A SAP project might involve the design and implementation of one or more SAP solutions (whether mySAP ERP, mySAP Business Suite or any other individual component within SAP NetWeaver). A SAP R/3 implementation within mySAP Business Suite makes sense if customers do not have an integrated ERP system and want to pursue the best possible integration among applications; however, in most cases a project implementing several mySAP Business Suite solutions is the natural evolution for existing and productive SAP R/3 customers.
Like traditional R/3 implementation projects, implementing mySAP solutions is fundamentally a business or e-business project, and so business managers should normally lead it. But since the boom of Web enablement, eCommerce, collaboration, and integration needs, there is a fundamental difference in terms of implementation costs and efforts that companies should be aware of. In the case of mySAP projects, involving several components and a great deal of integration, technology issues have a much more important role and should be carefully considered. The reasons for this are discussed later in this chapter.
Even if the solutions within mySAP Business Suite are focused on strategic business processes, the mySAP implementation projects should be seen as part of the overall vision of the company. SAP solutions and even some of the components of the SAP NetWeaver integration platform still provide a horizontal and integrated view of the business processes, just as the ERP system, aka SAP R/3, used to do, even if now the integration can be both intra- and intercompany, cross-system, process oriented rather than component oriented, and not just at the database and data model levels. Customizing is still the basic process for configuring most SAP solutions, but with additional possibilities, reuse of settings, automatic distribution of customizing, standard business content, Business Process Repository, global rollout functionalities, and new tools and facilities for making these tasks even easier.
Programming requirements are extremely reduced and left for those specific company processes not completely covered on standard systems. From experience in many real implementation projects, we learned that every company requires some level of programming to cope with changes in some specific business process, for data load or interfaces or for additional reporting needs. It is very important when deciding to implement SAP Solutions and SAP NetWeaver projects that upper management is committed, understands the environment, and thinks that this type of project is not just another yet IT project.
The range of solutions within the mySAP Business Suite and the SAP NetWeaver integration platform incorporates not only state-of-the-art Web technology and Java Environment, but also (and as usual within SAP traditional history) efficient and collaborative e-business processes, which might lead to organizational or structural changes for dealing with new markets and new business partners. Implementing SAP Solutions means to set up and configure one or more of the mySAP Business Suite or mySAP ERP, to handle the company's information needs and collaboration models enabled by the Web, and to support efficiently the current and future business processes.
According to the nature of the mySAP projects, a company might implement one or more of the mySAP solutions or the migration of the classical R/3 systems to a mySAP environment (other solutions within mySAP Business Suite). However, implementing mySAP Business Suite solutions does not mean a migration from R/3, but an evolution and integration with it. A SAP R/3 upgrade might certainly be needed, depending on the current R/3 release and the degree of integration required with the rest of the mySAP solutions. This is specifically true if requiring the technology foundation of SAP NetWeaver. R/3 actually should be considered the ERP solution within the mySAP.com platform.
The activities to be performed by the project team must be supported by a corresponding solid implementation methodology. It was with R/3 that SAP developed the ASAP (AcceleratedSAP) implementation solution set as the set of tools, processes, and services to guarantee successful projects. In the more complex mySAP world, the set of implementation tools have evolved and improved for covering a full solution cycle and are supported by new tools and platforms to make it not only easier, but also more userfriendly.
SAP Implementation Tools
With the introduction of the extensive solution within mySAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver platform, SAP has evolved and included new implementation tools and aid for facilitation of the implementation of the mySAP solutions, including a new comprehensive umbrella covering the full solution life cycle management to preconfigured systems. Following is an introduction of these SAP initiatives to streamline the implementation process and help customers in this type of projects. Some of these topics are covered with greater detail in the next sections of this chapter.
ValueSAP Solution life cycle
SAP business map for mySAP ERP
SAP customizing is referred as the main configuration process of any of the SAP Solutions. Within traditional SAP industry or cross industry solution, customizing work is the main task within the Realization phase of any SAP project and performed by means of the Implementation Guide (IMG). The IMG or Implementation Guide is a tool that includes a step-by step guide to customizing functions, with direct links to all necessary transactions to adapt the selected SAP modules or applications to the current business requirements as defined in a previous Blueprint or Functional Analysis.
Using the IMG, it is possible to train end users (especially key users) in the customization techniques and options so they can configure the system themselves according to their business and organizational needs. The IMG includes utilities to manage the so-called customizing projects. Using these project management utilities, customers and consultants decide which parts of the system are to be customized, and institute projects for which the system automatically generates a hierarchical list of the necessary customization steps for the selected application modules.
The IMG is accessed by opening the customizing main menu and then selecting the necessary functions or utilities under the Implementation Projects menu. In traditional SAP R/3 system in latest releases, the IMG includes around 10,000 configuration objects. That number does not mean the need to customize all those settings, but only the ones relating to the business process modeling. Subsets of the IMG are set up using IMG projects, which can be generated by selecting and including those applications or components that are part of the project. The tool will also automatically select any previously required customizing object, even if the object was not selected. Figure shows an example of the IMG.
The IMG in SAP Enterprise
The following sections explain in detail the ASAP methodology and SAP Solution Manager, which is meant to be the widely common framework for implementation and operation of SAP solutions.
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Sap Basis Tutorial
Sap: From Sap R/3 To Sap Netweaver
The Architecture Of The Sap Web Application Server
Sap Netweaver: An Overview
Using Sap Systems
Upgrading To Sap R/3 Enterprise: The First Step Into Sap Netweaver
The Change And Transport System
Development Options With Sap Solutions: Abap Engine
User Management And Security In Sap Environments
Web Application Server System Management
Performance And Troubleshooting With Sap Solutions
Sap For It Managers: Implementation, Planning, Operation, And Support Of Sap Systems
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