Upgrading IT systems in a company is one of those projects that are not indispensable but must be carried out to be able to use the manufacturer’s maintenance service and to have access to new functionalities and technologies. The more complex the SAP installation and the larger the company, the greater the potential risk associated with the upgrade project. That is why the companies that decide to take this step prepare themselves thoroughly for this project. This was also the case with Karl Dungs.
First of all – upgrading the SAP technology platform
The period of support for previous versions of OS/DB was coming to an end, so Karl Dungs decided to upgrade its SAP technology platform to the latest version. It was also decided to upload the latest EHP extensions to the SAP system. SNP, a company with broad experience in projects of this type, was selected to be a partner in this demanding project.
SNP carried out an upgrade of the SAP environment, including an update of the operating system, database and uploading the latest EHP to the SAP system. In addition to the technical upgrade, SNP was also responsible for ABAP customizations of customer extensions in the system of Karl Dungs.
It’s not just an upgrade
What distinguishes this project from many other upgrades is the customer’s approach to support after the completion of the project. As early as at the project specification stage, Karl Dungs informed that it expected SNP to provide 24/7 support in case of system problems for one month after the completion of the project.
The SAP system in Karl Dungs is used by a large number of employees all over the world, working in different time zones, therefore the round-the-clock support was a key element.
Hypercare Support – even better care
To meet the customer’s needs, SNP offered Hypercare Support, a service consisting in providing 24/7 support for the BASIS and ABAP modules by the SNP Outsourcing Center in case of business interruptions after the completion of the project. The key aspect of this service is the provision of care by people involved in project work, who know the specific features of the Customer’s business and can quickly identify causes of risks and prepare a solution. In the SAP ERP system, business processes are carried out on 24/7 basis in different time zones, hence the best possible care is expected. The SNP Outsourcing Center responded to this business need of the Customer.
It was decided within the agreed scope that the service would be valid for one month after the go-live and would cover SAP Basis modules and include ABAP support.
The SLA terms – guaranteed response and problem solving times expressed in hours for critical issues – were also defined.
The Hypercare phase followed immediately the project go-live and focused on the following areas:
- customer (end user) support,
- data integrity,
- availability and performance of the system.
The customer could report any problems through three dedicated communication channels:
- a service application available via the Website,
- a dedicated email address to which the customer could send requests,
- a telephone number at which the customer could report problems on a 24/7 basis.
From the customer’s perspective, the security provided by the Hypercare service significantly reduced the risk posed by the SAP system upgrade project.
Hypercare Support as a response to our expectations
Karl Dungs employs over 600 people worldwide. Many of them are SAP system users. Upgrading to the latest SAP versions was a must, however we feared that it would lead to system downtimes and thus real losses. By choosing a partner to carry out an upgrade, we set the condition of being provided with special support after the go-live of systems. We work in different time zones, so we needed to have access to specialized consultants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SNP offered us Hypercare Support, a service which met our expectations. We agreed the details of the offer: its scope, response times and means of contact. In case of a problem, an immediate availability of a consultant with the required specialization is of great value. We wanted to make sure we took every step to minimize the risk of system downtimes caused by system operation errors or unavailability of the system after the upgrade.
Our actions paid off. Using Hypercare Support, we solved problems on the fly without complicating work for end users. At the end of this phase, our systems worked stably, and we could consider the SAP system upgrade project to be successful.
Thomas Burza, Head of IT, Karl Dungs Inc
Hypercare Support at SNP
SNP provides Hypercare Support – a service of intensive maintenance support for SAP systems immediately after the project go-live. The main purpose of this service is to closely monitor the customer service, data integrity and smooth running of the implemented program. The work involves solving technical issues of end users working in the system, correcting any errors and providing fixes. Consultants also deal with data integration in corporate systems. When this stage is over, the system is stable, and support activities are taken over by a team on the customer’s side or by an outsourcing partner.
The Hypercare service is adapted in each individual case to the requirements of the company – both in terms of scope and duration of support itself as well as SLA parameters.
Benefits of Hypercare Support:
- a lower risk associated with the SAP system upgrade project
- 24/7 support
- continuous availability of consultants with the required specialization
- customer service based on SLA provisions
- monitoring of the SAP environment by the modern SNP monitoring center
- the world’s highest standards of data security
- as this is a short-term service, the costs associated with its purchase do not significantly affect the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the SAP system.
Karl Dungs – an international provider of system solutions for the thermal and process heating industry. It specializes in components and systems for combustion technology and controls. The company cooperates with leading suppliers of gas burners and condensing boilers all over the world. It has branches in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company was founded in 1945 in Germany and it is based in Urbach.