HOW TO ACE SAP IMPLEMENTATIONS?
With the RISE of SAP S/4HANA Implementations, we at SAP realized the need to guide our customers with the SAP roadmap and methodology that can be used during their implementations.
If you are a Premium Engagement Customer, you can benefit from SAP Reviews which come under the SAP Value Assurance Services for your SAP S/4HANA implementations.
Essentially, we have had customers reach out to us early in their planning to understand:
- If the Technical Design they want to implement conforms to SAP Best Practices and Roadmaps?
- If there are any gaps or new technical advancements that they can take advantage of?
- If the target architecture is designed in a way that allows for future enhancement/growth with minimal disruption?
This blog aims to provide an overview of SAP Technical Reviews w.r.t Platform once the Discovery Phase of an SAP Activate Methodology Roadmap is complete.
The most important document for a technical reviewer is the Technical Architecture Document (TAD). This document should not only be specific to on-premise but also broader/hybrid environments inclusive of Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components. In short, the TAD should cover the entire Technical layout of your SAP environment.
At this phase we expect the document to be a high-level document comprising of the following subtopics:
The Technical Architecture is an underlay to the Application Architecture, so in order to get a firm understanding of what your Technical Architecture looks like, the Application Architecture should be complete.
Apart from this, the building blocks for Security, SSO and Integration should also be complete or nearly complete. It is acceptable to have some GAPS but these should be recorded so that a timely decision be made. In best case, Timely being before the start of PREPARE phase.
It is important to design the HANA Architecture esp. with features like MDC, how many tenants, NUMA node sharing etc as it affects the detailed design phase.
- SAP Sizing
Common aspects of sizing are the Database and Application servers. Apart from this, network sizing should also be considered. Do not forget to include Data Aging, Archiving considerations as per the Customer’s Data Strategy
- SAP Change and Release Management
With the increase of hybrid landscapes, the change management should not only be limited to the Transport Management Strategy (TMS) for on-premise or ABAP based systems.
This should be broadened to include JAVA based systems, SAP Cloud and SaaS products. SAP BTP offerings provide different ways of transports and this should also be considered while documenting the strategy in this sub area.
On top of this Governance, workflows should be documented to avoid issues and non-conformance during the PREPARE phase.
- Infrastructure Layout
Infrastructure layout caters for the server view and the network view. With Hyperscalers, these views are available as standard and should be incorporated in the TAD. Any deviation from standard should also be highlighted and maintained in the documentation.
- Business Continuity
Business Continuity comprises of backups, High Availability and Disaster Recovery Strategy. The Technical Architecture being designed should cater to the SLAs, RTO and RPO specific to Customer. Often these are missed or parked for a later time, however, since this directly affects the design, these points should be covered early on rather than later stage.
- Testing Plans and Infrastructure
Your test cases and plans determine the type of infrastructure you need. Each customer has processes for System Integration testing (SIT), User Acceptance testing (UAT), High Availability and Disaster Recovery tests in their High-Level Schedule/plan. However, these should be discussed to understand if the infrastructure supporting the testing phase aligns to the infrastructure being provisioned as part of the landscape or if there is a need for additional Infrastructure.
- Deployment of SAP Technical Components
This section should detail the deployment strategy for all the SAP Products in scope. E.g., FIORI setup should be characterized either as a hub or Central Deployment.
Additionally, specify how the PAS, A/SCS and DB layer will be deployed for each environment, whether it is Distributed vs Central etc and the SAP Technical landscape.
- Front-End Components
Front-end components should usually be divided into roles like Administrator, End User, Developers etc. This should also be facilitated with the OS level, supporting software and versions to be used in a separate section. A deployment strategy should be in place whether it would be a phased approach or big bang.
In conclusion, SAP Reviews help identify any gaps in your design, and the recommendations are provided early on thereby providing leeway to customer projects to stay on track while completing the gaps and enhancing their Architecture with technical enhancements where applicable.