SAP NCo 3.0 – Best Practice Guide for Upgrade from .NET Connector 2.0

Duration: 1 hour

Speaker:  Craig Stasila, Principal, DataXstream

This one hour webinar will supply you with knowledge of features specific to the new upgrade, as well as an overview of the advantages that come with investing in NCo 3.0.

What Will Be Highlighted:

  • Changes and new features brought upon by the NCo 3.0 update
  • Demonstrations of best-practices for implementing new and existing NCo code
  • Live demonstration of inbound and outbound function calls between a .NET solution and SAP ECC

Available on Demand

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Webinar – Advantages to Leveraging a VMware Private Cloud in Your Next SAP Upgrade

 

Duration: 30 Minutes

Speaker: Matt Lestock, Lead Infrastructure Architect, DataXstream

This session will provide you with a synopsis of the strategic advantages of virtualizing your SAP landscape, as well as an outline of the critical factors that one must consider and decide on to ensure successful execution of the virtualization process.

[Read more...]

DataXstream to Exhibit at Insider IT 2011 Conference in March

SAP Insider IT 2011 Logo

Visit DataXstream at the IT 2011 Conference

What: IT 2011 Conference

When: March 15 – 18, 2011

Where: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV [Read more...]

SAP Technical Consulting Services

DataXstream’s technical consulting teams have been committed to our customer’s success with SAP for over 15 years. Our focus on SAP technologies allows us to have a positive impact on our customer’s SAP projects and businesses. Our team members have a broad cross section of industry experience, working on both large and small teams, allowing them to quickly adapt to the needs of any SAP project. DataXstream’s investment over the last 10 years in SAP development capabilities gives our consulting teams an advantage by providing a solid foundation for advancing their SAP skills. This investment has given DataXstream the ability to build and maintain tools and project accelerators; allowing our consultants to set the right direction for your project, accelerate your timeline, reduce delivery risk, control cost, and ultimately, provide your business with meaningful SAP services and solutions.

“DataXstream was by far the best partner during our SAP implementation. Their level of knowledge was extraordinary, their dedication was unquestionable and their integrity was never a matter of concern for us. I would recommend their services to any company that is serious about SAP.” – SAP Project Manager, Wholesale Distribution Company.

SAP VMware Virtualization Solutions

Virtualization technology has forever changed the state of IT landscapes, including SAP infrastructures, by enabling businesses to significantly reduce hardware costs, energy costs, and IT Support, while simultaneously increasing overall systems flexibility and performance. For more than a decade, DataXstream has embraced the benefits of virtualized landscapes. Whether you’re migrating from an existing physical landscape or undergoing a new implementation, whether you are a large business or a small business, DataXstream’s streamlined SAP virtualization solutions allow you to realize the benefits of your virtualized SAP infrastructure to their fullest potential.

 Read the Case Study:

A Decade of Experience with Virtualization

DataXstream has embraced virtualization technology for nearly a decade, beginning with our first use of desktop virtualization in 2002 to better manage our multiple clients and then continuing with our conversion of our SAP datacenter in 2004. Even before virtualization became officially endorsed by SAP in 2007, DataXstream leveraged virtualization’s flexibility and cost saving features to better meet the needs of our SAP customers. Over the years, virtualization technology has given us a competitive advantage in the marketplace, allowing us to rapidly adapt to the changing needs and requirements of the SAP world and clients. Through years of experience, we have been able to streamline a proprietary model to forecast the right hardware and software configuration for SAP, as well as the tuning parameters necessary to insure optimal performance.

We are now on our 4th generation of Dell Virtualization Servers, leveraging Dell’s latest 710 series, which just recently replaced our Dell R900’s. Migration to the new servers was completed in a matter of days and was accomplished with no outage to our internal systems. With our recent upgrade to VMware’s vSphere 4 Enterprise, we are now able to run our entire virtual infrastructure in High Availability (HA).

Over the past 7 years, DataXstream has worked with most storage technologies available, utilizing internal storage, NAS (Network Access Storage), DAS (Direct Attached Storage), SAN (Storage Area Networks), and Virtual SAN products. We develop techniques to successfully architech our SAP virtual storage infrastructure that are now considered SAP best practices in virtualization.

