Just as important as any products you make or any services you deliver, your data is a byproduct of your business activities. Without precise inventory, accurate customer information, impeccable accounting, and other data driven information, you would be hard pressed to compete in today’s marketplace. So when you need to upgrade your systems, data migration must be done properly as well. Stated simply, data migration is the process of transferring data between computer storage types or file formats. You might need to transfer data from hardware to cloud-based systems; or from a non-SAP system to an SAP system; or upgrade from an older SAP format to the newest SAP HANA. In any event, data migration must be handled carefully. Be sure to call the experts at 1st Basis to deal with any data migration you might need.

Different Organizations, Different Needs

1st Basis understands that each company is unique and is committed to working with you to determine what kind of data migration best meets your needs. For instance, S/4HANA helps a business reduce its IT costs by streamlining its SAP landscape. Your business may prioritize financial data migration as essential to speed up your drive towards S/4HANA in a profitable way, then have other (legacy) data moved as well. 1st Basis will help you perform data evaluation in your current framework in order to plan the best way to move, maintain, and utilize data. With sound planning, your company can minimize risk, keep administrative consistency, and increase your return on investment.

Essential Considerations for Data Migration:

• Define the standards for the data quality, data mapping, and data conversion.

• Involve key data stakeholders throughout the data migration project.

• Use the appropriate tool to mechanize the execution of mapping of data, data transformation, and data quality responsibilities.

• Focus on 4 factors: comprehensiveness, consistency, compliance, and conformity.

• Meet the clear data standards and guidelines during the time of data entry in the system.

• Set up monitoring and reporting and establish action plan for data remediation.

Tools – Business Object Data Services (BODS)

BODS system is a tool used to extract, transform, and load data from one system (source) to another (target). It can be used with disparate systems and is tightly integrated into SAP, so it can acquire data from a variety of source systems, change it into readable data for SAP, and upload it into your SAP system. You are able to read business data at application level with BODS, and it has effective debugging and monitoring as well.

Tools – Batch Data Conversion (BDC)

With this kind of data migration, data is transferred using the batch input program. You can do it using a call transaction method or a session method. It helps to transfer a large amount of data entries related to the data entries from a legacy system to an SAP system. Only the data related to a single transaction is transferred initially with the help of a correct data format map. It automatically moves all the outstanding data entries that run in various lines using the same data format. This entire process happens in the background and the data are transferred one by one, just like they would be by hand (only a lot faster, of course).

Tools – SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit

This is a new migration data tool that uses preconfigured migration content. It is designed for SAP S/4HANA and was initially obtainable for cloud release only. There is now an on-premise version. This tool is made for improvements and modifications of already defined migration objects. It provides such capabilities as:

• Pre-configured content and mapping for each migration object, e.g. G/L open items.

• Predefined templates (Microsoft Excel XML files) for each object.

• Automated mapping between template and target structure.

• Migration programs are automatically generated – no programming required by the customer.

• Available for private and public cloud or on-premise.

 

These are the basic tools needed for successful data migration. There is also a Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) system designed to take data from non-SAP systems to SAP R/3 systems. Contact us today to find out more.

SAP Security is like an extraordinarily complex, multi-person juggling act. You may have seen performances where a couple people juggle several balls, throwing them between each other, while always keeping them in the air. Imagine if that were expanded to include every person in your business and all those balls represented every one of your customers, every item in your inventory, and, all of your financial information. With SAP Security in place, every person in your organization has access to the data needed to do their jobs, while restricting access to other areas. That means that there is limited possibility of accidentally damaging or deliberately misusing vital information. This post explores SAP Security, how it mitigates risk, best practices, and more.

Mitigating Risk

SAP Security works by analyzing the different kinds of information your company uses and the people who have access to them, and then building appropriate protections around them. In order to mitigate your risks, you need to establish a baseline. Review who has access to the company’s most sensitive information; what titles do they hold? Then examine your company’s standard operating procedure to determine where protections are most needed. This is where you create a Segregation of Duties (SoD) analysis. It’s also key to think about scenarios outside the norm and plan for those as well. It’s best to include SAP Security in the planning stage; it’s possible to do it after your SAP system is up and running, but security should be integrated from the start. Finally, SAP Security maintains its integrity by performing regular system-wide assessments which should also be included and planned for.

Best Practices – General

There are some basic best practices that should be employed with every SAP Security system, and some that apply to the different kinds of SAP systems and modules. With every SAP system, Admins create a standard role for a position (or title) and that can be assigned to anyone who fills it. For instance, your company may have account managers who deal with specific clients. There would be “keys” available for all account managers, and then more specific “keys” for each manager’s clients. That way, every account manager can access all the information necessary for their clients, but not for another account manager’s clients.

