For the next three days, Madrid is a mecca for those who want practical, straightforward, must-know information on using SAP on a daily basis. And event speakers didn’t waste any time getting down to business.
One of the first sessions of the morning gave attendees an overview of SAP Enhancement packages (EHPs), sharing the roadmap for upcoming enhancements, explaining the concept behind EHPs, and defining the implementation process.
Announcing EHP 6 for ERP 6.0
On the first day at SAP TechEd Madrid, we got a look at the roadmap for the next wave of EHPs for SAP Business Suite applications. The big news is that EHP 6 for ERP 6.0 will enter ramp-up this week. We’ll let you know as soon as more information becomes available on the specific business functions delivered with this enhancement package.
Also EHP2 for CRM 7.0, SRM 7.0, and SCM 7.0 have entered ramp-up this week.
The current EHPs for SAP applications are:
- EHP 5 for ERP 6.0
- EHP 1 for CRM 7.0
- EHP 1 for SRM 7.0
- EHP 1 for SCM 7.0
How are EHPs different from upgrades?
The EHP concept – as opposed to the old method of installing upgrades – is designed to allow companies to take advantage of all the latest innovations with minimal disruption to business systems and processes. Thus, businesses get both the benefits of new technology and system stability.
There are three basic aspects that are common to every EHP: it is optionally installed, selectively activated, and cumulative. The first part is easy enough to understand: when a new EHP becomes available, it is your decision to install it or not. The second aspect enables you to pick and choose the specific business functionality you want to activate because not all enhancements may be relevant for your business.
Finally, the cumulative aspect simply means that when you install EHP 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, for example, you also get all the enhancements that were delivered in EHP 1, 2, 3 and 4. This doesn’t mean, though, that you’ll have to repeatedly install the same enhancements. If you are only moving from EHP 4 to EHP 5, you’ll just get the new enhancements.
EHPs are regularly delivered for the following core applications: ERP, CRM, SCM, and SRM. SAP recommends that you match your EHP implementation to your regular maintenance schedule, so that you when you install the support package for a particular application, you also install the EHP. For most companies, this occurs about once per year.
Four steps to implementing an EHP
An EHP can be implemented in just four steps. The first phase has to do with identifying business function requirements for your company. SAP provides a useful and free tool that will tell you exactly what business functions you should activate when installing an EHP.
This tool, called Business Function Prediction, can be found in the EHP Info Center in the SAP Service Marketplace along with master guides and how-tos for your EHP implementation. Simply upload the Business Function Prediction tool and it will track your system usage and analyze which transactions you use most often. A week later you’ll get a report of the recommended business functions based on that information.
The next step for implementation entails making sure your company has the necessary system prerequisites. For example, for the current EHPs you need to have SAP Solution Manager 7.0 SP 23, released in early 2010, or higher. Furthermore, SAP recommends that you have Landscape Verification 1.0 or higher and that you use the latest installation tools. If you’re installing an EHP for ERP, you should also check your add-ons for compatibility. It may be better to wait to install the latest EHP until SAP partners have updated their add-ons.
Downtime varies by company
After this, you can use test case templates provided by SAP to complete the third “test” phase of the implementation process. This step should not be overlooked as certain enhancements are not reversible. Before implementing these new business functions, you can test and evaluate them. However, make sure you conduct the test in a separate client, so that you can simply delete the client if you decide not to implement the enhancements.
Finally, after identifying your business requirements, checking for prerequisites, and testing the enhancements, you can deploy the EHP. The downtime for deployment depends on various factors, such as how you use your business system, how many modifications you have, the number of clients, the number of installed languages, and add-ons. On average, however, most businesses had around 40 hours of total downtime – including preparation activities and follow-up – and 5 hours of downtime for the actual technical deployment.
Interested in more stories on SAPPHIRE NOW and SAP TechEd from Madrid? Also visit the Events Newsroom.