In any implementation or upgrade project, IT decision makers must weigh the ROI and benefits of the new system against the risk that all such projects carry at each phase:
- During the project design phase, the system may not be designed to take full advantage of the business software's inherent capabilities
- During the actual implementation or upgrade, common risks include cost overruns and project delays
- After the project go-live, risks include system inefficiencies, system crashes, and unplanned downtime
Risks can also come from the unknown; problems emerge that are either unforecasted or are outside the scope of the project's original plan. And there's always the risk that any newly implemented solution could fail to meet overall expectations or address critical business and IT requirements.
Common among all of these risks is the significant costs they incur. Risk rises over the course of a project life cycle. The later the mistake occurs, the higher the cost to reduce it.
So rather than stay up nights worrying about your implementation or upgrade project, what can you do to manage and lower these risks and costs? Companies need a comprehensive methodology and process to mitigate risks and address any issues before costs escalate.
Introducing SAP Safeguarding
Recognizing customers' need to mitigate and do something about risk while ensuring project ROI, the SAP Consulting and SAP Active Global Support organizations of SAP Services have developed the SAP Safeguarding product — a collection of proven methodologies, state-of-the-art tools, and valuable knowledgebases (in the form of SAP support and development teams) that deliver holistic, end-to-end risk mitigation services to SAP customers.
SAP Safeguarding helps project teams minimize risks, achieve an on-time project go-live, and most importantly, reduce project costs. SAP Safeguarding incorporates SAP's unique knowledge of the latest issues and problem resolutions, and includes access to an SAP quality management expert, links to SAP development, and a conduit to SAP experts in the SAP Active Global Support organization worldwide. The SAP Safeguarding methodology focuses on the quality and performance of project activities to ensure the project's success — with no surprises during or after go-live.
Over the course of more than 80,000 SAP implementations worldwide, the experts at SAP Services have seen these common risk factors emerge:
- Increasingly complex business solutions combined with multiple points of integration between different system architectures and technologies
- Rapid rate of technological change, resulting in higher costs, more complexity, and greater risks from system performance, as well as new skill requirements and a shortage of these required skills
- A fast-moving and changing business climate, increased competitive pressures, and new demands on mission-critical core business processes
Risk Mitigation Best Practices
SAP Safeguarding ensures that customers optimize SAP best practices for the solutions they are deploying, and keeps projects on track by assigning team members to specific roles and performing a proven combination of procedures. SAP Safeguarding includes six service offerings (see Figure 1):
- SAP Feasibility Check — A comprehensive design review assessing the risks and potential weak points in your business blueprint and implementation plan
- SAP Technical Integration Check — A complete check of the bits and bytes of your project; analyzes interoperability and integration of your core business processes and technologies across the system landscape
- Technical Quality Management – A direct expert liaison to SAP support and development; monitors on-site engineering and risk reduction, playing a critical role in a project's technical implementation
- Project Management Reviews — Certified project management experts resolve project inefficiencies that could result in cost and project overruns
- SAP Operations Competence Assessment — An evaluation that determines if your people are equipped to support the implementation and operations during the mission-critical project handover phase
- SAP Solution Management Optimization — A deep dive into system performance activities through assessments and services that ensures the solution is optimized for high- performance production
SAP Safeguarding services provide end-to-end confidence across
the complete implementation project life cycle
With SAP Safeguarding, IT decision makers are armed to confidently — and cost-effectively — approach their next implementation or upgrade project.
For more information about SAP Safeguarding and additional offerings from SAP Active Global Support, visit www.sapsafeguarding.com and view the free Webcast "Safeguarding Your Success" at www.sap.com/community/pub/events/2006_06_23_safe.
To speak to the SAP Services organization about SAP Safeguarding, please call +1 866 609-1124.
Texas Instruments Incorporated, a global high-tech company with 35,000 employees in 25 countries, conducted a massive upgrade of SAP R/3 software in just 15 hours. The company called on SAP Safeguarding and SAP Solution Management Optimization services to reduce technical risk, ensure successful completion, and guarantee smooth system operation. Key benefits to Texas Instruments included:
- Minimized time and cost by identifying and eliminating technical risks
- Reduced downtime through proactive upgrade and resource planning
- Increased safeguarding against future issues and problems by engaging
"By involving SAP Safeguarding, we applied another level of skills and competency. We had SAP experts on site prior to and during the upgrade to look for any gaps in our downtime assessment, and as insurance to mitigate issues after we restored service."
— Steve Dean, Director of Application Architecture, Texas Instruments Incorporated
For more on the Texas Instruments story, visit www.sapsafeguarding.com.