How to lead an IT carve out of a central SAP system?
One of our experiences in GC Partner on SAP IT Carve-out. It was a full IT carve-out from infrastructure to SAP ERP.
The deployment was done using ASAP focus methodology from SAP combined in migration process from central ERP to a plant down-sizing and simplifying the solution.
The project was divided in several work streams:
- Network and internet connections
- Servers, PCs, Backup infrastructure
- Mail server, Domain migration
- SAP ERP, Manufacturing Execution System technical installation
- Delta customizing for APO, PP-PI, BI
Like most projects, there were objectives in terms of delays, costs, quality but there were also specific objectives to down size the central infrastructure to simplify and insure the manageability of the solution.
- Business continuity
- Reduce IT running costs
- Reduce complexity (mid and long term)
- Create synergy with main customers
- Keep history
The software logistics during the carve out was particularly difficult. There were two development work streams to coordinate one central and one on site. Both work streams were using different approach and cultures.
Project was based on ASAP Focus methodology from SAP.
It is a four phases approach: Project Preparation, Realization, Final Preparation, Go Live and Support.
It must be based on a defined scope and leverages on current practices. So there is not much space for new requirements. Time pressure will guide heavily your choices.
During the project, the phases in red were delayed. The hardware procurement time and coordinating technical activities were in the critical path. Delta requirements were handled all along the project poping up in the details of integration analysis.
One lesson learned is that having a business leader relaying the message for change is helpful. You will have only one time choice to implement those changes. Some choices are technical but many are related to the change management time you can afford during the project.
One key was to install new applications without multiplying the number of servers. We have used VMware on bigger servers to reduce costs and be more flexible. The major issues, we had was some hardware disk/controller broken, backup issues.
The servers’ virtualization brings flexibility very interesting during projects. You can boost performance depending on the phase and on environments needs between development, quality, and production.
One lesson learned is that delta requirements were not critical if it is analyzed in front with all specialists before choosing one alternative rather than stepping in with a « YAQA » statement.