Exclusive: Introducing SAP Landscape Transformation

Company mergers: adapting structures using software (collage: grasundsterne)
Company mergers: adapting structures using software (collage: grasundsterne)

SAP’s new standard software SAP Landscape Transformation (SAP LT) enables companies to adapt their existing SAP system landscapes to changed business requirements fast and independently. General availability of the SAP LT software began on October 4th after successful ramp-up. At SAP TechEd in Las Vegas and upcoming events in Bangalore and Shanghai customers and partners will have the opportunity to find out about the product’s functionalities and the roadmap ahead.

Every major organizational change at a company – be it a merger, an acquisition, or a carve-out – entails specific restructuring efforts on the respective system landscape. These restructuring endeavours not only bear great risks due to technical challenges but also have a major impact on the project as a whole. New processes, reporting structures, and controlling functions need to be adapted, and clearly mirrored to the technical infrastructure to fully reflect the new corporate business setup. The company’s IT department has to take on this challenge.

What SAP LT offers

The SAP Landscape Transformation software empowers customers to plan, document, test, and perform transformation scenarios independently. This brand new SAP standard software applies nearly two decades of experience in transformation projects.

SAP LT is fully embedded in the SAP Solution Manager 7.0 and elegantly complements the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) portfolio. The software enables organizations to fulfill technical and business requirements while maintaining data consistency and considering system integration aspects. Embedded in SAP’s ALM portfolio, synergies can be leveraged with other processes, such as solution documentation and test management. Detailed roadmaps and phased project execution result in minimal downtime during the productive conversion.

Next page: More functionalities available with SAP LT 2.0

Road map showing more functions available with SAP LT 2.0 (screenshot: SAP)
Road map showing more functions available with SAP LT 2.0 (screenshot: SAP)
Three scenarios in company realignment (graphic: SAP)
Three scenarios in company realignment (graphic: SAP)

How SAP LT tackles business transformations

The first version of SAP LT tackles three different transformation scenarios:

1. Leverage, sell, buy, and restructure
If a company wants to carve out a business unit, the system landscape must reflect this organizational change. The unit to be carved out is mapped as an independent company code and transferred to the dedicated target system. The software supports the divestment in line with legal requirements and ensures that the business processes run smoothly.

2. Unify and transform data
If a company wants to simplify its reporting activities by implementing a standardized group chart of accounts, country-specific charts of accounts, or international accounting standards (such as IFRS), it can take advantage of SAP Landscape Transformation here, too. The new software enables the conversion, restructuring or merging of existing charts of accounts.

3. Consolidate and reduce IT cost
If a company has a distributed system landscape and wants to reduce its costs for hardware and administration, the SAP LT software can assist in setting up a multi-client system. This involves transferring the selected clients from one or more source systems to a target system – with minimum system downtime and ensured data integrity.

Complementary services for additional requirements

The SAP LT software is complemented by SAP’s unique System Landscape Optimization services to support companies in realizing transformation requirements not yet covered by the software. These may be, for example, complex data consolidation projects or projects that involve further applications of the SAP Business Suite, such as SAP BW, CRM or SCM.

Looking ahead: SAP LT 2.0 in 2011

The second version of the software will be available in the third quarter of 2011 and will cover further transformation scenarios. The roadmap on SAP LT 2.0 (second image on the first page) gives an overview on the transformation scenario components covered by the first and second version of SAP LT. The portfolio will grow continuously in subsequent versions.

Next page: Planning and executing transformations

User interface: work center (screenshot: SAP)

User interface: work center (screenshot: SAP)

Planning and executing transformation projects

The SAP Landscape Transformation software, fully embedded in the SAP Solution Manager 7.0, is clearly structured and straightforward to use. Predefined project plans and integrated knowledgeware guide the project team through all phases of the transformation project.

The software enables companies to gain transformation expertise in the long term, and thus optimizes the execution of future projects.
From the SAP LT user interface – the work center – users are directed to the respective transformation scenario. A project tutorial shows users the details of creating and executing a project.

Once a scenario has been selected, users can create a project according to their individual requirements and select the desired transformation components. This results in what’s known as the project template, which contains all the necessary project steps and transformation requirements as well as suggesting further optional project steps. Once a template has been created, it can be used for subsequent projects, as well.

A template comprises different scenario-specific analyses, which enable users at an early stage in the project to estimate time, costs and project resources. The analyses are tailored for each scenario component and provide an overview of all system and database characteristics and scenario specific information. These include analyses of cross-client customizing, report variants, and code scan analysis. All analysis results may be reused for subsequent project steps or generate additional ones (depending on the system complexity additional test conversions may be required).

Each scenario is structured using roadmaps that give an overview of the individual project phases. Comprehensive documentation contains further context-specific and detailed information about each of the project components.

The project steps are executed using a process tree, similar to the Implementation Guide (IMG), with which people working in the SAP environment will be familiar. The various project steps are performed through a remote connection in the predefined execution system.

Registered users find more information about SAP Landscape Transformation in the SAP Service Marketplace.

At the TechEd event in Las Vegas, the software will be presented in presentations and workshops:

  • Presentation (ALM 204): Perform Cost-Efficient Business and IT Transformations with SAP LT
  • Workshop (ALM 260): SAP LT Software – New Platform for SAP-Related Business and IT Transformation

More presentations will be held at the upcoming TechEd events in Bangalore and Shanghai.

Specific scenario analysis using SAP LT (screenshot: SAP)
Specific scenario analysis using SAP LT (screenshot: SAP)