Sunday, August 1, 2010

Special Feature: SAP Upgrades

by SAPInsider 2004 (Volume 5) » July (Issue 3)


Deploy As You Go
Transitioning to mySAP ERP


Thomas Baur
Vice President,
Head of the Global ERP Initiative,
SAP AG

>>INSIDE<<

Deploy the Next SAP Version in Hours —
and Save Money, Too

Facing Your Own SAP Upgrade? Microsoft's Platform Advantages Can Amplify Your ROI

Upgrade Tools: The Closest Thing to a Silver Bullet for Your Upgrade

Why to Include Automated Document Delivery in Your SAP Upgrade Plans

Q&A with Thomas Baur
Vice President,
Head of the Global ERP Initiative,
SAP AG

Q. Ramp-up for mySAP ERP 2004 starts this summer. How will this impact SAP R/3 and SAP R/3 Enterprise customers in the short- and long-term?

Thanks to our new release and maintenance strategy, our customers now have a lot of flexibility with implementing mySAP ERP. In the months ahead, SAP customers running releases up to and including 4.6C will need to decide on and plan a transition strategy. While the 2006 end-of-maintenance deadline isn't imminent, it is close enough to impact near-term IT decisions. So I strongly advise SAP R/3 customers running a system below SAP R/3 Enterprise to get a handle on what mySAP ERP is — what options it affords them and what implications it poses to their business processes, their user communities, their IT landscape, and their SAP licensing arrangements.

I suggest SAP R/3 Enterprise customers also do the same. While end-of- maintenance doesn't happen for this group until 2009, the gap in capabilities between SAP R/3 Enterprise and mySAP ERP is quite large. Many SAP R/3 Enterprise customers may want to make the transition long before the 2009 date in order to take advantage of Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM), Manager Self-Services (MSS), Enterprise Self-Services (ESS), or Travel Management, for example, which all come standard with mySAP ERP.

Whatever your current situation, you'll need to understand the capabilities of mySAP ERP relative to the SAP systems you're now running. That way, you can make informed decisions not just about your transition, but also about day-to-day activities between now and then.

That said, I want to clearly emphasize that our customers are not in a hurry. Our maintenance cycles for SAP R/3 releases allow customers to carefully work out a strategy for their future business processes. With mySAP ERP, we are not talking about a "rip and replace" scenario, but rather a "deploy-as-you-go" scenario — and this is important to know. A customer can run mySAP ERP even with SAP R/3 4.6C or below. This is the smart thing about mySAP ERP. If you are a customer with a certain need to implement SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), you can do just that. You don't have to first upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise or SAP ECC (SAP ERP Central Component), the new ERP core component within mySAP ERP 2004. So we need to talk about your upgrade from three perspectives: your technical upgrade, your license, and your implementation.

For customers still on an SAP R/3 system below 4.6C, I strongly recommend that you start thinking now about your next step. With our updated maintenance strategy, you can extend your current maintenance for another two years — until December 2006. That would give you enough time to plan, for example, a technical upgrade to SAP ECC 5.00, which comes with mySAP ERP 2004 and will be generally available in Q1 2005. By converting your SAP R/3 license to mySAP ERP 2004, you could start exploiting the gained business benefits immediately at the beginning of next year.

Or, if you are a customer currently involved in an upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise, proceed with that — you always have the option to convert your license to mySAP ERP and implement other components like SAP BW step-by-step while maintaining SAP R/3 Enterprise as the core ERP backbone.

The bottom line: To meet critical business demands, convert your license to mySAP ERP to get the full scope of ERP functionality, and then deploy the components as you go. That's a very practical road to follow.

Q. Given the scope of the release, should customers be bracing themselves for a costly, complex upgrade?

Quite the opposite. This upgrade is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The license gives you the full breadth and depth of mySAP ERP functionality. You pick and choose what you'd like to implement, and when. Let me give you just a few examples:

  • Finance organizations may want to tap into SEM to gain better visibility into the company's financial and operation status and achieve the elusive "fast close." This has become a particularly pressing need in the wake of Sarbanes-Oxley and with looming deadlines for Basel II and IAS.

  • Your management teams may want better business intelligence or planning and simulation capabilities. Again, this is all part of mySAP ERP.

