Recent years have brought about an amazing uptick in international mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and companies going through major reorganizations or restructurings. But what often is a blessing for shareholders quickly turns into a nightmare for the SAP business applications. After all, major changes must be mirrored in the organization of the company, its business processes, and ultimately in the data used by, generated in and stored in its SAP systems.

For nearly 20 years, we at Datavard have been working in system landscape optimization (SLO), which is also called data management business transformation or landscape transformation. As a certified SAP partner, we have deep knowledge on implementing all types of transformation scenarios. In a new series of blog posts and webinars, we will be sharing our experiences with customers and partners.

It’s not easy to adapt SAP’s business applications to transformation requirements, such as in the carving out of a business unit. There are limited options in SAP standard. One option is to use SAP onboard functionality, and use a greenfield approach. This would mean creating new customizations, setting up new organizational units (e.g. plants and company codes), migrating open items and extending master data.

Such an approach implies waiting for a key date, like the first day of a new period or even a new fiscal year, to make the needed changes. The impact for business users of waiting is huge. Business processes are interrupted, the document flow is incomplete, a lot of data will be hard to find due to new numbers being used to record it, and reporting becomes cumbersome when doing year-to-year comparisons, for example.

A better approach is to use a landscape transformation tool that can overcome limitations by transforming existing data.

Landscape transformation means, in a nutshell:

  • No key date dependency
  • Historical data, customizing, master data and open items can be converted
  • Minimized impact on business users
  • Reporting integrity

SAP provides the SAP LT (Landscape Transformation) product that customers can either purchase from SAP or rent for the duration of the project. However, SAP LT is a toolbox that is not always easy and straightforward to use, and it covers many, but not all transformation scenarios required by customers. At Datavard, we recommend using SAP LT where possible. But bear in mind, we often face the need to extend, fine tune, refine and complement SAP LT with additional functionality or scenario-specific transformation logic.

Using proven technologies such as SAP LT and extending them with expert know-how and dedicated, specialized tool sets, transformations can be accelerated and implemented in a safe way. Such tools can help with integrating technologies such as SCM or BPC, or with business requirements such as dealing with commingled data, or the integration of data masking and scrambling.

In upcoming blog posts, we will dive deeply into different areas of transformation projects, explaining how to successfully implement transformations in complex SAP landscapes.

Upcoming topics include:

  • The intricacies of complex carve outs, such as spinning of a plant, carving out a division and dealing with commingled data.
  • Setting up transformations including all major SAP business applications above and beyond ERP. CRM, SRM, SCM, BW and BPC often need to be integrated into transformation scenarios.
  • The major differences in implementations between scenarios involving divestiture, company reorganization and M&A.
  • How to use data harmonization to become more agile, reduce costs and improve your business processes.

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