Best Practices – SAP HANA

SAP HANA security requires some adaptations from the standard SAP security system. Best practice here means that SAP HANA Security operates on a least access rights paradigm that diminishes the potential damage an employee could cause with access to more information. SAP HANA permissions work with different implementations than general SAP permissions, and it also handles objects differently, so it’s important to have someone with expertise in SAP HANA Security. If that is not part of your corporate structure, contracting with the professionals at 1st Basis is a wise choice.

Best Practices – SAP Fiori

Again, implementation of SAP Fiori varies from other SAP systems, and the most important best practice action you can take is to ensure that you are working with someone with a comprehensive understanding of SAP Fiori. There are 9 main security best practices that should be followed when using SAP Fiori. Most businesses are taken up with the actual work of the company, not the SAP system or its security. Employing the experts at 1st Basis is best practice.

 

When working correctly, SAP Security should be invisible, allowing each member of the company to access the needed information at the appropriate time so that productivity remains high. It’s a juggling act where the balls are always in the air or in the right person’s hands, never breaking the rhythm of the movement, never concealed in a juggler’s pocket, and never on the floor.

Past

SAP has been around for a long time; its first ERPs came out in the 1970s, and its first R/ system dealt only with financials. Capacity increased, and SAP released its first R/3 in 1992. Then, with version 5.0 of R/3, SAP renamed the application the ERP Central Component (ECC) in 2004.

As this trajectory indicates, the ad hoc growth of the various R/ systems were combined with the advent of the ECC. It was the apex of ERPs. A lot of businesses still run with ECC, though this choice is becoming more and more suspect. SAP plans to move away from general support of ECC by 2025. By that time, ECC will have been in use over 20 years—multiple lifetimes in the world of technology.

Present

ECC is giving way to the HANA system. SAP HANA uses in-memory databases that are designed to dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of SAP applications and the business processes they support.

Not only does HANA have in-memory operations, it also has a simplified data structure. These design innovations result in overall improved performance. With real-time visibility and better use of analytics, companies are seeing increased productivity. Market conditions change from minute to minute, and SAP Business Suite on HANA allows you to respond appropriately. With everything from design to delivery integrated in HANA, businesses are providing customers immediate and accurate information. Real-time inventory analysis and 24/7 tracked logistics translates into savings and satisfied customers.

Future

HANA and S/4HANA are the present and the future for using SAP Business Suite. S/4HANA came out in February 2015, and it solves many typical problems like data sprawl, batch latency, and manually driven processes. It possesses award-winning user experience with its SAP Fiori.

SAP S/4HANA has unique architecture with data stored in columns; it runs in-memory, meaning near to real-time analytics. It also provides businesses with active decision support in real time. That support emerges from the data and incorporates both internal and external sources of data in the evaluation.

Most importantly, SAP S/4/HANA lets organizations work seamlessly in our digital economy. SAP S/4HANA has been written specifically for the SAP HANA platform and is designed to respond to the continuing development in the field.

To S/4HANA and Beyond

Changing your SAP landscape is a significant business decision. No matter its size, your SAP landscape seriously affects almost every aspect of your business. Yet, organizations need to be ready to take advantage of all the presently unimagined possibilities.

If you’re currently working with ECC, it may be a sound decision to move first to an SAP Suite on HANA and then convert to S/4HANA later. SAP migration is complex. Companies need to balance their return on investment (ROI) and the minimal disruption of an SAP Suite on HANA upgrade against the accelerated transformation, simplification, and easy transition to the cloud version: HANA Cloud Platform (HCP).

SAP S/4HANA is the launching site for future innovation.

“40% of American adults will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime”—CDC study shows.

This horrendous statistic shows the rise of our relentless plague of modern diseases; diabetes, overweight, cardiovascular disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s (now thought to have a common cause—the latter being reclassified as diabetes type 3). As the authors of the study that produced this frightening statistic conclude, “These findings…emphasize the need for effective interventions to reduce incidence.”

The search for “effective interventions” has been a long one and with few real results; only band-aid solutions. Our western dietis killing us, even though studies show that Americans do their best to follow the ever–changing dietary guidelines, and yet the plague keeps progressing; claiming ever more victims. A recent profile in the Wall Street Journal outlined a new diet approach that shows promise:

“Until now, most diets have been based on the glycemic index, a half-century-old list that ranks foods based on how they affect blood sugar. While this index is widely used by doctors to provide dietary advice, it is based on an average response and has been found wanting because many people aren’t average.

Dietary Advice Based on the Bacteria in Your Gut, Charles Wallace, WSJ.com, Feb 25, 2018 10:05 p.m. ET

This new approach came out of research done by the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (their results were published HEREin the scientific journal, Cell). Their study showed that many factors determine the glycemic response (how quickly food turns to sugar in the blood stream) but that the main factor is the variation in the composition and population of bacteria in the gut (the 100 trillion bacteria, viruses and fungi cells that inhabit the human digestive tract).

