Written by Axel Buelow, SVP & Head of Application Services

 

Innovation without disruption – We did it!

SAP Global IT as a Business

On March 4, SAP went live with SAP CRM on HANA after a two and a half month implementation project. Key for us was to ensure that SAP’s 14,000 business users did not experience any disruption.

However, we are now live with one of the biggest projects on HANA across the globe, supporting daily peaks of 9,000 concurrent users and one billion SQL statements per day. We are live in 70 countries, 251 locations – and all on a single global business system instance of SAP CRM.

And, as program sponsor, I can safely say that we achieved this without disruption to the business. Here’s an overview of some of the steps we took to ensure this:

First of all, to keep our CRM processes running, we started in a prototype environment. We kept our custom code, our applications and our transportation mechanisms above the database layer, and so were able to protect their integrity.

The software upgrade to CRM 7.12 / NW 7.40 took us about two weeks – much the same as a standard enhancement pack upgrade. We had no issues here. For the following migration we held many rehearsals and thus our team gained a very good understanding of the migration process itself and optimized the overall downtime, which was over an extended weekend.

Many customers are concerned about their custom code. We were certainly concerned about ours, as we knew we had areas with lots of custom code. Using the code scans offered by SAP’s AGS services, we were able to identify which custom code objects needed adaption – and we adapted them in less than a week. This was entirely manageable.

As the first customer on CRM on HANA, we made sure we did extra testing. Using our testing procedures, we found relevant topics and fixed them in time. We also tested with a load profile that reflected the load pattern of our productive system including batch jobs. Finally, we were able to show major database time improvement on many of the top business scenarios, such as in our call center environment which will pay off in better customer experience.

We would not have been able to go live without our disaster recovery approach. Since HANA is a new technology, we wanted to have the same level of confidence on our hardware failover scenario that we had in place prior to the migration.

Now, nearly three weeks since the go-live, we approach our first quarter end closing period.

(This is the first in series of blog posts on the SAP CRM on HANA go-live. The second post will talk about our collaboration and teamwork across the lines of business as well as within the IT organization and in the third, I’ll deal with the business and costs benefits of CRM on HANA.)