops.
I always find it fascinating talking with our customers and finding out what is important to them. As this list shows, there is more to choosing the right tooling than simply looking at individual features. I’m proud to be part of a team that helps so many SAP customers around the world run their SAP systems better and from their feedback, I know our customers appreciate us too!
Are you looking to improve the way you manage your company’s critical SAP change? Let’s schedule a demonstration and find out how ActiveControl can help.