  • Manager Self-Services and Employee Self-Services are two extremely popular applications right now, and they too come with mySAP ERP. By maximizing ease-of-use and providing access to daily tasks at workers' fingertips, these applications ensure that employees are empowered to provide the highest possible value to their company.

From a licensing perspective, all of this functionality is at your disposal. (That's not the case with SAP R/3 4.6C and below or a license to SAP R/3 Enterprise alone.) From an implementation perspective, you tap into these strategic capabilities when the timing is advantageous to your business. As a result, we're seeing a great deal of excitement across finance, operations, and HR organizations.

Think about where IT dollars are being spent. Behind every major project stands an expensive integration exercise. Whatever your challenge — compliance, planning, RFID, acquisitions, global ATP checks, accelerating time-to-market or order-to-cash, human capital management, or even homeland security — integration is an ever-present IT hurdle, one that constitutes a huge expense. mySAP ERP is built on SAP NetWeaver, our open application and integration platform. That has huge TCO implications — very positive implications — for SAP customers. Business intelligence, portal and integration technologies, master data management, a mobile infrastructure, and a Web application server are all part of SAP NetWeaver, and they all work together. That's at the infrastructure level. At the application level, mySAP ERP is part of mySAP Business Suite and can therefore be extended with mySAP CRM or mySAP SCM, for example. It's at the application level where integration usually really gets costly, but not with mySAP ERP.

The bottom line is that evolving from old-school ERP to this new generation of ERP delivers benefit and savings to all vested parties. You can expect a rapid adoption curve because, frankly, it's more costly not to take the mySAP ERP road.

Q. But don't companies suffer from a glut of technology?

They do. That's why you see SAP recommending a smooth shift to service-based architectures, to its Enterprise Services Architecture. It's the only viable way to protect and further leverage the value of all those existing IT assets and at the same time pave the way for new ones. Without a service-based architecture, diminishing returns on IT assets will happen at an alarming rate. With a service-based architecture, you can control costs and facilitate growth in multiple directions — the growth that comes from within (when you grow your customer offerings, for example) and the kind that comes about from mergers or acquisitions.

The studies bear this out. Company after company report that they need to get to this end goal and want to partner with a vendor that can help them get there. Seriously, who wants to be confounded by something like issuing a purchase order, canceling an order, or performing an available-to-promise check? What one would hope would be a simple business process is anything but. These kinds of basic business activities are difficult because they encompass multiple systems and vendors. SAP NetWeaver delivers the prerequisite technology for moving toward a service-based architecture. And again, with mySAP ERP a customer is able to cover three fundamental needs: to leverage existing IT investments, to extend business benefits, and to grow into a service-oriented architecture.

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Deploy the Next SAP Version in Hours — and Save Money, Too


Michel Koopman
SAP Global Alliance Executive,
Citrix Systems, Inc.

So you've laid out a plan for your SAP upgrade. Your business analysts have gathered the requirements, your business users are ready for testing, your ABAP developers have started development, and your Basis team is working with the Data Center team to minimize your downtime. Everything seems to be in place, but you feel like you overlooked something. Maybe you did — but how can you know?

IT organizations are caught between two seemingly irreconcilable forces — the ongoing need for new initiatives that drive business growth and competitive advantage, and the equally insistent demands of managing the infrastructure. If organizations aren't careful, they end up spending most of their time running the system and very little supporting business objectives. Deploying the next upgrade of a given SAP module is a great example of a time-consuming and resource-intensive task that can be minimized to a "non-event" if the right access strategy is in place.

Citrix, an SAP Global Technology Partner and member of the SAP NetWeaver partner initiative, provides a trusted and proven access infrastructure solution — the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite — that enables simple, fast, and scalable application deployments with less risk, leading to quicker returns and allowing you to spend more time on strategic projects to grow your business. By adopting an access infrastructure that features efficient and server-centric application management, collaboration, security, and remote access, organizations such as Delta Air Lines, Kindred Healthcare, Engen, and SAP AG itself have lowered the cost of both managing SAP solutions across a heterogeneous infrastructure and deploying them to a diverse user base.

Secure Access for SAP — Anytime, Anywhere, Over Any Network

The Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite turns every organization into an on-demand enterprise by providing simple and secure access to applications from any location, device, or connection. The MetaFrame Access Suite centralizes application installation, processing, and administration on the server instead of on the desktop, significantly reducing maintenance and support costs and accelerating deployment across the organization.

