Just a general question that i am sending out to you guys. Approximately how is your support teams for your sap system split up and does SAP have any official guidance on this.
The reason i am asking is that in my company they have pretty much written off the basis team (In my opinion is worrying). We have a helpdesk that does security, an abap/hr team and a couple of systems Architechs.
Any insight to what other companies do would be much appreciated.
in my company we have: Helpdesk (only one Level) which can give minor application-specific help for users. If it's technical the problem is routed (A) to the specific Developent Team which know the applications, parts of the IT infrastructure and parts of the Basis, or (B) to our BASIS/Administrators who know the complete infrastructure, do security, Stacks/SPs and everything else to keep the machines running as they should.
We work together closely in case there's some application-overlapping/spanning problem between Modules / Interfaces / different machines and it works out pretty well like this.
Not having a Basis Team would indeed be worrying, lol. I would have to ask, who has full access to your systems and knows about the core components and who can do database rollbacks in escalations and and and..
Unfortunately I don't know of an official guidance from SAP concerning this topic ;-/
Although I asked for this many times and even polled within the various parts of the organization when I worked for SAP, I don't believe I ever received a satisfactory answer because a lot hinges on the size of the organization, the complexity of the system, the amount of business driven changes and the criticality of segregation of duties. This is of course very frustrating from an organizational perspective because when you are trying to plan your group(s) a lack of any solid guideline means that you either have to make a judgement call or adapt as you go along.
In the organizations that I have experience with, the trend has been to keep BASIS separate from SAP Security and in turn separate from ABAP. Splitting ABAP and Security from BASIS is certainly not unusual and probably recommended - especially Security, for S.O.D reasons. Auditors like a separately accountable group.
Good BASIS resources are accomplished in not only BASIS but SAP security also, and often have some ABAP skills. There is a glaring trend in medium to small organizations to outsource BASIS support to 3rd parties, usually offshore, particularly when the system is smaller and the rate of organizational driven system change is relatively low. Larger organizations I have experienced, typically have a BASIS group in house but this may number as few as one or as many as a half a dozen or more BASIS resources but these were geographically dispersed organizations with many projects and operating in many countries.
You cannot afford to dispense with BASIS resources altogether because they are essentially your SAP janitorial services; checking the system health and investigating problem brought up by Security, ABAP and module configuration. You could use a general system admin or a database administrator to perform the BASIS tasks but this is usually a stretch because the skillset mix is a little more diversified for a BASIS admin.
I'd finally add that if you have BI/BW, PI/XI, CRM, ECC that this is tough to all manage with one BASIS resource because there are nuances to all of these four system environments that one resource would find tough to cover.
If you understand what a BASIS resource is responsible for, then it is easier to explain why you need to retain them inhouse but a lot depends on your environment.
I used to work as a part of a Basis team for a company that provided SAP to smaller businesses. Now that i have moved to my new company and to a BW and Systems architect role the lack of basis knowledge and administration on the system scares me. Our company has Portal, ECC, XI and BW servers.
I think it is a stretch expecting a single BASIS resource to manage all of those different components. It is also not something that general IT can typically pick up and work with, without the expense of training and the benefit of tenured use.
I have never seen SAP BASIS tossed into the general IT functional area successfully.
That said, I also wouldnt see the helpdesk doing SAP security role redesign or defining new roles. If they have a recipe for security assignment or a template then fine but beyond creating new users as clones of other users or doing password resets, that's about the limit if what you can do without access to SAP Security specialists.
chauffeurs don't necessarily make good car mechanics...
In one of my previous companies we had all of 3 qualified SAP Consultants. Two for ABAP (including me) and a Basis/Security (who was a System Admin to begin with) guy rolled into one. Oh, we even had a Project Manager who left sometime after Go-Live, after which the team began to report to, err.. the Vice President HR of the organization. The ERP Core Team (comprising end-users) constituted to our.. err.. Functional Consultants team.
But yeah we somehow pulled through all that