Success Story: Elite Engines

This success story was a real event. However, the names of companies and individuals mentioned in this success story have been changed to protect their identities. Any resemblance to actual companies or individuals is purely coincidental.

Key takeaway: You can use the Business Rule Framework to assist in a fast and flexible method for migrating data from a legacy system.

Elite Engines was known for its reliable and efficient services, but behind the scenes, things were starting to fall apart. The mainframe system that had been the backbone of their operations for decades was starting to show its age. Finding replacement parts was becoming increasingly complex, and the only developer who knew how to maintain it was getting ready to retire.

The company’s management knew they needed to change before it was too late. They began researching modern IT systems and eventually settled on SAP, a leading enterprise resource planning software.

The transition to SAP was not going to be easy. The old mainframe system was deeply ingrained in every aspect of the company’s operations, and replacing it would be a massive undertaking. The management team put together a project plan and assembled a team of experienced SAP consultants to lead the implementation.

Patrick was the only person at the company with the knowledge and expertise to work with the old mainframe system. He was constantly bombarded with requests from various departments to extract or update data, and he was the only one who knew how to do it. As a result, he worked at least 10 hours a day and sometimes even on the weekends. The constant demands on his time were taking a toll, and he was slowly edging towards burnout. The management team knew that something had to be done to alleviate the pressure on Patrick, but until they could replace the mainframe system, he was the only hope they had.

The SAP project team had a data migration strategy considered “best practice” by industry standards. It involved extracting legacy data from the mainframe system and immediately converting it into SAP data format. However, there were some flaws in this approach. Firstly, Patrick did not know SAP and struggled to understand the complex data structures and relationships. Secondly, early on in the SAP project, not all of the business rules for data conversion had been defined, which made it difficult for the team to migrate the data accurately. As a result, the data migration process was falling behind schedule, and there was a risk that the SAP deployment would not be completed on time.

To overcome data migration challenges, the SAP project team decided to work smarter and apply “good practice” by uploading the raw legacy data into the SAP migration workbench, as you can add code within the SAP migration tool to perform the translation into SAP data before loading it into the SAP system. This approach had several benefits. Firstly, it eliminated the need for Patrick – who has no SAP experience – to convert the data, reducing the risk of errors and increasing the process’s efficiency. Secondly, by waiting until the conversion step to translate the data, the team ensured that all of the necessary business rules were in place, resulting in more accurate data migration. Overall, this approach allowed the team to make significant progress on the data migration front and helped to reduce the risk of delays in the SAP deployment.

Applying this single new approach towards data migration had immediate significant positive impacts. It allows you to create master data in SAP without knowing the business rules for converting it. You can initially generate the master data with the minimum required data and assign temporary dummy values to some fields. Then, as new business rules are defined, you can reload the data and update the fields that need to be changed. This allows you to load a high volume of data into SAP quickly and then gradually improve the quality of the data before it needs to be loaded into the production environment. By taking this approach, you can ensure that you have a solid data foundation in SAP, even if you don’t have all of the necessary business rules at the start of the project.

To ensure the accuracy and consistency of the data migration process, the SAP project team decided to use the Business Rule Framework to convert the legacy data into SAP data.

This provided a set of standardized rules and guidelines that the team could use to ensure that the data was formatted correctly and structured for SAP.

Using the Business Rule Framework, the team could confidently and efficiently migrate the legacy data into SAP, knowing that it would meet all of the necessary requirements.

The use of the Business Rule Framework played a crucial role in the success of the data migration process. It helped to ensure that the SAP deployment was completed on time and without any significant issues.