With Citrix, whether you are deploying the SAP GUI or a published browser running the SAP Enterprise Portal, applications and data never leave the trusted network. Only screen refreshes, mouse movements, and keystrokes are transmitted between server and client. Therefore, no matter what device a person is using — be it a public kiosk, a library terminal, or their child's PC — data integrity is assured.

Also, for the first time, the SAP iView for the Citrix Business Package, which provides integration between the Citrix access infrastructure and the SAP Enterprise Portal, allows organizations to make their portal the central hub for all communication and access.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

With its server-centric architecture, Citrix software enables applications to be centrally deployed in a fraction of the time needed to install them individually on local desktops for a large and/or geographically dispersed user base. To upgrade to the next version of an SAP solution, for example, IT teams no longer need to visit hundreds of users in multiple locations or to track down mobile devices. The application is simply installed on one server, pushed out to the other servers in the farm, and then made instantly available to all users simultaneously — no worries about forgetting a device, user, or application. A roll-out can often be completed over a weekend.

"The upgrade to SAP R/3 could not have been done as quickly without Citrix. It would have taken weeks to roll out — with Citrix software, it literally took us hours."

— Andries van der Vyver, Engen

MetaFrame Presentation Server allows you to install the new SAP GUI or updated browser on a separate set of servers. This means that multiple versions of the interface can run within the same production environment, something that cannot be accomplished with a desktop solution alone. Additionally, users can access the new version — whether it's a test bed or the production release — without disrupting their current responsibilities; users just point to an icon, click, and start working.

From an administrator's perspective, you install the updates once and then push the install package to the other servers in the farm. You can complete the entire upgrade in less time than it takes for a single desktop installation.

Additionally, session shadowing allows support staff to remotely monitor and assist users for training or troubleshooting during the upgrade deployment without having to visit their desks personally, resulting in substantial cost savings. During our own deployment of SAP at Citrix, with a population of over 2,000 users worldwide, we recognized savings of over $150,000 on our SAP SRM upgrade alone. We realized ongoing savings of over $100,000 per year on help desk personnel, calls, and orientation/training.

For organizations using the SAP Enterprise Portal, the SAP iView for the Citrix Business Package allows any Win32 or UNIX application running in a Citrix environment to be instantly Web-enabled without recoding and to be centrally deployed to users through the portal. This capability extends the scope of the portal with access to any application.

Lower Costs While Raising Service Levels

Many enterprises have found Citrix software to be a powerful solution for reducing the cost of computing through greater IT efficiency, reduced infrastructure costs, lower bandwidth demands, and streamlined administration. Citrix itself is a classic example. Having standardized on SAP, Citrix deployed the solution to employees worldwide using MetaFrame Presentation Server. The deployment was completed in just 20 days, with annual cost savings of $2.5 million.

"We needed a standardized office solution across Europe, but we had a large number of legacy PCs and we didn't want to spend a fortune upgrading them."

— Tom Arentsen,
Rubbermaid Europe

Following are key TCO areas impacted by Citrix solutions:

Extended Life of Existing Infrastructure
Because Citrix software supports virtually any device, including older PCs and terminals, companies that need to roll out the latest version of a powerful application like SAP do not need to upgrade desktop hardware. Further, organizations have the flexibility to select cost-effective thin devices instead of full-function PCs, or to choose the latest PDAs or cell phones to access their applications.

Stable, Predictable Performance Across Any Network
Because only minimal amounts of data travel between server and client in a Citrix environment, the Citrix Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol uses only 5-25Kbps of bandwidth. With predictable bandwidth consumption, organizations can plan and budget for network requirements across multiple sites and do not require as many resources for managing and prioritizing network traffic. All these factors contribute to significant cost savings.

Faster Realization of ROI and TCO Benefits
Rapid application rollouts and upgrades, support for legacy devices and connections, centralized support and maintenance, and predictable network performance combine to create a cumulative cost savings worth talking about. In fact, Bill McDermott (President and CEO, SAP America, Inc.), speaking at Citrix iForum 2003, shared that: "Using Citrix, SAP reduced costs by 40 percent. SAP has over 15,000 [concurrent] users in over 120 countries and increased productivity by 35 percent. Citrix has earned trusted advisor status."1

Back to that SAP upgrade — the thing you overlooked was how to make your life easier by using the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite to deploy SAP. With Citrix, the workload associated with deployment to thousands of heterogeneous devices is no longer a logistical challenge. The infrastructure can be better managed, and end-users enjoy a more consistent experience. Besides these compelling features, it's also a less expensive way to go. That will make the executive team happy while you delight your users with improved service.

