I would like to share with you an experience I had on a customer project where I was able to immediately realize the added business value to the core CRM business function.
Overview:
You may have already gone through some information regarding SAP HANA modeling and the replication tools, or even accelerators (like CO-PA accelerator) and rapid-deployment solutions. They are a way to provide you with ready-to-use business content for SAP HANA based on SAP back-office systems data model. These approaches are innovative ways to bring fast value to your business processes, especially when you focus on specific use-cases (like Order-to-Cash) or if you identify performance bottleneck in a running scenario (like Profitability Analysis).
However, this is not the purpose of this post. The purpose of the project on which I was working on was to reduce the number of process steps required for CRM order processing (due to many custom CRM actions) and service delivery, together with being able to get real time operational reporting at item level.  Hence, the customer chose the complete migration to a SAP HANA system.
This means that all the data previously stored on a classic underlying RDBMS are going to be moved into a SAP HANA system, allowing a performance boost at each business process steps.  SAP application (SAP CRM), UI used by user (SAP CRM WebUI/IC) and already running business processes do not change and are up after the migration execution. The only migration consisted of a database switch combined with the SAP CRM application upgrade to 7.12 in order to provide new tools and insights for the business operations, while the entire project scope consisted of the settlement of new ways to handle business processes and enable real-time operational reporting. The value added and the possibility following the project were tremendous.
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I was responsible of the migration project, which i leaded through 3 majors steps :

Project preparation:

  • Identify the business processes you want to enhance and the test cases
  • Prepare technically the systems landscape, prepare your sources systems and your SAP basis team in order to succeed the productive system migration.
  • Improve your custom programs for SAP HANA, check repairs of standards, and prepare the rework of your business processes accordingly.

Based on my experience, migration preparation is the major step, especially on the business process reengineering, because this will really guarantee a smooth execution and confirm the business value.

Upgrade and migration execution:

This is mainly basis operations which consist of a hardware/OS/DB switch from the current underlying SAP CRM database to SAP HANA, combined with the CRM application upgrade. Take care that only unicode SAP systems can run on HANA.

You have to consider all the systems in your landscape, each can have a particular role to play in the migration to ensure a smooth execution on the productive system.

Basically, development system can be copied, migrated and adjusted in order to keep your (source) development system up for productive system correction. Corrections and business processes improvement (plus optional productive system correction during elapsed time) will have to be reported following the landscape migration routes.

Quality system can be used to optimize your productive system downtime by knowing which smart split will have to be done during data export, especially if your QA system reflects well your productive data. (FYI, SAP can provide specific service to totally avoid productive system downtime if needed).

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Standard tables comes already defined in-row or in-column stored. Consider to may have adjustement to do only on specific objects.

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All custom programs compiled correctly, we only made some small adjustments regarding ABAP development guidelines for SAP HANA (have a look to http://scn.sap.com/people/thomas.jung/blog/2012/02/23/developers-journal-first-steps-into-the-sap-hana-world).

Follow up activities:

In the final step of the customer project, we had to concretely establish the business process reworks and improvements identified during preparation phase. Regarding the follow-up upgrade and migration, some basis operations have to be done after the productive system migration which are well described on the below links.

This step is really the most exciting for the team as you have all the tools in hands to unlock the power of SAP HANA. Clearly, performance on data access changes the game: the main point is that you can involve very much more data at each process steps that you did previously. So from daily business operation and operational reporting to high level reporting and strategic plan, you can really see the business value by going deeper into your analysis or by aggregates steps that you had previously to carry on a splited way.

CRM business orders can be monitored deeply, performances are boosted for all kind of research, reports and calculation, records and exchanges are speed up within the orders, actions & follow-up copies. Even time reduction on batches processing can be reduced and even avoided because they are already processed during transactional time. SAP CRM 7.12 brings it’s own set of new functionality especially leveraging big data capabilities, where SAP HANA is really outstanding.

I recommend you take a look at this CRM on HANA overview https://cookbook.experiencesaphana.com/crm – it is a very well comprehensive and simple description of the project which business user and technical team can refer to. And of course the well-known SAP Service marketplace for upgrade
and migration purposes https://service.sap.com/upgrade-crm and https://service.sap.com/osdbmigration.

All the best for your CRM!

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