Resilience and system availability are top priorities as organizations build and evaluate their business case and prepare to migrate to SAP S/4HANA. Nearly 90% of organizations shifting to S/4HANA cited “minimizing operational disruption” as the most important requirement for migration in a recent SAPinsder user survey. For teams preparing to embark on their S/4HANA journey, and even those that have already begun, this migration can be daunting and complex, and there’s a lot at stake.
Engaging scalable automation at each step of your S/4HANA migration can help teams prepare for, execute, and manage a smooth transition and ensure delivery without disruption. In this blog, we explore how the Worksoft Connective Automation Platform allows teams at industry-leading organizations to understand their business processes, identify efficiency gaps and automation opportunities, and de-risk changes before they impact end-users to smooth S/4HANA transformation.
Key Requirements for Test Automation
Before choosing a test automation partner, organizations need to determine what they need most from a platform. Stainless steel manufacturing leader Outokumpu recognized the need for automated testing software to support their S/4 journey. At a 2021 SAPinsider virtual event, IT Services Lead, Pia Hirvonen, shared the company's essential requirements for automation and why they chose Worksoft as their testing partner. These requirements included:
- A platform with proven automation for SAP testing and beyond, supporting both S/4HANA migration and other key applications and tools
- A platform with strong ease-of-use through a codeless solution
- Test automation that is scalable to an enterprise level
- Functionality both during migration and the future
- A track record of success and strong customer references
Accelerate the Implementation Process
When considering automation as a solution for a large-scale digital migration like S/4HANA, there are several key questions industry leaders have. One of the first that organizations consider is: Can test automation actually speed S/4HANA implementation? Or will automation simply create more work for the testing and migration teams? With the right platform, testing has the capacity to expedite timelines with high-volume, high-velocity testing.
At another SAPinsider virtual event, industrial manufacturing leader Ariel Corporation’s Director of Computer Services, Christopher Pete, shared how Worksoft automation enabled their team to migrate to S/4HANA two months ahead of schedule thanks to 75% faster testing.
“We kicked off our SAP S/4HANA conversion in July of 2020. We had an estimated go-live of around January 2021,” he says. “We were actually able to realize our go live much sooner. Rarely do you hear of an SAP project going live earlier than what was initially planned. One of the big factors that allowed us to really realize that was the fact that we had automated a lot of the testing.”
Outokumpu's Hirvonen reported that the steel manufacturer was able to perform high-volume testing at higher speeds with Worksoft as their testing platform.
“We were able to complete six rounds and test 126 user IDs and roles and almost 13,000 T codes. Total efforts saved 173 hours, calculated compared to the manual effort. So we saved a total of 60% by using the automation,” said Hirvonen.
Expedite Testing with Automated Process Discovery
Another high priority for organizations preparing for their S/4HANA migration is the ability to automate process discovery for SAP business processes to determine the process flow to test through automated testing. Having the ability to digitally capture the step-by-step tasks of your business users, without lengthy interviews or time and motion studies is a valuable way to jump start your S/4 test automation.
Dutch Railways’ Test Automation Architect, Vincent Immink shared his insights at a recent SAPience virtual event, describing how Worksoft's seamlessly integrated testing and process discovery tools supported their migration.
"The advantages of using Worksoft automation from my perspective are number one it's codeless, which enables us to train people really fast. Any one user can use the process capture so that we can get the knowledge out of our heads into our system so that we can script it," said Immink. "It's also easily scalable so that you can support multiple projects. We're using Certify and Process Capture to gain the business knowledge and to have that script local machines, and we're using this to verify functionality on our development/QA systems."
Ariel's Christopher Pete acknowledged that some organizations are hesitant to implement automation for fear that the set up will be a heavy lift requiring highly skilled team members. In fact, Ariel was able to assign a couple of young co-ops who were new to the organization to gather the data from capture and start building automated test scripts early in the migration planning process.
“A lot of people who even talked about automating with were like, ‘Well, they're great, but you're going to end up pulling, some very veteran people when they to work on it and it's going to be really tough and strain those resources.’ We were able to use the documentation that we created during ECC implementation, hand those off to a couple of guys that had never worked here before…and then they started building the test scripts,” Pete said.
Ensure Quality Amid Significant Change
Likely the highest priority for any large-scale organization undergoing a large-scale transformation is maintaining quality during such a massive transition. The right test automation platform expedites the detection of defects to resolve and remediate early.
“The first question we were facing is how do we ensure quality from a test automation perspective?” said Immink. “We already knew that we would be running behind. So we also needed to ensure that the tool selection that we are also able to make a shift left in order to detect issues on an earlier stage to provide cost-effectiveness, time-savings and have a smooth transition towards production.”
End-to-end testing allows organizations to speed S/4HANA implementation with early detection, catching issues before they become issues.
“Automated testing allowed us to us to bring these defects to the forefront earlier in the testing cycle," said Pete. "Anyone who's gone through an implementation before knows that sometimes you end up finding a huge bug at the end. Now you're under a time crunch to really resolve that. 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 of the other test cycles move a lot quicker.”
Outokumpu, who chose a Greenfield approach implemented S/4HANA with a goal to harmonize their processes, implementing one global process and moving to one platform and cloud to maximize efficiency and control, also experienced the value of being able reuse end-to-end test automation spanning multiple applications.
“We have clearly identified the benefits of utilizing automation," said Hirvonen. "Overall quality increased in production since fixes and change requests can be properly tested, utilizing our existing end-to-end test scenarios that we created during the program. Utilizing those speeds up testing, and those are really important test cases when we are testing across functional chains, where we have multiple integrations.”
To see how the Worksoft Connective Automation platform can accelerate change and drive efficiency for enterprise organizations, request a demo today.