For more information on the SAP-Citrix partnership, please visitwww.citrix.com/info/sapinsider.

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1 Bill McDermott, Citrix iForum, Orlando, Florida, October 2003.


Michel Koopman, SAP Global Alliance Executive at Citrix, joined the company in 1999. During the last five years, he has initiated and managed strategic technology alliances with SAP, Computer Associates, and EMC, among others. These relationships are built on strategic global go-to-market plans, solution integration, marketing, and sales collaboration with partners. Previously, Michel held similar positions at Baan Company and International Distillers.


Facing Your Own SAP Upgrade? Microsoft's Platform Advantages Can Amplify Your ROI


John Hollett
Business Development Manager
SAP Global Alliance,
Microsoft

Today, business pressures clearly demand that companies do more with less. As your company makes the business case for upgrading to the latest version of SAP, are you faced with making additional infrastructure investments? As you evaluate your IT landscape, are you finding that you are paying too much for the infrastructure required to run SAP?

Because of the recent releases of SAP R/3 Enterprise, mySAP ERP, and mySAP Business Suite, an unprecedented number of customers are evaluating upgrading their SAP systems. Any upgrade project can be difficult to justify, as it imposes change and requires additional time and infrastructure investments.

As you consider your own upgrade plans and reevaluate the infrastructure that supports your SAP system, now may be the time to cap investments in Unix-based systems and implement your SAP upgrade on a cost-effective, high-return platform — the Microsoft and Intel Platform for SAP. Incorporating the cost-reduction benefits associated with the Microsoft Platform running on Intel servers into your business case can significantly raise the overall ROI and value proposition of your upgrade project.

The Case for the Microsoft Platform for SAP

No matter whether you're planning an upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise (SAP R/3 4.7), mySAP ERP, or the mySAP Business Suite, it is a good time to reconsider your infrastructure. And because Windows is proven to be enterprise-ready, scalable, and reliable for large-scale implementations, companies across a wide variety of industries are now deploying their SAP applications on Microsoft Windows Server System and Microsoft SQL Server to reduce their total cost of ownership. (For an example of Microsoft's own successful migration to SAP R/3 Enterprise on SQL Server and Windows Server 2003, see box below.)

The Microsoft Platform for SAP offers a combination of high-end scalability and reliability to accommodate the future growth of SAP customers, all at a price point that makes it easy to acquire and operate.

What's more, R&D investments in the Microsoft Platform ensure continued functionality, quality, and performance improvements that SAP customers can count on to grow right along with them. Microsoft invests more in research and development than any other IT company. Furthermore, partners such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Unisys, Dell, and others are making technology investments right along with us, further magnifying the R&D advantage over other server platforms. For mission-critical SAP deployments, the Microsoft Platform is a safe, proven choice. Consider that:

  • More than 40,000 SAP installations run on Microsoft Windows, more than all other platforms combined. Almost two-thirds of all new SAP installations are deployed on Microsoft Windows.

  • Over 16,000 SAP instances run on Microsoft SQL Server today.

  • Performance of Microsoft's SQL Server in the SAP three-tier Sales and Distribution Benchmark has increased 475% in the past three years alone, with the capacity to support 26,000 concurrent users.1

  • The largest servers (64-way, 64-bit machines) for SAP solutions are available with Windows and Microsoft SQL Server.

For a real-world example of how this can work for companies using SAP, Microsoft can point to our current customers — including reference customers running some of the largest SAP environments in the world — to provide their perspective and experiences to other SAP customers.

Microsoft Completes an Innovative SAP R/3 Enterprise Upgrade Without Disrupting Users or Its Quarterly Release Cycle

Microsoft realized the need to move to SAP R/3 Enterprise to position the company to reach further into emerging markets, such as China, with Unicode compliance, as well as to establish the latest functionality for future supply chain, treasury, and xApps projects being evaluated.

The result of Microsoft's upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise from Release 4.5B was an SAP R/3 Enterprise solution that now supports 55,000 users and more than 40,000 transactions per day on a single, central database running on SQL 2000 and Windows Server 2003.

