We had an early start (5.45am bus departure from Dameisha!) to make it in for the go-live. But please note that we are not opening a website that sells tickets for a rock concert. So the system does not get flooded with thousands of users trying to get in. Instead, the first day users are the work planners, the supply chain users and the finance guys .. and some of them have already been in the system since last week.
And are you ready for your 5-minute crash course on how to install SAP? Let’s go! Start by setting up a development (DEV) and sandbox (SBX) system. SAP comes with packaged programs and some configuration but you will have to set up your own company’s configuration and master data. Then do a ‘blueprint’ phase to draw up the plan for what functions the system needs to have. The DEV system is used for this and for the ‘realization’ phase. The realization phase – the construction phase – can take 6 to 12 months! You then need a ‘quality assurance’ system (QAS) for testing the prototype that you built. For that, convert your legacy system’s data into the QAS. And then when all defects have been fixed and tweaks made to the design, you are ready to create the final system. In our case we had a ‘production system’ (PRD) up and running already that had been in place for a few years. But if it’s the first time SAP is installed at your company, you will create a brand-spanking new PRD system. (A system is a gigantic database with several hundred thousand connected tables, a set of SAP application software, and database software from Oracle or IBM to keep the millions of data records indexed and organized).
So all of this to say our project has ‘arrived’ at the end of the line. We have a system that is up and running, that have active users in, that has the basic SAP functions with added bells and whistles that make it support the work methods here. Which in our case is running a nuclear power plant’s work management activities, engineering activities, supply chain functions (purchases of parts, materials and services) and all the finances that go with it.