Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to deal with quarterly updates

As you probably know, SAP updates their Cloud 4 Customer software 4 times a year, every February, May, August and November. This is a great thing as you get new and improved functionality without having to pay extra for it. On the other hand, this does mean additional resources and attention is required to guarantee a smooth and consistent system.

This article will guide you through a number of tips and things to think of when the next quarterly update is coming.




Get informed 
Obviously you want to know what the update entails. SAP always releases the scope of the update 6 weeks beforehand.
There are several ways to be informed. You can attend a webinar where you'll learn about the scope and / or on top of that, a slide deck is released with the same information. All this information can be found on the SAP Cloud 4 Customer community of SAP (http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud-for-customer/)

Test
Your test tenant(s) will be updated first, two weeks prior to the update of the production tenant. In these two weeks your first priority should be: testing. Make sure you all your existing business processes are still in place and work as expected. Possibly you'll need to adjust a few page layouts due to the introduction of new fields.
And then two weeks later you'll need to test your production system as well. This can be a stripped version of the test tenant test scripts but you have to make sure everything is still in place and working as expected.

Discover
After you've done your testing you can start exploring new functionalities that might be interesting to you. I would recommend to create a separate user on your tenant for this. This way you can assign this user new workcenters etc. to see what it looks like and how your business processes could benefit from this. Once you've established a clear picture, you can implement it for the rest of the users. To do so, ensure you make use of a change project to guarantee a smooth  transition to your production tenant.

Considerations
If you have a C4C system which is integrated with SAP CRM or ECC via PI, there are some additional topics you need to be aware of.
It might be possible you need to install support packages on one of the involved SAP middleware and / or backend systems in order to have integration working. It might also be that SAP PI requires updated value mappings. To know if this is the case you can check the SAP service marketplace.

Finally, we often get the question if it is possible to skip an update. The answer to this is No, this is not possible. In case you work in a private cloud you have some influence in the time schedule but you need to have the update nonetheless.

I hope this helps you on your way to the next update. Let me know if you need additional information regarding this topic.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I was wondering to know about the upgrade process. This post has very helpful informations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome. Let me know if you have any further questions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It all boils down to standard E2E testing. I hope soon the quaterly releases mature to bi yearly

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks a lot for this information, its quite clear now.

    Another question, are there any tools available to automate testing?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Aaron, interesting question! I am no expert in the field of testing but I believe there are actually testing tools that can be used for automated testing of the SAP Cloud application.
    I will do some research on this and probably post a blog about this in November. Stay tuned.

    ReplyDelete