Pivot point and hub

2012-08-09 10:33am

Producer of engine components receives seamless SAP release change

Producer stocks up on business critical SAP solution for 1000 users in three countries simultaneously, without any unplanned downtime.

Sintered components, friction lining, plain bearings, coatings and power electronics components are all products that make ships, trains and plains more reliable and perform better. Miba produces these and other components. To make them more efficient and environmentally friendly, the company employs new technologies and comprehensive research and development work. The Miba Group comprises five key segments, and each segment is concerned with specific product groups. The company has 21 subsidiaries in seven countries: China, United States, Austria, Slovakia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and India. In efforts to retain its advantages over competitors, Miba strongly invests in binding its employees as well as in research and development. At the same time, the company is keen on continuity and provides reliable and flexible IT systems to all of their employees. SAP plays a vital part here. “Most business processes are made on SAP here. Since most of our customers use SAP, it fosters our relationships”, confirms Rainer Vielkind, leader of the Mibas SAP Competence Center in Austria, where all the services for 4,000 employees are made available.  

Long-lasting partners
An SAP-Upgrade is, for Miba, one of its biggest IT challenges. To receive the support of an engaged and knowledgeable technology partner was key. Since the support for ERP 4.7 was going to expire in 2013, Rainer Vielkind decided for a release change to ERP ECC 6.0. This was to ensure that there wouldn’t be any support gaps and to guarantee a seamless transition. In order to continue creating advantages for employees, new functionalities of the solution shall be introduced in the long run, such as for the Human Resources module. The current goal setting was mainly geared towards a successful and hopefully easy and seamless upgrade of all existing functionalities. To get the project started, Rainer Vielkind and his team announced a bid. „Due to the potential complexity of the technical release change and the business critical role of the SAP software, we needed a highly professional and experienced partner” according to Rainer Vielkind. After intensive weighing of options, the company chose its long-standing partner Dell, who had already installed the current SAP solution with the internal SAP Competence Center. „There were two reasons that made Dell’s case: our strong business relationship with the Dell team as well as their understanding of our business processes.” Thanks to Dells’ business knowledge of Miba, the planning phase of the project was minimal. Rainer Vielkind can only confirm this: „The Dell team brought detailed knowledge to the table. Since their knowledge wasn’t limited to SAP, but included our business concerns, we were able to save on additional explanations and quickly get started with the upgrading project”.

Eight locations, three countries
Thanks to the detailed analysis of Miba’s ERP-4.7 usage, the upgrading process was done accurately and efficiently. Key was the expertise of Dell partner West Trax. Rainer Vielkind explains: „West Trax extracted field values from our SAP environment to determine which processes we use often. This way, expenditure for the testing and adaptation of the in-house developments could greatly be reduced.“ Knowing that the success of the SAP upgrading process would depend on efficient and comprehensive assessments, Miba conducted intensive tests on select processes in advance. “The West Trax assessments helped us to chose the functionalities that should be tested”, confirms Rainer Vielkind. First, Dell conducted sandbox tests to determine potential change frameworks and concerns before the actual upgrade. That allowed Dell und Miba to protect themselves from errors and to establish a robust and error free platform. This served as a basis for Rainer Vielkind and his team for their planned, intensive integration and special transaction tests conducted by experts, such as order processing or the creation of deliveries. “Thanks to our collaboration with Dell Services, we were able to conduct our tests efficiently. All in all, we served eight worldwide locations by covering them with multiple interfaces to other applications.” Dell completed the installation in collaboration with Siemens, Miba’s computer lab provider, on a single weekend. As planned, the solution was live and ready to go on Monday at 6am. In close collaboration with Miba’s internal project leader, a project leader from Dell took over the coordination of the upgrade. “Dell’s project leader was very helpful. He helped us to solve small matters and was able to answer all of our SAP process consultants’ questions. This resulted in zero project delays. The communication emanating from Dell was calm, knowledgeable and professional, as was the technical expertise from Dell’s SAP consultants”, praised Rainer Vielkind.

Increase in efficiency through new functionalities
Miba achieved its goal: the realization of company wide, business critical technical updates without causing any disruptions to the employees. “Had our SAP solution become inoperative, it would have caused a complete production halt which would have resulted in revenue losses. Dell Services was a key contributor in securing our business operations during the migration. There were neither problems nor unexpected surprises. Everything went as smoothly as planned”, confirms Rainer Vielkind.

“Although the continuity of support was our main goal, we are glad about the probing auf new functionalities that are available to us since the introduction of ECC 6.0”. In the coming months, new functionalities shall be introduced step by step. “With Dell services we switched to a platform that will bring us advantages for years to come” according to Rainer Vielkind. “The SAP software was the pivot point and hub of our business processes, regardless of whether it was for deliveries or the monitoring of production orders. With this upgrade, Dell has provided us with a seamlessly supported solution that is a market leader. In addition we have the option to introduce additional functions which will continue to improve the collaboration with our partners, colleagues and customers.”

Source: http://www.e3cms.de/index.php?id=5357

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