“LiveCompare and its associated applications were incredible aids to the system merge, as we amazingly did 95% of it in almost five consecutive quarters, we originally thought we’d use Tricentis’s solutions just for that, but after seeing how effective they were, we began to use them”
Section Manager of Global Business Services
The CPG Company
How a Worldwide Consumer Packaged Goods Company reduced SAP costs, risk, and resources
Critical to the CPG company’s SAP system is the HR payroll function. With that comes a great many challenges, such as constant change management brought about by country regulations and taxation authorities. “In an HR landscape, change is happening all the time,” said the Section Manager of Global Business Services. “In the US, we have 250+ tax entities that can make a change—e.g., a rate to new rules of taxation around local entities in each state—and we need to quickly find out what is affected in the entire system by a change made in one place.” The need to accurately, consistently and frequently compare programs and configure data is essential. The CPG company wasn’t able to do this in an automated way with SAP tools.
“While SAP enables you to compare single tables and function modules, you can’t, for example, scan the system on a larger, summarizing scale to find what you’re looking for if you don’t actually know where it is,” explained the Section Manager. “We just don’t have the time, manpower or financial resources to do that kind of manual analysis.”
“LiveCompare and its associated applications were incredible aids to the system merge, as we amazingly did 95% of it in almost five consecutive quarters,” said the Section Manager. “We originally thought we’d use Tricentis’s solutions just for that, but after seeing how effective they were, we began to use them”
Some in house comparison tools were built to “limp along,” but they weren’t delivering the kind of detailed information needed to ensure an accurate, risk free, cost efficient upgrade. Not to mention that the development time spent there was having an adverse affect on the team’s ability to develop more strategic business functionality.
In 2005, a major acquisition made critical the need for automated impact analysis software that could thoroughly and quickly interrogate SAP systems, and provide easy to understand reports that could be used to validate project direction. The acquired company’s systems spanned from PeopleSoft to SAP and meant an additional 30,000 to the CPG company’s SAP HR system.
“Tricentis LiveCompare provides the technical and functional analysis needed for any aspect of SAP application lifecycle management,” said Christopher Trueman, CTO for Tricentis. “It supports all ABAP-based SAP products, is SAP Certified for NetWeaver and is compatible with all SAP industry solutions.”
LiveCompare, like a precise medical MRI, uses a powerful, low-overhead analytical engine to unobtrusively scan an SAP environment to discover how the system has been configured and customized, and how it is being used daily in production. The software then compares the as-is environment with the new (to-be) version of SAP—in the CPG company’s case across multiple industry systems and with its eventual 4.7 Unicode to 6.0 upgrade—to precisely identify the impact of every significant change. The output, in the form of detailed reports, caters to the needs of the entire project team from stakeholders to developers.
The SAP system merge came to a close in 2007, but the CPG company continued to use LiveCompare and its associated applications to maintain overall SAP consistency. For example, if there was a conflict in configuration shared by all countries, like the factory calendar, LiveCompare could quickly identify the difference.
The CPG company, like many SAP customers, was forced to move to ECC 6.0. HR Support Packs would not be delivered by SAP for 4.7 after March 2009 and the extended support option wasn’t cost effective. In addition, the company wanted to benefit from new functionality.
“All dependencies had to be in sync and noted, so we could compare object lists to QA and production systems to see how the changes linked, what was different and what needed to be tested,” said the Section Manager.
“LiveCompare enabled us to provide an accurate list to our developers and pinpoint how things would look, and what the system impact would be, after changes were made. This mitigated risk and took the guesswork out of our efforts, totally eliminating any emergency room fire drills.”
“The benefits of Tricentis’s solutions track all the way into dealing with change windows and transports,” continued the Section Manager. “One of our current change windows has 135 transports with 3,000+ objects, any of which could be a problem source. It would take a room full of people to do the type of evaluation that Tricentis provides automatically in a matter of minutes.”
“It takes only minutes to analyze a process with LiveCompare that would typically take two to three days to do manually. Tricentis returns control to customers by providing a way to make intelligent impact analysis to better manage SAP”Section Manager of Global Business Services
The CPG Company
The CPG company also frequently used LiveCompare to assess the entire SAP landscape, which came in handy regarding custom code analysis.
“LiveCompare told us that 3,500 were obsolete and we didn’t even need to bother with them, 3,100 needed to be reviewed and 2,000 were what we frequently used. No other solution on the market, not even SAP itself, could drill down to that kind of detail.
By using Tricentis solutions, the CPG company estimates the project team’s work was reduced, resulting in a more controlled environment that allowed them to focus on other technology issues strategic to its business. He noted that it takes “only minutes” to analyze a process with LiveCompare that would typically take two to three days to do manually.
As one would expect, this company is ahead of the curve in terms of abandoning conventional thinking that poor quality, bad data and increased resources are unavoidable factors of SAP lifecycle events,” said Trueman. “Tricentis returns control to customers by providing a way to make intelligent impact analysis to better manage SAP.”
The CPG company is using LiveCompare and its associated applications throughout the 6.0 upgrade, and will continue using them in other areas, such as change management, support packs and testing.
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