Case Study: How We Successfully Upgraded to SAP ERP Enhancement Package 7

  • by Ali Sbai, SAP System Administrator, International Telecommunications Union
  • May 2, 2017
The United Nations (UN) Common System Compensation Package was revised following the UN General Assembly decision on December 2015. To achieve this, the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), in cooperation with SAP, developed the Entitlement Validation Engine (EVE) to be implemented for all UN organizations, by the first of January 2017. On the SAP ERP level, SAP ERP 6.0 enhancement package 7 is mandatory to deploy this new compensation package. Learn all the required steps leading to this deployment in detail.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will learn about:

  • Technical prerequisites of your source system—the operating system/database upgrade, sizing, upgrade documentation, and tools
  • Source preparation and SAP Solution Manager configuration
  • Setup of a full sandbox (SBX) environment, from the production (PROD) environment
  • How to run an SAP ERP enhancement package upgrade on SBX, development (DEV), and quality assurance (QAS), via the Software Update Manager (SUM)
Key Concept

The new United Nations (UN) Common System Compensation Package was recommended by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), following the UN Assembly General decision in December 2015 (http://commonsystem.org/cp/). Mainly, the ICSC recommendation was to simplify the salary scale and educational grants through a streamlined field package.

In fewer than eight months, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, www.itu.int ) achieved an important SAP ERP 6.0 enhancement package 7 upgrade. The upgrade was performed to implement the new United Nations (UN) Common System Compensation Package. The package, dedicated to the UN community and non-profit organizations (NPO), was developed by SAP through the Entitlement Validation Engine (EVE) process and released in 2016.

The challenge was to upgrade the current SAP ERP 6.0 enhancement package 5 system to enhancement package 7, required for EVE implementation, and to fulfill all new functionalities in the SAP ERP system, mainly in FI, CO, and SAP ERP HCM, including all new components related to the UN system. Another important challenge was to ensure the integration with other applications (Customer Relationship Management [CRM], Supplier Relationship Management [SRM], Business Intelligence [BI), SAP Enterprise Portal [EP]), and external interfaces such as interfaces for bank payments and e-commerce.

The first technical requirement was to perform an operating system (OS)/database (DB) upgrade for all systems from SQL 2005 to SQL 2012. The upgrade was performed in a sandbox (SBX) environment with full integration with satellite systems (copied from production [PROD]). All issues were gathered and fixed in two months. After that, we performed the upgrade on the development (DEV) and quality assurance systems (QAS) with an intensive power application key-users test minimizing all risks for go-live on PROD, which was performed on the weekend of December 2, 2016 (about 37 hours of run time) with zero issues. After four weeks of post-go-live activities, the feedback from all the users was positive and the new compensation package was implemented and productive as of January 1, 2017.

This case study takes you through our upgrade journey, giving you tips and best practices for upgrading to enhancement package 7. It focuses on all the preparation steps as well as on the upgrade plan, including go-live and post-go-live activities’ checklists. Also, relevant information and potential issues faced by users during enhancement package 7 upgrade are exposed.

The target audience is any SAP users contemplating an SAP ERP enhancement package 7 upgrade, the UN SAP community, and SAP Basis and upgrade specialists.

Ali Sbai

Ali Sbai has a Ph.D in physics. He works at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland, as the SAP system administrator. As such, he has led several upgrade projects for ITU. Ali has advanced SAP Basis skills and SAP NetWeaver architecture skills covering integration, maintenance, performance, and upgrades for complex SAP configuration (including ERP, CRM, SRM, BI, and EP).

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