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      5 min read

      How to Kickstart an Innovation Strategy in the Face of a Pandemic

      Last month, we introduced our 3rd and final major release in 2020 capping what has been an incredible year for our software and our company. There is no doubt that this year will go down in history for us all for many reasons, but for Avantra, this is the year we stood tall and announced that the future of SAP Operations begins now. 

      Our vision for 2021 and beyond is to break down the long-held belief that SAP Operations are manual, difficult to automate and require a considerable investment to keep the lights on. 2020 has been about putting in place the foundation of this vision and showing the world what is possible, in a year where innovation may have felt like a pipedream.


      The pathway to innovation is through automation.

      We recently commissioned research, via our partners at ASUG, in which we focused on the pace of innovation, digital transformation and how customers were feeling about their IT operations during the pandemic. The results showed 59% reporting that the single biggest item driving complexity within their IT environment was the number of SAP (and non-SAP) systems integrated to run the business. We asked those respondents to rank their primary focus to combat this complexity, and the results were clear:

      1. Automation
      2. The adoption of new tools for monitoring/reporting
      3. Moving to the cloud
      4. Implementing or upgrading to S/4HANA

      The message is obvious. Automation is the most significant focus for businesses with complex IT landscapes today and, during 2020, Avantra has delivered to match this priority for our customers, including features like:

      • Full-stack start/stop

        The starting and stopping of SAP Landscapes, from the application layer (e.g. S/4 or Business Objects) through the database and on to the virtual machine itself, all powered by our integrations with the major public cloud providers including Google Cloud, AWS and Azure.

      • Complex multi-system automation

        Integration to platforms like ServiceNow has allowed us to create an end to end automation chain new to the SAP world. Imagine triggering a maintenance window, system downtime, OS patching and system restart with the click of one button from a business-accessible dashboard in ServiceNow. We can do this today.

      • Automating BUILD operations

        SAP upgrades and patches are some of the most labour-intensive and frequent tasks within an SAP Landscape. In Avantra 20.11, as a technology preview, we're showcasing one of our upcoming features, Automated Upgrades for SAP Kernels. Our investment in this space is a statement of intent for the future of SAP Operations across BUILD and RUN powered by Avantra.


      SAP Landscapes are becoming even more complex

      With nearly half (42%) of businesses classifying their landscapes as "Very Complex" and a further 11% calling them "extremely complex", Avantra has grown to match that complexity and bring corners of your landscape back into focus and under control. In 2020 we added out of the box support for:

      • SAP Business Objects
      • SAP Cloud Connector
      • SAP Cloud (Neo and Cloud Foundry)
      • SAP IQ
      • An ever-expanding number of native SAP HANA Checks
      • Generic web-service monitoring
      • Remote/Agentless monitoring
      • SAP MII

      The typical IT Landscape is a wonderfully diverse set of SAP and non-SAP applications making up the foundation of your business. Avantra strives to continuously provide you with the visibility and confidence in that landscape through the ever-expanding support for different systems and integrations.


      Avantra Summit 2020

      Always-on, always-watching, always-adapting.

      Operating-complexity within IT has changed forever in 2020 with a more remote workforce, increased system load and even more focus on security. Cutting out the noise but bringing attention when it is really needed has become more critical than ever and, in 2020, we brought our customers significant enhancements to this area including:

      • New iOS and Android mobile apps - Bringing critical alerts when required to the right people at the right time
      • Two-way ServiceNow integration
      • Significant performance enhancements to cover so-called mega-landscapes


      To find out more about what we have released in Avantra this year, subscribe to our blog, youtube channel and also check out our posts covering: