One of the characteristics of Innovative companies is “Innovators Implement”, rather than talking about ideas, they put it in action. In SAP, we have a “SAP Runs SAP” program.
This year we opened an “Innovation Lab” to support the program. The Lab provides a platform where IT teams like the IT (EA) Enterprise Architecture (now called IT Breakthrough & Technology Adoption) can run their innovation projects.
Labs IT provide the BASIS systems management services. We invested in an inventory of large HANA servers to host copies of production systems for testing and validation.
Prior to the Lab, teams had to work with different groups to get service, the EA team had used various groups to host their landscape. Now, we have a dedicated Lab within IT that can cover end to end services including unique requirements like copying Production systems , migration of very large database, scrambling data (for data protection reasons), importing unreleased code from development.
Set in our Rot datacenter, we built a secure environment, with a fenced network, a Vmware Infrastructure where we can quickly clone App servers. The Lab has an inventory of five 2TB HANA servers, and six 1TB HANA servers. Access is controlled via a WTS.
When dealing with innovation, it is not always straightforward, priorities change. We had a requirement to move systems to the Lab as soon as possible. This created a challenging situation, it is like building an apartment with the tenants moving in while the building is still being completed. The team came through, in mid-project, we successfully migrated 7 systems to the Lab. Work continued until all phases of the project was finished.
Managing innovation requires a strategy, commitment and you have to be agile.