Even major IT projects like the increasingly urgent implementation of S/4 Hana are only a small part of these trends. A common side effect: the level of technology and the level of business, strategy and activity become more interconnected than ever before.
Frequent acquisitions and divestments, consolidation of data centers and plants, harmonization of application landscapes and processes, design and implementation of new digital, data-driven business models and processes, migration to new software generations and continuous rightsizing – all of these initiatives are the result of the same phenomenon: digital transformation.
The system and application landscape of the future has to be able to efficiently and inexpensively support agile business and big data scenarios to fulfill the requirements and expectations of management, CEOs, users, customers and suppliers. To be able to do that companies have to succeed in separating the data and documents not needed in daily operations from the useful, up-to-date information in business applications.
Data and applications have entirely different requirements: while applications and business objects support agility, information and data need stability. Due to legal reasons, data have to remain unchanged even if companies implement new database management systems or business objects with new data structures. They therefore have to be managed independently of applications and business objects. This application-independent management has to extend throughout the entire lifecycle of data and documents until their eventual final deletion like the EU GDPR requires.
Companies that do not separate their historical information from applications usually have to continue to operate their legacy systems. This is one of the main reasons why companies typically waste 80 percent of their entire IT budget only for daily operations, which naturally hinders innovation.
Instead of investing in new software generations or honing digital literacy and skills, companies have to keep the know-how of how to operate the legacy systems alive somehow – they end up either investing in internal resources or relying on expensive external consultants. Consequently, companies are typically too late to adopt new software that could help them succeed in the digital age.
The solution for this financial as well as legal problem is to decommission legacy systems, also known as application retirement. All information – mainly data and documents – are migrated to a central and neutral environment and stored in a modern data format.
This is not a traditional archiving process. Neither auditors nor users access information in tables but rather directly search for invoices, pay slips, blueprints and so on while insisting on the same interface as in the legacy system. Information therefore has to be stored together with its business context and be encrypted if needed. We call this concept historization.
The information is not only valuable because of legal reasons. It also provides economical value. Different industries have different terms. The longer orders and projects take to complete, the more often employees have to access historical information. A 360-degree view of customers also only becomes possible if users know how much information exists in total. They do not want to switch between different environments. Consequently, this central environment for legacy information has to be integrated in new system landscapes such as S/4 Hana.
Application retirement, retention management, reducing the volume of data and documents, supporting big data scenarios, automation, data security and encryption, integration in the new system landscape and dynamic adaption of business objects – these are all central requirements for modern legacy information management, necessary to support the lifecycle of legacy information.
Comprehensive functionalities are a must, and individual solutions are not up for the challenge. A uniform, central platform is the only viable option. The right analogy would be a smart phone – combining formerly separate devices like cameras, telephones, radios and even TVs into one single device.
To fulfill all of these requirements, Data Migration International has developed their software solutions into an information management platform: JiVS IMP is the third generation of the Swiss provider’s products after a framework and component-based solutions. JiVS IMP offers various benefits over its predecessors, profiting new as well as existing customers.
Transfer at the press of a button
About 50,000 SAP ECC 6.0 and older systems have to migrate to S/4 Hana. As a first step, JiVS IMP offers the transfer of all the information in legacy systems with just one click. Thanks to its high level of automation, JiVS IMP is significantly faster than its predecessors.
Up to 95 percent less data
Rule of thumb says that transactional data is useful for up to a year. After that, most of it becomes unnecessary. This in turn means that almost no legacy information – meaning data and documents and their original business context – has to be migrated to new software generations like S/4 Hana or C/4 Hana.
That means 90 percent reduction of data volume in a legacy system that has been in operation for ten years and 95 percent reduction in a 20-year-old system. Furthermore, the new systems remain lean in the long term by continuously migrating information after a set timeframe (e.g. a year after it has been created) to JiVS IMP, driving cost efficiency in the process.
Openness and integration
JiVS IMP supports any migration approach that customers choose. JiVS IMP consequently follows the same business object-oriented approach like SAP’s own conversion and migration tools (for example Migration Cockpit) or solutions from third-party providers like SNP. This approach is also evident in JiVS IMP’s repository level.
