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 😊.
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
- Definition of Project Objective
- Project Description
- Detailed Work Plan
- 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 on Azure implementation guide – This is the most comprehensive and written by Nick Morgan and Bartoz Jarkowski
Figure 1: Project Integration and Alignment with Other CCoEA teams.
Here are some steps i think would be useful:
People Capability Upskilling
- Get yourself trained and certified in Azure Fundamentals if you are not aware of Microsoft Azure and have time to invest.
- Understand SAP expert role guide mappng to Microsoft Azure
- 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.
- Recruit people with experience migrating SAP on Azure, and share best practices, learnings to the rest of the new team.
- 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
- 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.
- Work and Align with stakeholders from Line of Business (LOB) for readiness for Management of Change (MoC).
- Run a pilot implementation deployment for SAP on Azure to learn and fail fast for newly formed project team.
- Build up project plan and mapped to a detailed work plan through learning from pilot.
- 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
- 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.
- Model your project’s baseline cloud spend estimation based on the technical design Expect +/- 10%-15% contingency.
- Migration of on-premise SAP software and databases to Microsoft Azure (not required for greenfield implementation)
- Perform unit (unlikely required since no configuration changes in this scenario), system, end to end integration (important) and regression (likely not required too) testing.
- Perform technical backup & restore tests, high-availability and failover and disaster recovery.
- Perform technical security testing on Azure IaaS services.
- Setup end-to-end monitoring for SAP and Azure services.
- Work and coordinate with Hybrid SAP and Azure operations team to transit from project to operations.
- Work and coordinate Lines of Business (LOB) users on downtime for Go-Live Production cutover.
- 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.
- Go-Live Production with SAP on Azure.
- 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