From the SAP ERP on HANA system to the Google Cloud Platform infrastructure

The project is part of the scenario of separation between two companies operating in the metallurgical industry sector, operating on the Italian territory. At the state of the art, the company's business processes are implemented and managed through a SAP ERP on HANA IT system, through which the following are managed: the active cycle, the passive cycle, the warehouse, management control, document conservation , Italian electronic invoicing and user interfaces.

The main functional modules and software products used are the following:
- SAP Financial Accounting (SAP-FI)
- SAP Controlling (SAP-CO)
- SAP Sales & Distribution (SAP-SD)
- SAP Materials Management (SAP-MM)
- SAP Electronic Invoicing for Italy (eItaly Invoice)
- OpenText Vendor Invoice Management (VIM)
- SAP Fiori Fronted Apps

In particular, the management of electronic invoicing for the Italian market is carried out using a "full SAP" solution. This solution uses an engine on the transactional system (AIF - Application Interface Framework) for the generation of XML invoices according to the standards of the Revenue Agency.

sap_onpremise

Furthermore, this solution uses the SAP Cloud Process Integration as middleware - a data interchange engine, deployed as a service on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP, SAP PaaS solution) - able, through 3 specific artifacts, to receive and send the XML of the electronic invoices to and from the Exchange System (SdI) of the Revenue Agency, subject to mutual authentication in HTTPS with X.509 certificates between the parties.

sap_cloud_process_int

SAP HANA (High-performance ANalytical Appliance) database is a proprietary in-memory RDBMS that helps organize and analyze big data for SAP ERP applications.
As an in-memory database, SAP HANA uses RAM to provide data in real time and is able to combine, through a native application layer:
- online transaction processing (OLPT);
- immediate preparation of these transactions for business intelligence and online analytical processing (OLAP) apps.

In order to manage change processes (fix and enhancement) according to SAP standards and recommendations, the starting systems are divided into a 3-level panorama which includes:
- a development environment (DEV - Development);
- a test / inspection environment (QAS - Quality Assurance);
- a production environment that provides business services (PRD - Production).

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The architecture currently in place can be summarized with the following scheme:

current_architecture

Therefore, starting from this scenario, the objectives of the project are the following:

- Prepare a new infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform.
- Install the new systems on Google Cloud Platform (Iaas) and SAP Cloud Platform (Paas) with the same software levels on all application layers, where possible and necessary.
- Generate the DEV, QAS and PRD environments.
- Reconfigure the integrations between the systems, with particular attention to electronic invoicing flows to the Revenue Agency.
- Prepare the data migration tools and migrate only the business data of company A, extrapolating them from the systems of company B.
- Delete the data of company A, from the systems of company B as of the effective date of the separation.

The planned architecture that will be built can be summarized with the following scheme:

solution_architecture

In particular, the production HANA database provides a solution of high reliability (HA - High Availability) through HANA System Replication (HSR) of the synchronous type, in order to comply with the Business Continuity requirements requested by the customer.
The design approach involves the creation of the empty DEV environment, through the installation of the SAP NetWeaver architecture, the installation and patching of the Add-ons and the eDocument, as well as the subsequent import of the SAP customizing and custom code.

Subsequent QAS and PRD environments will be generated by installation and Homogeneous System Copy (HSC), starting from a backup template performed downstream of the installation and patching activities of the DEV environment.
For the QAS and PRD environments only, the creation of subaccouts on the SCP, the deployment and configuration of SCP Integration, the configuration of the interconnection with the ES, as well as that of the sending / receiving flows of invoices and notifications will be envisaged.
For the PRD environment only, the high reliability of the HANA database and its cluster will be configured.
The take-over and fail-back procedures will then be tested.

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