Consistent Transition Within Complex Landscapes

  • by David Uhr , Senior Support Architect, SAP
  • Mara Meyer, Service Architect, SAP
  • Lucio Rodrigues , CORE Technology Team Lead, SAP
  • February 3, 2014
As business complexity increases, technical landscape diversity also increases to meet business requirements and to deploy innovations into an existing running business landscape. This can be a challenge whenever you need to make a change in the landscape. Questions such as “Where to start?,” “Which system should be upgraded/moved first?,” or “What are the impacts on the landscape consistency?” are more and more difficult to answer. This brief case study demonstrates how a very complex landscape can be partitioned down into small clusters making it simpler to evaluate transition possibilities.

As companies grow and introduce new business models and processes, additional landscape components are required and older systems are retired or decommissioned. This natural growth results in very complex landscapes, with several SAP systems using different releases, legacy systems, and third-party components. As a result any change in the landscape such as a release upgrade raises questions about the impact on existing components.

Complex landscapes develop to support complex business operations. However, as a business grows, such landscapes may hold the company back because of the unpredictable effect of any changes to the landscape on business continuity. As a result, what we see frequently in customer installations are very old SAP releases (sometimes already out of maintenance). They prevent the introduction of newer SAP systems because such combinations were never tested by SAP and therefore are not supported.

Upgrading such systems to newer releases can result in unknown impacts on the satellite connected systems which often are also on very old releases. Upgrading all systems in one step is not feasible, and can be very risky as sometimes 20 or more systems are involved. This would affect the whole company business, considering that this requires high effort for realization and many resources (human and possibly hardware).

Therefore, a method to simplify the analysis of complex landscapes and reduce the complexity becomes necessary. In this case study we are proposing some methods to evaluate a complex landscape in order to allow a smooth transition, such as an upgrade (or any kind of landscape changes).

David Uhr

David Uhr graduated in electronic engineering at Faculdade de Engenharia Industrial in São Bernardo do Campo/SP, Brazil, and has a master’s degree in business administration from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in São Paulo/SP Brazil. He has been working at SAP since 1999. David worked in SAP Consulting in the area of upgrades and DB migration. He is currently supporting MaxAttention customers in the Latin America area.

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Mara Meyer

Mara Meyer studied economics and computer science at the University of Technology Darmstadt and later graduated from University Hagen. She has worked at SAP since 2001. Mara worked in SAP consulting, specializing in upgrades and database migrations, and is currently supporting MaxAttention customers globally.

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Lucio Rodrigues

Lucio Rodrigues graduated in computer science at Catholic University and has a master in business administration degree. He has worked at SAP since 2002 and currently is part of the Center of Expertise supporting the world’s largest companies running SAP and analyzing their complex SAP solutions to safely migrate, upgrade, and perform different transitions scenarios. 

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