#1. Suboptimal testing methodology and lack of a standardized testing governance framework
In the absence of a standardized test governance framework for SAP implementations, organizations are exposed to reliability and quality risks during system changes. Such environments are usually characterized by the absence of guidelines and protocols for their testing processes. This results in ad hoc and inconsistent testing practices, which result in varying output quality. In the case of our client, this resulted in overlooked errors and a lack of reliability during system changes and upgrades.
In addition, our client also faced difficulties in testing SAP data models, and BI reports underpinning critical functions like supply chain, finance, and customer service. The lack of an end-to-end, repeatable testing approach negatively impacted the accuracy, reliability, and integrity of core operations.
Therefore, the organization saw the need for a comprehensive test governance framework that would outline the testing objectives and define test environments, roles, responsibilities, and criteria for failed or passed tests. The goal was to minimize the room for errors in production systems, enhance collaboration between teams, ensure consistent baseline quality, and ensure that all SAP system changes were rigorously validated before implementation.
#2. Manual testing contributed to high overheads and low reliability
Manual SAP testing can be highly time-consuming. It not only slows down the organization but also results in the possibility of human errors. Ultimately, inaccurate testing leads to issues trickling into production, which in turn, causes operational disruptions and lowers customer satisfaction. For our client, manual testing also contributed to a lack of collaboration between departments or "towers." This resulted in fragmented testing efforts and incoherent insights into test processes. Business users were overwhelmed with frequent updates and new releases, which lowered organizational productivity.
Our client saw a dire need to break away from manual testing by leveraging testing automation to enhance efficiency and minimize errors. This would free up expensive resources and enable them to focus on more strategic tasks. In conjunction with an effective test governance framework, test automation would lead to smoother SAP operations and improved user experience.
#3. Performance assessment and stress testing for new SAP architecture
Because our client was transitioning from multiple SAP ECC instances to a single global S/4 HANA instance on the AWS cloud, it required a thorough performance assessment to ensure a seamless transition. This was crucial to ensure system responsiveness. Stress testing was necessary to determine if the new architecture was ready to handle the workload.
The performance assessment methodology was to simulate varying workloads to stress-test the SAP ecosystem. This would help understand if the new architecture was ready to handle fluctuations in demand without compromising performance. Stress testing would also offer insights into the stability of the new system and user satisfaction.
#4. Missing testing strategies for supporting growing data analytics adoption
Our client's growing adoption of data analytics highlighted a significant gap in its testing practices. More specifically, the absence of end-to-end Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) testing introduced data inaccuracies and discrepancies. Data quality is crucial in determining data analytics outcomes, as inaccurate data erodes the value of insights, impacts decision quality, and can cause regulatory compliance issues.
For this reason, our client sought to introduce a repeatable ETL testing process that would verify the accuracy and integrity of data as it moved through the analytics pipeline. This included validating data transformation logic, ensuring data consistency, and confirming that the final analytics outputs aligned with business expectations.
To sum it up, the client realized the need for a QA transformation to support its SAP ecosystem. As a result, they engaged Birlasoft to lead the QA transformation and help them exploit test automation to improve the reliability of their SAP deployments.