In 2017, NKT took over the high-voltage cable business entity from ABB, thereby strengthening its position in the power and cable technology market. This resulted in a business reorganisation project involving the incorporation of the structures of the acquired entity into the NKT. As a rule, an important part of merging businesses is an IT project. In this case, the work focused on the integration of IT systems, including mainly SAP ERP systems of both organizations.
The task consisted in separating from ABB four source systems belonging to the business part taken over by NKT and logically and physically integrating them into one new SAP ERP NKT system.
One of the most important project challenges was the limited availability of NKT specialists. In the company, there was another large ERP project going on at the same time, which strongly engaged resources. The additional workload of the NKT project team had therefore to be kept to a minimum.
A very ambitious schedule was set for system carve-out and takeover. The project included sequential launches on three consecutive weekends. For security reasons, ABB data that was not part of the acquired business could not leave the ABB data center at any time.
Limited resources and time pressure were major project challenges. And yet, the SAP installation incorporated into the landscape of NKT systems requires constant ongoing maintenance. Therefore, already at the project planning stage, NKT decided to use the SAP Application Management from an external partner.
During the SAP system carve-out and acquisition project, NKT used SNP support. The same partner – from its branch in Poland – is currently providing SAP Application Management for systems taken over from ABB.
Using the proprietary SNP RESC solution (Rapid Empty Shell Copy), the SAP target operating system was created as a copy of the production system, but without application data (master and transactional). This “empty shell" may be synchronised using the standard change management method (STMS, transports). Source systems have been compared and conflicts resolved with SNP tools for landscape analysis. Migration based on the table minimized downtime.
In the following weeks, during weekend maintenance windows, the systems were transferred to the SAP Application Service in SNP Poland. First in warranty mode, and then in normal operation, SNP consultants took over responsibility for incident and change management in SAP. At this stage, the challenge was to smoothly transfer responsibility for the system and knowledge transfer so as not to disrupt the current operation of systems and users. Currently, the second line of SAP user support in NKT is provided by the AMS maintenance center in Poland.
Karlheinz Mevissen, Director BPO & Application Management NKT
IT ready for further development
SNP’s expertise, the tools used and consistent project management were essential to plan and efficiently execute the SAP migration project for the acquired business unit.
The transfer of responsibility for system maintenance to the SNP support organisation is part of our flexible IT management strategy. We perceive our role in the organization in terms of being a business partner. We want to provide flexible, scalable and high quality solutions. We have to do it quickly, but while maintaining stability, security of systems and of course their availability.
In our structure, more than a thousand new SAP users appeared practically from month to month, who had to be supported and taken care of the ongoing maintenance of the system.
Expansion of the team within the organization, investment in competence development and knowledge transfer is a growing cost of SAP system maintenance. In addition, SAP specialists are harder to find on the market. We have decided that in our situation the SAP Application Management Service in SNP is a good solution.
We have gained access to the competencies of experienced specialists, who quickly found themselves in our system, with minimum involvement of their own resources. NKT’s business is growing, systems are stable and IT is ready for new challenges dictated by the business environment and the recently accelerating development of new information technologies.
Karlheinz Mevissen, Director BPO & Application Management NKT
SAP application management in SNP Poland
SNP Poland consultants provide remote assistance to SAP users in NKT in solving problems that arise during the current operation of the system. Service requests include problems that are not eligible for support by the SAP software manufacturer under the SAP maintenance agreement. The others are redirected to the manufacturer’s maintenance. A large part of the maintenance work concerns support for notes and system updates.
The requests that go to SNP Poland range from simple problems, which solutions are delivered practically on the spot (e.g. within 2 hours), through more difficult, time-consuming requests, to minor development, planned for implementation in a mini-project.
Dedicated, separate teams of experienced maintenance consultants work on the requests of NKT users. Response and solution delivery times are guaranteed by the provisions of a permanent Service Level Agreement (SLA), and all communication takes place in the service application, which is a single point of contact for all process participants.
Coordinators – NKT and SNP – ensure the smooth implementation of maintenance services. Their tasks include watching over the current status of requests, responding to escalation of problems, looking for solutions in the event of non-standard requests, planning small development works, setting a schedule, valuation, observing the budget, periodic settlements, etc.
SNP Poland support organization operates in accordance with internationally recognized security standards (Information Security Management System ISO 27001) and IT service management (IT Service Management System compliant with ISO 20000 and ITIL), which guarantees a high level of service.
More than 1000 new users
After the incorporation of the new company into the structure, the SAP installation of NKT has been significantly expanded. Along with the new systems, the daily tasks associated with ongoing support have increased. Currently, more than one thousand NKT employees in Sweden, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Lithuania and Germany use the system covered by SNP service support.
Additionally, there was another important and large ERP project in the company. There was a lot going on in a short time. The least possible involvement of NKT employees in the new system was important for many reasons. Security of systems and data, business continuity, focus of employees on the tasks assigned to them – these are the most important of them. The responsibility for the correct and uninterrupted operation of SAP lies with SNP.
NKT is a leading global supplier in the energy market. The company develops, manufactures and sells high quality cables, accessories and solutions for electrical infrastructure. It is present in 18 countries. The 37 branches and modern production plants in Germany, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Denmark employ around 3400 people. It is a world leader in the field of cable technology. As a provider of complete solutions, NKT provides its customers with everything they need for their projects: individual solutions, system planning, service contracts, cables, fittings and overhead lines.