To view presentations from Microsoft's SAP Customer Workshop on Microsoft's internal implementation of SAP, visit www.microsoft-sap.com/video.asp.

Technical Details of Microsoft's Upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise

  • More than 1.6 terabytes in a single, central database on SQL 2000 SP3 and Windows Server 2003

  • 2,000 full time SAP GUI users; more than 55,000 SAP Web users

  • 600 concurrent users

  • More than 40,000 EDI transaction per day (average)

  • More than 78,000 batch job executions per month

  • Less than 0.5 second dialog response time

  • Less than 0.3 second database response time

  • Greater than 99.9% availability

  • Applications include:

    • SAP R/3 Enterprise (SAP R/3 4.7)

    • SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) 3.2

    • SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (SAP APO) 3.0A

    • SAP Global Trade Services (SAP GTS) 2.0

    • SAP Supply Chain Event Management (SAP SCEM) 1.1

    • SAP .NET Connector

    • SAP DCOM Component Connector 4.6D

In-Depth ROI Analysis for Your Infrastructure, Not Just Your Solutions

To further support customers in their upgrade plans, Microsoft has partnered with industry-leading consultancies to deliver a set of SAP upgrade services that are designed to maximize return on investment.

Together, we will work with you on an SAP Upgrade and Migration Analysis, which will give your company a real-world look at the costs associated with upgrading SAP and moving it to the Microsoft Platform. Our partners do a rigorous and technical analysis of your current SAP environment and infrastructure and will provide an executive-level presentation on the results, including:

  • A multi-year TCO model that will show both budgetary and cash-flow views of the data, indicating your organization's break-even point

  • Hardware acquisition and maintenance costs

  • Non-application software and maintenance costs

  • System and database administration costs

  • Platform migration costs

  • Current and proposed production, development, and test environments

Proven Results

Companies deploying SAP on the Microsoft Platform can achieve savings in the acquisition, administration, and operation of both hardware and software. Organizations implementing this platform have already seen significant benefits, including:

  • From 20% to 70% savings on server acquisition through the use of lower-cost Intel-based servers

  • Up to 70% savings on database and operating system licensing and administration costs

  • Up to 50% savings on the acquisition and deployment of system management software

The Microsoft and Intel Platform is less expensive to purchase and less expensive to operate, and it delivers the reliability, availability, and scalability that SAP systems require. As you make the business case for your SAP solutions, be sure to carefully evaluate your infrastructure as well.

To learn more about upgrading your SAP system on the Microsoft Platform, visitwww.microsoft-sap.com.

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1 For full technical details on the performance of the Microsoft Platform in the SAP SDN Benchmark, see www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/compare/SAPSales.asp or visithttp://www.sap.com/benchmark/sd3tier.asp and select the link to Certification Number 2002007.
Upgrade Tools: The Closest Thing to a Silver Bullet for Your Upgrade


Jack Springer
Vice President Value Chain Optimization,
QI Solutions

"No surprises!" QI Solutions has heard this exclamation many times from companies considering an SAP upgrade. A primary concern for any company thinking of upgrading to an SAP R/3 4.6C, SAP R/3 Enterprise, or mySAP ERP release is risk mitigation and the ability to eliminate downtime and conduct business "minute one" after the upgrade.

Another primary challenge for any company considering an SAP upgrade is discovering how to focus on areas of business benefit and enhancement so you can begin delivering functionality and value to the business as soon after the upgrade as possible. This can only be accomplished if you know what functionality is being used within your SAP system today and what new functionality will be available to you after the upgrade.

Using a Toolset for Your SAP Upgrade

The QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset is a solution that specifically addresses these primary areas of concern for an SAP upgrade — mitigating risk and focusing on business benefit by reducing the upgrade cost of ownership. Founded on the SAP Reverse Business Engineering (SAP RBE) tool, the QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset works with SAP RBE, adding data object and proprietary analytics to address key upgrade considerations.

7 Critical Questions for Upgrade Stakeholders

Where should we concentrate our testing?
What will be the impact on our security authorizations?
What has changed in our system that will present unexpected problems?
What are the areas that will require user training?
What transactions have been replaced?
Are there enhancements that will deliver immediate benefit?
What areas of SAP are we not using but should be?

Mitigating Risk and Focusing Your Upgrade

The QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset provides the answers to those questionable and invisible areas that so often create risk, cause delays, and render an upgrade more trouble than it is worth. While planning your upgrade, what if you could know and understand:

  • Every area of SAP that has been changed in your system during the upgrade, including all 10-12 SAP data objects?

