After a couple of months of performing migrations and gathering feedback, I am now ready to continue my dialog on SAP BPC, Migrations and Upgrades relevant to the Microsoft version. Since my last blog in February, we have succesfully launched BPC 7.0M SP3 and SP4, as well as exited both RAMP-UP programs for the Microsoft and NetWeaver versions. In addition, the EPM RIG team has been working hard to build, test, and migrate various version combinations using migration tools. So what have we learned….lots, plus we have some guidance on current programs for these requests.
Now, this current blog will focus on the BPC for Microsoft version, since a core goal for our group is to help customer begin the process of migrating away from historical OutlookSoft versions of BPC since the end of maintenance is coming up fast at the end of March 2010. Thats ONLY 290 days from today; not that much time. So what do you need to know? Well, all version 4.2 SP3, SP4, SP5 customers may take advantage of a Migration Utility to assist in the transition to BPC7M (SP4 on SQL2008 is prefered). How do I get more details? You can gather details from the following SAP web site.
This is the first step in the process for the customer. Next, we have a plan in place to certify the partners and SAP consultants who wish to assist in the migrations with our customers. You must attend the Migration Training class and pass a written test to become certified. ( Note: This process isn’t just limited to the Microsoft product either. There are classes for both products) If you choose to perform a manual migration, you don’t need any certification, but if you plan to utilize the Migration Utilities, we expect a certified consultant to assist the process.
Many of the questions that we often get asked include:
– How hard is it to migrate using the utility?
– What value does the utility provide to the process?
– If I am on version 5 do I need the migration tool?
– How long might the process take to migrate?
– Where can I get the migration utility?
Well the answers aren’t simple, but here is my personal synopsis:
– Questions 1 are 2 and 4 are very related. The utility performs the technical migration steps; it moves dimensions, data, excel files and menus, web contents, comments, data manager files and sets up the new environment for processing and manual interaction. The tool itself is easy to use, but some of the errors you might encounter can be frustrating to solve. That is why we have created a certification class. I have performed around 15 migrations just using the tool (so without all the functional fixes needed) and they all take on average 1-2 days to complete the whole technical tool specifc process. But then there is the functional work that need to be done.
– Question 3. If you are on version 5, then you DO NOT need the migration tool (unless you are migrating to the NW version, which is where the next migration tool starts) In FACT, we are trying to differentiate HOW people describe these processes. Moving from BPC 5 to BPC 7 is an UPGRADE – especially if you are going to upgrade to SQL 2008, this is mostly a technical process. Any movement from BPC versions 4,3 or 2 is considered a MIGRATION. ANY movement from BPC 5 to BPC NW, is also a MIGRATION. UPGRADES from version 5 to version 7M do require some work, but the primary product components are 100% transferrable. After you conclude the minor add-ons for the UPGRADE and finish building the new environment, the process should only require a backup and restore of the customer application set.
– Question 5. The ONLY people who have been granted access to the Migration Utility are the certified resources. This is our attempt to monitior the process and understand WHO and WHEN the migrations are going to take place. In addition, we plan to assign a migration liason (or contact or coach) that will interface with the Certified partner projects to relay the details back to the SAP EPM Migration Back Office team. We are committed to the customers and want them all to have good migration experiences and help when needed.
In conclusion, the goal is to help all customers move to the newest versions of BPC before the deadline. We know this will be a challenge for everyone, but we are committed to this process. The new version of BPC 7M on SQL2008 is a big move, but you will really enjoy the capabilities and power of the new tool.