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EPC Seminar 21 Sep 2000 Dublin

Euro Conversion Management for SAP

This day-long seminar was run by EPC in conjunction with SAP UK Ireland office. These notes are a personal record of what I found interesting rather than an official record.

There were very useful exchanges on the timing of SAP table conversion. The consensus seems to be that if you're not already on version 4.6, you won't have time to upgrade so do it with 3.1I. Should you archive data out of the live system before or after euro conversion? (SAP seem to be changing their recommendations on this). Do you have to convert after year end? (The answer is preferably yes).

The typical conversion time is 48 hours for a company with 500Gb of data. It's no wonder hardware partners love SAP, they recommended a fourth server for euro conversion! (The other three are for Production, Development, and QA.) This poses a problem to the person in the audience from a company with 8 terabytes of data!

An important issue is that SAP only converts by currency rather than by company ("code" in SAPanese). Therefore if you have different kinds of NCU companies in the same installation ("instance" in SAPanese), you can't have different conversion dates for, say, consumer companies on 1-1-2002 and trade companies at 1-1-2001. This also affects considerations of integrating companies you take over between now and 2002.

Be aware of the stated limitations of the conversion tools in what data they do NOT convert, such as some CO, MM, and HR data. In common with many other automatic converters, SAP scripts, screen maps, workflow, and reports are left for manual checking. These customisations may well contain embedded assumptions about currencies that will fall over after conversion. For example, a user report may mix NCU and euro data to produce an "apples and oranges" total.

Considerable time was spent on a presentation of the conversion schedule, with great emphasis placed on testing including a "dress rehearsal". They discussed project roles such as:

  • The Steering Committee
  • Project Manager(s)
  • Application consultants
  • Business issue manager
  • Euro Conversion tech issue manager
  • Euro Conversion co-ordinator

They presented an outline project plan covering Preparation, Pre-test, repeated testing "until the water rinses clean", a dress rehearsal and finally live conversion. Each stage has:

  • General technical preparation
  • User department preparation
  • Auto-conversion - preprocessing, table conversion and post processing. This identifies the data clean up needed before conversion.
  • Manual cleanup of the remaining errors.
  • Quality check and user sign off.

The seminar is worth going to for that presentation and the open forum, where many user concerns were aired. Of course, the really interesting ones are taken off line and in confidence! Further information, guides, and a conversion roadmap are available on the SAPnet web site which is private to SAP customers. SAPNet has data on 1500 conversions reported so far.

© Patrick O'Beirne, Systems Modelling Ltd. 22-Sep-00

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Last updated January 03, 2005