The project of SAP system introduction in the Bakalland group was a complex undertaking. It involved a lot of hard work. The project can be divided into two main stages: carveout and rollout. The first stage of carveout is the acquisition of the SAP system from an original installation in Norway to a location in Poland. The second intensive stage – rollout – required a huge commitment from the employees of Bakalland and Delecta. A migration from the currently-used ERP system in Bakalland to a SAP installation of Delecta was necessary. During the functionality analysis and the difference identification in the processes, over 100 gaps and functional differences were identified requiring adaptation. The rollout stage will be presented in the subsequent article. Below, we describe the course of work associated with the first stage – carveout. More about project organisation and management see on article “SAP System in the Bakalland and Delecta Group”.
Essentially, from the point of view of the SAP Basis organization work, the migration of Delecta’s SAP system to SNP Data Centers was performed in three interrelated steps.
The first step is the separation of Delecta’s business data from the Orkla system (former Rieber Foods) and thus creating a new independent system, still existing in Norway where the headquarters of the previous owner is located. The separation process was performed effectively by the Basis team of Orkla, and all details were consistently determined with the SNP team.
A separated and independent system was being consistently used for production purposes by Delecta plants, so a testing system was created on its basis for the purposes of migration and further work performed by the SNP application team (apart from migration, different projects were conducted on the systems in parallel).
The business data size of the migrated section of the system was considerable, so a decision was reached to perform data backup. Thanks to data backup works, it was possible to reduce the data footprint by over twofold, which, as a consequence, reduced the system’s response time.
To SNP Data Centers
Regardless of the migration process itself, a server-network infrastructure was built by = SNP consultants on the Polish side, so that all of their functionalities work flawlessly during the production transfer phase for systems in SNP Data Centers in Złotniki. Two independent VPN tunnels had to be arranged for this – one connecting SNP with Orkla for backup purposes, current development works as well as the migration of the exported system to Poland, and the second, one on the other hand, connecting SNP with Delecta, and further on with Bakalland for the purposes of standard user access to the system after the migration.
The first tunnel did not require much administration work with its configuration (only a simple SNP network connection had to be created with a separate Delecta server located in Norway), however, the second connection required a deeper analysis, as well as increased administrational work along with testing. Such a tunnel has to effectively service connections from multiple client locations to the SNP data processing center, allowing migrated SAP systems for an effective connection with the currently-used external interfaces as well as all printers located in the client’s headquarters. It should also be outlined that correct functioning of printers in SAP is a key matter for the majority of clients for the smoothness of their business operations, e.g. for logistic servicing of warehouses.
Also, virtual machines were created for new systems with appropriate resources chosen in such a way that ensures comfortable work in a new environment. The elasticity and scalability of the virtual environment in SNP is a guarantee that, in the need of a resource increase, it will be performed in a way that is clear to the users (SNP Data Centers monitors and manages the infrastructure, adding, if necessary, e.g. additional processor cores or RAM). The disc space can also be increased at any moment – while maintaining the guaranteed system accessibility.
The general trial
A few weeks before the production migration, a test relocation of the system to SNP Data Centers was conducted. The source SAP NetWeaver system operated on a different final architecture, so before its start-up in a new location, it was essential to perform a heterogeneous SAP migration with the change of the database and the operating system.
The source system was similar to the production copy, so all data sizes and processing times formed the basis for the prediction of the time needed to create the production copy. The export process lasted slightly less than 24 hours, similar to the import. The most time was taken by the copying of exported data from Norway to Poland. To avert the risk related to the internet connection, it was decided that the exported data will be additionally sent to physical discs.
After start-up of the testing system in SNP Data Centers, correctness tests of the functioning of the implemented solutions, all connections to external systems, printers, GUI users, etc., were performed. The general trial ended in success.
A safe haven for SAP
The acquisition of the Delecta Company, with its SAP system, was a chance to modernize its systems and the IT infrastructure supporting business for the Bakalland group (in a much broader scope than just SAP). The ready SAP ERP system was a high added value to the transaction, however, its functionality required adaptation to business processes in Bakalland, which was only made possible thanks to the large effort and work of the design team of Bakalland as well as Delecta. During the analysis of functionality and the difference identification in processes, over 100 so-called “gaps” were defined, requiring adaptation work in SAP to guarantee efficient functioning of all business processes. The work of the team, made up of over 70 people from different locations – was invaluable. The project participants, apart from involvement in the project work, carried on with their normal duties and undertook the challenge of defining business processes in specific SAP modules, which were implemented by SNP consultants in the next step.
The acquisition of the SAP system, along with the merger of Delecta and Bakalland, created a necessity to develop a strategy for the maintenance and development of IT infrastructure in the company. Concentrating on its core business activity, Bakalland decided to entrust the infrastructure maintenance and system administration to a specialized unit, SNP Data Centers. Without the need to invest into the server infrastructure and the need to acquire and maintain SAP consultant expertise, Bakalland has gained a safe haven for its system, and the Bakalland IT team could concentrate on tasks related to the integration of partnerships in the group as well as their IT systems.
At the stage of designing the migration, rollout as well as now, in its current maintenance phase – we have a guarantee of operation continuity and of a high availability, which are the results of BCC work standards. The SLA contract also guarantees flexibility and scalability of the hardware infrastructure, which is important in a company that is planning growth in the coming years.
The potential for the use of the system in Bakalland is very large. It has encompassed all partnerships and production plants in the group. We are appreciating the fact that experienced SNP consultants assumed the SAP responsibility. This allows us to focus on activities aimed at meeting business requirements.
Agnieszka Zalewska, SAP Project Manager, Bakalland
The great migration night
According to the migration schedule, the operation for the transfer of the production system to Poland was planned for one of the weekends in March. However, due to large data volumes, after a thorough analysis, it was decided that the migration should be performed during the festive season, which gave extra time.
When users logged out and headed home to celebrate Easter, the administrator in Bergen started the export process. During the export, a remote copying of the generated files was initiated. The data was delivered to SNP Data Centers in Złotniki on Saturday morning and the import process started immediately. On the night of Saturday and Sunday, the migration ended, with 48 hours to spare in which all post-migration steps were performed and the system was prepared for work two days down the road.
Employees that wanted to begin work with SAP on Tuesday morning were asked to choose a new SAP GUI name during the log in process. After log in, a new graphic appeared on the first window of the system, which quickly appealed to most users. Those were the only changes that the users experienced after the SAP migration.
Thorough tests during testing phases of the migration allowed eliminating 100% of the problems that could have shown up after completion of the whole process. Nevertheless, according to the practice of SNP, consultants of SNP oversaw the operation of the system during the first days after migration, ready to undertake actions at the first signal of a failure.
Thanks to the engagement of people from different SNP teams and good cooperation with specialist on the client’s side, the whole process ran smoothly and seamlessly, eliminating all risks along the way.
From 7 April 2015, the Bakalland Group is working on SAP systems located in SNP Data Centers, which also administrates and monitors their operation 24 hours a day.