  • All customizations and transports not correctly transported into your production environment?

  • The specific problematic and time-consuming areas you will face in your upgrade?

  • How much of the SAP system your organization is currently using, and to what extent?

  • The benefits of introducing the new functionality and business processes available in the new release?

  • The areas of change/upgrade that will give you greater ROI?

  • Every change SAP has introduced between your current release and the targeted upgrade release level — by business process and functionality area?

The QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset enables this foresight. Here are some examples of the data objects that are captured and reviewed:

  • Transactions

  • Release notes

  • Custom reports

  • Process component hierarchy

  • Authorizations

  • Repairs

  • SAP Tables

  • User exits

  • Configuration

  • SAP Scripts

  • CATT Scripts

  • Transaction codes changed or eliminated

  • Transport differences across SAP landscapes

Figure 1 illustrates the summary information that is captured. The ability to directly see and analyze these SAP objects allows you to address those areas specific to your SAP environment that will negatively impact your upgrade.

Figure 1
Buisness Process Automation

18,000 Release Notes: Identifying the Impact on You

Just consider that from SAP release 3.0B through 4.6C, there are 15,222 release notes (approximately 70% are functional enhancements). In the SAP R/3 Enterprise release, there are over 250 new Application Component Codes, 89 SAP Web Application Server (SAP WAS) 6.10 notes, 47 SAP WAS 6.20 notes, and nearly 2,000 functional enhancement notes (core SAP R/3 and extension sets) — approximately 18,000 new release notes in total. Which ones apply to your landscape?

The QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset will identify the delta from your current release to the target upgrade release and will produce all release notes that exist, by technical or modular area. This allows your organization to realize true upgrade ROI through selective enhancement deployment.

Adding New SAP Functionality

Whether you decide to implement enhanced functionality during an upgrade or in a phase after the upgrade is complete, the process presents a tremendous opportunity for most organizations. Depending on your original implementation release and your concentration on adding new functionality, there may be thousands of functional enhancements you can deploy in SAP.

Many organizations have either:

  1. Implemented SAP on a 3.0X or 3.1X release and have not added new available functionality as they have upgraded, or

  2. Implemented the core features of a later release (i.e., SAP R/3 4.0 or SAP R/3 4.5) with the intention of adding functionality as the organization became comfortable with SAP, but have not yet implemented these enhancements.

If your organization lives within either of these categories, a significant number of enhancements are available to you to deliver business benefit and potential competitive advantages.

Reduce the Risk, Increase the Benefit

The QI Solutions Upgrade Toolset specifically focuses on business benefit and reduces the upgrade cost of ownership. Here is how:

For any repaired object, that object and all the objects impacted by the repaired object are identified, which could number 1, 5, or 50. This prevents problems with the system not working correctly once the upgrade is completed and allows focused testing on those areas of most risk.

Highly used transactions and processes are identified. Testing can focus on areas that are business-critical, and time for less-used processes is allocated accordingly.

Identifies the transaction codes that have changed or been added, which creates concentrated areas for user training.

Identifies user exits so that core functionality and Business Add-Ins can potentially replace them during the upgrade.

Identifies and quantifies the usage of all "z" (customized) programs and reports. This furthers testing prioritization and allows a company to determine if customized programs and reports can be replaced with resident SAP functionality.

Identifies all enhancements from the current release of SAP to the target release. This provides the key areas of concentration to attain desired business benefit and ROI.

The Upgrade Toolset can also address many additional areas during the course of an upgrade. For more information, please contact QI Solutions at www.qisolutions.com or at +1 216 328-5558.

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Why to Include Automated Document Delivery in Your SAP Upgrade Plans


Mitch Baxter
Executive Vice President,
Business Development,
Esker, Inc.

Every SAP professional knows the value of automation — running SAP automates and streamlines critical business processes throughout the enterprise. Success-minded, forward-looking SAP professionals know that there is further value to be gained by eliminating manual processes involved in the inter-company delivery of reports, purchase orders, invoices, and other transactional documents generated by SAP solutions (see Figure 1).

Esker DeliveryWare Platform is a comprehensive solution to automate the exchange of business documents between customers, suppliers, and partners — regardless of source, format, or destination. And what better time than during an SAP upgrade to think about gaining the added value of automated document delivery.

