A full-range supplier lends a helping hand – PROMOS carries out the S/4HANA® upgrade at ProPotsdam
A 365° provider of solutions across the entire service cycle
From the development of tailor-made and industry-specific solutions to the introduction of database systems with ongoing support and on to SAP® migrations: PROMOS has all the needs of modern, solution-oriented companies covered. Our services don’t end after we introduce a useful solution or a new SAP® system. Our customers can rely on the support of our competent consultants, developers and service staff at any time. They also naturally enjoy regular updates and upgrades.
“An update is available” – this message seems to pop up everywhere. Whether Android, Windows or Whatsapp – sooner or later we need the latest software version, since the older version is no longer supported at some point. We often look forward to new releases that eliminate errors and provide new functions.
SAP S/4HANA® users are also regularly asked to “Please upgrade!”, since maintenance for the individual releases usually expires after five years. In addition, newer versions often bring a number of useful improvements and new, clever features, especially for Fiori® Launchpad customers.
Preparing for S/4HANA®
Upgrades like this are similar to mini-migrations. If a company so chooses, we provide both technical support and intensive consulting for the entire process – this was the case at ProPotsdam GmbH, the largest housing company in Brandenburg’s capital. Last year we started to assess whether ProPotsdam’s old system was ready for the upgrade to version 2022. SAP provides various tools for this purpose that deliver important information for planning the upgrade, such as the S/4HANA® Readiness Check. We also conducted a Custom Code Check to assess the customer-specific developments. In-house developments often use standard SAP® functions, which can change with new releases and would cause problems in the event of an upgrade. The Custom Code Check therefore outputs a list of program codes that require adaptation. Imke Knop, expert consultant and project manager at PROMOS, explains: “We started by checking which programs can or should no longer be used and which ones actually need to be adapted. We first develop a concept for this to serve as a project roadmap. This approach is an important consulting service within the upgrade process.” In addition to the customer-specific developments, all other system components such as the database and interfaces were tested and adapted to ensure a successful upgrade. ProPotsdam determined the timing of the upgrade in consultation with its various departments, taking into account the annual financial statements and operating expenses.
The actual upgrade took place step by step, just like an implementation project. The PROMOS consultants first updated the customising system and carried out initial tests. They then updated the quality assurance (QA) system. ProPotsdam subsequently carried out a very intensive test phase. In four weeks, the new release was completely tested against a comprehensive catalogue of various test cases in order to identify possible errors before the actual upgrade. The live system was then upgraded.
“It’s important to note that no data can be transferred during the upgrade period. For larger companies, this period can sometimes extend over several months. For this reason, the upgrade should be carried out at the least busy time of year,” says Knop.
During the go-live process, the two companies worked with a prioritised ticket system. This meant that appropriately marked calls were processed with a shorter response time to allow for a tighter review. Knop looks back with satisfaction: “ProPotsdam went live with the new system on 3 July 2023. The conversion took place on the originally planned date. Of course, everyone is always pleased if it is possible to keep to the planned timeframe. ProPotsdam is still only using individual tiles in SAP Fiori®. However, if the company decides to completely switch to the Fiori® Launchpad in the future, the completed upgrade will include important and great innovations for them.”
With this upgrade, PROMOS has equipped another long-term customer with the tools for a safe journey into a future that is uncertain but guaranteed to be exciting. Regular upgrades are a refresher for your IT infrastructure and should be perceived not as an unavoidable chore, but as an opportunity for optimisation. No matter where your path takes you, we will be at your side as a complete service provider with advice, support and clever solutions.
Upgrading to a new release involves a number of steps.