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SAP-Schlüsselanwender brauchen LiveCompare, nicht Hypercare

Autor:

Wolfgang Platz

Founder

What is the most common strategy for testing an SAP application change – be it a custom update, a service pack or an emergency fix? Not testing the change at all!

OK, let me revise that a bit – this provocative statement is not entirely accurate. Most companies do  some  testing of their SAP applications. If an update needs to be pushed into production, they have their key users test it.

But guess what? Main users don’t like to test. Why not? Testing SAP updates is often a tedious, manual ordeal. Also, business process testing can be outdated—or worse, undocumented. This makes the whole thing frustrating and error-prone. Not to mention that these test tasks are added to the already busy schedule. A few key users have admitted to me that to speed things up they primarily test cases they know will pass. Their strategy: “We test for green!”

The problem with hyper care 

Of course, none of this is new to the SAP operations teams. To compensate for the lack of effective pre-release testing, they routinely perform a “hypercare” phase immediately after an SAP update goes live. Hypercare is an “all hands on deck” phase that puts the company’s most expensive resources (usually developers and project staff) on standby to fix urgent problems as they arise in production. To be clear, these are issues that were not discovered in pre-release testing when they could have been fixed much more easily and cheaply! Because hypercare phases are so common – and so expensive – there are companies that specialize in providing hypercare support to customers.

More than 90 percent of SAP corporate customers [1]  opt for this lengthy and expensive implementation strategy. Key user tests usually last one to two weeks, and a hypercare phase can take up to three months. The poor main users suffer the most from the stress caused by the errors, you guessed it.

Honestly, I understand why companies take this approach to testing SAP applications. After spending millions on other vendors’ testing solutions, many very large companies come to Tricentis. Despite the high investments, the expected improvements did not materialize. So why not just stick with the key user tests? For most of you following this strategy, I have bad news and good news.

  • First the bad news. SAP promises to deliver updates  much more frequently  than ever before. That means customers need to find ways to speed up their release processes. You’ll never keep up if each release requires weeks of manual key-user testing, followed by months of hypercare.
  • Now the good news. There is a better alternative to key user testing and hypercare. This easy-to-use solution is fast enough to keep up with modern SAP releases and doesn’t require extensive key-user testing! It’s called Tricentis LiveCompare.

The LiveCompare solution

Tricentis LiveCompare uses AI-powered impact analysis to completely simplify pre-release testing. You can think of LiveCompare like a high-precision laser pointer. It shows exactly what needs to be tested on a given SAP update based on whether the changes put an object at risk. LiveCompare first identifies code changes and the objects affected by them. Using AI, the solution then narrows down the number of objects by identifying those that are most at risk. It takes usage data from production into account. So instead of wasting time testing all the things not affected by an update, key users can focus  on the right things  . This makes testing much faster!

In fact, LiveCompare customers reduce the testing effort by 85 percent or more [2] by precisely focusing their tests on the objects that are most vulnerable to an update. With this approach, errors can not only be detected much faster, but also more efficiently. In this way, the number of problems affecting production is reduced by 75 to 95 percent, sometimes even by 100 percent ( no errors  in production).

This is not a complicated process and it is completely non-invasive. You don’t have to hard ramp up the SAP Solution Manager and you don’t have to record and maintain dynamic TBOMs. There is also no need to provide business blueprints as a basis or to send data to a cloud repository for further analysis. There are no compliance or privacy issues. Typically, LiveCompare customers find that:

  • the testing effort has been reduced by 85 percent or more.
  • test and hypercare times have been reduced by two-thirds.
  • 75 percent fewer production errors.

A global apparel company we work with used LiveCompare to roll out the last eight years of SAP support pack changes to their core business systems. This included over a million object changes and 62,000 SAP Notes. With LiveCompare, the company got up to speed quickly, securely, and  with no errors  or business disruptions. Let me repeat: The customer caught an 8-year backlog of SAP service packs,  with no errors , and without the  need  for hypercare would be !  You can read the full case study  here . 

See for yourself 

I invite you to try LiveCompare for yourself. We can already show you amazing results in a two-day pilot project. For the pilot, you install LiveCompare On-Premises and use it to simulate your latest SAP update.

  • LiveCompare recognizes the objects that you should have tested before going live with the  upgrade . We then compare this to the actual tests performed and plot the difference.
  • Then we show how much time and effort you would have saved on hypercare/post-go-live defects if you had performed the tests recommended by LiveCompare. You might not have needed a hypercare period at all!

Once you have these results in hand, you will quickly see the benefits of LiveCompare. Not just in terms of the ROI for a single update, but also in terms of how LiveCompare can drastically reduce the cost and time-to-value of your larger SAP projects. We can’t wait to show you how cool this is. Contact us now to get started!

1] 2019 Tricentis Customer Survey

2] Average test effort reduction of 87 percent when using LiveCompare, Example: 120 SAP enterprise customers

Author:

Wolfgang Platz