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Enterprise Service Management

A connector brings the Cherwell ESM platform and SAP SolMan together. With change management across the SAP and non-SAP world, the necessary transparency can be created.
Bernd Hoeck, IT expert and freelance journalist
16 February 2021
[shutterstock: 253667221, sumkinn]
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

The service management specialists at Prevolution now offer an integration of the Cherwell enterprise service management platform for SolMan. This integration makes sense for customers who want to merge and harmonize their application change processes across the SAP and non-SAP world. In this way, all information and processes for comprehensive change management can converge at a central point and there is transparency at all times regarding the status of changes.

Cherwell is one of the leading no-code platforms for ITSM and ESM and is used by many customers for change management processes outside the SAP world. SAP SolMan is the central platform for all changes within the SAP world. Without an integration of both worlds, a holistic overview is missing and many correlations can only be broken down with difficulty.

The manual transfer of information between these worlds - for example, by manually creating change requests in SAP Change and Release Management (ChaRM) - is tedious and error-prone. Without integration of the separate worlds, automation of corresponding data flows and processes is not possible. The existing system discontinuity acts like sand in the gears of an agile IT service organization and its role as a business driver.

Until now, connecting Cherwell to SAP Solution Manager was a time-consuming and cost-intensive project. As a rule, the existing standard ICT Service Desk API was cloned and completely customized. NetWeaver Process Orchestration provided the connection - highly flexible, but costly to operate and maintain and only an alternative with expert knowledge.

Accordingly, customers had to bear considerable expenses, especially on the SAP side. The SAP Connector for Cherwell offers a convincing alternative to the forms of integration used to date. It replaces a standard product with an individual solution that is difficult to maintain, thus ensuring calculable costs as well as reliability and robustness in the face of version changes.

"We wanted to create a truly robust integration that is easy to maintain and works reliably. SAP Solution Manager, by its very nature, gets along best with its peers - SAP systems. That's why we mask Cherwell as an SAP system, so to speak, and exchange the same XML structures that an SAP system would deliver," says Sönke Kürschner, managing partner at Prevolution and an expert in enterprise service management.

With this idea of an intelligent translation layer (proxy), the previously existing break between the two systems can be overcome. As an add-on, the Connector integrates the SAP world into the holistic ESM approach. In this way, change processes can be flexibly planned, executed and monitored across the previously separate process worlds in incident and change management.

Because the Connector behaves like an SAP system in relation to the SolMan, it is extremely robust in terms of changes. Using this new standard integration saves at least 80 percent of the implementation effort compared to previous individually developed couplings, and the savings continue through lower maintenance efforts. The result is a standardized, robust and easy-to-maintain interface for different process requirements.

The standard connector goes far beyond a purely technical connection and also offers many process-related simplifications. Not only is the two-way creation of change requests and incidents possible, but also two-way updates and the automated exchange of status information. Errors during manual transfer are a thing of the past, as are gaps in the decision-making basis or outdated statuses.

Without a holistic view of change management processes across the SAP and non-SAP worlds, IT management lacks a reliable and sound basis for managing and controlling the further development of its system and process landscapes in line with requirements. Cost reduction and increased efficiency were also the main drivers for integrating Cherwell and SAP at Lekkerland. Lekkerland is the specialist for on-the-go consumption and belongs to the Rewe Group.

With 2750 employees, 14 logistics centers and around 280 vehicles, Lekkerland manages around 61,300 points of sale across Germany. "Thanks to the Cherwell SAP Connector from Prevolution, we were able to reduce the external costs for the ChaRM system in SAP Solution Manager. The direct exchange not only saves manual effort, but also provides more transparency," says Ulrich Wallasch, Enterprise Architect at Lekkerland Information Systems.

Bernd Hoeck, IT expert and freelance journalist

Sönke Kürschner is managing partner of Prevolution.

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