Migrating a large system landscape to a new IT environment and simultaneously changing the operating system: The success story of the Aebi Schmidt Group, one of the world's leading suppliers of specialised vehicles for the municipal and agricultural sectors, in cooperation with SNP, shows how such a transformation project can be achieved within a very short time frame.
With the aim of equipping their own company – which is employing a staff of more than 1.800 people – for the digital future, the decision-makers of Swiss Aebi Schmidt Group planned comprehensive modernizations in the IT department. The objective was an update of the standard productive system including the current support package as well as a data migration into a new Linux environment.
Challenge: Keeping interruptions of business operations at a minimum
On the one hand, the project included the set-up of the development system with time slice and anonymization functionalities. On the other hand the productive system was to be transferred without data losses. A particular challenge was that the ongoing operation should only be minimally disturbed. It was certainly understandable for the project managers that it is necessary to shut down business processes during the transfer of systems, data and applications. However, the unavailability should be kept as low as possible: A maximum downtime of only 40 hours during the so-called cut-over was planned.
Solution: Combining several steps in only one project
In order to meet the ambitious downtime requirements and to implement the project safely, the Aebi Schmidt Group decided to cooperate with the software and IT consulting company SNP. The transformation experts used their own IT solution: "With the help of the chosen methodology, we were able to carry out the migration and operating system change in one step," says Simon Stehle, Manager IT ERP Systems Management at Aebi Schmidt. "Otherwise we would have had to set up at least two projects."
Approach from an IT perspective: SAP migration and operating system changeover combined
From an IT perspective, when the development system was set up on ERP 6.0 EHP 8 defined master and transaction data could be reduced via time slice and also made anonymous. With a copy of the productive system, a target system was set up and subsequently the master and transaction data were deleted. The technical release change was carried out via a system copy in order to firstly migrate the system to Linux and then to ERP 6.0 EHP 8. In several test phases master, transaction and customizing data were transferred from a temporary source system or the production system to the Linux target system. Since a reduced and anonymized data stock was desired for the development system, a standard time slice from SNP was used. The anonymization of the data was carried out according to a standard set of rules that the consultants had developed themselves for suchlike projects.
After twelve weeks, the Aebi Schmidt Group had successfully completed the transformation project – the specified maximum downtime of less than two days was met without any difficulties.