SAP Landscape Optimization

1. Problem description

Global corporations operate in an extremely dynamic market environment that is undergoing dramatic changes like never before due to digitization. They are being confronted with the problem that their own IT landscape is both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because corporate IT is becoming THE central component in their own value chain and business model. A curse because in many cases it is too heterogeneous to really fulfill the strategic role.

SAP systems are often at the center of such heterogeneous IT landscapes. For many companies, standardizing these on a uniform and central SAP solution is a strategic goal.

2. Repercussions

The crucial question in SAP consolidation projects is what should happen to legacy systems once the data has been transferred to the new central system. In principle, there are three answers to this question: Legacy systems continue to run and are maintained for as long as the information stored in them must be legally retained. Secondly, the legacy systems can be frozen in a kind of time capsule as an app in a virtual environment, stored on a DVD or another medium and booted if necessary, also until the end of the retention obligation. Alternatively, the stored information can be separated from the existing SAP systems and then the extracted data and documents can be operated on a separate platform.

Continuing to run the legacy systems is certainly the most costly, as they have to be permanently maintained, for example to correct programming errors or patch vulnerabilities. They also have to be retrofitted for new legal requirements, if this is technically possible at all. For example, the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) stipulates that companies must be able to erase information at the level of individual data records. However, this requires the ability to manage the entire life cycle of data and documents. This kind of retention management is usually lacking though.

Legal risks also exist for the option of freezing the legacy systems and their information in a time capsule. More than that: Program errors and vulnerabilities exist permanently. In addition to the legal risks, there are also considerable security risks.

3. Impact

Consolidating the SAP system landscape is not a purely technical project. Companies in fact associate it with business and strategic goals: Centralization is intended to reduce the complexity, decrease the corresponding maintenance, administration and cost expenditure and speed up innovation. The consolidation of globally distributed SAP landscapes, for example, enables changes and enhancements to be implemented faster and made available globally. Migration to SAP S/4HANA can also be better prepared and achieved with less effort.

However, this requires decommissioning legacy SAP systems for financial, legal and security reasons. The data and documents contained in them have to be extracted together with the business logic though for this.

4. Solution

Once all the data and documents are extracted from the existing SAP systems and permanently and legally available on such a central platform, only parts of it have to be migrated to the new central SAP solution. If changes to the data structure become necessary, compliance and auditability remain intact because the originals are still on the platform.

The extracted information is stored together with the logic behind it, that means, it is historized, not archived. Thanks to a large number of SAP views, users can work with them in exactly the same way as they were accustomed to with SAP legacy systems. For example, users can search for all orders for a specific customer or further training measures for a specific employee and display this information at the touch of a button. This makes it possible to decommission the SAP legacy systems completely after historization.

JiVS IMP is the name of this modern Java-based information management platform with which heterogeneous SAP landscapes can be centralized and standardized. JiVS IMP acts as a central collection point and provisioning area or “data staging area” for company information at the same time. Data and its quality can be analyzed and optimized, for example by means of enrichment and harmonization, an analysis of the information pool’s reduction potential can be created, the filter rules for reduction can be defined and made available in a neutral format for the subsequent transformation and migration of the information. Once the migration to the central SAP system is complete and the legacy systems have been turned off, JiVS IMP provides legally compliant access to information independent of the device, time and location and subjects the legacy information pool to end-to-end retention management for the seamless management of the historical data and documents’ life cycle. In addition, JiVS IMP’s business object-focused approach provides the option of integrating the platform into modern target environments such as SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA.

Companies can implement JiVS IMP both in their own data center or use offers from the public cloud for implementation. Supported environments include the Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. At the same time, customers can choose from a variety of popular database management systems (DBMS), from IBM Db2 to Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server to SAP IQ.

5. Customer benefits

Thanks to JiVS IMP, the decision as to whether and which parts of the data or documents from the globally distributed existing systems are transferred to the central SAP is made exclusively on the basis of business considerations. By decommissioning the legacy systems and integrating JiVS IMP into the new target landscape, the strategic goals of the consolidation project, such as higher agility and speed of innovation, can actually be achieved.

Investments in JiVS IMP also pay for themselves in no time at all. For example, when legacy systems are decommissioned, the platform generally reduces operating costs by up to 80 percent or more compared to the cost of continuing to run the legacy systems.

In addition, companies can strategically use JiVS IMP to keep the new central SAP system permanently lean and agile by continuously moving business formations that are no longer required to the information management platform.

6. Price and availability

JiVS IMP is available now. The range of functions and price are determined specifically for the project.

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