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4 Tips to Consider During an SAP APO Upgrade

by Anjali Butley, Solution Architect, Tata Consultancy Services

March 25, 2016

Learn some tips and get some recommendations to ensure a successful SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) upgrade.

It is becoming increasingly important for an organization to get maximum benefits with the additional functionalities and technology available in the latest SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) applications.

An SAP APO upgrade is complicated when you upgrade from a very old version of SAP APO (e.g., SAP APO 3.0A) to the latest one, SCM 7.0 enhancement package 4. To guide you during an upgrade, I list a series of tips that I group into four main areas:

  1. SAP APO built-in technologies
  2. The scope of the upgrade project and the timeline
  3. Integration
  4. Readiness of systems, hardware, and people
1. SAP APO Built-In Technologies

In this section I focus on the following built-in SAP APO technologies about which you need to be concerned during an upgrade:

  • SAP LiveCache
  • Integrated SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) components
  • The planning engine
  • The Core Interface (CIF)

SAP LiveCache technology is used for managing complex objects and large volumes of data for SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) business solutions. The SAP LiveCache server specifies the name of the LiveCache computer, and the LiveCache version specifies the software version of the LiveCache kernel. SAP does the improvements on LiveCache, and those improvements are released as versions. There are suitable LiveCache versions required for SAP APO versions—for example, LiveCache version 7.4 for SCM 4.0. Version 7.4 is the major version, and it is further drilled to version 7.4.03 Build 41. Version 7.5 for SCM 4.0 released for use for SCM 4.0 in 2006. To use LiveCache 7.0 for SCM 4.0, you need to upgrade to LiveCache version 7.4.03 Build 41 to 7.5.00 Build 32.

SAP LiveCache 10.0 is the minimum requirement of SAP enhancement package 4 for SAP Supply Chain Management 7.0 (SCM 7.04). SAP LiveCache 10.0 is the minimum requirement for SCM 7.04 to be upgraded as per the upgraded targeted version of SAP APO. If the source release of SAP APO is SCM 4.1, SCM 5.0, or SCM 5.1 (SCM 2007), and the SAP APO upgraded targeted version is SCM 7.0 and higher (e.g., 7.03, SCM 7.04), then the LiveCache data must be extracted in the source release using program /SAPAPO/OM_LC_UPGRADE_70, and then  in the targeted system release, as the LiveCache is initialized during the upgrade process. In this process if data extraction does not happen properly, data may be lost and will not match the data in the targeted system. It is important to have a LiveCache consistency check before an upgrade in the source system to prevent data loss in the targeted system.

If the source release is SCM 7.0, SCM 7.01, SCM 7.02, or SCM 7.03, then you are not required to extract LiveCache data or to initialize the LiveCache for an upgrade to SCM 7.04.

(Note: The minimum requirement for the upgrade to SCM 7.0 is SCM Release 4.1 or higher.)

Make a system copy of the source system that can be used if any unsuccessful upgrade activities happen and you want to retrieve the old system.

You can get upgrade-related information on the SAP help portal under the Installation and Upgrade Information section.

The integrated SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW)-SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) component of SAP APO is mainly used for the Demand Planning (DP) component to store historical data. If the source system of SAP APO uses SAP BW, then you have to consider upgrading to an SAP APO-SAP BW system to the latest version of SAP APO-SAP BI (which is a component of SAP NetWeaver).

SAP NetWeaver version 7.5 is used in the  latest version of SAP enhancement package 4 for SAP APO 7.0. In SAP SCM 4.1 the SAP APO-SAP BW data structure and the SAP BW authorization concept have been changed. This delta change has to be considered when you are planning an SAP APO upgrade to a source system lower than SCM 5.0.

If the old SAP BW authorization concept is used in the targeted system, you have to adjust it after the upgrade in the targeted system with the new SAP BW authorization concept. For example, in SCM 4.1 you can activate the SAP BW authorization concept for characteristics in SCM DP to restrict the authorization at characteristics value level in demand planning (e.g., DP bill of material). For this you have to set the authorization-relevant indicator for one or more of your InfoObjects. You have to create an authorization object with the authorization field ACTVT, maintain the required authorization-relevant InfoObjects, activate the authorization check for the relevant planning object structure, and assign the authorization to the DP users who can have the access of the DP characteristics at the value level.

