A smooth and error-free upgrade of the SAP system is almost a euphoric dream for most project managers. Organizations trying to conduct SAP system upgrades (SAP technical or functional upgrade) have to take some time and decide if they want to modernize their business to create innovative SAP solutions. There are several ways in which one can handle challenges experienced during the modernization or transformation of projects. In this blog, we will learn everything related to SAP system upgrades and modernization and why organizations struggle to keep up with it at the database layer for business-critical applications.

Why SAP system upgrades are essential

Businesses and companies are upgrading their SAP systems to keep up with technology advancements. This is also because the SAP systems version only lasts for a little while after which the software vendors SAP supports change. That is when the team rolls up to upgrade the SAP system. Testing is an essential part of the process, reducing the risk of having no upgrades. Companies have moved and shifted their domain from a traditional model to an agile development framework by implementing SAP upgrades. SAP system upgrades or SAP update and test automation must occur in equal intervals.

Phases of SAP system upgrades – What are SAP upgrades?

There are different phases in the upgrading process of an SAP. An SAP technical upgrade is a process of upgrading SAP systems to the latest versions and systems. A technical team is responsible for conducting the process of SAP system upgrades. On the other hand, regression testing is done by functional consultants. The phases or SAP upgrade steps are as follows:

  1. You have to choose a Software Update Manager (SUM) version based on the present SAP and the resulting SAP target. 
  2. Start assessment of hardware sizing as soon as possible. The earlier, the better the results. You have to choose for SAP technical upgrade and take measures to optimize. Proper monitoring of hardware resources will help you set the ideal benchmark for SAP. 
  3. Deciding the downtime is also essential for an effortless SAP system upgrade. Once you decide on the downtime requirement, the rest happens seamlessly- you get to upgrade strategy and list out the measures to perform optimization. 
  4. A maintenance planner must have the latest component details updated in the planner or SAP marketplace with the help of LMD, SLD, Data Supplier, or RZ70, to make a stack file. One can easily download the software packages required for this system. 
  5. If the solution manager is not available to administer and carry out these tasks, the organization can download the component details through a SPAM transaction, and upload them to an XML file.
  6. Downtime reduction of SAP system upgrades is achieved also with archiving or housekeeping for large tables and identifying them.
  7. It is also important to maintain a backup and recovery before the SAP system upgrade.
  8. Activate business functions.
  9. Include SAP system Add-ons via a third party to get validation.
  10. Document every step of the process so far for planning, SAP upgrade process, issue log, downtime optimization techniques, analysis of upgrade time, etc.

Mistakes made during SAP system upgrades

SAP projects upgrades sometimes fail for various reasons that professionals learn through trial and error. Some note-worthy mistakes you can evade are as follows:

1. You don’t have a solid strategy planned

It is the most common textbook example that many SAP projects start with no strategic planning or perspective. Without a proper roadmap, SAP system upgrades are going to be pointless. Get the customer’s perspective into your cost vs. benefits approach.

2. Insufficient management of projects

Managing a project needs a lot more expertise, skills, and resources to meet goals. Thus, not having enough resources and offerings leads to improper maintenance of the SAP systems. Start developing long-term goals and focus on the project in a streamlined format. This enables you to grow your dependency on SAP tooling and impact analysis.

3. Unable to seek and engage the stakeholder

Learn to communicate and ask for guidance at all levels of the process. Asking for the stakeholder after the problems occur is a bad step. Always clarify any doubts that occur to you. Risk management is also to be discussed to resolve any conflicts between team members. 

What mistakes can be avoided in SAP system upgrades

Thus, these problems can be avoided by upgrading SAP systems properly. You can avoid mistakes by running some of the following tests:

  • Plan it. The technical components are the main reasons why mistakes happen. If you create simulations that run SAP solutions bound to fail, you may detect the cause of it. Each failure scenario affects the plan differently. So, note them down for reference.
  • There should be no connectivity issues when conducting SAP system upgrades. Test all the technical components of the solution to connect all as per the technical design document. 
  • A response time snapshot ensures that the SAP system is working as effectively as it was before the actual upgrade. 
  • After the SAP system upgrade is over, you must make a test transport and release to examine the mechanism and functioning of the transport is as predicted. 

How does test automation help during an SAP system upgrade?

Changing the framework alone does not help a company earn a large return on SAP investments. The deployment methods are incomplete if vital elements are missed. A wrong step will only take the client away from their target of decreasing costs or risks involved in SAP-based solutions. However, Test automation gives a company the way forward to perform SAP system upgrades perfectly. You can increase the frequency, and decrease the time needed for the test execution with test automation running. It also helps you to analyze the report made out of a huge number of test cases. Also, hybrid and cross hybrid environments can be tested with test automation.

However, finding a good online service and test accelerator that offers test automation for SAP system upgrades needs some effort. But worry not as Lineris Solutions has the right solution that they offer in the form of several services related to the agile scrum framework. Lineris Solutions offers solutions and testing for SAPs like SRM, CRM, S/4HANA, BW, SCM, and many more. With SAP Upgrade Services from Lineris Solutions, you can reduce test cycle time taken- from days to few hours, reduce regression testing time, decrease any manual tasks, get users to grow confidence in using your applications and systems, etc. Contact us soon!