11/18/2008 by Dieter Steiger
Accompanied by considerable fanfare, SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker introduced an SAP Solution Manager module called the SAP Business Process Change Analyzer (SAP BPCA) at this year’s TechEd in Berlin. So, what’s behind it? Can the Business Process Change Analyzer fulfill the expectations that its name suggests?
The fact that SAP has even introduced the BPCA seems to indicate the value it has assigned to impact analysis. Impact analysis is, of course, a topic that has been addressed in various articles in the beteo blog.
Unfortunately SAP and its “Business Process” Change Analyzer, in contrast to beteo, deal exclusively with the technical analysis of transactions and programs. So, anyone who expects SAP’s analytical offering to include the overlying logical areas will be in for a long wait.
I have so far been unable to precisely analyze the technology behind the SAP BPCA. However, one can already make certain technological assumptions based on the available screenshots. It appears that BPCA is based on a run-time analysis, which makes it impossible to conduct impact analysis directly in the corresponding production environment. The result, in my assessment, is that only corresponding predefined scenarios can be analyzed with BPCA. Honestly, who today wants to restrict themselves to such procedures when performing analysis?
The question we must ask is why SAP didn’t turn to “standard” analysis tools like LiveCompare from Intellicorp, Panaya from Panaya Inc., RBE from IBIS or CIT for SAP from HP. These are based on “smarter” approaches to impact analysis and impact management, and their merits have been proven through real-world usage.
Summary: SAP Business Process Change Analyzer (SAP BPCA)
Once again, on paper SAP’s BPCA satisfies most of the items found on typical request for proposal (RFP) checklists pertaining to impact analysis. However, upon closer scrutiny many higher expectations that customers have regarding a bona-fide business process change analyzer have not been met.