When I was a child my parents had bought a video cassette recorder (VCR) for taping their favorite television shows. They could set up the VCR and watch videos, but got stuck in figuring out the programming. They always had to pull out the user manual each time and “study” it for a while before getting their show set up. And when it came to programming for multiple-day shows, they were also sometimes so frustrated they wanted to throw the machine out the window. Needing to consider the unknown meant that the recording of each TV show had to be set up early enough to not miss recording the beginning.
One day I asked if we could tape a particular show (sorry, can’t remember which). I even offered to do the programming. Me being a young-one growing up on early computer technology (hint: go back to Commodore64 and Atari), I had that show programmed within seconds. This shocked my parents of course. I showed them how to do this as well and provided the tricks.
In today’s software technology you may experience times when you wish you had such a coach to provide guidance and advice for specific software components, someone who could answer those technical how-to questions and almost be alongside you to personally guide you through the tricky situations.
SAP has just announced its new entry-level offering of SAP ActiveEmbedded that provides a product expert on demand, someone who is that greatly-needed advisor. The product engineer acts as a coach to help guide the customer through their concerns and roadblocks for a specific SAP software component, providing the know-how to maintaining a stable system landscape. The services behind the SAP ActiveEmbedded, product engineer on demand option are based on a 12-month minimum duration and the costs are dependent upon the number of components and the number of named customer contacts in the scope of delivery required. The engagement is intended to be provided for defined SAP components (rather than the whole of the SAP landscape) and an entry-point for recognizing the value of SAP premium support offerings.
For example, a high-tech company may need to have an SAP system configured to handle sales order processing of a service-based product, but without a shipment location. The product engineer would advise the customer on the required steps to configure the SD component to skip the delivery requirement for sales orders of service-based products.
The years have passed and a great amount of new and advanced technology has made its way into the market. The VCR from then has now transitioned into BluRay players and recorders. Unfortunately I am experiencing a déjà-vu of the opposite effect. The challenges my parents had with programming the VCR are now being experienced by me but with the digital recorder. Maybe I should just admit that it’s time to let my son have a try…