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Recenlty I was involved in a project which was sort of SAP instance consolidation variety, coupled with partial greenfield implementation as a few divisions of my client was moving from usage of legacy system to full-fledged SAP. With regard to SAP systems we are actually moving from SAP 4.7 to ECC 6. 

Basically this not an upgrade project but involving two different already existing SAP systems with SAP 4.7 moving to sunset. So the project involved data migration between two SAP systems. In this project major changes on business process and design happened only in the areas of production planning and Costing while all other areas the business processes just remained the same.

So the expectation was data migration should be pretty simple as both the systems are SAP and also barring two areas there is no change in the business process design except for obvious changes on organizational elements involving little rationalization on the number of organization elements.

But our experience turned out to be opposite. We found that we had to spend lot of design & development effort on taking care of data migration complexities due to the variations of data migration objects across the areas irrespective of whether there is a change in the business process or not. Particularly the objects under Plant Maintenance and Quality management turned out to be very difficult and we had to spend almost more than 2 to 3 times of the initial estimates.

Practically on a few objects we had to go back to business and revisit the requirements on some technically complex and difficult objects on their necessity for data migration as it is and/or migrate it in a simplified way. These sessions are very difficult ones as one can easily imagine on how to explain that we find data migration so difficult between SAP systems. From the business stakeholders perspective we are trying to manufacture complexity as it is just a download and upload of data. While such simplication can be dismissed as dumb argument, but it has a valid point that why data migration between two SAP systems should be complicated at all, given the business processes remaining the same.

While we have standard data migration tools like LSMWs, BAPIs etc., for data migration usage but I can confidently say it will be a rare project where these tools are used as it is without development and testing efforts. So the question begs answer is that can we not do data migration between two SAP systems by a simpler process like it is done on legacy systems.

Given that green field SAP projects have dried up and what we are going to have are projects like SAP instance consolidation due to mergers and acquisitions or SAP client splitting due to business diversifications etc., where-in both the source and destination will turn out to SAP systems. So the business stake holder expectation that data migration between such systems have to be simpler and cheaper is a very valid expectation.

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  1. Ramesh Babu Nagarajan Post author
    Hi Alejandro,

    Thx for your comments.

    Do concur with your view that master data migration was lot simpler particularly the classic ones material, vendor & customer. But the problem objects where-in lot of effort creep happened where in data migration objects under PM & QM modules. Also the transactional data in these modules turned out to be very tough nuts to crack.

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  2. Ginger Gatling
    When migration SAP to SAP there are a couple of options.  There is a team called System Landscape Optimization that focuses on SAP2SAP migrations.  You can get more information from http://service.sap.com/slo.  They have a new product called SAP LT which enables you migrate from one SAP release to another – for example, in a 4.6c you want to move one company code to a ECC 6.0 productive system.   Additionally, if you want to perform enrichment of the data – like checking addresses, add geocoding information, D&B, check for duplicates, then ou can also use SAP BusinessObjects Data Migration – I have some blogs on this and you can get more information at http://service.sap.com/bp-datamigration.   This solution is targeted for any data source – so non-SAP to SAP – but can also be used to enrich, deduplicate, merge records when migrating from one SAP system to another.

    Best
    Ginger

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    1. Ramesh Babu Nagarajan Post author
      Hi Ginger,

      Thx for your response.

      Really appreciate your response and good to know that SAP is already working on this area. Definitely having an SAP tool which is ready to use for data migration requirements in case of client business transformation activities like Merger & acquisitions will be a boon to SAP projects thrown up by these activities

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