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Author's profile photo Chin Lai The

Quick Project Manager’s Guide to SAP on Azure

This article is to summarize a project manager’s planning guide to key “what” (steps) and “where” (resource links) that can be used by technical project managers in planning at a high-level project plan to migrate from on-premise datacenter to SAP on Azure. Hopefully after reading this quick guide, the project manager can “Keep Calm and Carry On” after he/she is being asked to manage a SAP on Azure project ūüėä.

This is by no means the “how-to” migrate article, as this requires a skilled SAP Basis Architect/Consultant with migration and Azure technical skills. I hope to present this as Level 100 view so that technical project managers when initiating a migration project will utilize these resources to help ease the pain of building a plan. The definition of migration is this context of:

  • OS/DB Migration or Classical Migration
  • Database Migration Option to S/4 HANA (assuming SAP ERP using System Conversion Brownfield)
  • New Implementation of Greenfield SAP S/4 HANA

In this instance, I will assume OS/DB migration or Classical Migration to Azure with existing software versions retained.

But first, what constitutes a project plan. The Project Management Institute’s “Project Planning as the Primary Management Function” serves as a good underlying foundation as part of the classical waterfall way. Some folks might say why no agile project management methodology being mentioned, but let’s not get into there for now, the basics of managing a SAP migration project will definitely require planning, regardless of methodology and I think these are the minimum to consider

  1. Definition of Project Objective
  2. Project Description
  3. Detailed Work Plan
  4. Schedules
  5. Budgets
  6. Issue and Risk Management

Here are the Microsoft key assets that are out there for you to start and work-back to the above project planning management areas above with Lead SAP on Azure Solution Architect.

SAP workloads on Azure: planning and deployment checklist- This is always updated by Microsoft engineering

SAP on Azure implementation guide – This is the most comprehensive and written by Nick Morgan and Bartoz Jarkowski

Migration Methodologies for SAP on Azure

Figure 1: Project Integration and Alignment with Other CCoEA teams.

 

Here are some steps i think would be useful:

People Capability Upskilling

  1. Get yourself trained and certified in Azure Fundamentals if you are not aware of Microsoft Azure and have time to invest.
  2. Understand SAP expert role guide mappng to Microsoft Azure
  3. Organize and build up a team of SAP Basis Migration Architects/Consultants and if they are not aware of Microsoft Azure and have time to invest; go for Azure Administrator and Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty * training/certification.
  4. Recruit people with experience migrating SAP on Azure, and share best practices, learnings to the rest of the new team.
  5. Check through your contracts and arrangements with Microsoft and SAP and see what kind of advisory or fee-paid consulting arrangements to ensure successful migration (Earlywatch, OS/DB migration checks and so forth).

Building and Executing the Project Plan

  1. Work and Coordinate with the Leaders from SAP CCoEA and Azure Center of Excellence so that you are fully aligned with the vision of the cloud adoption & transformation goals.
  2. Work and Align with stakeholders from Line of Business (LOB) for readiness for Management of Change (MoC).
  3. Run a pilot implementation deployment for SAP on Azure to learn and fail fast for newly formed project team.
  4. Build up project plan and mapped to a detailed work plan through learning from pilot.
  5. Work and Coordinate with Architecture teams on business blueprint + application functional requirements (likely no change unless there is a change of SAP software versions) integration and technical patterns for cloud (Azure, SAP). Consider to use Well-Architected Framework from Microsoft Azure
  6. Build relevant Azure Iaas/PaaS services on Microsoft Azure (Enterprise Landing Zones and so forth using experience from pilot and adapted/developed production-readyautomated SAP deployment templates.
  7. Model your project’s baseline cloud spend estimation based on the technical design Expect +/- 10%-15% contingency.
  8. Migration of on-premise SAP software and databases to Microsoft Azure (not required for greenfield implementation)
  9. Perform unit (unlikely required since no configuration changes in this scenario), system, end to end integration (important) and regression (likely not required too) testing.
  10. Perform technical backup & restore tests, high-availability and failover and disaster recovery.
  11. Perform technical security testing on Azure IaaS services.
  12. Setup end-to-end monitoring for SAP and Azure services.
  13. Work and coordinate with Hybrid SAP and Azure operations team to transit from project to operations.
  14. Work and coordinate Lines of Business (LOB) users on downtime for Go-Live Production cutover.
  15. Dry-run rehearsals to ensure timings for migration is within downtime periods. At least 2-3 runs are recommended with a checklist and procedures produced. Automate as much as possible.
  16. Go-Live Production with SAP on Azure.
  17. Post-Go Live Production review of artifacts, actual environments and optimization of costs to usage of cloud.

In general these 22 high-level steps are required based on different scenarios as above, with varying degrees of time and effort for each of them.

 

Other Relevant Articles on SAP Technical Community

Quick Guide to SAP on Azure SLA and OLA

Quick Reference to SAP on Azure Components for HA and DR

SAP Customer Center of Excellence for Azure

SAP Customer Center of Excellence for Azure: Govern, Design, Innovate & Build

SAP Center of Excellence for Azure: Sustain & Run

Microsoft Cloud Operating Model & SAP on Azure Migration Scenarios

SAP IT Service Operations Management on Azure

SAP Security Operations on Azure

SAP Expert Role Guide to Microsoft Azure Skills and Certification

Exam Study Resources for AZ-120 Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads.

Worst SAP Production Outage Disasters

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I blog this article to share information that is intended as a general resource and personal insights. Errors or omissions are not intentional. Products and services mentioned in this article are not endorsements. Opinions are my own and not the views of my employers (past, present or future) or any organization that I may be affiliated with. Your comments to my posts are your views.Content from third party websites, SAP and other sources reproduced in accordance with Fair Use criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

 

 

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