SDEE Transylvania Nord is one of the largest distributors of energy in Romania, covering 6 counties in the NW region and providing more than 1,200,000 consumers with a cumulative quantity of more than 5 million MWh.
The first SAP implementation carried out in 2002-2003 (ERP modules, jointly implemented with the regional supply company) was subsequently unbundled from the supply company and enhanced with industry specific functionalities (IS-U) in 2006-2008.
The company manages thorough its SAP system all the required information about 1.2 million measurement devices, 2,000 km of high voltage lines, 40,000 km of medium and low voltage lines and related equipment.
After 15 years of ERP operation and 10 years of IS-U data gathering many database tables increased significantly in size, thus generating various problems:
- Increased administrative efforts, larger backup sizes, longer backup times, higher off-line times
- Increased hardware requirements in terms of disk allocation and processing power
- Increased response times in daily operations, increased transfer times to the reporting system (BW), poorer response times for operational reporting
- Increased difficulties for update and upgrade operations – system copies take significantly more time, notes and patches application is slower, the testing process is less effective
- Lower satisfaction for more than 400 users who have difficulties in performing their daily tasks
- Lower customer satisfaction generated by longer response time provided by the distribution company
- Increased costs and efforts to redesign applications and to increase hardware capacity
The analysis phase of the project started with a comprehensive database evaluation for the productive system using SAP standard instruments, following the largest tables and the tables with the highest growth rates. Based on these results, the team identified the business objects with the largest impact on performance and analyzed all the business and technical connections between these objects as well as the retention conditions. The retention conditions are based on three types of requirements, legal (including industry regulations), business needs and technical dependencies.
The two main sets of technical tools used were the SAP standard retention and archiving tools (SARA and other related transactions) and the inPuncto Biz2Archiver solution for handling the resulting archives, natively integrated with SAP. The technical specification and the implementation covered both the immediate need for data archiving and table size reduction, as well as the ongoing process for data growth management including principles and procedures for periodic future archiving sessions.
The implementation team ensured the mechanisms for data extraction and validation, archive verification ensuring data integrity, reports adjustment and data retrieval possibilities directly from standard SAP transactions or from developed ERP or BW reports.
The implementation took 8 months followed by 12 months of support and archived 16 complex business objects, providing 15 new reports. The resulting database was defragmented, all the indexes were rebuilt and the customer team was trained in managing the future archiving processes and the related database management activities.
The users can access archived data directly from SAP and can perform the needed analysis based on archived data using their traditional reports with adjusted logic. The standard SAP access control mechanisms are adjusted to include archived data. All the operations are performed using the familiar SAP frontend, thus ensuring the seamless acceptance by end-users. Designated users can use specific programs, using test or productive mode, for data archiving, data verification and for data deletion from database for archived data.
The project provided significant database reduction, increasing operation speed and user satisfaction, eliminating the need for immediate expenses for hardware augmentation.