Guest Column | November 7, 2022

SAP Automation – Making Businesses Better, Stronger, And Faster

By Brenton O'Callaghan, Avantra

Automation Gear

Why SAP automation is fundamental for MSPs to deliver the best service for their clients, helping them to grow and embrace innovations.

Automation offers SAP-managed service providers (MSPs) and clients huge benefits with the ability to leverage AIOps in SAP. Why? Quite simply, it saves time and adds value to the business. With a high-functioning SAP automation platform, the time saved on tedious manual processes can be reinvested in further automation, creating an increasing pace for business innovation. A good monitoring and automation platform filters out spurious alerts to remove the need to carry out manual processes and checks, enabling IT teams to spend their time focusing on value-add functions for the business. After all, highly qualified IT personnel did not study computer science to carry out repetitive and mundane manual checks, and employing them to do so, does not deliver the best return for the business.

Customers are at the center of the services MSPs provide, which is why automation should also be at the center. Automation makes businesses better, stronger, and faster. It enables MSPs to deliver greater value and has changed expectations of the services clients expect. It opens new opportunities, ensures smoother running systems, and reduces business risks.

Robert MacDonald, Innovation and Technology Manager at Absoft, a forward-thinking SAP consultancy business, says, “Although, like many other MSPs, Absoft previously developed internal tools, doing this as a single business made it difficult to create bespoke functions for our clients and we had limited flexibility. We looked for a flexible platform, that was easy to use, well documented, and that empowered people without coding skills to create the automation they needed in their systems. We now use the Avantra platform for SAP monitoring and automation with all our clients.”

A Changing IT Landscape

In the last five years or so, many businesses have moved SAP to run on hyperscalers. As well as monitoring the SAP system, connecting underlying platforms enables monitoring, stopping, and starting virtual machines and the SAP system. 

“When we employed Avantra, it moved us from ensuring smooth-running IT systems and buying FinOps (financial operations) into play, enabling budgets to be monitored and flags set to alert if IT costs are spiralling. A self-service dashboard then enables customers to start and stop systems to take control of their costs, visualize their spending and ensure they are not overspending,” continues MacDonald.

The way systems are backed up and data stored also has changed. Although there is an element of monitoring, the use of an automation platform means a disaster recovery (DR) environment can spin up automatically to drastically reduce business risks. 

Traditionally, whole IT departments may have had to be involved in an issue. Certain individuals would know who to contact and how to deal with problems as they arose. But this approach creates huge cost overheads. Employing a service provider to manage systems frees IT, teams, to work on other projects. 

“However, rather than just transferring the integral knowledge from the team to our team, we take a different approach, institutionalizing the knowledge within the system,” adds MacDonald. “Why do we do this? Moving knowledge from one head to another is not the most efficient method moving forward. By putting it within the system, it is there for everyone, forever. Even if we do not manage a particular system, it can be included in the monitoring dashboard, which shows how systems are linked together. The Avantra platform can then automatically email or call the right people to help when an issue arises. If a system is broken, contextualized information is provided to help fix it. Effectively this automates IT knowledge in a foundational platform that will support a business in the long term.”

The Next Steps In Automation

When starting automation programs, a balance is needed between getting started, doing something, and doing it for a business reason. Hyper-automation success comes from bringing IT functions and the business closer together. 

It may seem obvious, but the next step in automation is more automation, something that is central to Absoft’s philosophy. MacDonald says, “We track automation ideas, review customer expectations, and ensure customers gain more and more benefit from the services and technology we provide.” 

By using a dedicated automation platform, MSPs can embrace new developments and automation features that come from a wide range of enterprise customers – ensuring they are never standing still and always offering the best value to clients. The time saved from using an automation platform as part of SAP management services means MSPs can spend the time saved to develop specific add-ons and updates to support services and create fundamental, innovative, new services. It is a win-win for the provider and client.


Absoft takes an automation-first approach because it knows its clients will gain the most value. SAP automation is transforming what customers can do and giving them back the time to innovate. As work on day-to-day issues is being managed by the automation system, businesses are waking up to IT being a differentiator rather than an overhead – and this is opening up a whole new world of opportunity for businesses. 

About The Author

Brenton O'Callaghan is Chief Customer Officer at Avantra.