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Co-Authored by Bharath Venkat

 

In today’s digital world, the application isn’t just a part of the business—in many cases, it is the business. So when performance issues strike, they’re more than merely headaches—they’re potentially revenue-impacting events. That’s why IT and business leaders who want to stay ahead of the curve and avoid costly downtime require a proactive approach to application performance monitoring (APM).

That’s where Cisco AppDynamics comes in.

With automatic baselining and anomaly detection, Cisco AppDynamics provides comprehensive APM that helps businesses stay one step ahead of issues impacting their applications, including those in SAP environments. By providing an all-in-one view of application health, plus the ability to drill down to the line of SAP proprietary code, Cisco AppDynamics is uniquely capable of delivering insights businesses can act on.

Take Cepheid, a leading molecular diagnostics company based in California. For years, Cepheid’s operations team performed around-the-clock operational monitoring and support of its SAP applications using disparate tools, including logs, to manually monitor its SAP environment. Now, Cepheid uses AppDynamics to proactively detect and address issues before they become problems. If, for example, Cepheid’s SAP environment were to suffer an outage, supply chain and manufacturing would be at risk of being slowed, order fulfillment—better known in the SAP space as Procure to Pay—would stall, and downstream, the ability to pay suppliers and bill customers, known as Order to Cash, would also be impacted. But because Cepheid uses Cisco AppDynamics, the company knows it has a proactive monitoring solution designed to keep it ahead of the curve.

The high cost of not connecting SAP to business outcomes

Thousands of businesses around the world run their customer-facing and back-end processes with a combination of SAP applications for e-commerce, logistics, ERP, and supply chain, as well as non-SAP applications. When problems arise in these situations—for example, if revenue is down on an e-commerce site—it can be caused by a number of factors ranging from the simple (a lack of website traffic) to the more complex, such as an underperforming order management system. Whatever the cause may be, it’s critical that IT teams have the solutions needed to identify and prioritize issues at hand, for the sake of the customer experience and the health of the business. This is particularly relevant in the context of application problems that your customers can’t necessarily see, such as code issues or undersize compute notes that can cause them to abandon your application.

Today, a normal response to business process issues such as these is to bring stakeholders into a war room-like setting to participate in a vigorous session of finger-pointing based on siloed data about the application environment. Not surprisingly, this reactive approach is extremely inefficient and can lead to skyrocketing mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) as well as customer churn.

Enter AppDynamics Business IQ for SAP

To address the critical challenges associated with connecting SAP performance to the context of your business, AppDynamics has added the ability to manage business process performance, including processes that run a combination of SAP and non-SAP applications.

As a first step, Business IQ correlates the metrics of core business processes with those of underlying applications. These metrics are baselined by machine learning algorithms that determine “normal” operating conditions. This “normal” baseline is used as the benchmark for alerting when a metric deviates from the normal. When this happens, AppDynamics proactively sends alerts and provides potential root-cause analysis to remediate the issue.

Integral to the ability of AppDynamics to monitor SAP applications is its code-level visibility into ABAP, SAP’s proprietary programming language, which is used to build SAP applications. This capability complements the ability of AppDynamics to monitor non-SAP applications.

Core Business IQ capabilities include:

  • Measuring how application performance impacts business health, using dashboards, health rules, and metrics to help you understand how application performance impacts customers and the overallbusiness in real time. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1.  Screenshot of an AppDynamics order management dashboard

  • Monitoring and providing insights around the customer journey throughout the most business-critical paths in a business’s SAP- and non-SAP business processes. Through customer and businessjourney dashboards, you can identify critical steps customers take before specific conversion events or other milestones in their journeys. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2.  Screenshot of a customer order journey dashboard

  • Proactively managing digital business processes around business journeys, allowing you to identify where bottlenecks exist at different steps of a business process before they become customer-impacting and to measure the health of end-to-end business processes with SAP and non-SAP application components in real-time.

With Business IQ from AppDynamics, business owners and IT departments can discuss the health of their business processes and connect with application health through one common language, as they deliver exceptional customer experiences. No more war rooms, just a single source of truth.

So if the success of your business depends on the health of your SAP-based business processes and applications, learn more about how AppDynamics, the only platform that unifies full-stack performance monitoring for business and IT, can help you.

 

Learn more about Cisco’s partnership with SAP.