In the highly competitive markets of today, businesses are pushing boundaries be it in product and service portfolios, operations, or partner and vendor relationships. We see this with our customers, too. They need their support requests to be resolved quickly and implementation projects to be managed efficiently.
To serve these requirements, SAP has provided customers and partners with separate learning and assessment courses on our support offerings, enabling them with support tools and resources that help maximize their support experience. While our customers could benefit from Product Support Accreditation in the past, our partners had access to an equally in-demand enablement course, “Support and Success Essentials for SAP Cloud Solutions.”
Both versions have had great success and it was time to consolidate the best parts of these two accreditations into one impactful learning offering. As of December 5, 2023, we have merged these two options into Support Accreditation, making it SAP’s baseline support enablement for all consultants.
What is this new offering in a nutshell? Support Accreditation is a learning program and assessment that enables customers and partners to make the best use of SAP’s support offerings and tools. This accreditation is available for all customers and partners of SAP – at no additional cost.
To learn more about the latest developments on the topic, I sat down with Stefan Steinle, executive vice president and head of Customer Support & Innovation, SAP SE.
Q: Can you give a brief description of Support Accreditation?
A: This program was developed to showcase all the available support services and tools provided by SAP. We cannot assume that our customers and partners have the bandwidth to research what’s available – and this does not just apply to support, it applies to all our offerings at SAP. We have proactively curated all the tools and related resources that can assist our customers and partners in resolving their issues effectively and efficiently. The four-module program is packed with focus topics, one-page snapshots, how-to videos, and interactive quizzes. As with any course, all eligible participants receive a digital Support Accreditation badge.
What about the actual content of the program? What areas are covered?
The program introduces you to Real-Time Support channels like Expert Chat, Schedule an Expert, Schedule a Manager, and Ask an Expert Peer, which can enable customers and partners to have direct contact with support. For example, with Schedule an Expert, a customer can have a 30-minute session with an expert to help resolve a specific issue related to a support request. This is valuable information that consultants need.
Participants can benefit from similar how-to’s and guides on self-service, case prevention, live support channels, and supplementary material. We have a unit on SAP Cloud ALM, our application lifecycle management solution that is included in cloud subscriptions. This is a fantastic module that guides users on how they can benefit from an out-of-the-box, cloud-native solution designed as the central entry point to manage customers’ SAP landscape with content-driven, guided implementation and highly automated operations.
To manage expectations, could you also elaborate on what is not covered by this accreditation?
Expert course content is not covered in this accreditation. For example, we have further deep dives for SAP Cloud ALM that are, understandably, not covered in this first-level accreditation.
Also, this is a learning offering around support topics so enablement on solution knowledge is not in scope.
What’s in it for customers? What is the benefit of the program?
Not every customer is fully aware of the complete suite of support tools. With the Support Accreditation program, they can learn to easily engage with our support teams and to achieve smoother case resolutions. We provide easy-to-use, easy-to-consume self-enablement to any customer or partner at no additional cost. It is a must for all those who interact with the support channels of SAP.
What about partners?
This program is especially important for partners as most implementation projects are run or supported by them. They also manage most ongoing operations on behalf of the customer.
Both customers and SAP expect partners to manage customer projects and operations with high quality based on SAP’s best practices. These include methodologies, tools, services, and procedures – especially those dealing with upcoming issues.
We highly recommend the Support Accreditation program – and the resulting badge – for every partner consultant.
What have been the biggest changes you have seen in the program?
With every growth milestone at SAP, you can be sure that there is a corresponding ripple in the world of support. Therefore, we take a lot of effort to keep the program content up-to-date. For example, we now have a whole new unit dedicated to SAP Cloud ALM. We are also moving to learning.sap.com, having been a standalone application previously. This is a huge development, as the program is now available in the public space. Anyone can participate now that it is opened to a wider audience. Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive a record of achievement.
We are increasingly moving from a reactionary model to one that is more real-time and predictive. We have AI-powered support offerings that help enrich the customer experience – for example, new features in Incident Solution Matching.
Will customers and partners still be able to get their Support Accreditation badge now that the program has moved to the SAP Learning site?
Absolutely. I must say this is a very popular badge in the ecosystem.
The Support Accreditation badge indicates that the participant has completed the program and has the requisite knowledge to navigate SAP’s support channels and offerings. This badge can be used on social media and can also be included in your signature when you interact with our support teams.
More broadly, how do you use AI in support enablement?
We use large language models (LLMs) to refine and expand the scope of our existing AI-driven solutions. Based on the learnings from Enhance AI and Assist Support, we utilize LLMs to help generate automated responses to specific how-to questions. This allows us to leverage SAP Knowledge Base Articles, SAP Notes, and documentation contributions from our experts.
How popular is the program?
Approximately 5,000 customers and partners take part in the program and get their accreditation every year! People who complete the program have the option to provide feedback and rate the content. Currently, the program has a rating of 4.75 out of 5. The numbers speak for themselves!
Where do you see the program going in the future?
As always, we keep it simple – to help you simplify your support priorities. As I said before, the content reflects the ever-changing market growth and business requirements around us. We encourage our customers and partners to renew their Support Accreditation badges once a year to get an update on improvements and enhancements.
Renuka Abraham is part of Customer Support & Innovation at SAP.