If all the DP users require or want full access to all the planning object structures, including all InfoProviders, you need to assign authorization 0BI_ALL in transaction code RSECADMIN to all of them.

If the targeted system is SAP SCM 7.03 or SCM 7.04, upgrade SAP BW and then a migration to SAP BW on the SAP HANA database is possible.

Planning engine: SAP APO supports different planning engines that have planning methods to perform planning runs in Supply Network Planning (SNP) and Production Planning/ Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). These methods are heuristic-based planning, optimization-based planning, capable-to-match (CTM)-based planning, and supply and demand propagation.

Based on the implemented planning engines, planning methods consider the complexity of the upgrade scope and handling of delta changes. Heuristic is the most common planning method and engine. It has fewer delta changes in the higher-up versions. Optimizer and CTM are mature and stable in the higher versions from SCM 5.0 onward. The SCM Optimizer has optimization engines for SNP, Supply Demand Matching, and Detailed Production (PP/DS) scheduling. In SCM 7.04, the SCM Optimizer version is 12.0. There are many delta changes in the SNP Optimizer profile parameters that require you to make adjustments after you upgrade the system. For example, if the upgrade is from SCM 5.0 to SCM 7.0, then the SCM 7.0 SNP Optimizer considers penalty groups to prioritize customers or customer segments. Use a setup matrix in SNP optimization to optimize a block schedule. To consider these delta changes of the SNP Optimizer, the SNP Optimizer profiles need to be modified and adjusted in the SNP Optimizer profile parameters related to penalty groups and the setup matrix in the targeted upgraded system SCM 7.0.

Integration with other systems via the CIF, SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI), or SAP Process Integration (SAP PI): SAP APO uses the Core Interface (CIF) for real-time batch mode integration with SAP ERP or ECC.  Master data and transaction data of SAP ECC or ERP applications are transferred to SAP APO and updated transaction data is transferred back to the SAP ECC or ERP system using the CIF. Based on the source and target system CIF, versions also require an update in the ERP and ECC system. During the upgrade the CIF has to be stopped and then reactivated after the upgrade in the targeted system. Integration with other SAP and non-SAP systems is done via SAP Process Integration (SAP PI) or SAP Infrastructure Integration (SAP XI). Consider the complexity of the integration based on how recently integration has been done with SAP ERP, ECC, or other SAP systems or non-SAP systems.

2. Scope of the Upgrade Project and Time Line

During an SAP APO upgrade, you need to correctly identify the scope of the upgrade project. Technical and functional upgrades have to be planned in phases. Most of the time the scope is not defined correctly for an upgrade. I recommend that you do the technical upgrade first, keeping in mind that in the next phase, a functional upgrade has to be done. Plan for the functional upgrade by determining which functional areas of the current implemented business processes need to be upgraded and which new functional business processes are available in the targeted system.

Another key step during an SAP APO upgrade is to list all the custom-developed objects from the current system. Do a detailed study of delta changes of technical objects for the targeted system. Prepare a detailed action plan in sequence. Is there any dependency? If any dependency is there, then plan accordingly to take action on those technical objects. If any automation is required to take corrective action, identify and plan those developments during the business blueprint phase for development of ABAP or any other tool.

You also must keep the project timeline in mind during an SAP APO upgrade. Consider every step of the upgrade project carefully. Consider how much downtime the upgrade will cause. The average downtime is two days for an upgrade from SAP APO 3.0 A to SAP SCM 7.0 enhancement package 3 for a company that has DP and SNP functionality implemented in the source system in SAP APO 3.0A, considering the new CIF connection and data extraction and validation from SAP APO or SAP BW.

Consider delta changes to applications (e.g., SAP APO DP macros, adjustment of a forecast profile for statistical forecasting, a profile adjustment for life cycle planning, or an SAP APO DP backup cube in which you can take the backup of the planning area data during the downtime or cutover phase). Identify the core tasks and activities to be performed during the upgrade. The core tasks of the upgrade consist of three parts:

  • Upgrade preparation activities: tasks or activities to be done as preparation for the upgrade and to be performed before the upgrade main activities.
  • Upgrade phase activities: Tasks or activities to be done during the upgrade phase
  • Post-upgrade activities: Tasks or activities to be done after the upgrade, such as adjustment of statistical forecast profiles, Optimizer profile adjustment, or variants or parameters of background jobs programs as identified.

