Kellogg’s is splitting their production system  

SCM and ERP carve-out with an upgrade in near zero downtime? Yes please! We finalized this complex project for Kellogg’s last year, and now we had a chance to talk about it at TechEd In Las Vegas. We’ve met on stage with Wee Sim, Senior Architect at Kellog’s, who was more than happy with the final result. On our side we had our CTO Goetz Lessmann, who presented the project from the technical side.  

Kellogg’s had a long-term program to split their global production system into regional ones. Datavard consultants were handling their Latin America business. The landscape consisted of ERP, SCM and BW systems, and we were managing ERP and SCM – while BW was done by Kellogg’s internal resources as a full reload. We were working on the project with a partner, which was covering non-SAP topics and manual areas – code changes, testing, etc. 

Upgrade of a non-unicode system in near-zero downtime 

In addition to the carve-out of Latin American data into a new landscape, we were asked to upgrade the systems into the latest release. Kellogg’s original landscape a non-unicode, around 15-20 years old release. Upgrading it to the newest, up-to-date database release, OS and SAP release was a complex, multi-step process. 

The last, but major requirement by Kellogg’s was the system downtime requirement. We had to utilize our near-zero downtime approach, where we started moving data into the new system ahead of GoLive weekend, and then simply covering the new/changed data during the downtime. 

Automated testing saves time 

The two biggest challenges were: the upgrade, which had to be done in multi-step approach and required some data changes due to differences in release; and the downtime requirement – where we had to migrate around 95% data already ahead of GoLive. Ensuring the correctness and consistency of data was crucial. 

We have used a Datavard Validate toolkit for test automation to test out the correctness of carved-out ERP data. In the same time, we have tested the correctness of reports between old and new release. This also helped to shorten the validation time during GoLive. 

The project delivered with (almost) no issues 

The whole project took 9 months with 10 people working on it. We have delivered the project within planned timeframe, satisfactory downtime window and only a few issues which were quickly fixed. One larger issue was caused by a last-minute requirement in the project’s scope, but we kept the system fully operational until it was fixed.