The future is here: SAP Cloud ALM

Photo of Jean-Paul Knop

Written by Jean-Paul Knop in Cloud


On 28 and 29 March, Expertum’s Jean-Paul Knop went to St. Leon-Rot in Germany for the SAP ALM Partner Conference 2023. In this yearly event, SAP ALM Partners, SAP Value Added Resellers (VAR) and SAP Application Management Services (AMS) Providers learn how to engage with SAP's Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions, through interactive sessions and live discussions with the SAP ALM experts and SAP ALM management. Jean-Paul talks about his experience.

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The goal of this event was mainly to inform SAP ALM Partners of the new tools. SAP is counting on its SAP ALM Partners to help customers with the installation and implementation of these new tools, or with the transition from SAP Solution Manager to SAP Cloud ALM and/or SAP Focused Run. And as Expertum is always first in line when it comes to innovative, new developments, this is right up our alley.

The first thing I learned, is that my career is more linked to SAP Solution Manager than I realized. You see, legally, I can retire sometime between 2028 and 2032. The maintenance for SAP Solution Manager ends between 2027 and 2030. So really, I can just rest on my laurels until good old SolMan and I both retire. Just kidding, life is too short to have five years of down-time…

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Cloud ALM2

Back to history

Speaking of my career, when attending the conference, seeing the slides and hearing the comments of the various speakers, I had a flashback.

In 1996, after a whole series of SAP training courses, I did my first SAP R/3 installations at customer sites. For many SAP partners and customers, this was the start of a completely new world: the move from R/2 on mainframe to R/3 on a client/server infrastructure, using SAPGUI on a PC instead of a command line on a terminal. For me, the adaptation to R/3 was quite easy, as I had no experience with R/2 and the client/server infrastructure was much more similar to other windows applications on the market.

In 2003, I started with the installation and configuration of SAP Solution Manager at customer sites, because SAP had announced the end of the transaction OSS1. From the beginning, I believed in SAP Solution Manager’s functionalities, both for SAP Operations and SAP Implementations. But as with all new things, the first versions still had some teething problems. When these gradually got fixed, SAP customers became more and more convinced of the added value of this tool.

From SAP Solution Manager 7.2 onwards, I really felt that customers and colleagues had no excuses not to use SolMan for their SAP Operations and SAP Implementations. And afterwards, with the SAP Focused Build/Insights Add-On, it was all over the place! The only remaining obstacle was the additional workload for installing, configuring and maintaining all the SAP Solution Manager components: SAP Host Agents, SAP Diagnostic Agents, Managed Systems Configuration wizards, ...

Back to the future

Fast forward to 2023 again. It is clear that for some time now, the business has been in a transition to the Cloud, to which SAP has aligned its portfolio and innovations. And of course, also Expertum is sinking its teeth into this transition. As a reliable partner, always up for innovations, we are going the extra mile to acquire all the necessary knowledge and expertise, assisted by SAP with tools and support.

SAP Cloud ALM is part of these tools. And whether you like it or not, the transition of SAP Solution Manager to SAP Cloud ALM and/or SAP Focused Run is essential to keep up with the speed of SAP Business Transformation.

For some time now, the business has been in a transition to the Cloud, to which SAP has aligned its portfolio and innovations. And of course, also Expertum is sinking its teeth into this transition.

During the presentations, it was clear that not all current SAP Solution Manager functionalities are already or as such available in SAP Cloud ALM and/or SAP Focused Run. Therefore, we as SAP ALM Partners were given guidance on the approach, available tools and activities we can already use or implement now - or later - to help our SAP customers with their SAP Business Transformation.

I am confident that we will have a stable SAP Cloud ALM soon. The SAP Solution Manager experts, whom I have known for years from the SAP SolEd and SAP ALM Summit events, are now part of SAP ALM Departments and responsible for further SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Focused Run developments. We can count on their experience. SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Focused Run have also been re-developed from scratch on the same Business Technology Platforms as the other SAP Business Applications. And SAP ALM is now part of the global SAP Business Transformation Strategy from the start.

Our mission

So, what is our mission at Expertum as a SAP ALM Partner?

Expertum is more than eager to explore all the options Cloud ALM has to offer. In my opinion, we should start small and think big. We are familiarizing ourselves with the new tools through smaller projects, and eventually make sure that all consultants within Expertum make use of them, for operations as well as implementations. We make it our mission to convince all our customers of the need of Cloud ALM in all their future projects.

With more than twenty years of in-dept SAP ALM experience, Expertum is THE partner to guide you in this innovation. We are diving into these new developments so that we can provide our customers with the best advice and support. That way, SAP Solution Manager can enjoy its retirement in peace and we are ready for the future. And as for my own retirement? Let’s not think about that just yet. In any case, it is exciting to be able to work on such an innovative project during the last few years of my career.


Do you want to know more about SAP ALM and how Expertum can help you as a Cloud ALM Partner? Feel free to contact us any time!

About the author

Photo of Jean-Paul Knop
Jean-Paul Knop

Senior SAP Basis and ALM consultant at Expertum

Read more articles by Jean-Paul Knop

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