Simplify test data management and data privacy for SAP IS-Utilities

EPI-USE Labs helps SAP IS-U companies reduce production defects and increase testing agility.


Ready to-use pre-delivery reports

Production issues replicated on demand

Data sources delivered

Efficient system refresh with selective data

Reduced report creation time

Compliance with data privacy legislation

Ready to-use pre-delivery reports

Impressive reduction in database size

The challenge for SAP IS-U companies

Companies running SAP’s Utilities Industry Solutions (IS-U) have a particularly difficult challenge in getting good test data.

Both IS-U and CRM environments tend to increase quickly, with a large amount of data relating to business partners, installations, premises, point of deliveries and other technical master data. Production data also changes quickly in the Utilities industry, both because of new transactions taking place, and new functionality coming through in releases, as companies try to stay competitive in a mature market and keep up-to-date with industry compliance requirements.

The data model for IS-U is very different from standard ERP. With Production systems containing millions of customers, it is impossible to keep several full copies of Production in the non-production landscape. This provides a massive challenge around enabling functional analysts, testers, trainers and consultants to access the data they need to support the Production system.

High costs, and risks to sensitive data

Doing full system copies for testing and training environments is costly – both in storage space, and time to create copies. Also, the sensitive nature of the customer information stored means the environment needs to be scrambled or masked.

Some companies have extended standard tables with additional fields to cover potentially sensitive customer data, including information on customer vulnerabilities to be considered when staff visit premises. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other recent data privacy laws, this problem becomes much more serious. Companies often don’t have capacity to refresh their non-production data as frequently as they should. This results in inefficient testing, and detection of defects too late in the testing cycle, or even during Production, with time-consuming correction and reworking.



So, what’s the solution?

Data Sync Manager™ (DSM) for Utilities offers an effective and efficient solution, and provides the flexibility and power that all IS-U customers require. It allows you to create a lean testing environment with a subset of business partners and all their related data, so a full history of the accounts. You can then add additional data on demand by copying data for specific accounts, as and when needed. Typically, less than 10% of the size of the Production system is needed.

The bigger benefit is having the real data available when you need it. So the testing mimics what would happen in Production, even in development and early testing systems.

What about DevOps?

For companies striving to embrace DevOps, the agility of the testing landscape for SAP IS-U becomes a frustrating barrier.  For Production support, having outdated data makes it difficult to replicate scenarios with standard SAP functionalities, resulting in

  • Testing in Production with elevated permissions
  • Production open for changes due to the urgency of fixing the issue before the business is adversely affected.

Using Client Sync, part of the DSM Suite, we will analyse your system and identify which data relates to the IS-U data model, and which doesn't. The IS-U data will be copied according to a functional slice; you can select a specific group of Business Partners, Contract Accounts, Installations, Connection Objects or Points of delivery, and the software will find all related Business and Technical master data, along with the relevant transactions. Non-IS-U data will be copied according to time; for example, you can select the last six months of FICO data to be included. All selections are predefined for you; all you have to choose is which IS-U data you want, and how much time should be included.

More about Client Sync        Watch our DSM video series        Request a Demo
Support: "Unable to replicate the problem"

Does this sound familiar? Many of our clients have heard this when requesting support on Production issues, and the support team will close a defect for this reason.

Wouldn't it help if you could replicate an issue for a specific contract in minutes, with no need to copy the other customers from the Production system? No system downtime, no large space requirements, and no effect on other users of the test client.

Object Sync, part of the DSM Suite, allows just this. With the scenario copy functionality you can select a single Business Partner, Contract Account or Installation, and the scenario will find all of the related data for a consistent record and copy. Performing a direct insert on target, you get an exact replication of the issue from Production. Also used between System Refreshes, Object Sync allows your testing team to independently self-provision the data they need if it is not already available in the testing system.

Data privacy for Utilities

The Utilities data model provides specific challenges when it comes to Data Privacy, whether you are considering Production data deletion or non-production data scrambling.
EPI-USE Labs has worked with Utilities clients around the world to define best practice and our approach to data privacy.

DOWNLOAD white paper: Scrambling SAP IS-U data

Production privacy in an IS-U environment presents even harder challenges. Because of the shared Technical Master Data between customers, a full deletion of old non- contracted Business Partners isn't possible as it would leave the Installation inconsistent. We recommend redaction of the sensitive data, while leaving the referential integrity intact. Using Data Redact, part of our Data Privacy Suite for SAP, and our deep understanding of the integrated IS-U (and linked CRM) data model, we  safely remove the sensitive information.

learn more about Data redact

Who we've helped

Collaboration brings light to complex SAP IS-U model for leading energy retailer

Specialised services and Data Sync Manager™ for SAP IS-U solves energy retailer’s test data challenge

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Total Direct Energie migrates SAP ECC (IS-U) and SAP CRM systems successfully to HANA

"With Data Sync Manager, we control the size of our non-productive environments and therefore our costs."

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Innogy/RWE UK and Data Sync Manager (DSM) enable npower with quality test data

Ian Naylor explains how Data Sync Manager (DSM) helps Innogy Business Solutions/RWE Systems UK deliver fast and accurate test data.

Watch video