Swiss technology group completes complex ERP migration to SAP S/4HANABühler Group
The Bühler Group was planning to strategically modernize its ERP system landscape that had grown over time and migrate to the fourth SAP product version S/4HANA. The global company opted to collaborate with SNP to save time and costs as well as reduce risks. Working together, the complex project was completed quickly. The key success factors were the software-based end-to-end approach as well as the selective data migration.
Bringing agility and innovation to the SAP S/4HANA world
Like other SAP customers, the Bühler Group was faced with the demanding task of moving to SAP S/4HANA. They sought an approach to make the conversion as fast, secure and cost-efficient as possible. Those responsible quickly agreed that a complete greenfield implementation was unsuitable for the project. To ensure a lean, agile transformation process, the family-owned company, represented in 140 countries, relied on the expertise of SNP and its partner Swisscom.
By harnessing SNP’s automated software and the selective BLUEFIELDTM approach, the major project was completed in less than two years and at a fraction of the price of a new implementation – despite the increased complexity.
Numerous regional and department-specific requirements proved to be challenging during the project. Many of Bühler’s production facilities are located in China, presenting difficulties such as system availability in the various time zones, which had to be planned precisely. Due to the overall increased complexity and the relatively short time frame, Bühler decided to postpone the go-live by one month during the project. This made it possible to carry out further test migrations and dress rehearsals to minimize potential risks such as business interruptions. With both sides showing great personal commitment (the final phase of the project fell during the peak holiday period), a new date for the go-live was agreed on and successfully implemented shortly after.
Migration software and personal commitment ensure project success
Following detailed, data-driven planning and months of close collaboration within the project team, the cutover and go-live of the target system took place over a long weekend. There was growing excitement as the go-live date for the major project drew nearer. Bühler transformed its auditorium into a “command center” for the occasion, featuring a projector providing a constantly updated status report on the migration and several screens displaying real-time information on the SAP systems involved.
During the four-day migration, the experts worked around the clock and covered all the aspects of the systems and processes. Thanks to SNP’s selective approach, only the relevant data was transferred. Despite unexpected challenges, the migration project was completed on schedule. The new system went live just before midnight on Sunday evening. Shortly afterwards, 1,000 users from China gradually logged in to the new SAP S/4HANA system.
As a result of the extensive test migrations and the end-to-end transparency provided by the SNP software, no relevant problems were identified following the migration. Since then, the technology group has leveraging its state-of-the-art system, allowing significantly faster data processing, analytical insights and the use of new technologies. As such, it is well equipped to introduce innovative developments going forward.
Advantages of the software and approach
- System analysis, test migrations, mass tests and the go-live simulation ensure a safe transition to SAP S/4HANA.
- The BLUEFIELDTM approach enables selective data selection – only necessary data is migrated.
- Complex transformation tasks are accelerated through automation and downtimes minimized.
Thanks to SNP’s software and expertise, we successfully migrated to the current SAP product generation – despite increased project complexity and potential complications.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Bühler AG