Ease Your SAP Upgrade Transition with SAP Solution Manager

  • by Sapna N. Modi, SAP Practice Unit & Key Accounts Automation Champion, L&T Infotech Ltd (LTI)
  • May 11, 2011
Understand the importance of upgrade-relevant features available in SAP Solution Manager. Learn the details of the mandatory features for an upgrade to use the compare and adjust functionality of SAP Solution Manager. Take away guidelines for upgrade project phases leveraging SAP Solution Manager as the key enabler.
Key Concept
The deciding factors of an SAP upgrade are business and IT priorities and allotted IT budgets. Once the decision to upgrade is approved, the next steps involve planning and execution. The intent is a smooth transition to the next SAP release so that business continuity is not affected. SAP Solution Manager plays an important role before, during, and after the upgrade of SAP releases. It has a distinct set of features for different upgrade phases, which involves an upgrade roadmap, an upgrade blueprint, upgrade realization, test management, and training management.

In the today’s economy, shrunken IT budgets are slowly opening up, but the reduction in IT operating cost is still the top priority for CIOs. Due to this, the business case for an upgrade is generally compromised by doing lots of custom development in the existing SAP landscape. Hence, either the end of extended maintenance support or the introduction of new leadership is often the point where a technical upgrade is considered. This situation varies from company to company based on revenues, profits, business priorities, and IT budgets.

The decision to upgrade to the latest SAP release is generally due to one or a combination of the following business and IT situations:

  • Accelerated growth involving rapid changes and transformation
  • Market competition
  • Legal or statutory requirements
  • End of extended support of existing SAP version
  • New leadership in IT department

An SAP upgrade project doesn’t start directly with the implementation phase. Rather, it starts at the discovery and evaluation phases. During these phases, business and IT requirements are finalized, along with the upgrade business case and strategy. The business case for an upgrade should consider the budget not only for a technical upgrade but also for a functional upgrade. In the case of a technical upgrade, the SAP version is upgraded to the latest release. Old custom developments and SAP modifications are moved to the new release, so the business uses the SAP system with the same features as before the technical upgrade. In the case of a functional upgrade, the upgraded SAP system is used for its newly released business features and functionalities. An upgrade project means nothing to business teams if new functionality is not implemented for them. A functional upgrade ensures that value from an upgraded technology investment is squeezed for unique business needs.

Sapna N. Modi

Sapna N. Modi has 13+ years of experience in the software industry including SAP software in the areas of solution architecture, consulting, presales, and project management. Sapna has multiple SAP and non-SAP certifications. She is an integral part of the team in setting up the SAP Solution Manager practice at L&T Infotech (www.lntinfotech.com) and has participated in consulting and advisory roles for multiple projects. She has global exposure with experience in the US, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Kuwait. She is instrumental in and is dedicated to an extreme automation initiative of SAP projects across verticals at L&T Infotech (LTI). Her goal is to accomplish automation-driven efficient operations and to formulate an automation platform for optimized TCO for customers as well as for her organization. Her focus is on innovation to leverage SAP products and non-SAP products involving Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) to help customers standardize their portfolio so that it is simplified, automation ready, and able to easily migrate to the SAP S/4HANA platform.

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