JiVS IMP is able to visualize and manage the entire lifecycle of legacy information, business objects in legacy systems as well as in new software generations, and their successors on a database level. For example, unlike SAP ECC 6.0, S/4 Hana doesn’t differentiate between business objects customer and supplier but combines them into a single business object called business partner.
Consequently, JiVS IMP has to be able to let auditors access customer data and documents like they were created in SAP ECC 6.0. Customer support staff, however, expects the platform to display the legacy customer information in S/4 Hana as if it had been created in the new software generation itself. Lifecycle management of legacy information also means to support future changes in or completely new business objects.
Set the stage for data with JiVS IMP
During migration projects, JiVS IMP acts as a central platform, a data staging area for corporate information. The data staging area has an important role to play during the journey to S/4 Hana and C/4 Hana. With it, data and its inherent quality can be analyzed and subsequently harmonized and combined with other information.
JiVS IMP is also able to analyze the data reduction potential, define selection criteria for the data transfer, and provide the criteria in a neutral format suitable for SAP tools or third-party solutions for subsequent transformation or migration projects. After the successful migration, JiVS IMP guarantees legal certainty and 100 percent access anywhere, anytime and on any device.
The platform also takes care of continuous retention management and seamless management of historicized data and documents. Because JiVS IMP is business object oriented, the platform can be integrated in the new system environments like S/4 Hana or C/4 Hana.
Multi-cloud is the new standard in IT. Companies are increasingly relying on services from various public cloud providers while still keeping some information on prem or in private cloud environments in their own (or a service provider’s) data centers. These hybrid scenarios include many different new technology stacks and database environments.
Considering its growing importance, unlike its predecessor, JiVS IMP now offers support for multi-cloud and multi-database. It supports public cloud environments like Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Customers can also choose between a number of common database management systems like IBM Db2, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server and SAP IQ.
Consequently, JiVS IMP is ideally suited for SAP customers’ cloud and big data strategies. JIVS offers the possibility of implementation in different public cloud environments and guarantees availability of the managed information for big data scenarios. The information can be accessed through the platform’s application layer or exported as proper data set to be processed in big data systems.
Editions, functionalities, prices
Next to the standard version of JiVS IMP exist two SAP-specific editions of the information management platform. The S/4 edition and C/4 edition of JiVS IMP are designed to work with SAP’s new software generations for ERP and CRM.
The functional scope of the S/4 edition includes functionalities for historization and retention management. Furthermore, it offers the data staging area, analyses of data reduction potential and definition and transfer of selection criteria. The cloud booster module and the obligatory license for data transfers from legacy systems to JiVS IMP incur additional costs.
The license covers the two necessary transfers (one at the beginning of the migration project and the other after its conclusion). This means that information created after the beginning of the project is stored in a legally compliant way, ensuring that legacy systems can be completely decommissioned later. JiVS IMP add-ons via SAP ArchiveLink and the S/4 and C/4 Hana integrations are optional and independently priced from standard functionalities.
JiVS IMP reduces operational costs by 80 percent – sometimes even more! – compared to the continued operation of decommissioned legacy systems. Because IT departments usually waste about 80 percent of their budget on daily operations, JiVS IMP creates financial leeway for investments and innovation in existing budgetary frameworks. This ability only increases with the number of decommissioned legacy systems.
Certified by auditors, information management platform JiVS IMP ensures continuous legal certainty concerning legacy information. The data stay 100 percent accessible and are managed throughout their entire lifecycle until their eventual GPDR-conforming deletion.
If JiVS IMP is used in migration projects for new software generations like S/4 Hana and C/4 Hana, costs and migration efforts can be cut in half – reduced by 50 percent. At the same time, the amount of information that has to be migrated can be reduced by 90 percent and more while the quality can be optimized.
As part of the new system environment, JiVS IMP increases companies’ agility by continuously separating operational from non-operational data, keeping productive systems lean in the long term. Furthermore, Data Migration International expects the total cost of ownership of the new system architecture to be reduced by 25 percent.
This is the second part of a two-part series. If you want to read the first one, click here.