SAP NetWeaver Magazine recently surveyed a group of readers about their project management issues and priorities with SAP NetWeaver. More than two-thirds of them (69.3 percent) currently have a significant SAP NetWeaver-based project underway at their company, and the primary drivers for these projects are “implementing a new application” (53.2 percent), “upgrading to mySAP ERP” (43.5 percent), and “re-engineering business processes” (35.5 percent).
When asked about their three key project management challenges, more than half of our readers said, “gathering specifications/needs from business owners” was a key challenge. More than half also said, “finding knowledgeable, experienced resources” was key. All in all, the key challenges seem to be people-related, not software-related.
|Key Project Management Challeneges
When asked how they measure the success of their SAP NetWeaver projects, three responses were chosen more often than the others: “efficiency/speed of business processes” (60.3 percent), “integrity of the data” (56.2 percent), and “system reliability” (54.8 percent).
|Measuring Project Success
And the tools used to monitor and test their SAP NetWeaver projects most often include SAP Solution Manager (71.2 percent).
|Use of Monitoring and Testing Tools
The following pages provide information on some of the products and companies that can help you manage your SAP NetWeaver projects.
| Todd Funasaki
Principal Manager of Solutions
Tackling the Five Challenges of Data Migration in Your SAP Project
If you’re involved in implementing a new SAP system or upgrading or consolidating current SAP instances, then you’re in the midst of a data migration project — and probably realizing that data migration isn’t as easy as it first appears. A recent Informatica survey of 1,200 migration projects found that on average, data migration costs were 10 times greater than planned expenditure, and projects took 75 percent longer than expected.
Businesses may adopt a variety of migration strategies and approaches, but no matter what the source or target, every successful data migration has to overcome five key challenges:
1. Identify and analyze source data
2. Access source data
| Arvind Parthasarathi
Senior Director of Solutions Informatica
3. Address data quality in source applications
4. Prepare and load data into the target application
5. Support the data migration lifecycle
Informatica, as the industry leader in data migration tools, has been used by more than 600 customers worldwide in their SAP implementations, upgrades, or consolidations. Informatica is a Powered by SAP NetWeaver partner, as well as Certified by SAP for SAP’s Data Migration Interfaces (DMI) and Application Link-Enabling (ALE)/Intermediate Documents (IDoc). In addition, Informatica was recently chosen by SAP for inclusion in its Safe Passage program to help customers migrate from PeopleSoft, Siebel, and legacy systems to SAP.
Let’s take a closer look at the five challenges of data migration and how multiple SAP customers are using Informatica to successfully tackle these challenges.
Challenge #1: Identify and Analyze Source Data
When source data is spread across the enterprise, it can be overwhelming just to try to identify and reconcile what data exists where. Analyzing data to understand its content, structure, and dependencies is a logical first step in any data migration project. Manual data-profiling methods sample data in a few key fields to extrapolate what the data is like overall, but the results are often inaccurate and incomplete. One electronics manufacturer originally budgeted sourcing from seven legacy applications for its material master migration to SAP, but it turned out that the data was spread across 20 systems, resulting in a 30 percent overrun in cost and time.
Informatica provides data exploration and profiling capabilities that enable a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the content and structure of all data sources to be migrated. This insight helps teams move from wondering if their data is dirty to creating a plan of action for addressing data issues, and then to properly converting the data.
Challenge #2: Access Source Data
A typical SAP implementation migrates data from more than 20 sources including ERP, supply chain management (SCM), and customer relationship management (CRM) packaged applications, mainframe systems, and spreadsheets. Each source may involve different data types and platforms, making it complex to access data and potentially requiring team members to have domain expertise on each source system.
Informatica helps to source and prepare data for SAP applications by providing universal data access to virtually any enterprise data format. Instead of depending on mainframe resources to provide flat-file dumps from IMS and DB2 mainframe systems, the logistics division of a military organization leveraged Informatica to natively source mainframe-based data, thereby scaling its Informatica resources regardless of source system and cutting the project timeline by two-thirds.
Challenge #3: Address Data Quality of Source Applications
Data migration projects typically uncover a range of data quality issues in source systems. If these issues are not resolved before the data is loaded into SAP, business processes will break and compromise the SAP project. One industrial company was migrating customer payment history into SAP and found duplicate customer records with differing credit scores from various legacy applications. If the duplicates were not identified and reconciled prior to loading into SAP, how would it know which credit score should be trusted?
Informatica helps customers define and measure their enterprise data quality by providing the tools and framework required to address data quality issues such as completeness, conformity, accuracy, and duplicates. Informatica reduces data quality assessment time, addresses ongoing data quality issues in legacy applications with Web-based dashboards and reports, and ultimately builds the customer’s confidence in the data.
Challenge #4: Prepare and Load Data into the Target Application
While the SAP application platform provides mature interfaces to import data, these APIs require the data to pass through strict validation checks based on SAP business rules. These validation checks reduce the amount of corrupt data entering into SAP, but also pose challenges, especially if the data extraction and conversion logic is hand-coded. Disparate tools and hand-coded logic can lead to project delays and overruns.
