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Addressing SAP Business Suite performance issues – experience with a CPG client

‎08-26-2014 07:58 AM - edited ‎09-30-2015 07:06 AM

By: Subodh Fadnavis, WW Product Expert - SAP Solutions, ABS PSW Strategic Portfolio, HP Enterprise Services


As a services provider, System Performance is always a critical requirement for our clients and often receives special attention in our SLAs. Therefore the system performance design, its threshold limit, and future data & business growth should be given due priority while defining the performance level.


One of our clients, a CPG giant, encountered repetitive performance issues with their SAP ERP environment.  At month-end and financial year-end, they used to encounter issues with data inconsistency reported in their critical SIS reports. These reports were vital for strategic business decisions and fed data to subsequent stock exchange reporting. Therefore they had high business impact, and received high levels of attention. blog1.jpg


Being a CPG Company, sales reports related with orders booked, orders missed (orders that could not be fulfilled) and orders delivered were some of the daily critical reports that the business required for each country/market. The data was reported in a monthly view, with lower volume during the initial days of the month which gradually grew and peaked by month’s end.


The distributed system landscape for the Order to Cash process (i.e. order booking & financial in one landscape, and shipment & materials management in another landscape) was another challenge. This led to performance issues due to the priority given to IDoc processing between the two systems. The complexity was enormous, with the mergers of different businesses and consolidation of standalone markets into a centralized system environment.


Due to the unavailability of standard functionality within the SAP System to support theses business reporting requirements at the implementation time, custom interfaces were built for each respective market/country to pull the data from the SIS tables. The extracted data was then sent to a downstream system through a flat file for further analysis and reporting. As the business required daily reporting of this data, these interfaces need to be executed during the quiet period (i.e. when no business transactions occur). The available quiet period window was max. 7-8 hours due to the spread of market geography, which indirectly kept performance SLA on high radar.


The team that supported and monitored these interfaces often encountered nail-biting finishes and many times observed failed interfaces during the month end and especially during the financial year end (which further slows down the system due to other financial reporting/activities).


The long running interface issue were diagnosed in terms of system performance and some of the findings were:

•             Improper Interface (custom code) design

•             Inadequate Capacity Planning

•             Performance check & tuning for Custom code


There are multiple steps being taken to address the long running interface issue:

  •          Code optimization and Performance check were made as a requirement for any new code deployment or change to existing ones.
  •          Batch job priority for these interfaces were changed and allocated with more system resources. Running schedules also were adjusted for interfaces shown heavy load trend.
  •          Monitoring was set up to alert no-running/hanging interfaces.
  •          New market/country interface is being designed to eliminate the dependency on the distributed environment.

 Are you having similar issues? Please share your lessons learned in the comment section.


If you are a subscriber to Gartner services, and would like to read their perspective on implementing best practices, please refer to their report from June 19, 2014 - Follow Three Best Practices to Optimize SAP Business Suite Application Performance.


For more information on HP’s SAP services:

HP Enterprise Applications Services for SAP

HP Transformation Services for SAP HANA

HP As-a-Service Solution for SAP HANA

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