As businesses undertake organisation-wide digital transformation efforts, the combination of SAP and the Cloud has emerged as a preferred solution. Additionally, the prevalent business environment has further accelerated this trend. As a result, companies need agile and scalable SAP deployments. For this, they are turning to third-party service providers who act as outsourced partners for offering end-to-end SAP solutions.
However, a cluttered marketplace and time pressure to greenlight deployments can complicate the process of choosing the right SAP partner. An effective workaround for this issue includes reliance on certifications issued by SAP for select service providers. Offered for solutions across their portfolio, these certifications are based on a robust framework and audit conducted by SAP. Among other advantages, the certified partners help customers unlock the maximum value from their SAP deployments.
Key SAP certifications
- Cloud and infrastructure operations: Focused on infrastructure and cloud services, this certification highlights a portfolio of offerings tailored for SAP customers. Cloud services from certified providers include on-demand infrastructure and cloud services for related SAP products.
- Hosting operations: Offering customised hosting packages and operating and maintaining SAP applications, certified MSPs need to demonstrate experience and the relevant technical expertise pertaining to SAP administration skills.
- SAP S/4 HANA solutions operations: This certification encompasses all processes related to the management of SAP S/4HANA solutions lifecycle, including maintenance, daily operation, and functional support.
- SAP Business Suite solutions operations: This certification focuses on all processes related to the management of SAP Business Suite lifecycle, for example, SAP ERP, including maintenance, daily operation, and functional support.
- SAP HANA operations: This certification testifies the highest level and quality of operational standards for solutions pertaining to SAP HANA business data platform.
To obtain these certifications, service providers need to demonstrate operational capabilities that include quality and knowledge management, IT services management, and project management. SAP uses a robust framework that evaluates potential service providers to ensure they meet SAP’s exacting standards before issuing certificates.
- Application: The process begins with the service provider’s application for initial certification. Based on the scope, SAP sends a quotation and upon confirmation from the partner, they begin the certification process.
- Questions and answers: SAP sends a questionnaire to the service provider, followed by a Q&A session to address any queries that the service provider may have.
- Return, review, and preparation: On receiving the completed questionnaire, SAP reviews it and prepares the audit. This is followed by an agreement on the next steps and schedule.
- Onsite audit: Based on the scope and schedule, SAP conducts an onsite audit against the submitted documents. If required, SAP conducts a follow-up that may include an update or submission of additional documents from the service provider.
- Completion: Based on the onsite audit report, SAP may conduct a call with the service provider to highlight the potential areas for improvement, if required. After successful completion of this process, SAP issues a certificate. Certified service providers are granted a status logo for two years. To maintain the validity, service providers need to conduct a certification audit upon expiration of the certification period.
Benefits of SAP certifications
SAP implementation is a critical function for any enterprise, and this makes it imperative for them to receive the highest level of service and availability. Hence, at the most basic level, certifications help service providers build trust and confidence among enterprise customers.
- Expertise: In an age with limited budgets and access to specialised talent, IT functions are constrained. As a result, large turnkey projects such as SAP deployments suffer and become obsolete much faster. With stringent ITIL standards, training and knowledge management, certified outsourced partners are required to demonstrate and continuously upgrade their know-how. This provides enterprises with the much-needed expertise as well as operational and domain knowledge that they can trust with confidence.
- Agility: In today’s environment where technology is evolving at a break-neck speed, it is challenging for internal IT functions to keep pace. Between additional IT investments and continuous training for staff, SAP deployments can get complicated. In such a scenario, certified MSPs help reduce delays and enable clients to derive the maximum value from their SAP deployments with speed and agility.
- Reliability: Certified MSPs are required to follow stringent SLAs to deliver highest uptime under all conditions, this reduces disruption in business operations and downtime for critical functions. Additionally, proactive support and access to experts allow MSPs to deal with complications, making the SAP deployment responsive and reliable.
- Flexibility: With data at its core and a bouquet of applications, SAP deployments require constant updates and hardware investment as businesses expand. In such a scenario, an organisation’s internal IT team can struggle to keep up. The need for additional resources or the lack thereof often leads to complications and delays, which makes SAP deployments expensive or ineffective. With outsourced operations offering on-demand services, organisations can scale up or scale down their infrastructure, thus affording them a high degree of flexibility.
Yotta has received five SAP certifications that include Cloud and Infrastructure Operations, Hosting Operations, SAP Business Suite Solutions Operations, SAP HANA Operations, and SAP S/4HANA Solutions Operations. These certifications confirm that Yotta meets most of the requirements of SAP operations services. As discussed earlier in this article, these certifications offer several advantages for end-users, as compared to non-certified solution providers.
This, combined with our multi-domain experience, including Uptime Institute certified Tier IV data center and single-window SAP services, allows us to offer best-in-breed SAP solutions to meet your business needs. From SAP implementations to migration to complete Application managed services, our robust infrastructure and continued service and support enables us to deliver end-to-end SAP capabilities that are both, effective and reliable.