Executive summary

The Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) improves data quality to its SAP/ERP environment to avoid costly delays.

With a presence in more than 20 countries, the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) works with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations on peacekeeping and related initiatives worldwide. Over time, significant operational changes created new requirements and demand for updated support systems. The SwAF chose the SAP Business Suite ERP to centralize IT governance and process management and lower costs across its IT environment.

“We needed a standardized ERP system to enable successful management for the Swedish Armed Forces, and we started to implement SAP in 2008,” says Ms. Rebecca Ingmarsdotter, deputy head of the PRIO Department for SwAF, who oversees the SAP implementation.

The SwAF developed a “One Vision” plan, comprising Management, Finance, Human Resources, Logistics, and IT/Security, and selected SAP Defense Forces & Public Security software to support this vision. An ambitious schedule allowed for migrating source data into the SAP/ERP environment in six phases. The SwAF chose IBM as its partner for the seven-year program.

Challenge

Existing processes for migrating data from legacy systems to a target SAP/ERP environment were resource intensive, time consuming, and costly.

Early in the project, migrating financial management data highlighted quality issues and the need for more proven data migration capabilities.

“In the first two phases, my colleagues worked hard to maintain information quality,” says Mr. Mans Torbiörnsson, project manager, SwAF. “Phases three and four required migrating about 60 to 100 times more data than in earlier phases. Most of this data was managed in overlapping legacy systems that were 20 to 60 years old. Continuing to use the same data migration methods would require more staff, more time, and increase costs.”

Solution

Working with IBM, SwAF implemented IBM® InfoSphere® Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications to improve data quality.

After researching IBM InfoSphere Information Server technology, Mr. Torbiörnsson invited IBM experts in the United States to visit Sweden to conduct a weeklong workshop.

“With IBM, we looked to find a better method for migrating all of this information into the SAP/ERP environment. We were very impressed with the IBM InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch (RTL) solution and decided to dive deeper into this methodology to see how we could use it.”

Mr. Torbiörnsson

The Ready to Launch methodology offered significant improvements over the earlier data migration methods. First, the focus on data quality early in the process was critical. Rather than working in silos, the data and process teams could integrate efforts to improve results. Next, the solution includes tools to measure quality before loading data into the SAP/ERP environment. These tools, coupled with capabilities for aligning data quality with business needs, would minimize the risk of hidden data conflicts and costly delays. Lastly, the Ready to Launch methodology offers scalability to manage simultaneous rollouts for ongoing enterprise integration, quality and governance.

Testing the solution

The SwAF and IBM launched a pilot project to migrate records from existing legacy systems and test RTL methodology.

In early 2010, Mr. Torbiörnsson and his team worked with colleagues from IBM Global Business Services® on a pilot project at IBM’s facilities in Stockholm.

The goal for the pilot was to use the RTL methodology to migrate legacy logistics data into a target SAP/ERP environment. No pilot project of this type had ever been done by the SwAF before.

After working on the pilot with IBM Global Business Services for 12 weeks, Mr. Torbiörnsson and his team provided a live demonstration that cleansed and migrated records from three legacy systems into the SAP/ERP environment, and the project was considered a success.

“We demonstrated that there was less risk using the InfoSphere Information Server RTL method, allowing us to go live in much less time. That was the most important benefit.”

Mr. Torbiörnsson

The focus on data quality early in the process helped identify over 200 business errors that were resolved before data migration. Then, six test migrations were executed using legacy data, and approximately 5.9 million data records were migrated. During the verification process, about 20 business users compared legacy data with data in the SAP/ERP environment to discover only 28 remarks and few errors.

On completing phases three and four in about 18 months, data was migrated from 12 legacy systems to the SAP environment, and three legacy systems were replaced by SAP. The Ready to Launch methodology and IBM Global Business Services will help SwAF complete phases five and six to establish a world-class model for defense agency transformation.

Results

IBM InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications helped SwAF reduce risk and increase data accuracy in its SAP implementation.

The migration solution delivered a repeatable and reusable infrastructure that can be leveraged for multiple SAP rollouts, and it was on time and within budget. It also produced more accurate results, reduced the risk of costly deployment delays, and eliminated the need to hire a significant number of migration consultants, saving SwAF millions of dollars.

“Using the InfoSphere Information Server RTL methodology, we were able to migrate huge volumes of legacy data into the SAP/ERP application, and improve data quality without having to ramp up our staff with significantly more consultants, which would have increased the cost by millions of dollars.”

Mr. Torbiörnsson

In comparing data migration methods, Mr. Torbiörnsson reported that, “Even though there was 60 to 100 times more data migrated in phases three and four, the RTL method produced more accurate results, in less time and at a lower cost.”

“I don’t think it would be possible to migrate all of the data in the third and the fourth phases if we hadn’t used the InfoSphere Information Server RTL methodology,” says Ms. Ingmarsdotter. “SAP is the driver for the business. The InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications is the driver for the migration. We achieved our goal to get everything migrated to the SAP/ERP environment, and that’s going to bring business value for the entire organization.”

Solution components

Software

  • IBM® InfoSphere® Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications:
    • IBM InfoSphere DataStage®
    • IBM InfoSphere QualityStage®
    • IBM InfoSphere Information Analyzer
    • IBM InfoSphere FastTrack
    • IBM InfoSphere Data Architect
    • IBM InfoSphere Information Server Pack for SAP Applications
  • SAP Business Suite ERP – ERP Central Component (ECC6) and modules:
    • Defense Forces & Public Security (DFPS)
    • Financial Accounting/Controlling (FI/CO)
    • Materials Management (MM)
    • Project Systems (PS)
    • Sales and Distribution (SD)

Services

  • IBM Global Business Services®

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