Data migration to SAP Cloud
Professional services company
In this project, we helped a client migrate their on-premises SAP installation to SAP’s Professional Services Cloud environment. The advantages of such a migration include:
Improved flexibility and scalability
This type of project also comes with certain challenges, such as ensuring that all data is migrated accurately and ensuring proper integration of all systems.
Read on to discover how we overcame these challenges and delivered the desired results.
The client, a professional services company providing fund and equity services, decided to move from their existing SAP ECC environment to SAP’s S/4 HANA Professional Services Cloud solution. This company has more than 2000 employees worldwide and had (at the time) more than 600 bn assets under administration. It was running SAP, but some subsidiaries were using other systems.
To realize the implementation, the company decided to work together with SAP and a consulting firm.
They also asked RAYLAN Consulting to join the data migration team as SAP Business Data Analyst to facilitate the data migration from the existing systems to the SAP Cloud environment.
First, we identified the systems within the company and their interfaces with SAP. We did this to gain an understanding of the information and the data that was exchanged between the different systems. The result was a detailed system landscape overview that was used in the project to identify the new interfaces to be built and to serve as input for the project to understand what processes and functions needed to be part of the blueprint of the new system.
We then actively participated as a member of the data migration team in the actual data migration from SAP ECC to the SAP Cloud environment.
We developed tooling with SSIS to pull data from SAP ECC and convert it into the format of the final load files. With the SSIS we defined the mapping between the fields in the source system and the columns in the final load files. As a result, the translation to the new system was made immediately.
Next, we did quality checks on the completeness of the data. We made selections of the data that was relevant for the new system and removed obsolete entries. Where needed, we added data manually. The aim was to have all data validated by the business. To achieve that, we prepared the outcome in a presentable and easy-to-use Excel format so that entries could be easily removed if not needed or added if needed. These Excel sheets were sent to the business owners of the data. The business owners were asked to check and the data and amend it where necessary.
A lot of effort went into creating smart Excel sheets. For example, we split up the Excel sheet data per business owner before the data was sent out. And then merged the approved Excel sheets back into one file. These merged Excel sheets were then loaded into SSIS again.
To make the process as easy as possible for the business owners, many checks were built into the Excel sheets. This also ensured that we could keep the validation to a minimum after the business owners had provided their input.
Data cleansing was also part of the migration team’s responsibilities. This involved making sure that the names and addresses were correct for each customer and supplier. We also made sure that only the active customers and suppliers were migrated.
The replies and results we received were loaded back in the SSIS solution of the business and picked up by the SSIS solution of the consulting partner. The consulting partner’s SSIS solution created files that could be easily loaded in the SAP Cloud and that would make some additional checks and refinements possible.
The consulting firm loaded the data in the SAP Cloud using the SAP migration cockpit. Based on the results of this activity, additional questions were raised with the data migration team to make amendments to the files and data and to request additional information from the business. This became an iterative process until the quality of the load files and the migration tooling was ready for the first testing phase and the quality was sufficient for the go-live.
In this iterative process, we started with all the master data data objects. We looked at supplier data, customer data, G/L accounts, cost centers, asset master data, etc. After this, we continued with the transaction data load files. These were the standard files such as supplier and customer open items and G/L line items. The last (and most complex) file that was loaded was the Commercial project file. In financial terms the Work In Process reporting was based on this data object. I t was quite tedious and complicated to get the financial postings right for each and every (customer) project which was going on. Therefore this took several adaptations but was finally finished and ready for loading right before the go-live.
Challenges and Results
The project was agreed with the consulting partner on a fixed-price basis. This had a significant effect on the perceived responsibilities within the project. We had to figure out where the responsibility of the business’s data migration team members ended and where the responsibility of the consulting partner began. At first, this required a delicate search, but we quickly found the right balance, which resulted in a wonderful go-live with minimal data issues and in constructive harmony.
After a successful testing phase, we realized the first go-live to the SAP Professional Cloud in this industry.
The project helped streamline business processes, provided a more intuitive user experience, and provided the business with a great starting point for working with the SAP Professional Cloud. They could now work in a system that was tailored to the professional services industry, rather than using a standard environment. They could also more easily bring their sister companies on board and facilitate compliance with various countries’ laws and regulations. And we are happy that we had the opportunity to be involved in making this happen for them!
Systems and concepts RAYLAN worked with:
SSIS - Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services tool
Archimate – Architecture tool to be able to document the different systems, interfaces and data flows within the organization.
Excel VBA – To be able to make splitting, merging and transforming of excel files quick and easy.
SAP ECC – Thorough understanding of the data, business processes and (custom) programs in use by the standing organization.
S/4 HANA Cloud Professional Services – Mapping and translation of old process was made to the new processes and concepts which ended up in the SAP single tenant Cloud.