Standardisation on SAP drives cost efficiencies

This Fortune 500 communications company evolved and grew through decades of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Since its creation in 2000, the conglomerate has become a global technology giant delivering communication and digital solutions to more than one billion customers every day.

Its growth through integrating completely independent brands and businesses resulted in a combination of systems running its back-office applications. To streamline and optimize its business processes the business decided to shift the various entities onto SAP S/4HANA. Standardizing on a single ERP platform enabled the company to eliminate the silos that existed between businesses, improving efficiencies and driving down costs.

One ERP platform to rule them all

The catalyst for the convergence efforts was the launch of a new brand in 2018. It used the creation of the new brand – with multiple legacy systems – to develop a set of standard native SAP business processes for one ERP platform. The conglomerate committed to a new S/4HANA implementation hosted in the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) for the new brand while lifting and shifting existing systems as the project continues.

The first stage of the migration involved installing SAP central finance on S/4HANA which would allow the organization’s finance team to run the company in real-time. Utilizing S/4HANA provides an instant insight into the company’s financials rather than waiting until the traditional month-end close to get a snapshot.

Ultimately, the multi-staged transition to S/4HANA means shifting its CRM, SRM, SCM, GRC, Identity Management and MDG modules onto a single instance without disruptions to the day-to-day business.

Business as usual with automated SAP change management 

Keeping the business up and running while implementing a major SAP project requires considerable flexibility, visibility and accountability.

“As our landscape is so complex, if we didn’t have Rev-Trac, I would need additional bodies and a lot of extra time to move transports with some degree of confidence.”

 Senior IT Manager on the project team

It is using Revelation Software Concepts’ (RSC) Rev-Trac to run the business as usual for the duration of the project.

Rev-Trac, an automated SAP change management platform, provides the control and governance required to meet transformation goals and maintain system stability. The software enables the company to better manage SAP development and enhancements, break-fix changes and support pack upgrades while minimizing downtime until its legacy systems are retired.

It has been using Rev-Trac for just over 5 years in its existing SAP landscapes to simplify its change management process and stabilize its QA and production environments.

A senior manager on the project team said the company moved transports every business day of the year.

“Whether it is configuration changes, MDG changes or in the worst case code break-fix, there is a lot we keep in sync across all our landscapes,” he said. “Rev-Trac gives us the flexibility to deploy transports successfully and reduces audit effort with a documented history of all changes.”

Automation accelerates and simplifies S/4HANA journey

Ensuring minimal disruptions to its day-to-day business operations was not the only benefit of utilizing Rev-Trac for the company’s transition to S/4HANA.

Automation enables the company to significantly accelerate change through key areas including workflow approval, transport deployment and sequencing as it builds its S/4HANA systems applications. It relies on Rev-Trac’s Overtake and Overwrite Protection (OOPS) function for conflict management when migrating transports from development through QA to production.

Additionally, Rev-Trac helps to simplify the management of SAP changes running through the companies N + 1 landscapes. Rev-Trac enabled the company to accelerate transport migration, doing significantly more work with considerably less effort.

The business has multiple QA environments which are dropped out and rebuilt using current production data as transports move through the landscape. To speed up the QA refresh the company uses Rev-Trac’s Comparison report which identifies transports that are in QA but not in production. After the refresh, Rev-Trac’s Migration Workbench functionality enables it to quickly and easily resend the required transports to the rebuilt QA box for the next test cycle.

Eliminating time-consuming, error-prone tasks with automated change management accelerates transport movement while minimizing incidents and costly downtime

With the number of transports involved, it would be hard to imagine doing the migrations via SMTS. Multiple people would be required just to keep the STMS operation flowing. Rev-Trac allowed the business to move the transports with speed and provided ‘peace of mind’ that the migrations will be done correctly.

“The software has made a significant contribution to the first stage of our S/4HANA without interrupting the business,” the senior manager said. “Rev-Trac was fully operational in the new environment in literally days, reducing the time it took to become productive and achieve fast, safe SAP change at lower costs.”



Business Results

  • Streamlined labor-intensive SAP change control processes to enhance production stability

  • Increased productivity with less manual intervention in processes

  • A comprehensive audit trail of all changes for proof of compliance and operational integrity

  • Simplified S/4HANA transition in a complex landscape massively reducing time and effort to deploy applications