Smart migrations for Complex Business Scenarios
The Whitepaper is aimed at integrating the migration processes in SAP for complex business scenarios where the data objects have inter-dependency and are critical for the completion of process. We will propose a method to establish a step by step approach while creating multiple data objects with standard SAP tools and key considerations while doing the same. We will use the Purchase to Pay cycle to explain the approach which we can take to use this method of data migration.
Made to order business scenario
In the above business scenario, the customer requests a product which is procured by a trading organization based on the required delivery time. For each of the products the procurement team manages the vendors responsible for the manufacturing of the products.
Data maintenance process
In order to make the scenario work from procurement perspective, standard data objects are to be maintained between trading organization, procurement organization and the vendors. We need to create master data for two process flows
- Flow 1 – Trading organization(TR) and Procurement organization (PR)
- Flow 2- Procurement Organization and Vendors
In SAP, purchase organization is the driver for procure to pay cycle. For this scenario we will have two purchase organizations, one for trading and one for procurement. Hence the data will have interdependency on the objects maintained between TR and PR. We maintain the following set of data objects in a standard procure to pay cycle
- Material Master
- Purchase info records
- Purchasing contracts
- Source Lists
When doing the data migration for the above business scenario we will have to satisfy perquisites in order to make sure that the process works as expected.
The prerequisites for each of the data objects to be maintained are given below
- Material Master data to be maintained in Both organization (TR/PR )
- Purchase info records (PIR) to be created in both organizations with material master as prerequisite.
- Purchasing Contract to be created for the material with PIR as prerequisite
- Finally Source list to be created with all the above four objects as prerequisites.
In a Standard migration process all the data objects are created individually in a predefined sequence. In this method we face multiple problems such as
- Cannot proceed to next object unless all the errors are resolved, if we proceed then there are data inconsistences in further creation of objects due to missing prerequisites.
- Time consuming as we need to complete the migration in batches.
- No way to find out whether all the data in the object chain is maintained unless done manually.
- Multiple files for data uploads
Smart migration Approach
For the scenario mentioned we can see that there are so many complexities involved and in a standard migration approach we have high probability of losing time and facing errors in data. We also don’t have a way to find out any missing link in the overall object chain.
Standard approach for migration
In this approach we need to do validation and reconciliation of data after each step and proceed to next step only after we have made sure that we have completed the data object.
Changing the approach
Looking at the complexities involved in business scenarios we can adopt a more dynamic approach towards data migration. The approach can be defined based on the standard business requirements and modified for each of the scenarios keeping the crux of the methodology as constant.
In this approach we
- Define each of the business scenarios which are in scope for data migration
- Define a standard migration strategy outlining the key fields , values , impact assessment etc for each of the data objects in scope
- Based on the scenarios and the objects involved we define the matrix for each of the processed giving details of the values in each data objects
These three things act as a base setup to implement the migration approach. This activity has to be done with business users and functional team so that we don’t have any gap on the business requirement and the technical solution. Once we are ready with the base data we precede with the technical implementation of the migration strategy.
In a standard migration we create migration programs for each object and run them individually to complete the migration. In this approach we create a single migration program which will create a chain of objects for one set of data. The Program essentially is a combination of individual programs for each data objects which are run in a predefined sequence. In this method specific checks and conditions are maintained for individual objects and dependency checks are maintained for the whole object chain.
- Business scenario defined
- Values for each object identified
- Data correctly maintained in the upload file
- Data validated and signed off by business.
A Sample flow for the data creation of one material for a procurement cycle is shown in the below Flowchart.
Benefits for the business
The creation of objects in an integrated way gives the business a clear picture on the whole process rather than on one individual object. This also reduces the probability of errors during the actual business Integrated approach also reduces the gap between process and data by bringing together all the aspects of the process in single flow. Though the time taken for initial validation of the data is more than the standard approach, the total time required for overall migration is substantially reduced.