The SAP AG Acquisition of Business Objects
If you don’t know yet that SAP AG purchased Business Objects for a mere 4.8 billion Euro in a friendly takeover then you must have been too busy creating universes and reports; you really need to get out more often or at least surf the web a little during breaks. This all was announced in fall of 2007, I’m not sure when it became official. But I can tell you that in July 2008 BO’s support web portal got folded into SAP’s support web portal, the SAP Service Marketplace, and in the process a few things changed.
New Support Role Call
Firstly, some new roles, or names of roles, have emerged. Apparently each business customer should have a “primary contact” or “superadministrator” who retains the maximum level of authorizations in the SAP Service Marketplace. This person(s) determines which company employees will have access to BO-SAP Support and what their assigned authorizations are with regards to the support application in the SAP Support Portal. The “named contacts” will generally have access to some or all of the following:
- Display customer messages
- Create customer messages
- Send customer messages to SAP
- Confirm customer messages
- Open service connection
- Maintain system data
New BO-SAP Service Marketplace Terms
- There are a few new terms that you should understand and adopt in order to make your support experience as painless as possible.
- Customer Message: Become familiar with this term, this is your new “case” or “customer case”. It seems SAP found a way to remove any negative tones from the name for cases and at the same time remove most of the logical meaning from the name. Good luck with using that term in your communications, it will confuse everyone including yourself until we fully accept and adopt it.
- Notes Database: You could probably guess this on a multiple choice test, but I will give you a huge hint, KB… ok, to be fair, I tire of all the acronyms so let me stop being a hypocrit, this is your new Knowledge Base.
- Super-Administrators: I gave this away above, generally this is the central point of contact and the person who contols the Regular Support User membership.
- Regular Support Users: These are the grunts, they women and men suffering through support issues, opening “Customer Messages” with BO-SAP, and praying for a pormpt response and resolution.
- Netviewer: the SAP standard desktop sharing tool, replacing everyone’s favorite WebEx. Hmmm… as of last week I have heard that many BO Support folks are still using WebEx, but expect this to phase out.
- BusinessObjects and SAP AG would have you access http://service.sap.com/support/, but I have found this to be a bit indirect for Business Objects support access. It takes you to the main portal for all of SAP’s Service Marketplace.
- A more direct approach would be to use http://service.sap.com/bosap-support/. This takes you straight to the “Integration of Business Objects Support Infrastructure” home page.
- New email and phone numbers for country-specific BO Support: http://service.sap.com/contact-bosap.
- Create a Customer Message with the SAP Message Wizard: http://service.sap.com/message
Business Objects Support – Tips and Tricks
- Keep in mind that this SAP Support Portal is new to BO Support as well. They are still adjusting to the new terminology and functionality of the SAP Service Marketplace.
- In reported experiences Internet Explorer 6 seems to have trouble with some of the website, especially the creation of Customer Messages. I recommend using Mozilla FireFox, it seems to do well.
- Tired of Entering Your User Name and Password on Each New Page?:For efficiency and Sanity’s sake while working within the SAP Service Marketplace I strongly recommend, no I insist, that you make use of the “Single Sign-On with SAP Passports”. The “Single Sign-On Certificate” can be requested, and installed directly from the home page of SAP Service Marketplace or from the ‘My Profile’ left-hand navigation bar.
- Preferences: Mine were all set to default European ones. I recommend you update these under My Profile. This might save some confusion with date and decimal formats. It also might prevent Business Objects Support from calling your personal cell phone at 6:00 AM.
- Search Before Creation: OK, this is a strong trend everywhere support can be requested and BO-SAP are trying to help you out here. Get used to it. You can quickly execute a search and click “Create Message” button (towards the bottom, a dark gray button for me) if you know you have to open a case no matter what.
- It gets easier, it really does. The first time you have to search for your system you will feel disoriented, but your perseverance pays nicely the next time as this system will be available as a hyperlink to quick selection. You will need to select a “Component” each time, but this gets easier as you learn where the important ones are in the hierarchy.
Business Objects SAP Support Tips and Tricks Guides!
I have managed to get my hands on some documents being distributed by Business Objects Support personnel that provide some screenshots and tips on navigating and creating support cases, I mean customer messages on the new SAP Service MarketPlace. I don’t think BO would mind me distributing these, enjoy:
BO SAP Support – Tips and Tricks
BO SAP Support – Creating an SAP Customer Message