Informatica can help to optimize your SAP data migration effort. Through its native connectivity to SAP, Informatica interprets and leverages SAP metadata to validate legacy data as it flows through the conversion process. For example, Informatica’s SAP DMI transformation capability automatically checks cardinality rules between parent/child-segment relationships and field-length and data-type formats. This approach enables more efficient data migration projects by proactively identifying any issues with the data.
Challenge #5: Support the Data Migration Lifecycle
Data migration is rarely a once-and-done process. You may discover requirements for phased implementation — for example, by module or by country — or data synchronization to maintain some legacy applications and SAP in parallel.
Informatica provides a robust and methodical approach, with all the capabilities that are essential for the lifecycle of SAP implementations. When changes are made anywhere in the profiling, data quality, data access, data conversion, or SAP loading process, Informatica, through a unified platform, enables immediate visibility into those changes for faster and more flexible iterations in the data migration lifecycle. Its tracking of data conversion and movement also helps support your organization’s compliance with reporting requirements.
Implement Successful Applications
By starting with a proven data integration platform, Informatica can reduce the cost and effort of data migration for your SAP migration, upgrade, or consolidation. Some customers report cost and time savings of as much as 70 percent. Informatica’s unified enterprise data integration platform complements SAP NetWeaver with powerful metadata-driven capabilities for sourcing, accessing, improving, loading, and supporting data throughout the project lifecycle. Informatica enables your team to leverage proven capabilities for data-profiling, universal data access, transformation, and correction — all from a platform that’s SAP-certified. For more information on when to use Informatica in an SAP data migration project, please request a complimentary copy of the Informatica white paper, “Implementing or Upgrading to SAP? Don’t Forget the Data” at www.informatica.com/solutions/integration/migration/default.htm.
|Informatica PowerCenter Helps Cement Company Build a Solid Foundation
for SAP Applications
A $15 billion supplier of cement products used Informatica to create a unified, global data architecture to migrate data from more than 30 legacy application instances to a single SAP R/3 instance, with end-to-end data integrity and batch, and near-real-time data synchronization through 150 systems interfaces. The company realized millions of dollars in ROI and accelerated deployment through an 80 percent increase in developer productivity, made possible by PowerCenter’s native access to SAP and other systems, ease of use, and reusability of approximately 60 percent of components across subsequent projects. The company expects PowerCenter will continue to pay for itself by eliminating the need to revise, patch, and maintain custom code.
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| Marike Owen
BMC Software, BSM for SAP Product Manager
Architect Your SAP Environment with a
Business Service Management (BSM) is the most effective approach for managing IT from the perspective of the business. With SAP applications powering business processes in more than 32,500 companies worldwide, managing the availability and performance of these applications is essential to managing IT from a business perspective.
To be successful, every IT organization must follow a series of processes — or a workflow — to manage incidents to their resolution. This workflow should be optimized, aligned with ITIL best practices, and auditable. To help organizations accelerate BSM maturity, BMC
Software provides best-practice workflow and integration for incident-to-resolution process
in SAP environments.
Build a Service Model
To proactively manage the SAP incident-to-resolution workflow, you first need to discover the SAP environment. The BMC Topology Discovery tool, with the Expert Extension for SAP, discovers the SAP applications deployed and their logical and physical infrastructure. To map the business process to your IT infrastructure — and take another step toward BSM — build a business service model. You then can deploy resources to fix issues that impact priority business processes and avoid a reactive mode that does not focus on aligning IT to your business.
Manage to Established Service Levels
According to ITIL best practices, business service priorities come directly from your service level agreements. BMC Service Level Manager works to establish agreements between the business and IT that are centered on management priorities. These agreements have various levels of enforcement, but the critical element is to align IT with business priorities, which is the goal of BSM. Analyze your critical business processes, attach SLAs to your business service models, and begin prioritizing events that impact them.
Detect and Report Incidents
The main types of events that threaten business services are actual impacting events (such as hardware or batch job failures) and potential impacting events (such as service degradation incidents). Both types are mapped to service models, so you can prioritize events and deploy resources effectively. BMC Performance Manager for Business Applications monitors events for all the applications in the SAP landscape, providing a broad, centralized solution. To further help prevent SLAs from being breached, BMC Transaction Management Application Response Time detects service degradation events from the end users’ perspective.
After a problem is prioritized, you can quickly diagnose a root cause with the BMC Performance Manager by drilling down into any application — including legacy and third-party applications — as well as databases.
Resolving an event can be as simple as stopping a job. Often, a solution requires a change to the environment. At this step, BMC Change Manager picks up the workflow to enable a complete approval cycle and audit trail for all changes to the enterprise environment.
Now you have a closed-loop management system for identifying business impacting events, diagnosing the root cause, and resolving problems, using tools that support business service management, ITIL processes, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
For more information on how to architect your SAP environment with a business perspective, see our BSM for SAP Webinar series at www.bmc.com/sapwebevent.
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