The following core tasks need to be completed during upgrade preparation:

  • Read and identify SAP Notes or delta changes from SAP’s upgrade release manual.
  • Identify the custom programs, user exits, Business Add-Ins (BAdIs), ABAP objects, and authorization object adjustments required in the targeted system.
  • Create a backup cube in the source system of the SAP APO upgrade and create a new backup cube for data migration in the targeted system as per the new SAP BW data structure

During the upgrade phase, you need to complete technical Basis upgrade activities, including checking LiveCache consistency, copying data into the DP backup cube, backing up LiveCache, backing up databases, converting Unicode, and restoring LiveCache backup. You also need to complete the main activities related to migrating software or applications from the source version to the targeted version.

After the upgrade, you need to complete the following activities:

  • Transport corrected ABAP objects, user exits, and custom programs to the targeted system.
  • Validate transported objects and take corrective action if any fail during transport.
  • Adjust DP or SAP APO or SAP BW objects as per the identified SAP Notes.
  • Activate DP objects (planning objects, InfoCubes, and macros).
  • Perform a consistency check of DP objects
  • Switch off DP macro-compatible mode. This is required to use the macro for run-time performance.
  • Activate new integration models to connect with ECC and the targeted upgraded SCM system
  • Create a new SCM-specific master data CIF model for the targeted upgraded SCM system (e.g., set up a matrix and Production Process Model [PPM] Production Data Structure [PDS] adjustment where direct migration is not possible).
  • Deactivate old integration models and activate integration models for transaction data in the targeted upgraded system

(Note: Based on the business functionalities implanted in the source SAP APO system, this list of activities could change.)

If any error occurs and you need to get support from SAP, then inform SAP well in advance, especially when the SAP APO releases are already out of support period (e.g., SCM 4.1, SCM 5.0). You can get this information from the Product Availability matrix.

3. Integration

The readiness of SAP’s other applications (e.g., ERP, ECC, BI, or SAP BW): Make sure that SAP’s other applications are compatible with the targeted upgraded system. For example, you might need to ensure that ECC and SAP SCM systems integration via the CIF are compatible.

Readiness of non-SAP applications for integration: Check the integration type with the upgraded system, and if there are any objects to be adjusted in a non-SAP application based on the targeted upgrade system requirement.

Availability of the support team of the applications that are integrated with SAP APO for integration testing: During the integration testing technical and business teams should be available. Detail the business process integration testing to be done and ensure that the desired data flow between two systems is on time to execute the business process step by step.

Data migration is one of the critical activities and it has to be planned carefully. If the system is very old, then a two-step upgrade is required and data migration also needs to be handled in two steps. For example, consider a scenario in which a company’s source system is SAP APO 3.0 and its target system is SAP SCM 7.3. In this scenario, the upgrade needs to be completed in two steps: SAP APO 3.0A upgrade to SAP SCM 5.0 and then an upgrade of SAP SCM 5.0 to SAP SCM 7.0

4. Readiness of Systems, Hardware, and People

Availability of the SAP APO systems landscape as per the requirement for upgrade scope:
The Basis team has to study the current hardware landscape and do the sizing for the targeted hardware landscape. This activity should be done before the start of the actual upgrade project.

The right level of involvement from a skilled consultant, project team, or business team: In my experiences with clients, I have noticed that most of the time an upgrade project is of secondary importance. The team involved in the upgrade project does not have the right skills and due to unskilled resources, the team’s planning data does not match the data of the source and targeted systems. The result is data loss. The functionality also may not work as desired, and the issue is escalated to top management. During the project planning phase, use the right skilled people and involve them in the upgrade project.

Change management: The change management team should be involved in getting an organization’s SCM community’s involvement in the upgrade project for functional upgrade and delta changes of the upgraded SAP APO system.

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Anjali Butley

Anjali Butley has more than 20 years of strong functional, business, and IT experience with domain expertise in supply chain planning and logistics.

She is a business analyst with more than 18 years of SAP experience in design and development of integrated supply chain solutions for large-scale enterprises. Her expertise includes process modeling, business process analysis, application implementations, production support, and presales across multiple client engagements in the SCM domain.



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