A significant, but often overlooked, part of an SAP professional's career is remaining cognizant of the latest SAP trends and technologies. While many of us are in the nitty-gritty details of our SAP implementation, a big picture view of our organization, project, and SAP as a technology company allows us to stay focused on what’s really important. To be successful SAP professionals, we need to know the latest and greatest news about SAP upgrades, enhancement packs, and strategies and understand how they impact our focus area.
New SAP professionals often struggle with how to gather the latest news about SAP and stay at the forefront of new technologies. In my first SAP position, I relied on more experienced coworkers to help me research the impact of a new upgrade or solution. I quickly learned that understanding how to do this type of research yourself is important in staying ahead of issues and keeping your skill set relevant.
Every few years, SAP comes out with a new enhancement pack that can be implemented as desired to achieve system benefits and enhance current business process functionality. Enhancement packs allow customers to enjoy the capability to add new functionality selectively without a full on SAP upgrade. There are entire textbooks on how to implement enhancement packs (EHPs) from a technical and functional perspective as they are mini-upgrades. While the latest enhancement pack may provide cross-functional benefits, often configuration and technical system changes are discovered during testing. For that reason, a new enhancement pack requires the entire project team to understand the impact to their functional or technical area.
In addition to understanding the impact of an enhancement pack, you will inevitably need to implement SAP notes to fix bugs in the system. SAP notes contain details about system issues or changes and a resolution that can be implemented by Basis, functional teams, or developers. You can search SAP notes by keywords and other identifiers that explain your system version and issue.
Support packages are collections of SAP notes or patches for software components that are corrections and legal changes. Support packages are different from enhancement packs because they are maintenance corrections and not optional business benefits. Support package stacks are collections of support packages. Implementing support stacks as required is important as this is ongoing maintenance for your SAP system.
Here are several helpful resources to help you stay up to date with SAP technologies and trends:
1. SAP Help Portal: The help portal is where you can access details about new enhancement packs like EHP7 and new solutions like cloud, in-memory computing, or analytics. If you’re looking for a particular version, I recommend using the SAP Help Sitemap.
2. SAP Support Portal: This is a great resource for finding SAP notes, downloading software, and accessing release strategies. You can also open tickets with SAP to report system issues that cannot be resolved with SAP notes. You’ll need a log in ID from your company to access the support portal.
4. Conferences like Controlling 2014, Sapphire, and SAP TechEd are helpful in staying up to date on trends, new functionality and system upgrades.
5. Webinars: Many companies offer internal webinars for employees to share and learn about SAP technology. Some webinars (like ERPCorp offers) are available to the public and include time for questions at the end.
Stay clued-in to your project's plan for upgrading or changing your system so you are prepared to research and test the new functionality. With these resources in your arsenal, you should be successful in staying ahead of new SAP trends and system updates!
Join Tanya and Tracy Levine on February 21st at 1:00pm EST for a SAP Career Advancement Webinar. Highlights will include:
Registration for the web-event is now open - reserve your spot now!