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The Case for the Functional SAP Upgrade

While there is a general consensus that a well-deployed functional upgrade can have a greater overall business benefit than a technical upgrade, quantifying that business benefit is complicated by the vastly different ROI and TCO calculus of a functional upgrade. This difference vis-à-vis technical upgrades is based on an important underlying issue: There is usually a significant change in the overall system use and number of users as a result of a functional upgrade, and that increase in turn can lead to increased deployment costs and, often, hardware and license costs as well.

FUNCTIONAL UPGRADE DEFINITION: An upgrade intended to extend the business process functionality of the existing system. In most cases this involves the adoption of new business processes or the automation of previously un-automated processes. A functional upgrade typically increases the number of users of the system as well.

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The Case for the Technical SAP Upgrade: Keeping up with Business and Technology Evolution

There are a number of reasons why companies should undertake a technical upgrade of their SAP system, most of which boil-down to a single essential rationale: technology and businesses evolve, and companies need to maintain a technological infrastructure that can support that change. There are many secondary reasons, including the fact that SAP, like all software vendors, limits the number of years it will actively support a given version of its software. The basic notion of upgrading to support technical and business evolution, however, is a factor behind all other rationales for upgrading core enterprise software functionality like SAP.

TECHNICAL UPGRADE DEFINITION: An upgrade intended to move the system onto the latest technology platform, without implementing new functionality that would change user behavior or business processes.

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The Changing SAP Upgrade Landscape - Introduction

While all enterprise software customers face the inevitability of upgrading their systems on a periodic basis, many hesitate to follow the upgrade cycles recommended by their vendors. This hesitancy comes from a number of factors, most of which boil down to an essential, industry- wide truth: upgrades have historically been complex, time-consuming, and risky, and have often defied attempts at cost-justification. And with upgrade failures making headlines with all too much frequency - anything from complete business shut-downs to costly but eventually resolved delays - this historical perspective isn't without a rational basis.

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Fixing the SAP Upgrade Process: Nine Best Practices

Special to Panaya from Joshua Greenbaum, Principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting
Report Summary: While all enterprise software customers face the inevitability of upgrading their systems on a periodic basis, many hesitate to follow the upgrade cycles recommended by their vendors. This hesitancy comes from a number of factors, most of which boil down to an essential, industry- wide truth: upgrades have historically been complex, time-consuming, and risky, and have often defied attempts at cost-justification. And with upgrade failures making headlines with all too much frequency - anything from complete business shut-downs to costly but eventually resolved delays - this historical perspective isn't without a rational basis.

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PSA

mercedes_hover

"We plan to use Panaya for all our future upgrade and support package projects."

Grégory Cagin, SAP upgrade programs Manager, SAP Competence Center

PSA Peugeot Citroën

Mercedes

mercedes_hover

"Eighty to ninety percent of our potential problems were taken care of by Panaya."

Sanjeev Sharma, SAP Regional Support Manager

Mercedes-Benz USA

Kingspan

Kingspan

"I don't think the users noticed an upgrade had even happened"

Barry Finn, IS Applications Project Manager

Kingspan

Central Vermont Public Service

Central Vermont Public Service

"How does anyone implement support packages without Panaya?!"

Shelly Hendee, SAP Support Team Manager

Central Vermont Public Service

Travel

TravelCenters

"It's not just the time saved, it's the results."

Jeff Obrzut, Manager of SAP Development 

Travel Centers of America

AlleghenyEnergy

AlleghenyEnergy

"Panaya was our one-stop shop for the project's analysis and task management."

Michael Eckert, General Manager of SAP Applications

Allegheny Energy

SummitElectricSupply

SummitElectricSupply

"Whether you’re doing your upgrade in-house or outsourcing it, Panaya allows you to hone in on the areas of SAP you need to be paying attention to."

David Wascom, CIO, Summit Electric Supply

MPS

mps

"No exaggerations, Panaya saved us 80 percent of our project time."

Syed Yaseen, SAP Programmer

Minneapolis Public Schools

Royal-Resorts

RoyalResorts

"We saved around 73 percent of what was originally budgeted for ABAP development."

Carlos Gomez, SAP Manger

Royal Resorts

Aluma Form

AlumaForm

"Without Panaya, I wouldn't have had a good idea of what to change; I wouldn't have known what was going to break."

Joan Waddell, ABAP Programmer

Aluma-Form

Centrica

Centrica_hover

"We even had some senior managers asking us whether we actually went live – several of them expressed their amazement at how quiet it was."

Mike Kemp, SAP Operations Manager, Centrica

agropur

agropur_hover

"Panaya looks too good to be true – but it really is that good!"

Marie-Claude Alary, Manager of Business Process Systems Improvement

Agropur

FEMSA

femsa

"Panaya enabled us to spend much less time in the testing cycle than what we have done in the past."

Francisco Flores, SAP Project Manager

FEMSA Empaque

Foschini Group

foschini

"Thanks to Panaya, our upgrade was a non-event."

Gerhard Mitton, Senior Department Manager

The Foschini Group

Newell-Rubbermaid

NewellRubbermaid

"We were not only on time, we slipped the upgrade in a year early."

Glen Griffin, Global Director of Application Development

Newell Rubbermaid

powell

powell_hover

"The money that we spent with Panaya was more than justified."

Bob Oldrati, Controller and IT Director

Powell Electronics

ColdwaterCreek

ColdwaterCreek

"It was like we were floundering around in the forest, and when we got Panaya, it was like all of a sudden we were given night vision goggles."

Rose Clark, Senior Project Manager, Coldwater Creek

JYSK

jysk

"Panaya gave us a crystal clear idea of what we would have to change."

Rune Skovsgaard, IT Director

JYSK