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How to Take Data Migrations from Classical to Cutting Edge

by Dr. Andreas Schneider-Neureither | insiderPROFILES

July 1, 2011

Data migration challenges are not insurmountable, but a classical approach is no longer enough. Dr. Andreas Schneider-Neureither, CEO of SNP, shares the benefits of the Business Landscape Transformation approach and the SNP Transformation Backbone solution, which can help IT departments streamline the historical data migration process and greatly simplify IT systems maintenance.
 

IT organizations spend a lot of their time managing system landscape transformations, from post-merger integrations to routine system upgrades and new solution implementations. As part of these projects, the IT department often needs to migrate data from one system to another. But because historical data is extremely difficult to migrate from an old system to a new one, the classical approach to data migration usually leaves historical data in its place. This approach can create problems for the business by leaving data scattered across multiple systems.

Why a Classical Data Migration Strategy Is No Longer Enough

Imagine that Company XYZ takes over Company ABC. To truly benefit from this acquisition, the newly combined business needs to be able to work from a single system with harmonized data and processes. So, the challenge for the IT organization is to merge all systems and data from both companies into one preferred system for the combined company.

The classical approach to data migration usually entails moving only master data and open items into the new system. All of the historical data, however, remains in the old systems, forcing the company to maintain those systems and keep them accessible to the appropriate users. This not only increases the overall IT cost, but also complicates some routine business processes. For instance, when a user needs to access information about a customer account, he or she must search for that data in the merged system, and in both Company XYZ’s and in Company ABC’s old systems, which is a time-consuming process. Having data distributed across various systems also complicates reporting processes and increases the risk of lost or inaccurate data. It’s simply more difficult to manage.

With the Right Tools, IT Can Drive Business Transformation

Data migration challenges are not insurmountable; IT organizations today have access to a new solution that streamlines the migration of historical data into a new system. The SNP Transformation Backbone (SNP T-Bone) solution and the Business Landscape Transformation (BLT) approach help IT departments streamline the historical data migration process and greatly simplify IT systems maintenance. The BLT approach simplifies the historical data migration process by standardizing all project steps based on SNP’s experience with more than 1,200 successful transformation projects. The SNP T-Bone solution automates those steps and accelerates the transformation process.

By using the BLT method with the SNP T-Bone solution, companies can migrate not only their master and transactional data, but also the complete historical transactional data. This is possible because SNP T-Bone, which is IDW PS 880 and IDW PS 850 certified, works directly on a database level, rather than accessing the data through applications and programs. This way, the solution is able to transform and migrate the complete data and not only a small part of it.


Historical data is extremely important for business continuity as current business processes and future plans are often based on data from the past; this graph shows how data is chronologically structured within SAP systems

The BLT method starts the transformation project by using SNP T-Bone System Scan to perform a deep analysis of all of the relevant systems (both SAP and non-SAP). This analysis identifies every detail about the data, data tables, and any business processes related to that data. The results of the analysis are presented in user-friendly graphs, so all relevant stakeholders can get an overview of the opportunities and the risks of the system transformation. In addition, the analysis will identify any potential problems or inconsistencies between the systems being merged. SNP T-Bone then bundles any of these problems into work packages and sends them through SNP T-Bone Cockpit, which provides standardized processes to help companies plan, organize, navigate, perform, control, and document their transformation projects. As a result, the IT organization can more accurately map the data for the migration and streamline the process, thus avoiding problems during the migration.

In addition, depending on the nature of the project, companies can employ task-specific SNP T-Bone Units, which include scenario-specific tools. SNP T-Bone also allows companies to enter a business requirement and then converts it into a transformation rule. This method lets both business and technical stakeholders provide input and have their business requirements considered. 

Then, once all the required data is moved into a new system, the company can archive any unused data and retire the old systems, improving TCO and ensuring that users only need to log on to a single system to access complete, up-to-date information.

Learn More

By using the BLT method, the IT organization no longer complicates the transformation, but enables it, allowing the company to transform system landscapes quickly, securely, and cost-efficiently. With the BLT method and the SNP T-Bone tools acting as a foundation, companies can design their future system landscape to better fit their business needs.

For more information on these and other SNP solutions, visit www.snp-ag.com.

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