The SAP application management is a remote service provided by the BCC Outsourcing Center to help SAP users resolve problems that occur during the system operation. In fact, the application management includes dozens of different activities in which BCC service consultants can help out customer’s employees. We talk to Michał Adamczewski, Application Management Deputy Director at BCC about the management service catalog.
SAP application management service catalog in BCC – what is it, what is its purpose?
We provide application management service for more than 50 customers and for each of them the scope of support is a bit different, tailored to their needs. Moreover, the needs of our customers grow over time and we can always offer them new services or activities. Of course, the ongoing assistance in diagnosing and eliminating problems related to SAP systems is still the core of the application management, but besides them a number of other tasks appear that can be provided to customers, thus expanding the scope of our services and meeting customer’s needs.
Therefore, we created a catalog containing all tasks and activities that can be provided to customers by service consultants as required. Sometimes customers simply do not know how broad scope of support they can get from BCC. The catalog is to help them in this.
How do the items in the catalog correspond to the application management service provision models proposed by BCC?
We provide support services in three basic settlement models. The first one is the customer support with an unlimited number of requests or working time within a fixed monthly (flat rate) fee. Of course, the service applies to the agreed scope of support tasks within agreed system areas.
The second variant is the support with a labor consumption limit. For the fixed, monthly subscription fee the customer has a fixed labor consumption limit for our support in the accounting period for the execution of any maintenance work, including development. Works that exceed the agreed limit are settled separately.
And finally the third option, i.e. ad-hoc support. In this model, there is no fixed monthly fee for the readiness and provision of support, but each activity executed at a customer’s request is subject to valuation and settlement, e.g. collectively at the end of the month. The customer decides which SAP support model best fits to his needs at optimum cost for the service.
If the customer is interested in more items from the catalog of services that were not provided to him before, they are added to the contract. Depending on the support provision model, they may have impact on the contract value. The greatest flexibility is offered in the model with the labor consumption limit included in a monthly fee or ad hoc contracts. Within such models, we can provide the broadest range of services.
Regardless of the chosen model of cooperation, we guarantee all our customers that they will be served by dedicated support teams. The separation of implementation and service teams is a pillar of our services. This guarantees full availability, short response times and high quality.
Furthermore, we can also offer a customer a dedicated team of support consultants solely for the customer’s needs, resolving only the customer’s problems.
Are all services contained in the catalog used by customers? Which are the most popular?
In fact, the catalog organizes and systematizes our offer. All listed services are provided at customer sites, although some of them are incidental, e.g. solution audits. More often, customers use e.g. workshops in the selected SAP areas or support during system testing. Of course, the most common services are those related to the daily work with the system: problem solving, adapting to the notes, and minor development.
However, we want our customers to be aware of other, non-standard work they can obtain from us.
How does it correspond to SLA?
Service Level Agreements define the terms of cooperation related to the services provided under the contract. For individual catalog items, it is possible to separately specify specific needs and requirements. For example, to handle emerging problems, we can determine the maximum response or resolution times, and the minimum time ahead when ordering workshops or training courses, etc. All in response to customer needs and expectations.
Are all catalog items performed by BCC management teams?
More than 30 experienced consultants work in the application management teams. They are the ones who handle customer requests every day. From the perspective of support service provision, we also have the second line of support in our organization which is provided by the teams of BCC implementation consultants. The tasks and nature of work of the implementation and support teams are different, but they complement one another.
The role of support teams is continuous availability to customers, allowing continuous contact and processing of the customer’s requests in a short time. The strength of our support teams is their dedication to support services; however, to maintain the competence of support consultants at the highest level, they are from time to time involved in implementation projects. Nonetheless, this involvement never reduces the required potential of each team to provide support services. Thanks to this, service teams are able to undertake and perform all services listed in the service catalog. But some issues, especially those that may be subject to planning (i.e. training, development, etc.) may be carried out by implementation teams, as far as it is possible and advantageous to the customer.
We often cooperate with Basis consultants. The BCC Outsourcing Center provides the SAP administration service, which is used by most application management customers. Such a service synergy allows our customers not to worry whether a problem is technical or application-related. They simply submit a request to BCC and wait for its resolution.
Does the use of more catalog items beyond the existing range of services mean a higher cost to the customer?
Yes and no. This depends on the support model. In contracts with a defined labor consumption limit, the available hours can be used on any activities from the catalog in accordance with SLA provisions connected with them. For ad-hoc contracts, the situation is similar, except that in this case we can offer poorer terms of SLA.
In the case of flat-rate contracts, the use of a broader range of services than agreed in the contract may be subject to additional fees, although in this case as well, we try to be as flexible as possible.
We talked about the existing customers who can choose new services from the catalog under existing contracts. And what about companies that do not use the BCC application management yet?
The service catalog clearly defines what customers can expect when starting the cooperation with the BCC Outsourcing Center in the scope of SAP functional areas. As I already mentioned, it should also help customers in defining what the application management is. Each customer can build his own definition of the application management, in accordance with their needs. For some customers it may be, as generally understood, the support in diagnosing and troubleshooting failures, for others it may only be a telephone consultation about the situation occurring in the system, and for others the ability to quickly order and implement minor changes in the system resulting from changing business requirements. Sometimes the customer is convinced that he does not need the application management, but after becoming familiar with the service catalog the customer learns that he/she is actually interested in some catalog items, but did not perceive them earlier as part of the application management.
The BCC application management is much more than ongoing resolution of problems in the SAP system.
Interviewed by Mirosława Huk, BCC Group