Digitalization, evolving requirements, the COVID-19 pandemic – corporate management is under more pressure than ever before to adapt to rapidly changing markets and situations. Agility, meaning the adaptability and speed needed to flexibly react to internal and external changes, is key. A popular strategy to achieve it are mergers and acquisitions, buy-outs, spin-outs, and carve-outs.
For corporate management, any of the above-mentioned strategies ends with signing the contract (and usually a fair bit of celebration, too). For IT departments, however, the challenge has just begun. They need to accommodate and support the different interests of buyers and sellers, for example. Most IT projects concerning acquisitions or carve-outs don’t end after a fixed deadline, either; technology-wise, the consequences of the transaction can be felt for years.
Regarding mergers and acquisitions, the buyer’s IT department inherits a system landscape that has been organically growing over years and even decades, with a multitude of systems and applications from different manufacturers or providers. The complexity that arises from hundreds of new systems is enormous and needs to be reduced as fast as possible.
Regarding carve-outs, the IT department needs to accommodate and support the different interests of buyer and seller which can be summarized under the term governance. While it is essential for the buyer that all data and documents pertaining to their business is transferred, the seller is keenly interested in ensuring that only as much information as necessary leaves their organization.
To provide the buyer with all relevant data and documents, mountains of data need to be combed through and selected in a way that makes sense for both parties involved. Large amounts of data and different data formats are common for SAP landscapes. ERP systems harboring twenty years-worth of accumulated data in over 800,000 tables from different release changes and therefore in different structures are no exception.
Regarding spin-outs and management buy-outs, the buyer’s interests (and, coincidentally, the parent company’s interests) can be divided into two main goals: freedom of choice concerning the future ERP system, and minimizing the amount of operational data that has to be transferred.
The solution: JiVS IMP
Java-based platform for information management JiVS IMP was designed to separate data and documents from their original systems and store them in a tamper-proof way to guarantee easy access. In contrast to traditional archiving solutions, JiVS IMP stores the information with its business context, making it possible to search for and select individual data sets and corresponding documents as if using SAP systems or other applications. Consequently, operational systems become leaner, and legacy systems can be completely decommissioned.
JiVS IMP’s approach to historicizing and separating data and documents from live systems is especially beneficial for mergers and acquisitions as well as carve-outs. Legacy information of the acquired company or department are not needed in daily operations. The goal for all three is therefore to separate the data from live systems and archives, historicize them, and consequently reduce IT complexity in the long term.
With JiVS IMP, all existing data can be transferred from live systems onto the platform at the push of a button. As tried-and-tested solution, the standard platform offers over 2,000 business objects, 1,200 of which are for different SAP systems (beginning with R/3 in Version 3.0). These objects are the foundation of the automatic data transfer to JiVS IMP.
As data staging area for all kinds of corporate information, JiVS IMP analyzes the data, determines their quality, and enriches, harmonizes, or optimizes them. It also supports companies in analyzing the reduction potential of their data inventory and establishing selection criteria for the subsequent data transfer. After migrating the data, JiVS IMP guarantees 100 percent legal certainty and easy access as well as continuous retention management for the lifecycle of historicized data.
Birr Machines: Carve-out in three months
An example for a successful carve-out using JiVS IMP is Birr Machines. The Swiss company specializes in manufacturing and maintaining electric motors. In 2018, Birr Machines was bought out of parent company ABB. Its manufacturing know-how and its expertise was spanning decades at this point – decades of data that still resided in ABB’s SAP systems. The final step of Birr Machines’ carve-out was to quickly, easily and elegantly transfer the necessary data to the company’s new system landscape based on SAP Business One – and it was successful. In only a short amount of time, JiVS IMP had identified, separated, and transferred all historical information pertaining to Birr Machines. “Barely three months after we had met for the first time, the project was completed successfully – a phenomenal achievement,” says Matthias Lemblé, Head of Supply Chain Management and IT at Birr Machines.