Learning from other people’s mistakes is a lot smarter than learning from your own. It’s cheaper and saves a lot of time. The same goes for SAP upgrades. We’ve collected our 20 most useful customer driven “do’s and don’ts” for you in this insightful article.
Don’t: Upgrade just to avoid extended maintenance fees from SAP.
Do: Establish business drivers for the SAP upgrade, such as: instance and database consolidation (goal: cost savings) or improved CRM functionality (goal: top line growth).
Customer lesson: Read how Mercedes-Benz made the most of their SAP upgrade.
Don’t: Assume that your SAP experience means that the SAP upgrade process can be handled solely in-house.
Do: Treat the SAP upgrade as a whole new implementation. Re-evaluate technical needs, skill
requirements, and the extent of system customization.
Reduce Your Risk: Learn how you can reduce your risk and effort by 70%!
Don’t: Simply award the upgrade to the firm that did your last big project.
Do: Conduct a thorough evaluation process of possible consulting partners. Bring in two or three vendors and ask them to walk you through their SAP upgrade methodology.
Start With: Before you Google it, start with SAP’s Global Alliance Partner site.
Don’t: Make the mistake of assuming that a consulting firm with prior upgrade experience will be the right fit for your company’s upgrade.
Do: Choose a consulting partner that has experience and customer references in your particular industry and your version of SAP.
Begin Here: SAP has an excellent list of consulting firms. Read about their capabilities before you look locally.
Don’t: Plan a “functional” and technical upgrade at the same time. Even with a purely technical upgrade, there are plenty of changes in user experience to anticipate.
Do: Ensure that even a technical upgrade has business drivers to justify it. Also: once you do the technical upgrade, be on the lookout for “low hanging functional fruit” that could be enabled by new functionality (such as a new built-in report or a new checkbox to automate a workflow step).
Don’t: Assume that you will have to pay a conventional billing arrangement for SAP upgrade support.
Do: Consider a bid from at least one fixed cost/fixed time SAP upgrade provider – there are now experienced firms out there who will provide this option.
Do Your Homework: Read about SAP Upgrade Support before you make any decisions.
Don’t: Assume that your custom code and interfaces will work in ERP 6.0, even if they were built using established user exits. They will not.
Do: Test all used custom code and third party interfaces in a sandbox or (better) with an upgrade simulation software that can save you a lot of time.
Test Smart: Panaya can test your custom code in a cloud sandbox, reducing your risk and code.
Don’t: Stress over the NetWeaver Java stack if you are an old-fashioned SAP ABAP shop. ERP 6.0 ships with the NetWeaver ABAP stack; most users can just start with that. You do not have to run the NetWeaver Java stack during or after your upgrade.
Do: Plan on installing the NetWeaver Java stack if you want access to Adobe Document Services functions. Most companies that handle regulatory filing issues through SAP have to install the NetWeaver Java stack; SAP is now typically handling regulatory filing functions via Adobe Document Services.
Especially Do: SAP has a terrific portal for Netweaver AS ABAP.
Think you’ve got what it takes for the bonus round? Read our Do’s and Don’ts eBook for more smart SAP upgrade wisdom!