An SAP go-live event requires nerves of steel. You’ve done months of testing, you’ve hired consultants and it’s time to go live with your new or upgraded SAP ERP back-end. If your organization also supports SAP with mobile applications used for business critical tasks such as moving and shipping goods to customers, the stakes and stakeholders are greater in number.
Upon a successful go-live of the new SAP system, workers will be expecting to scan barcodes with their handheld computers and get an instant response from the SAP system as they did before. In order for this to happen, a flawless data transaction must occur over wired and wireless networks to and from mobile devices. It will also depend on the compatible interaction of device-side software, such as browsers and terminal emulation, with your host application, however, now a major change has been made to the host application.
If the aforementioned scenario sounds like a scary thought, then you have some experience with wireless networks and mobile devices and are correct to want to take measures to CYA. Have no fear. There are methods and tools that can provide peace of mind and actionable data in both a crisis and in calm.
Three Assurances for the SAP Go Live Team
How can a company’s go live team provide assurances to their operations counterparts that when the mobile data collections system is effected by the go-live changes that the problems will be quickly identified and resolved?
Ensure end-to-end visibility of the data path. With end-to-end transactional visibility, go-live teams can pinpoint where in the mobile data path time is being lost, essentially to ‘see’ the specific bottleneck for each and every user. This is different than correlating a time period of a network or application problem with general user complaints which often leads to the wild-goose hunt and escalates small issues.
Get accurate and timely mobile user reports. One of the big problems with troubleshooting issues is obtaining information from mobile users who are often spread out across multiple facilities and shifts. Time is of the essence, so go live teams need information right-away to prevent slow escalation of issues while productivity plummets and the business suffers. Mobile user input has to be more detailed than “my device is broken” to be helpful. User reporting tools and automatic alerts by system-wide monitors that track both the mobile user perspective and experience is key to the troubleshooting effort.
Drill down for root causes analysis. The fastest way to get to a root cause is to have the capabilities listed above plus the ability take it a step further. The ability to quickly find a needle in a haystack is what guarantees Operations that latency and disconnections experienced by mobile users will be resolved quickly. To do this, IT support teams must have access to the content of the mobile data transactions to reveal the specific cause and origin of latency, disconnects, or lock-ups.
Ensure you have the right tools in place for a successful go live event of your SAP upgrade or application roll-out. Consider if the right tools and people are in place to provide assurances for fast problem identification and root cause analysis of any mobile user complaints that might impact business and mission critical mobile data collection operations.