Through continuous monitoring of the Blood Glucose (BG) levels of some 800 test subjects, they discovered that the glycemic response was very different in a large number of individuals for the same foods. For example, some people had a large BG spike for rice, some had moderate spikes and some had no spike at all.

My wife and I set out to test the hypothesis with an informal experiment. We both consumed 100g of parboiled white rice with butter and pecorino cheese. Something approximate to this Glycemic Index entry:

The glycemic data above was the average from 15 test subjects over a period of 4 hours. According to the numbers, it should not have created a BG spike (GI) nor raised our BG for very long (GL). These were our results (testing every 30 minutes):

Just as a comment about the experience, I felt great the whole time, but on the backside of the curve, I started to get hungry (like many people do after carbohydrates). But, this was a “false” hunger, as I clearly had enough blood sugar. I started at 96 but at the end “crashed” at 88 where I was then, very hungry.

My wife on the other hand is not a typical consumer of carbohydrates (she strips the breading off of shrimp, for example). She felt like she was, “punched in the stomach” the whole time. As the graph shows, her system did not readily convert the starch in the rice to sugar. Her response was delayed and moderate, while I had a spike, followed by a long decline (where insulin is converting most of the sugar to fat).

According to the study, the difference in our reactions is due to the differences in our respective gut bacteria (microbiome). This difference, according to the authors Dr. Eran Segal and Dr. Eran Elinav, is why I am overweight and my wife is not. My microbiome is very efficient at converting the starch in rice to body fat, while hers is not. All because the bacteria that live in our digestive tracts are different.

Segal and Elinav developed a machine-learning algorithm that analyzed the microbiome DNA and blood test data of the subjects in a subsequent study to try and predict how a subject’s BG levels would respond to certain foods. That way their software could recommend a “good” diet or a “bad” diet (see chart B below). The results were confirmed and the system was able to provide diet choices that would or would not cause a glucose spike. They licensed the technology to a startup called, DayTwonow a leader in personalizednutrition (mentioned in the WSJ article quoted above).

Goodand Baddiet BG results from the study.(View the TED talk on YouTube)

This personalized model and its potential was not lost on SAP co-founder, Hasso Platner after the inception of HANA (an in-memory columnar database). Such innovations have enabled such agile solutions to be tailored to specific conditions (like a patient’s unique microbiome) and opened up new levels of patient care never before possible.

“Trends such as personalized medicine and new medical technologies will change the way diseases are diagnosed and treated. In this operating model, medical decisions, such as therapy approaches to be applied and drugs to be used, are tailored specifically to the individual conditions of the patient.

—“The In-Memory Revolution: How SAP HANA Enables Business of the Future,” Hasso Platner & Bernd Leukert, Springer Int. Pub., Switzerland 2015, page 158

Back in the early days of modern western medicine, the practice was highly personalized, doctors made house calls almost exclusively, and the patient dictated the course of treatment. After the Enlightenment that all changed and medicine became more “clinical” and impersonal. This digital transformation is making the transition back to personalized health, medical advice and treatment possible. The potential of this personalized approach to health and medicine is just being tapped. Perhaps we are looking at the begining of the end of our current plague and the start of a new era of customized and effective intervention.

1st Basis provides hosting for our customers who want a total solution or have special SAP-centered hosting needs. We started by hosting our own equipment in a co-location (colo) but demand quickly outstripped our ability to focus on SAP Basis and managing our own hardware, so we searched for a hosting partner to fill the gap—one with our same commitment to customer service.

We picked FNTS because they were one of the first to specialize in SAP-certified hosting and because they provide multiple platforms (including AS400). They are a good fit because they have the same commitment to individualizedcustomer service. After a long vetting process, multiple meetings and joint ventures, they became our go-to hosting partnerand 1st Basisbecame the defacto, preferred, Basis provider for FNTS.

A Bit About FNTS:

FNTS has over 20 years of experience in the managed IT services industry. They are not afraid to think out of the “big box” and are known for their innovation and creative solutions (from giant flywheels that store energy or dumpster-diving to rescue a new customer’s discarded data)—they go the extra mile.

From the FNTS website:

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the First National Data Center provides:

  • Fully redundant power (A+B) and components housed within a secured and protected environment
  • Flexible and efficient HVAC/air handling systems cooling with chilled water and backup chillers
  • 24/7 air handling monitoring for temperature, air quality and humidity
  • Dry pipe sprinklers and fire suppression systems controlled round-the-clock
  • Fully redundant Internet and failover for all Internet traffic
  • SSAE 16, SOC 2, 2N data center
  • Connection to all major communication carriers
  • More than 61,000 ft² of raised floor
  • On-site engineers 24/7

Local news story about FNTS

1st Basisis proud to be working with FNTS who, like us, “is dedicated to quality personal service.”

— David Beiswenger