As I was working on BI 4 Upgrade Resources ,and specially the risk-mitigation part, co-workers pointed out that SAP actually has a dedicated service offering for this. So I looked into it and wanted to share a couple thougths here.
Note that my experience is more with larger enterprise deployments, keep it in mind while reading this post.
So now why would you want to use an external service for your upgrade project?
- Experience: BI 4.0 has been out there for over a year now. Major ramp up projects started in the first quarter of 2011. That’s plenty of time for our consultants to get hands-on experience with various upgrade projects and refine a methodology to ensure their success. Nothing replaces experience. Don’t know about you, but if I’m going to get a tooth crowned, I prefer a dentist who has been doing quite a few of them already rather than someone who only watched the technique on Youtube!
- Cost effectiveness: Could you, on your own, achieve the same level of efficiency than SAP services? Maybe, at least close, provided that you spend lots of time reading about BI 4.0, go to trainings, exchange with others, learn through trial and error… All of this while your business is desperately waiting for the return on new capabilities AND for something you’ll only do once. Not to mention the most important thing: loss of confidence throughout the chain, from the busines to IT.
- Success: you’ll have to take my words on that one, for I have no data to support it. But I was back-office lead for the BI 4.0 ramp up and pretty close to all ramp up projects last year. I’ve seen very ugly projects turn into great successes the minute (ok, let’s say the week) we put a consultant on the ground. And again, consultants have now 1 year worth of experience they did not have at the time.
Now about the upgrade service
It provides a well structured and proven approach based on 3 main steps:
- An assessment designed to provide a technical roadmap of how to transition to SAP BI in your environment (security, reports, infrastructure, etc.)
- A pilot project provides a first project to initially deploy the software in one area of the business to develop the design, establish standards, and validate the solution.
- The phased implementation is a discreet groups or sub-projects to quickly deploy the remaining content or business areas onto the new platform
I like the approach because it is phased and this allows for a very good control of the project timeline, risks and resources. Plus services guys have a structred set of deliverables and accelerators that should make the all process seamless.
Although the content I reviewed provisions for a choice of ‘single pass upgrade’ or ‘incremental upgrade’, I would definitely recommend larger projects to go for the latter. Each situation is different, so the best is to talk to your consultant and determine the best for you during phase #1 as described above.
Bottom line: I strongly encourage that you at least take a look at this service for your upgrade project. They have a thorough presentation that goes into the details of what they provide, explains all benefits and costs.
Hope this helps