How We Built an SAP Reference System in the Cloud in Three Weeks

SAP Reference in the Cloud

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We were approached by a Client who had recently acquired a franchise. The client, who as the new incumbent, did not use SAP, but required the Logistics and HR/Payroll data from the franchise to be kept for 5 years for reference and compliance. To add to the complexities of data migration, we also only had 3 weeks before access to the old SAP system would be removed.

Cloud Hosting

A cloud solution was perfect for our client. Almost a no-brainer: As the system was only required to be kept for 5 years, there was no capital to invest on hardware which would never be fully utilised. We could also maintain the SAP system under our Support Solution at very low cost – removing the need for any in-house expertise to be kept in a product they no longer used day to day. There was also a very short setup time to build the Virtual Machine and setup the VPN – much shorter than the lead time of ordering a physical machine.

Data Migration

For this data migration we had a rather unique requirement where we were not allowed to take data referring to the other ‘company’, and explicitly, no finance data. This was written into the franchise agreement. We were also not given backend access, so we had to extract all the data though the frontend – SAP GUI. Of course, with these two constraints, all the standard SAP migration tools are out.

Leveraging our PM and HR expertise with our intimate knowledge of the SAP system, we have developed our own suite of data extractors. With these tools we were able to package all the data, export it though the SAP GUI, and upload this with our complementary upload tools to a freshly installed SAP system which we had deployed in our partner’s cloud environment. This had the benefit of enforcing our restriction on what data we could extract by use of SAP authorisations.

We can of course only do this method of data migration as the target SAP system will only be used for a data reference system, and will never be used productively.


The end result is our client has, at a fixed cost, an SAP reference system. They will not have to worry about hardware maintenance nor software expertise, as we do all that for them. We are also able to improve their reporting capabilities if they require it.

If you are interested in undertaking a similar sort of project, please see this page: Cloud Based SAP Archive System and get in touch.

by Ross Hamilton, Senior SAP Consultant

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