Figure 1
Buisness Process Automation

Address Document Delivery Issues Before They Arise

A considerable amount of uncertainty accompanies any upgrade, especially where document delivery is involved. Consider your SAPcomm or SAPconnect interface: Many older fax servers, for example, only support SAPcomm, so you may be forced to seek alternative methods. When planning for an SAP upgrade, consider the following key issues:

  • If you feed documents to an output management or fax server solution, there is a strong chance that your connections will be substantially broken or degraded.

  • Fragile connections can sometimes end up requiring a new copy of the software.

  • If OS migration is part of your upgrade, business processes may not make the jump, for example, from the Solaris platform to the Intel platform.

Tap Into Upgrade Resources

When upgrading to a new SAP solution, organizations typically have test servers, test data, and time set aside to make sure everything works correctly. You may also have an increased budget and additional human capital in the form of consultants and other contract personnel. Given these added resources, it just makes sense to do a full tune-up while you have the hood open. And integrating document delivery in conjunction with your upgrade can eliminate the need for retraining later.

Raise the Bar

Upgrading gives you an opportunity to improve business communication channels. While you may have had your output management or fax server solution connected to just one SAP module, with the upgrade you may want to expand document delivery to other modules. You may need to alter some business processes to fully leverage the new system. And you may want to exploit new document delivery methods, such as outsourced automated fax and mail services that can optimize efficiency and flexibility.

You may also want to move document delivery and notification logic off the application server to an independent architecture. This offloading can allow for higher server performance and reduced dependency on SAPscript to manage document formatting.

Comprehensively automated document delivery can help you achieve better customer service, cost control, and IT consolidation. More complete automation means less intervention, programming, and system maintenance.

It's Feasible with Esker DeliveryWare

Esker DeliveryWare is an SAP integration-certified solution that helps organizations implement automated document delivery without risk or disruption of existing business procedures. It resides on a server, connects as an independent device, and requires no custom programming. Esker DeliveryWare recognizes and processes any SAP document format, including RDI and XSF, and cuts forms development (SAPscript) time.

With both BC-CON and BC-XOM interface support, Esker DeliveryWare integrates seamlessly and provides full document delivery capability — including receipt notification returned to the SAP system. Esker DeliveryWare automates every phase of document composition and delivery, from capture to distribution.

At the core of Esker DeliveryWare is the DeliveryWare Rules Engine — Esker's content-based technology to automatically format application output and deliver documents to any destinations via any combination of output media (see Figure 2). Esker DeliveryWare provides a graphical formatting environment and built-in Crystal Reports, and offers Esker on Demand service options for cost-effective outsourcing of fax and printed mail to a hosted Esker DeliveryWare server for formatting and delivery.

Figure 2
Esker DeliveryWare Platform, Powered by the DeliveryWare Rules Engine

Results with Esker DeliveryWare include:

  • Faster information exchange

  • Lower per-unit document delivery costs

  • Reduced IT complexity and need for point-to-point solutions

  • Improved document quality assurance

  • Improved cash collection

Esker DeliveryWare also facilitates incremental implementation. You can start with one document process and/or delivery media (such as fax), then automate other processes and add media as time and needs dictate. Including Esker DeliveryWare in your SAP upgrade plans gives you a solid foundation for automated document delivery.

A Proven Solution from a Proven Leader

Esker is an SAP customer and a recognized leader in helping organizations eliminate manual processes involved in the delivery of business documents out of enterprise applications. Specializing in automating the delivery of SAP-generated output, Esker has a dedicated R&D team focusing on SAP and a working relationship with SAP Labs. SAP customers around the world use Esker DeliveryWare to streamline document-centric business processes, gaining significant efficiencies, time/cost savings, and rapid ROI.

For More Information

To learn more about Esker DeliveryWare, visit www.esker.com. We also invite you to attend a free Web seminar, exclusively for SAP Insider readers, for details on results that Microsoft and other Esker customers have achieved by implementing Esker DeliveryWare Solutions in conjunction with an SAP upgrade; visit www.esker.com/ upgradesuccess.

July 1, 2004

1 comment:

sap upgrades said...

Would you say this is a MUST? I'll admit that I have indeed heard positive things about the upgrades, but I'm sure it goes without saying that generally, upgrades are a major headache, and just non-stop worries.