When Ariel Corporation was looking to make their transition to SAP S/4HANA, they chose Worksoft automation to reduce risk and increase efficiency along the way. By engaging Worksoft’s automated testing for SAP and process discovery, the industrial manufacturing leader was able to move up their S/4HANA migration date by two months. At a recent SAPinsider virtual event, Ariel’s Director of Computer Services, Christopher Pete, and IT Analyst/Web Applications Developer, Drew McDonald, discussed how Worksoft helped them navigate the shift to SAP S/4HANA.  

Founded in 1966, Ariel Corporation is the largest manufacturer of separable reciprocating gas compressors in the world. The family business has more than 400 worldwide distribution locations and operates in over 100 countries.  

They chose the Worksoft Connective Automation Platform to support their S/4HANA migration, utilizing Worksoft’s process capture capabilities to create process documentation and data to seamlessly fuel test automation, building reusable test scripts to ensure their processes were running as intended.  

“We wanted to make the S/4 transition easier and to come out of the transition not just with an upgraded environment, but also with tools we could leverage long-term. With Worksoft, we could bring consistency and automation to our testing,” said Pete. 

The Move to SAP  

In 2014, Ariel moved to SAP for the first time, due to the need to create and keep records across a large scale. While S/4HANA was available at the time, Ariel chose to implement SAP ECC 6.0, using every piece that a large manufacturer would need to leverage. At the same time, Pete explains, they always knew they would need to be ready to make the move to S/4HANA, and the planning began early.  

“When we implemented, we knew that we were going to have to go and upgrade eventually so we started planning the upgrade to S/4 almost immediately after our go-live for ECC 6.0.” 

Preparation for Migration 

With Worksoft automation engaged for the S/4 migration plan since 2018, Ariel was able to capture and document their existing business processes and build test scripts in advance to support a smooth transition.  The result of the preparation? When they made the move to S/4HANA, they were able to complete testing in a matter of days that normally would take weeks. 

“Our last cycle of S/4HANA migration testing would normally take us two to three weeks. That's what was in the schedule. We were able to complete that in under a week,” said Pete. “A big part of us getting the job done was capturing the test scripts early on in ECC and then using that same automation to do the testing in S/4.” 

Codeless, Easy-to-Use Automation 

Designed for premium ease of use, Worksoft’s truly codeless automation platform makes it easy to engage team members at all skill levels in process discovery and automation. For Ariel, Worksoft’s ease-of-use allowed new hires to quickly get up to speed on Ariel’s business processes and add value to the migration effort  

“A lot of people who even talk about automating say you're going to end up pulling some very veteran people and it's going to be tough and strain those resources. We were able to use co-ops, a couple of guys that had never worked here before, to lead the capturing efforts and start building the test scripts,” said Pete. 

Accelerating S/4HANA Transition Through Automation 

Since Ariel was already using Worksoft automation for ECC, they were better prepared for their next move and their testing only took one-third of the expected time. Through their existing scripts and documentation, Ariel was able to speed up their migration, moving the date forward by a full two months.  

“We had an estimated go-live of around January 2021 and we were able to realize our go-live much sooner – we went live November 28, 2020. How rarely do you hear of an SAP project going live earlier than what was initially planned?” Pete said.  

Reusability from the Simple to the Complex 

The reusability of testing materials for both simple and complicated business processes was one of the key elements of Worksoft’s test automation that allowed Ariel to perform their migration efficiently. They were able to build smaller, step-by-step process documentation that could then be chained together to create the end-to-end business scenarios necessary for migration.  

“Using Worksoft allowed us to run through a larger number of scripts… and open up a lot of defects that were discovered and worked through by our functional team as well as our intelligence partners.”  

Mitigating Risk During Migration 

Using automated regression testing allowed Ariel to discover and solve issues as they came up rather than finding them at the end of their migration, which would have caused widespread problems and delays. Instead, they ran their tests multiple times per day, pinpointing any bugs along the way.  

“What we were able to do is essentially open defects ahead of the functional teams to allow them to focus on getting those resolved first which then made all the other test cycles move a lot quicker.”  

To learn more about how Worksoft automation can help can navigate your S/4HANA journey watch SAP S/4HANA Unlocked | Automation Drives Delivery Without Disruption