Let the Experts Virtualize Your SAP Landscape

So you are ready to virtualize. Whether you already have SAP on a physical landscape or you are implementing SAP for the first time, DataXstream can help you. DataXstream is a certified Professional Solutions Provider of VMware virtualization software. Our consultants have completed VmWare education training and are certified by VmWare to install, implement, and optimize their software for any ERP infrastructure. As a certified partner, we also have access to the latest virtualization software technology as well as studies, best practice methodology, and training.

Virtualization Solutions for Disaster Recovery

Unexpected IT outages and loss of data due to natural or human-initiated disasters can unleash a procession of direct and indirect consequences, with both short-term and far-reaching consequences.  At DataXstream, we  deliver innovative, reliable and cost-effective disaster recovery solutions that tap into our deep understanding of virtual infrastructure and take advantage of the inherent disaster recovery capabilities of VMware.

SAP Mid-Month Go-Live: Got the T-shirt

Conventional wisdom says you don’t go-live with SAP financials in the middle of the month (strictly speaking I should say the middle of the accounting period, but I’ll say month as a generic term for the posting period).  I recently went through a mid-month SAP financials and logistics go-live and so far it has been a success.

Initially the project team had the expected you-can’t-do-that reaction when the idea of a mid-month go-live was suggested.  We took three main steps to determine whether or not we were crazy or had a viable go-live option:

  1. We asked SAP.  As one of the main participants on the project we got them to do an internal review with some platinum consultants with the objective of telling us why we could not go-live mid-month.
  2. We asked our project team, both client and consulting resources.  Again, the goal was to tell us why we couldn’t do it.
  3. We Googled like maniacs to find something to support and justify the conventional wisdom.  We failed to find anything substantial that would deter us.

Armed with the conviction that there was no reason we couldn’t go-live mid-month we set about defining the details of how we would pull it off.

[Read more...]

Virtualization, Sustainability discussions at SAP TechEd 2010

Sustainability is one of many topics being discussed at SAPTechEd 2010 in Las Vegas.   In addition green being ‘the right thing to do’ it also makes good business sense, so much so that Timo Stezler, VP Green-IT SAP, frequently said, “We have found carbon is an indicator of inefficiency.”

One area in which businesses can make improvements to reduce waste is in Virtualization.  Eddie White, Sr. VP with Sentilla, noted that data centers account for 2% of the power usage in the United States.  In addition to actual hardware costs, the cost of power to the data center, power drawn by the servers and power used in cooling, can be reduced by 25% through efficient use of hardware and through virtualization.

In addition, virtualization allows a business to “sweat the assets it already has instead of adding new ones.”  Through smart virtualization a CIO can delay the need for a new data center, which can cost in the area of 10 million dollars.  White noted that IBM’s data center accounts for 6% of the company but utilizes 30% of the company’s power usage.

Stezler stated it simply.  “Virtualization has a huge impact.”  SAP was 60% virtualized servers in 2009 and the goal for 2010 is 80% virtualization.   In more detail Stezler notes that Energy Management is a new challenge for IT.  In recent studies 50% of clients and investors state energy efficiency and carbon footprint are among deciding factors when making consumer or investor decisions.   The data center is typically 30% to 40% of energy cost associated with any business.

With this in mind DataXstream offers virtualization services as part of our SAP integration focus.  DataXstream is a certified partner with Dell and has also partnered with VMware the global leader in Business Infrastructure Virtualization.  These partnerships allow DataXstream to streamline the virtualization process as well as allow excellent pricing options.

In each session Timo Stezler advocated, “Become a strategic Sustainability advisor to your business.”  Work to streamline efforts within your business.

For more information on Virtualization:

SAP Virtualization Solutions:  http://www.dataxstream.com/sap-virtualization-solutions

SAP AIO Virtual Infrastructure: http://www.dataxstream.com/sap-aio-virtual-infrastructure/

SAP Data Migration – Dealing With Fallout (Part 3)

One of the inevitable aspects of data migration is dealing with fallout from automated data loads.  Typically, this process includes identifying the data that will not load, analyzing the error messages to determine the root cause, formatting a readable report that can be used as a tool in the cleanup process, and fixing the root cause of the problem so that it does not happen again.

