Migrating SAP ERP Systems for a Leading Auto Parts Supplier


Migrating to an open source system needs the capabilities of an enabler who can deliver a single view of the system and ensure better knowledge sharing across the business. The client, keen to carry out their OS/DB migrations, turned to us for our ability to provide new ideas and ensure a seamless migration to the new platform. We undertook a comprehensive analysis of all the applications that could be migrated to Open Source, preferably SUSE Linux, in accordance with the Theory of Constraints (TOC) principles—delivering more value to the client.

About the Client

A major parts manufacturer, the client is a leading supplier of auto parts in Thailand catering to the automotive, motorcycle, electrical appliance, and agricultural engine industries. Their customers include brands like Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan. The total sale of the group exceeds $561 million.

Business Challenge

The client’s current system—SAP ERP system—was running on the Sun Solaris platform. Given the high costs involved in acquiring licenses and ongoing maintenance of this platform, they were looking for a robust and economical alternative. The client recognized that in order to reduce the operational costs and maintain its leadership position, it was critical to carry out migration of the legacy system to an Open Source system, SUSE Linux. It was also necessary to move to vendor-independent, 64-bit systems for scalability and performance—leading to high resource productivity.

To achieve these objectives, the client was looking for an IT implementation partner with vast global experience in successful enterprise-wide migration to cheaper alternatives such as SUSE Linux.

Our Solution

The client partnered with us to:

  • Define solution and risk-free migration strategy from Sun Solaris to X 86 platform
  • Identify hardware, operating systems and applications that supported 64-bit systems and provided cross-platform support for integration
  • Analyze, test, and verify that the support is available for all mission-critical applications
  • Ensure a high-availability solution, deliver business-aligned SLAs, and a 24X7 service window
  • Customize and integrate external interfaces of all the existing applications

We initiated the engagement with a requirement gathering exercise with super users of the SAP ERP system. Upon evaluating the various open source systems, we identified and suggested a solution that met all the requirements of the client. The engagement involved the following seven steps:

  • Application Assessment: We assessed each application to identify the ones that can be readily moved to the Linux environment, and also determined the critical applications that needed to be retained. Our team started with applications with lowest risk which had minimal customer data and sensitive information.
  • Application Preparation: After rebuilding all sets of applications in the parent environment, our migration team ran multiple test cases to ensure that the application source code provided was accurate. With the correct source code version, we proceeded to the next step of migration.
  • Application Migration: After thoroughly examining all the applications, our IT team planned, executed, and managed application migration to the newenvironment using our proprietary migration tools. Our migration tools provided a list of applications that were not upgraded successfully. These applications were manually migrated.
  • Post-migration Changes: The applications that were not migrated in the previous step were manually migrated by the developers’ team to the new environment.
  • Application Testing: In this phase, the newly migrated applications were tested using the same test cases applied in Step 2. After successful testing, the application was released in the production environment
  • SAP Managed Hosting Services: We built, deployed, and supported the complete landscape in a managed hosting environment in a Tier 3-compliant data center with business continuity services distributing workload between primary and secondary data centers.
  • Post-migration Support: Post-migration, our technical team, developers, and system testers provided extensive support and continued to fine-tune the system to ensure continuous delivery of operations and smooth running of the applications.

Delivering More Value

The integrated SUSE Linux system supported the ‘continuous business improvement’ philosophy of the client. Other benefits included:

  • More Performance: After the migration, we improved the availability of the network to 99.81% and the availability of the SAP R/3 system to 99.97%.
  • More Responsiveness: The response time of the SAP R/3 system was improved from 1000 to 594.6 and network response time from 1000 to 88.8.
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