Companies running SAP’s Utilities Industry Solutions (IS-U) have a particularly difficult challenge in getting good test data. Data Sync Manager (DSM) for Utilities offers an effective and efficient solution, and provides the flexibility and power that all IS-U customers require.
SAP IS-U customers face an uphill battle when trying to get accurate 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 literally 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.
EPI-USE Labs’ Data Sync Manager for Utilities 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 as and when it is needed. So the testing mimics what would happen in Production, even in development and early testing systems.
Imagine being able to 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.
For the majority of testing and training requirements, all the necessary data can be derived from an Installation, Contract or Contract Account, also picking up the Business Partner, Premise, Devices, Equipment, etc. and all their related transactional data. Full consistency across the wider finance module is not necessary in the vast majority of cases. So meter reading, data exchange flows, billing documents, print documents, etc. can all be copied exactly as they occurred on the source.
EPI-USE Labs understands the challenges and bring a wealth of experience in providing data management solutions for SAP. DSM for Utilities offers an effective and efficient solution, and provides the flexibility and power that all IS-U customers require.
What about Dev-Ops?
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, or production open for changes due to the urgency of fixing the issue before the business is adversely affected.
Ian Naylor, Innogy Business Systems