SAP HANA worldwide launch at itelligence – Episode 1: Rough Planning and Preparation

Suite on HANA

– written by Heinz Feil, Head of internal IT, itelligence –

Back in March, we announced that itelligence will migrate its ERP system to SAP HANA ( click here for press release  ). Following a meticulous planning phase, we were finally able to start with the project in April. The migration affects every aspect of our SAP ERP system, which is used by 18 countries. In the future it will be used by 21 countries. The aim of the project was to speed up our system and make it more flexible. Reports and analyses, e. g. during the month end closing, would literally become available at the push of a button.

For the implementation of SAP HANA, we plan to have 3 phases and project duration of approx. 6 months. Here is a brief overview of each phase and its steps:


Wave 0: Sandbox Migration (15th April to 30th July)

Since ERP on HANA is still very new on the market, we aim to measure execution times of upgrades and migration at this stage, check general technical problems, and get insights for the final server sizing.

  • Copy system in production (ITP) in a sandbox environment, upgrade to EHP 6, including modifications (SPDD / SPAU)
  • Upgrade to EhP6 on HANA
  • Implementation of database migration from MS SQL to HANA
  • High-level user testing after migrating to HANA
  • If required, we repeat Wave 0 using the new tool DMO provided by SAP, which allows to perform upgrade and migration in a single step


Wave 1: Changing platforms, including OS/DB upgrade (29th May to 21th June)

As a precondition for the migration to HANA, we need to update our operating systems and SQL DB versions. As our dedicated servers have already been in use for a while now, we decided to perform a complete hardware change. In the future, we will use virtual servers.

  • Platform upgrade / upgrade W2K3 and SQL 2005 to W2K8R2 and SQL Server 2008 (/12)
  • User testing (unit / system integration testing), primarily due to interfaces and printers


Wave 2: Upgrade & Migration to HANA (1st August to 21th October)

  • Upgrade 1. test system EHP4 to EHP6
  • Upgrade of EHP6 to HANA (SAP_BASIS_740)
  • Export
  • Installation SAP HANA Size S+  (3 times)
  • Installation / Import (SAP HANA)
  • Post import steps (including the deletion of HR data)
  • User testing (unit / system integration / regression testing)
  • Upgrade / Migration 2. test system. Steps are similar to the 1. test system with the exception that HR data are not deleted
  • System acceptance by key users
  • Upgrade / migration of production system analogous to 2. test system

Note on project duration:

It is certainly possible to execute the project quicker. But since we are a service company, our complete set of HR data resides on the ERP. That is why we are planning two test phases. The first test phase does not include any HR data, so that we can operate the system without a data protection risk using ABAP developers. The second test phase includes complete testing with all data, including HR data. (Having just one test phase certainly shaves off a few weeks. More about this in an upcoming blog entry.)

In future blogs I will describe the various stages in more detail and talk about our experience so far, things which have gone very well and, of course, the tricky steps.

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