Why the data will not load correctly.

There is a litany of reasons why some data records will load correctly while others will not.  Here is a list of some common root causes:

 

  1. Poor quality legacy data.
    Legacy systems which are not as tightly integrated as SAP, and are not under master data control allow the end user a bit of freedom when entering data.  A zip code may contain too little or too many characters; the email address is not properly formatted; numeric fields have transposed digits; various forms of abbreviations (especially in the city field), a quantity of zero (0) permitted by the legacy system and uploaded into a field where SAP will not accept a quantity of 0 and even simple misspellings  all can cause stringent validation checks to trigger an error and prevent the record from loading at all.  A more sinister type of error occurs when the data is functionally incorrect, but good enough to pass all of the SAP validity checks.  In this case, the data record will technically load into SAP, but will not be functionally correct.  Duplicate customers, duplicate vendors, and the data entry error for a quantity of 1000 instead of 100, and the wrong pricing condition applied to a sales order line are examples of this scenario.

 

 

  1. Functional configuration and supporting data effects.
    Many times I have watched the load statistics for a data object plummet from near 100% in the cycle two test load to near 0% in the cycle three test load.  This is very unnerving to the client because the cycle three test load is getting rather close to the go-live date, and “by the way, shouldn’t the statistics be getting better rather than worse?”  Functional configuration changes can wreak havoc on any data load.  Flipping the switch on a data field from optional to required; turning on batch management or serialization for materials for the first time; changes in the handling of tax, tax codes, and tax jurisdiction codes; that account determination entry that is missing or not set up correctly; a missing unit of measure or unit or measure conversion factor; the storage location in the upload file which does not exist in SAP – any of these can cause a load to drop mostly or completely onto the floor.While change is inevitable on any project, it is important to control and communicate the change so that the downstream impact can be recognized and understood.   Controlled change and communication always works better than total surprise.  Perhaps if we all know ahead of time about that data field that is now required, we can impose a requirement on the data extract side to make sure that the data field is populated before it enters the upload file.
  2. Additional data in the upload file.
    Inserting a new field in the middle of the upload file data structure might be necessary for the business to close a gap, but if that change is not communicated to the technical team so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the load object’s input structures and processing logic, the new data will surely never load, and may cause misalignment of the data fields which follow it in the upload structure.

[Read more...]

SAP Data Migration – The Data Migration Plan (Part 2)

If you are responsible for the success of data migration, you will want to build a detailed plan that will walk you through all of the three phases of data migration: pre-data migration preparation, the data migration itself, and post-data migration cleanup.  I like my data migration plan to contain detailed steps that ensure that I don’t forget anything.  Each step lists a specific named responsible person along with their area of responsibility and contact information.  Unless I am responsible for executing the task myself, I prefer the named person to be a client employee (i.e. the business owner of the process) rather than a project consultant.    This is where the responsibility should be, and it requires that the business process owners actually participate in the activity rather than sit on the sidelines and watch.

[Read more...]

SAP Data Migration – Answering the Important Questions (Part 1)

It is data migration time on your SAP business project.  Whether your project is implementation, acquisition, or merger, the goal is pretty much the same: the seamless inbound acquisition of master and transactional data from one or more external data sources while ensuring that this activity has minimal impact on the rest of the business.  This is where we attempt to move years of neglected master and transactional data from a loosely structured, anything-goes legacy system into a very tightly integrated and highly structured SAP system.  You must consider the likelihood that the concept of master data management had not been invented yet when the legacy or source system providing your data was implemented.

How much data to move? How much data to leave behind? What to automate, and what to execute manually?  How to gracefully orchestrate and execute a data migration cutover from one system to another?  Where and how to fit the data migration plan into the overall business implementation plan?  How to continue to run the business during the data migration phase of the business project implementation? These questions are all part of the planning fun!

[Read more...]