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SAP S/4HANA shines a light for Powerlink

Australian electricity transmission system operator upgrades to SAP S/4HANA using EPI-USE Labs’ Data Sync Manager (DSM) suite

Successful PoC followed by upgrade to SAP S/4HANA

Detailed S/4HANA upgrade runbook established

Production upgrade in place over a single weekend

Data Sync Manager
de-risked the process

About Powerlink

Created in 1995, Powerlink is an electricity transmission system operator owned by the Queensland Government, Australia. They operate high-voltage electricity transmission infrastructure for the state of Queensland. Their main purpose is to transport electricity between participants within the National Electricity Market

Powerlink provides electricity to 5 million residents and over 238,000 businesses in Queensland. Their network extends from Cairns to the New South Wales border. Powerlink operates more than 15,345 circuit km of transmission lines and 147 substations.


EPI-USE is the perfect example of a strategic partner that an organisation needs when embarking on such a challenging and impactful upgrade like ours. They brought the expertise and know-how we needed to execute our vision, and it was clear that our success was as important to them as it was for us which made it a true partnership.

Mark Pozdena
General Manager, Business IT, Powerlink

Why move to SAP S/4HANA?

Powerlink had several reasons that made them consider the move to SAP S/4HANA®, including the need to:

  • improve their users’ experience and provide enhanced functionality, including mandatory changes which would be introduced by SAP S/4HANA (for example, new asset accounting, CVI, credit management and embedded Fiori)
  • remediate problematic configuration and customisation in the existing SAP ECC system
  • be at the forefront of SAP’s latest ERP technology.

Proof of Concept: ECC to SAP HANA on Azure

Powerlink’s journey to SAP S/4HANA began with a migration of the SAP ECC solution to SAP HANA on Azure. EPI-USE then executed a Proof of Concept (PoC) sandbox upgrade in Azure, including creating a copy of the ECC environment in Azure, and then performing a trial upgrade to SAP S/4HANA. The PoC project was successfully executed over a ten-week period. A detailed S/4HANA upgrade runbook was established in preparation for a productive upgrade. The PoC comprised three primary activities:

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The SAP S/4 upgrade was a world-class achievement for Powerlink at a time when we and our industry are undergoing immense change. Modernising our systems and increasing our capabilities like this is a fundamental necessity for us to meet our future demands and challenges. We are extremely proud of this success.

Paul Simshauser
Chief Executive, Powerlink

Full production SAP S/4HANA upgrade

Powerlink then contracted EPI-USE to assist with the transition from ECC6 to SAP S/4HANA. EPI-USE assembled an international team including a Project Manager, Functional (HR, Payroll, Business Warehouse, Finance and Logistics) and Technical (including Basis, Integration, Development, Azure infrastructure) consultants, Analysts, and a project management office (PMO).

The upgrade project used the upgrade runbook prepared during the PoC conversion, and the project successfully went live within the original project timelines and budget.

Key activities included:

  • Using DSM Client Sync™, part of the DSM suite, to refresh SAP Development (DEV) and Test (TST) clients prior to conversion to S/4. This enabled all testing to occur on production-like data without the need for full system rebuilds and refreshes at the start of the project.
  • Delivering system configuration and enhancements required for S/4HANA including new functionality and ABAP/integration code remediation.
  • Building out dedicated parallel payroll run testing (PPRT) clients with selective employee data using DSM Object Sync™. Object Sync enabled a refresh of employee data in the project testing phases from the ECC6 production to already converted S/4 2020 UAT and PPRT system, removing the need for dedicated PPRT systems and extra S/4 conversion work.
  • Using DSM Client Sync to build a second S/4HANA DEV system for Powerlink’s projects in parallel, as well as a legacy support landscape as an alternative DEV and TST system on ECC.
  • Functional end-to-end testing, including HR, PY, FI, CO, MM, BW from Unit, to System Integration, to UAT.
  • Mock conversion of full copy of production.
  • Production upgrade in place over a single weekend with limited-post upgrade defects.

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