“LiveCapture saves a lot of time because it tracks all user activity and makes sure the models are up to date. We can be sure our models. reflect what is happening in the business”
Rozman Shariff, Technical Solution Director,
SAP Deployment Team (SDT)
How Weir Minerals Reduces the Risk of SAP Application Change with LiveModel and LiveCompare
The Weir Group plc is an engineering company headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland. The company operates in over 70 countries employing approximately 14,000 people focused on mining, oil and gas and power markets. Weir Minerals is part of The Weir Group and manufactures slurry handling equipment used in mining. Types of products include pumps, hydro cyclones, valves, de-watering equipment and wear resistant linings. The division is present in key mining markets, including South and North America, Australia, Europe and Africa.
Before the global SAP initiative, Weir Minerals had around 20 different ERP systems including two different versions of SAP in Australia and Europe. “We wanted to move to ONE global system based on SAP Best Practices for IMC (Industrial Machinery and Components), with the aim of zero customization,” explained Peter Atkinson, the Divisional Director of IT at Weir Minerals. “In 2014 we put forward a business case for this.”
The global system includes ERP EHP7 on HANA database, EWM on HANA which is part of SAP SCM, BW for consolidations and BI on HANA, as well as NetWeaver gateway for Fiori and SAP GRC. Weir also interfaces with the cloud systems SuccessFactors, C4C and S&OP, as well as I2B.
There are two teams in Malaysia that manage the SAP system; the Minerals Application Support Team (MAST), which offer support for the live SAP system, and the SAP Deployment Team (SDT) who are in charge of rolling out changes. Rozman Shariff is the Technical Solution Director and heads up the SDT team in Malaysia.
Up to now, there have been two pilot rollouts of the new system; one in November 2014 in Malaysia and one in November 2015 to 15 countries in Europe.
Smart Business Process Capture and Modelling Using LiveModel
For their global SAP initiative, Weir Minerals used Tricentis’s LiveModel software to capture all template processes and all localizations. Peru rolled out in April 2016 and Chile in September 2016.
“We used LiveModel to build our process flows with the SAP IMC processes as a starting point,” explained Rozman. “We then added in process flows for areas which are not covered in IMC, for example EWM and our integrations with cloud tools such as SuccessFactors, S&OP, C4C and i2B.”
“The Weir SAP deployment and support teams also modeled all support, change and data migration processes in LiveModel,” said Rozman. All blueprint processes are contained in LiveModel and the content is then pushed out to SAP Solution Manager where the detailed blueprint documentation is managed.
Weir interfaces Solution Manager with HPQC for management and execution of test scripts. They also run Tricentis’s LiveCompare software to identify which test scripts to run when transports and support packs are installed.
Weir Minerals also use LiveCapture along with LiveModel to check that all their models are up to date and accurate. “LiveCapture saves a lot of time because it tracks all user activity and makes sure the models are up to date,” said Rozman. “We can be sure our models reflect what is happening in the business.”
LiveModel is also used to assist in the As-Is Modelling and to help understand the gap between current business processes and the SAP Global Template processes. This helps to drive the change management process.
LiveCompare for Smart Impact Analysis and Testing
As with any SAP landscape, change is never-ending. Weir Minerals were interested in Tricentis’s LiveCompare software as a way to support their support pack implementations. A Proof of Concept (POC) was driven by BPSE Consulting, Tricentis’s partner based in Sydney, Australia.
The key benefits for Weir were not only time savings when it came to impact analysis and testing, but also risk reduction. “By using LiveCompare’s impact analysis apps, we felt happy that everything that needed to be tested, HAD been tested,” said Rozman.
“Keeping our systems safe and secure is key for us,” commented Jerry Cade, Global SAP Program Director at Weir Minerals. “We simply can’t have production defects.”
The main aim for Weir was to reduce risk and effort for emergency changes, enabling them to adopt an agile approach to change management, implementing changes as and when the business requires.
“LiveCompare makes it possible to identify and prevent risk and incidents for production that would have otherwise been almost impossible to identify manually,” explained Rozman. “The issues that LiveCompare picked up during the POC prevented several production incidents!”
Weir Minerals run all transports through LiveCompare to identify the users, developments, authorizations and transactions impacted by changes from a release.
By using LiveCompare to drive analysis, they can:
- Identify issues early
- Ensure changes are applied consistently in the project and support landscape.
- Ensure no overwrites from the project landscape to the new release at go-live.
- Ensure the project and support landscape stay synchronized.
- Compare large amounts of configuration between two systems.
- Identify test requirements and prioritize these.
- Identify change management effort and communicate this to the business.
- Compare master data between two clients to assist in fault finding. (planned)
- Check the impact of activating a Business Function.
- Identify the impact of an upgrade or support pack on users, transactions, programs, interfaces, BAPI’s, BADI’s, user exits, etc. (planned)
LiveCompare makes it easy to manage dual maintenance challenges when running a project landscape alongside a business as usual landscape. Weir use LiveCompare apps to ensure their project and support landscapes are aligned. When implementing emergency changes, they run LiveCompare to check for differences between the two systems. LiveCompare reports highlight any changes that would impact production, if a change went live on the European SAP system. LiveCompare was able to flag any differences between systems and ultimately save time and effort, whilst reducing risk to the running of the business.
a) LiveCompare identified program structures which were created or changed in the project system but not the support system. This analysis saved lots of time, effort and resources which otherwise would have been used to investigate and retest the changes. The analysis also avoided any unnecessary risk to the Malaysian SAP system.
b) LiveCompare analyzed configuration and identified where changes were made only in one system. This upfront analysis saved time and effort when understanding the differences between the systems.
c) LiveCompare was able to analyze the impact of a change on interfaces and compare interfaces across both project and support systems.
“LiveCompare saves us a lot of headaches, risk, effort and time at go-live.”Rozman Shariff
Technical Solution Director
Emergency Transport Analysis
To adopt an agile, risk-based approach to managing change, Weir use LiveCompare to check transports before they go live in production. LiveCompare pinpoints exactly what the impact of change will be and will flag any issues. “By running LiveCompare, it saves a lot of headaches, risk, effort and time at go-live,” commented Rozman.
Weir use LiveCompare to check that configuration is the same between two clients in a single system. Weir wanted to know if the configuration between two clients was the same before data could be loaded. “We ran this comparison using LiveCompare in a matter of hours,” explained Rozman. “To do this analysis manually would have taken a number of days and a lot of manual effort.”
“As we start to introduce change to the global template, this is where LiveCompare will be of most value to us — to reduce the risk of introducing that change”Peter Atkinson
Divisional Director of IT
Next Steps for Weir Minerals
“We will continue to use LiveModel for all process modelling as we roll out systems across Brazil, China and North America,” said Peter, Divisional Director of IT at Weir Minerals. “As we start to introduce change to the global template, this is where LiveCompare will be of most value to us – to reduce the risk of introducing that change. There are so many users and localizations but LiveCompare will give us the visibility we need to understand how our systems will be impacted by change.”
“Ultimately the Tricentis tools have ensured a smooth roll out of SAP systems across the globe,” concluded Jerry, Global SAP Program Director at Weir Minerals. “Moving forward, we feel confident that our IT teams can support the pace of business change, with increased control and security.”
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