Greater Efficiency for SAP Systems

April 24, 2009 by Dagmar Oberndorfer, SAP AG

SNP SLO

SNP’s System Landscape Optimization methodology ensures the rapid and cost-effective migration of highly complex clients. From the vision through implementation and final approval by the auditors, SNP SLO covers all aspects of a migration project – business blueprint, design, project management, change management, and quality management.

With only brief system downtimes during the migration, SNP SLO also has the benefit of enabling the entire data history to be transferred to the SAP target system. This means that the new systems are up and running right after the migration, and users can work with the new SAP system without additional instruction or training.

Complex software landscapes comprising several SAP systems and clients are a barrier to transparent information. What’s more, they can unnecessarily hike up costs, because new functions have to be installed individually in each system. But optimizing SAP systems is a far from easy task. Depending on the size of the system and the amount of data, such a project can run into millions of euros.

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance set aside a budget of around €3 million for the merger of its 19 clients. Support in restructuring the Ministry’s entire SAP infrastructure in the course of budgetary reforms came from the Heidelberg, Germany-based company SNP in the form of its System Landscape Optimization (SLO) methodology. Some 4,000 users work with the system to make 50 million postings a year.

Hager Group: a system for Europe and Asia

Such investments are worthwhile, despite the costs. A project at Hager Group confirmed this, as Stefan Schorr reported at the theme day.

Globalization and the centralization of logistics combined with the acquisition of several companies had fundamentally changed the organization’s structure. The IT architecture was in need of a transformation. Hager Group, a Germany-based international supplier of solutions and services for electro-technical installations, hoped that the project would result in:

  • More efficient processes
  • Increased transparency
  • Lower IT costs

The company management stipulated a return on investment within two years.

Hager Group examined the alternatives and opted to perform the migration with the help of the SLO methodology from SNP. The company was ultimately convinced by the methodology’s speed and the flexible and secure migration procedure.

Hager Group used SNP SLO to merge the SAP systems of its European and Asian manufacturing and sales companies to one SAP client at company headquarters in Germany. Working together, Hager Group and SNP set up a brand new system. Parallel to the migration, the data was converted to Unicode and the software was upgraded from SAP R/3 4.6C to SAP ERP 6.0. In addition, the history was to be retained in its entirety and the master data harmonized.

According to Schorr, some tasks were critical, such as reassigning the organizational units and documents. Converting the units of measure for the warehouse stock and the impact of the migration on the subsystems also presented a great challenge.

Today, Schorr looks back on the completed project with pride. He says that the key to its success was the speed of SNP SLO in the rollout planning and the SAP migration. Support from the decision makers in the user departments was another factor. They were convinced by the option of transferring the entire document history to the SAP target system and reassigning the data as desired.

The ideal combination – optimization and upgrade

The Hager Group story was just one of many real-life examples at the SNP theme day. Presentations by the speakers revealed that the success criteria and the hurdles in the optimization processes varied greatly. Company-specific system requirements and the existing IT landscape make the right solution as individual as the companies themselves.

However, everyone agreed on one thing: If possible, optimizing a system landscape should be combined with an upgrade – this makes a project worthwhile in any case.

SNP

SNP Schneider-Neureither & Partner has specialized in consulting in the SAP environment since 1994. As an SAP partner company, SNP supports organizations that continuously undergo change processes and that, as a result, need to adapt their SAP systems to new structures and requirements. The SNP portfolio comprises specialized solutions and software for migration projects, including full service, that is, planning, implementation, initial training, and support. The SNP Group currently employs around 140 people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

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