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The best way to handle SAP data during mergers and acquisition

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Posted by Matt Lovell

A merger, acquisition or divestment can have huge competitive and financial benefits. But they can also become a colossal undertaking, particularly in regards to your IT.

One such IT challenge is the orchestration of your SAP data.

After all, your SAP environment is business-critical. So, when you're considering merging or separating systems and entities and exploring the data requirements for your business, its sensible to engage a specialist partner for help in this area.

Let's start off with a few key areas to consider when facing a merger and acquisition scenario.

Critical SAP data considerations

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In any merger, acquisition or divestment situation, one key question is around the SAP platform and the business-critical data it holds.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What needs to be moved to the newco? And what stays within the current set-up?
  • What can be archived?
  • Are there GDPR implications?
  • How long have we got to separate/merge, is there a transitional services agreement?
  • How do I merge data and maintain data integrity and quality?
  • Is any transformation required?

Answers to these questions will build the foundation of your data management and migration strategy. However, planning and delivering these projects - usually within pressured timescales - is no mean feat.

Bridging your SAP data

At Centiq, we offer our customers an expert partner ecosystem that meets all of their SAP workload challenges. Our data partner for SAP M&A is SNP.

We leverage their CrystalBridge® platform to accelerate and automate the data carve-out and merge challenge within the SAP migration process. This ensures your business-critical data is in expert hands and moved to its new home seamlessly, on time without the risks associated with manual approaches.

The data separation or merge process is split into three core modules: analysis, shell, and transformation.

1. Analysis

The CrystalBridge platform first dives into your cross-organisational SAP systems to gain vital information for your divestment and/or merge process.

This information includes:

  • A detailed analysis of your organisational objects
  • The definition and volume of the ‘in-scope’ SAP data
  • Cross-organisational configurations and system structures
  • System and data conflict and harmonisation (for a merge)
  • Visualisation of the full integration landscape

After collecting the necessary context, the platform generates a tailored SAP transformation strategy which is based on facts rather than perception.

2. Shell

This module allows you to set up your new target system. Rather than start from scratch, it replicates the existing 'source' system, adopting the pre-existing repository and required configuration, expediating the time and reducing cost for the acquiring business.

However, the system is empty i.e. no application data or Master data is copied across at this stage.

If a merger then typically the target already exists and thus no shell copy required.

3. Transformation

Finally, using a set of pre-defined rules, the Crystalbridge® Transformation platform executes your SAP data migration, ensuring data integrity is maintained and performing any required transformation during the migration process.

This module copies over only the relevant data from the source environment to the target system in a precise manner, including as much or as little history as the acquiring party requires. Afterwards, the platform carries out an automated cycle of data tests.

Using this method, you can perform a risk-free accelerated project with minimal business interruption and downtime at cut-over.

Mess-free mergers and acquisitions

When it comes to managing your SAP data, you needn't rely on outdated approaches and manual effort. With the right automated technology and partners, your data separation or merge can be quick and efficient. This encourages you and your team to focus on other key technical considerations.

If you'd like to find out more about how we can help with your merger or acquisition, please get in touch.

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