Hello friends, welcome back to my blog. In this post, we will discuss SAP Cloud ALM, also called SAP CALM.
When SAP released CALM, people asked if it was just a Solution Manager that is hosted in the cloud. The answer is no.
SAP CALM is a cloud application built by SAP from scratch and it is hosted on SAP BTP which stands for Business Technology Platform. If you want to learn more about SAP BTP, please check out my blog here.
So, it is not a Solution Manager that is hosted on the cloud. SAP claims CALM to have a better user experience, open APIs, cost-effective, simple & easy to configure and use.
What is ALM? or Application Lifecycle Management?
Before we get into the details about CALM, let’s take a quick look at what is Application Lifecycle Management.
ALM software consists of tools and processes that help to manage the lifecycle of a software product from product design up until the end of its life.
The lifecycle of a software product consists of different phases like requirements gathering, building, testing, deploying and operating.
So ALM software provides us with tools that can help us manage all these different phases of a software product. In other words, it can be called the software that is used to manage the development and operation of other software.
SAP Solution Manager was the famous ALM tool that was offered by SAP to its customers. It is free of cost and has got a whole lot of functionalities like application operations, business process operations, data volume management, test management, project management, change control management, process management, IT service management and much more.
But the problem with Solution Manager was it became very complex to configure these functionalities and maintain them on an ongoing basis. It was an on-premise application, so it requires resources to install, configure and maintain it which in turn costs money for the customers.
Customers were actually asking SAP for a long time to create a cloud-based ALM tool that can replace Solution Manager.
Finally, SAP has done exactly that.
As I mentioned before, SAP Cloud ALM is a cloud application. So the application is installed and maintained by SAP from a technical perspective. Right away, that makes it attractive to the customers as they don’t have to spend money installing and maintaining it.
SAP has also promised that it has made Cloud ALM, simple to configure and easy to use. So let us assume it is not as complex as Solution Manager to configure and make things work which makes it even more attractive for the customers.
So, does that mean Cloud ALM is the future? That is absolutely right. In the recently held SAP ALM summit, SAP confirmed that the Solution Manager will be supported until 2027 which means it will concentrate its effort on developing Cloud ALM going forward.
I have made a YouTube video about Solution Manager as well. Please check it out here
SAP Cloud ALM Functionalities
Its functionalities are divided mainly into two categories which are Cloud ALM for implementation and Cloud ALM for operations.
Just like any waterfall model, you design, build, test and deploy the software. After deployment, during the business-as-usual phase, you might come across issues. So, detect those incidents, analyse the root cause, resolve the problem and then automate the solution so that whenever the same issue happens again, it can be resolved without human intervention.
SAP Cloud ALM for Implementation
The above picture shows the process view of Cloud ALM for implementation.
So the steps are Design → Build → Test → Deploy.
In the design phase, you design the functionalities in the SAP system as per business requirements. Conduct fit-to-standard workshops to convert the business requirements into standard SAP processes.
Once the design is complete, you start configuring the software as per the design
Then test the configurations
And finally, deploy and go live with the product or solution.
The above picture shows the different types of technical functionalities that are covered under the Cloud ALM for the Implementation process. The ones that have a small asterisk mean those functionalities are planned to be available later.
SAP Cloud ALM for Operations
The second category is Cloud ALM for operations and the above picture is the process view.
As I mentioned before, once the product is live, you need to monitor for any issues.
Identify those issues
Then diagnose the root cause of why it occurs
resolve the issue
then automate it.
The below picture shows the technical functionalities that make the Cloud ALM for operations possible.
It has got different types of monitoring functionalities using which you can monitor end-to-end business processes, you can monitor integration between multiple SAP and non-SAP applications, performance monitoring, incident management etc.
So, what are the solutions that are supported by SAP Cloud ALM? SAP Cloud ALM was created with cloud applications in mind but it has got some functionalities that are available for on-premise S/4HANA systems as well.
SAP has provided a website that lists the different types of solutions that are supported by Cloud ALM. You can filter either based on the SAP application or based on Cloud ALM functionality. You can access the page here
SAP Cloud ALM Demo
SAP offers a free Cloud ALM demo system that anyone can access. You do not require an S user id.
As you can see on the screen, SAP has provided some predefined roles with usernames and passwords. You can use any one of these to access the relative content in the demo system.
For example, if I am a project manager, I can log in as Paul to see the functionalities related to project management that is offered by Cloud ALM.
You can access the demo page here
How to request a Cloud ALM system?
For this, you will need an S user id with admin access. Because the Cloud ALM is a cloud application. It should be linked to a customer account. So if you want to request a Cloud ALM tenant to be provisioned for your organisation, then you must create the request using your organisation’s S user id.
You just go to the Cloud ALM page in the SAP support portal. Then there is this request button. SAP says it only takes 15 mins for a Cloud ALM tenant to be provisioned for you which is excellent.
Link to request an SAP Cloud ALM tenant here
How can you learn more about the Cloud ALM?
Comparatively, Cloud ALM is still new. So SAP is still developing learning content for it. But in saying that, there is already a good amount of learning resources available for Cloud ALM.
The SAP Cloud ALM support portal is your one-stop shop if you want to learn more about this product.
I will walk you through the things that are available on this page.
The first thing you will notice on this page is these three buttons. Discover, Try and Request. The “Discover” button will provide you with a pdf document with high-level information about Cloud ALM. The “Try” button will take you to the Cloud ALM demo page with the user name and password then you can request a Cloud ALM for your organisation using the “Request” button.
Then there is a couple of presentation available. One is a high-level overview presentation and the other one is a value presentation.
Going further below, you will see some customer success stories and then the link that provides you with the list of “Supported Solutions” that we talked about previously.
Going further down, you will see three YouTube videos that describe how you can use Cloud ALM for implementation, operations and service. Below that, there are links that provide more information on how to configure these functionalities in Cloud ALM.
And then we got a Roadmap explorer that provides information on upcoming functionalities in the future.
Then we got links to the Cloud ALM community page, information about services available for Cloud ALM, links to videos, Events and newsletter and finally, we got an admin guide that you can use to configure different types of functionalities in Cloud ALM and then the link to the SAP help portal and some frequently asked questions.
You can access the SAP Cloud ALM support portal here
please check out my YouTube channel if you are interested in clicking here
That’s it for today. If you like this blog, please share it with your friends who might also benefit from it.
If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment and I will respond.
P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners“