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How to ensure the SAP environment runs smoothly

Running business processes without disruptions

Do you know what systems are the most critical to your business and how different processes leverage them? Does business process information flow reliably between different systems? Often, to implement a single process, several independent systems have to be updated at different times and for various reasons.

With a high number of software upgrades, business processes can be disrupted, cause errors or even lead to a downtime. If these processes cannot be fixed quickly, it can prove very costly for the business.

“Robot-based end-to-End (E2E) testing ensures that business processes linked to the company’s core systems are always functioning.”

Quite often one vendor is responsible for functionality of one system — it includes development, maintenance, and upgrades along with testing upto a certain level. Vendors do not take responsibility for integrations between systems and end-to-end functionality of the entire business processes — this is usually left to the company itself. Automating this phase can save a huge amount of time and significantly improve the quality and reliability of business processes.

“Testing individual systems does not necessarily ensure that they work together. That’s why end-to-end testing is essential. Manual implementation could be laborious and slow. In addition, the number of human errors increases as the need for testing increases, and the resulting downtime can lead to major expenses.”

 

SAP and other critical core systems

SAP is the engine of the business for many companies. It effectively manages the company’s operations in various areas — purchasing, sales, invoicing and management of finances. In order to perform properly, it often needs the help of other systems. Maintaining control over SAP and the systems connected is possible only when you can schedule the timing of major updates yourself.

 


An example of a company system with SAP running at its core. While the functionality of SAP is important, processes almost always go through several different systems.

 

The growing need for testing

SAP is moving its users toward S/4HANA system, which comes with frequent and automatic software update cycles to introduce new functionalities. A similar trend can be seen among many other enterprise systems vendors. This could multiply the amount of testing needs. When different system updates happen at different times, it can be quite challenging to manage. Manual testing becomes expensive and even impossible as the number of systems and upgrades increases exponentially.
Read more about why testing is fast becoming the biggest bottleneck in software development and IT.

Ready to start testing?

Qentinel Pace is a cloud-based, easy-to-use, cost-effective solution to secure end-to-end business processes of a company. We improve business reliability by automating the end-to-end testing of business processes using software robots.

Qentinel Pace makes automation work 10 times more productive than traditional automation solutions. Deployment costs are about half of that of traditional solutions, and maintenance takes up less than 15% of the time spent on automation. Annual costs can be as low as 75%.

Qentinel Pace in detail

How does Qentinel Pace help?

  • Improves system reliability

    End-to-end testing ensures that SAP integrations and business processes function smoothly.

  • Increases testing pace and volume

    Test automation helps increase the speed of test execution and test coverage. Errors can be detected and fixed early, preventing downtime.

  • Reduces business costs

    Test automation can lead to significant savings for your business. It also frees up the time of employees, so they can focus on other important work, increasing efficiency. When the same processes don’t have to be tested month after month, it also boosts work morale.

    A well-functioning and high quality system can increase the positive experiences of both employees and customers while using a company’s e-services.

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Successful transition to SAP S/4HANA

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Greenfield - New Deployment

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Brownfield - Migration

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Bluefield - Transformation of environment

There are three different deployment and transition options for SAP S/4HANA. Each customer’s situation is unique, which means there is no one-size-fits for all method. Two the most typical ways are new deployment (Greenfield) and migration (Brownfield). The third rarer option is (Bluefield).

Test automation helps with a successful transition to SAP S/4HANA, regardless of the transition method. Depending on the strategy chosen, SAP S/4HANA can be implemented either in the company’s own data center (on-premise) or in the cloud (private/public cloud). Test automation makes the prep before transition, the transition process and the functionality of business processes post transition much more comprehensive and efficient.

With Greenfield deployment, the S/4HANA system is built and deployed as a completely new system. Only the necessary master and transaction data is transferred from the old system to the new one. A new deployment is a good option in a situation where the ERP system in use is very old, lags behind in upgrades, or the system environment has become unnecessarily complex. In that case, it is good to start with a clean slate!

It is a good idea to start building test automation keeping in mind the deployment of the new SAP S/4HANA at the same time. During the crucial initial phase, it is best to work with an experienced partner and a proven solution for testing support. Since end-user-level test automation requires a relatively stable environment, it is essential to pay particular attention to critical business processes when testing processes.

Migration refers to the conversion of an existing SAP system to a new S/4HANA system using SAP conversion tools. This option is particularly suitable for companies that want to move and convert the framework, data and configurations contained in their current ERP system to the new S/4HANA. However, before conversion, it is important to critically examine whether the data to be transferred is necessary in the new system.

In terms of test automation, migration is a simpler option to implement due to its straightforwardness — much of the existing test automations can be reused. It is wise to plan some of the new tests needed before an upgrade and ensure in advance that the test automation won’t break down during the upgrade. The first round of testing should be carried out, at the latest when setting up a new environment. Here, the focus should be on automating the testing of business-critical long processes, while also covering integrated systems.

Test automation’s greatest advantage is evident during the migration itself —  it takes a considerable amount of testing in several rounds to keep business-critical E2E running. Automating much of this testing guarantees efficiency. The test automation can even be used while performing regression testing of future development.

The transformation of environment refers to the integration of existing systems that are separate or in different locations. While migrating, it is possible to transfer individually picked data and certain applications to the new system. Business processes can be renewed during the  transfer — it is common to focus on processes most important to the organization’s business. The migration is often implemented in stages which requires continuous testing and corrective measures.

Test automation can be based on the same critical business process review as in the Green and Brownfield options. When core business processes are renewed and transferred to a new system, it is important to be able to ensure data integrity and functionality of the processes — data migration is not a one-time operation.

Automation unleashes its full potential when tests are automated and regression testing is performed on numerous E2E processes. Multiple and frequent testing work demands automation, which saves a whole lot of time and man-hours. When tests can be performed whenever needed, it is easy to get accurate feedback on errors and solve problems quickly. With test automation running multiple tests efficiently, the business runs smoothly and the transition to SAP S/4HANA is successful.

With the number of cloud-based ERP systems rapidly growing, manual testing needs an increasing number of resources. Robot-based test automation is the solution — a whole lot of time is saved when robots do the testing work for you.

It takes a lot of prep to migrate to SAP S/4HANA. It is important to secure the quality of the current SAP environment before deploying the new one. This is where the challenges of quality assurance in the SAP environment and the opportunities that  test automation offers become most clear.

What we can offer:

  • Successful transition – The SAP environment and integration are ready for successful migration without downtime.
  • Testing upgrades – – With the number of upgrades in cloud-based ERP systems increasing and their timing no longer predictable, test automation is an efficient, scalable, and ideal solution.
  • Reliable testing – With test automation, managing test data is simple and tests
    don’t break.

Try Qentinel Pace for SAP

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When you succeed in ensuring business processes work, you will also succeed in migrating to SAP S/4HANA, no matter how you implement it.

Enjoy a successful interruption-free business with the Qentinel Pace test automation solution!

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