Technology Governing Technology

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Meet the Experts

  • Stephen Bangs

    Solution Specialist – SAP PowerConnect, SoftwareONE

    SAPinsider Expert since 2022
  • Thomas Booth

    Director of Observability GTM at Splunk

Key Takeaways

⇨ Without the correct tools to correlate multiple data sources, organizations can’t prioritize response actions.

⇨ A dedicated correlation solution with SAP-certified integrations is the only path toward balanced security and observability.

⇨ Splunk and PowerConnect provide comprehensive visibility and security of both SAP environments.

While the concept of digital transformation may be simple to convey, moving business processes and workloads to any cloud environment is complicated—especially when migrating mission-critical on-premise applications.

To understand the connection between tech environments and their business impacts, organizations are tasked with correlating logs, metrics, and events from multiple business-critical applications across hybrid infrastructures. Without the correct tools to correlate multiple data sources, organizations can’t prioritize response actions, resulting in risks to both operational effectiveness and security.

SAP infrastructure and applications are no different. It’s common to have additional cloud integrations that run alongside SAP Enterprise Core Component (ECC), or diverse applications residing outside of the S/4HANA core. Ecosystems consisting of SAP and non-SAP solutions become tedious to monitor, and extracting actionable insights can be difficult.

Moving toward a dedicated correlation solution with SAP-certified integrations is the only path toward balanced security and observability, which Splunk calls resilience.

Why Splunk for Observing and Securing Hybrid SAP Landscapes?

Splunk’s unique approach of leaving data unstructured until query is especially well-suited to correlate data from multiple environments. By establishing a dedicated correlation layer, customers are free to pursue the infrastructure and application monitoring decisions that make sense for each environment—including SAP, whether or not those environments are on-premise, in the cloud, or both.

Unstructured and in full fidelity, data from these environments can then be used for any initiative, including monitoring, securing, or aligning business initiatives. This approach provides end-to-end visibility and platform extensibility, both of which are necessary to drive resilience.

“Over the last three years, we’ve met with an increasing number of customers who assumed traditional industry cloud providers would offer sufficient monitoring and security for their cloud migration or digital transformation efforts. When these customers discovered that native monitoring and security ended at the border, and that adding business contextualization even within the border is challenging, they began to realize the value of correlating their information across these landscapes,” said Thomas Booth, Director of Observability GTM at Splunk.

With the power of Splunk, customers can bring together whatever data necessary to ask meaningful questions and get impactful answers. Whether it is server, database, application, network, business metrics, Windows, Azure, AWS, AppD, or Dynatrace, these data sources can be monitored and correlated in real time, all with powerful visualizations in the same solution.

Historically, logging into multiple monitoring tools was required to achieve this result, because other data analytics vendors required customers to structure their data upon ingestion. This structure limits the flexibility of subsequent correlation searches and their resulting visualizations.

Naturally, this leads to vendors recommending that customers consolidate their various solutions to just one technology ecosystem. Splunk’s approach allows customers to keep any solution they have in place, and correlate only the data they see fit, whether that’s simply alerts, or metrics and logs as well.

Proactive Monitoring of Risks in SAP Environments

SoftwareONE recognized the power of correlating SAP data with non-SAP applications and infrastructure for operations, security, and business alignment. Capitalizing on this opportunity, SoftwareONE developed PowerConnect, an SAP- and Splunk-certified solution that brings full-fidelity SAP data into Splunk. PowerConnect offers out-of-the-box monitoring capabilities for SAP landscapes and leverages Splunk’s big-data analysis and visualization capabilities.

“Through the monitoring capability that PowerConnect provides, customers can obtain real-time insights into SAP’s health, security, and performance status, minimizing unplanned downtime, and mitigating risk events,” said Stephen Bangs, SAP Solution Specialist, PowerConnect at SoftwareONE.

“PowerConnect is one of the few solutions in the market that can monitor the most popular SAP products and can correlate the SAP data with the non-SAP data as well. Within the tool itself, before the data leaves the SAP landscape, the solution can transform the data with filtering, obfuscating, etc., as it sits inside the SAP solution. It offers a differentiated capability to extract full-fidelity SAP data and send it to the big data source, Splunk, an operational intelligence tool.”

PowerConnect collects full-fidelity data from functional modules, APIs, logs, or SAP transactions and sends it via secured web traffic to Splunk. PowerConnect serves four main use cases with the application:

  • Service observability: Provides the capability to map out business services and integration services in SAP environments.
  • Performance and end-user experience capabilities: Understands the performance of the SAP system and renders full-stack visibility from the front end to the database layer within a single solution.
  • Security and compliance capabilities: Provides security operations center capability for SAP application security.
  • Cloud migration activities: Solution leverages components from the above three use cases for monitoring before, during, and after the migration activity to detect anomalies associated with KPIs before, during, and after migration.

A typical SAP admin has to manually correlate data sets, which is time-consuming and cumbersome. PowerConnect automates correlation capabilities and stitches together different data sets in a common view, helping SAP users identify the root cause of anomalies faster.

“Splunk and PowerConnect provide comprehensive visibility and security of both SAP environments, and their connections outside the SAP ecosystem. We can add immediate value for SAP customers through automated alerting, out of the box dashboards, and ad hoc analysis in and across the environment. In only hours after installation, customers can proactively notify teams of the root cause of anomalies or what’s going on before the end-users are impacted,” Bangs noted.


As organizations accelerate their digital transformation journeys, including SAP cloud migrations, they are evaluating new ways to improve monitoring capabilities while remaining secure. Through unified monitoring, SoftwareONE and Splunk accelerate the mean time to detect and respond to security events, empowering organizations to take control of their SAP environments.

“Splunk and SoftwareONE provide the monitoring solution of the future,” said Bangs. “By correlating data to discover anomalies that would otherwise go undetected, organizations can continue to move their business forward, keeping customers and SAP admins happy.”

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