Susan Cannington

Selecting an automated SAP change management tool: 5 things to consider!

Susan Cannington | April 2, 2020

Automated SAP 5 Things to consider

Abandoned SAP changes, object overwrites, and uncontrolled parallel development – these are things every SAP IT team wants to avoid. After all, any one of these can potentially shut down your organization’s production system. And any unscheduled downtime, even a few minutes, can result in a tremendous loss in today’s fast-paced business world. Meaning, the ability to successfully manage SAP change across your landscape is crucial.

An automated SAP change management process allows you to deliver rapid, low-risk change, accelerates your S/4HANA migration, and supports agile and DevOps goals. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting an automated SAP change management tool and how Rev-Trac helps:

1. Development & Configuration Resources

One thing that is true for all organizations – whatever their size or industry – is the number of development and configuration resources can vary from job to job, project to project. As a result, SAP change processes have to be consistent and managed proactively across your landscape. Meaning all resources – both in-house and consulting – follow your change control requirements as they make their configuration and programming changes to your systems.

Rev-Trac captures individual changes to address a business issue in a Rev-Trac request. Each request progresses using a pre-defined approval and migration strategy, reducing error and saving time. Requests are automatically migrated across the landscape to Production after permission from assigned approvers. Users can define workflow by object, the team even the urgency of migration. The ability to set-up unlimited workflows with the automated change management platform enables SAP IT teams to include Java and non-SAP landscapes.

2. Documentation

Documenting and reporting SAP change can be a nightmare, particularly in a digital world focused on speed and where organizations are becoming subject to increasingly stringent compliance regulations. Therefore, it’s essential to document all changes – technical and functional – to your SAP systems.

Rev-Trac’s automated record-keeping meets even the most rigid audit requirements. With Rev-Trac, all documents are either attached or referenced through the lifecycle of the change guaranteeing compliance and significant cuts in audit effort. The software also integrates with leading ITSM tools, including ServiceNow and Jira, extending ITSM control requirements – approvals and workflows – into the SAP technical layer.

3. Managing Dual Landscapes

Typically existing SAP-based businesses need to maintain their existing environment (N) while managing a steady flow of significant projects, functionality enhancements, and business-related changes in a separate (N + 1) landscape. To ensure stability, SAP changes made in the primary landscape need to re-applied if relevant to the N + 1 track.

Rev-Trac incorporates functionalities specifically developed to overcome the unique challenge of managing SAP change in more complex environments (N and N + 1 etc.). All Rev-Trac requests migrated to Production are automatically cloned. This not only ensures SAP changes are captured for retrofitting but allows developers to decide whether to make the retrofit or not. Using Rev-Trac’s automatic cloning capabilities enables you to control parallel development across landscapes and prevent missing functionality when the project, enhancement etc. goes live.

4. Parallel Object & Configuration Development

On occasion, project work is implemented in phases, for example, a major enhancement may require several stages such as data conversion, main enhancement changes, and post-implementation hypercare. As a result, the same object or configuration record may be part of several development phases planned for the future. And, you may need to start multiple phased development in the same systems. In this scenario, It can be a challenge for SAP IT teams to manage the parallel development across phases.

Rev-Trac’s locking feature helps to control and align SAP change across parallel environments to avoid conflict and sequencing issues. It ensures that object development is locked to a specific phase and prevents future development until it has reached a configured status. At the same time, the software’s Parallel Development Workbench allows appropriate users – for example, a lock manager/s – to approve or reject parallel development requests that contain the same object. All users affected by parallel development approvals receive automated notifications and workflow emails.

5. Volume of changes

SAP landscapes are becoming increasingly complex in today’s digital business world. As a result, the volume of SAP changes to track and manage is rapidly rising. Sequencing and dependency errors can become more common as organizations react to new pressures.

Rev-Trac’s Release Management Workbench (RMWB) ensures an organization’s requirements are stuck to consistently. The RMWB gives a simple drag and drop view of changes included in each release, providing insight into the consequences of moving individual changes to Production within a chosen release. The Rev-Trac change requests manage the initial development and testing for business requirements, marking them ‘Ready for Deployment’ when the build and test phases for the change is complete. Using the RMWB, an authorized Release Manager or CAB member can drag and drop changes into a release. The release will automatically sequence the transports from all associated changes to account for release sequence and dependencies. Releases can be scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, and even on an ad-hoc basis for larger projects.

What’s next?

Are you considering SAP change management automation? Or, have you automated your SAP change processes but aren’t achieving business goals? Request a demo to see how Rev-Trac Platinum can help you to realize ROI on your SAP systems quickly, delivering rapid, low-risk applications and updates, and accelerate innovation.