Kimberly-Clark Australia (KCA) and New Zealand employ a team of over 1600 people and generate annual sales exceeding $1 Billion. As part of its ERP strategy, KCA implemented SAP in 2001 supporting over 6000 users in multiple countries in the Asia Pacific region. KCA’s SAP solution comprises ECC 6.0, SCM 5.0, BW, SWIFT and several other third-party products.
Demands from the business for new functionality and innovation meant that KCA started feeling the pain of managing SAP change in a complex, global environment. KCA’s process of implementing support packs involved using SAP standard tools and a fixed list of test scripts, with testing coordinated across several teams in Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. Applying support packs was time-consuming, resource intensive and often covered more testing than required.
“Coordinating testing across multiple countries was very difficult. Resources were often busy working on other projects and we just didn’t have a clear picture of the impact that the support packs would have on production,” explained Frank Schmitz, Senior Manager, SAP Infrastructure.
Traditionally, KCA maintained a list of transactions and business processes per country. Support packs would be implemented into non-production systems for all countries to test transactions and processes. This method took up too much time, requiring testing of programs that possibly hadn’t changed. There was also no way of being sure whether anything was missed that should have been tested.
“We did not have a clear understanding of the impact support packs would have on our environment,” explained Frank. “This lack of insight put us at risk of missing transactions that should have been tested, resulting in a potential impact to our production systems.”
Faced with ongoing SAP development, KCA looked for a way to better manage change across their landscape. The answer, LiveCompare™. Working with Tricentis’s distribution partner, KCA conducted a Proof of Concept (POC), designed to build a solid Return on Investment to justify the use and purchase of LiveCompare.
I met with KCA to discuss their SAP change management strategy. KCA’s goals were to reduce the cost, risk, and effort in their change process, and a key objective towards meeting these goals was better visibility into the impact of change. We arranged a POC to confirm LiveCompare’s strength in providing this visibility.” said Alandre van Vuuren, Director, BPSE Consulting. The POC analyzed the impact of one support pack in the Asia-Pacific SAP landscape. LiveCompare was evaluated by a number of teams engaged in support pack activities, including SAP functional and Basis teams, ABAP programmers and SAP system administrators.
Each team compared their current support pack processes and tools against the results delivered by LiveCompare. The outcome revealed that only 13% of the transactions they would normally test were actually impacted, saving 674 hours or 90 man days for one support pack.
The feedback was positive without exception,” said Frank. “All teams stated that they could envisage business benefit through increased accuracy and opportunities to reduce resource requirements during projects such as support packs and enhancement packs.”
LiveCompare has enabled KCA to reduce testing scope by approximately 40% when implementing change to their SAP systems. By running the LiveCompare impact analysis workflows, KCA is able to get a clear understanding of the level of impact change will have on the SAP environment.
“The benefits of LiveCompare reach far beyond just support packs. We also use LiveCompare for enhancement packs and version upgrades,” explained Frank. “LiveCompare has enabled us to adopt a proactive attitude to SAP change. Using LiveCompare, we can be confident that custom change introduced to our production systems will not have any negative impact.”
“With the promise of even faster impact analysis in the new LiveCompare 3.0, we plan to integrate the software into our weekly change strategy,” said Frank.