By Tom Woodhead, APOS, and Thierry Audas, SAP

Canada Geese Flying at SunriseWith the release of version 4.1 of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) solutions planned for later this year, many users of versions XI of the BI solutions who haven’t adopted version 4.0 are now considering the migration. Many good reasons exist for migrating to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, including improved data access, usability, and integration, and the most important reason is to embrace the future of business intelligence within your organization. There are many tasks to consider in a typical migration project and it all comes down to project planning and preparation in order to be successful.

Committing to a well-managed migration will vastly increase the probability of realizing the benefits, reducing deployment costs, and improving return on investment. Let’s start with some best practices that will help you draw up a migration checklist.

Planning Best Practices

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of planning for your migration. The more detailed your planning upstream, the better you’ll be able to deal with contingencies downstream, and the closer you’ll get to completing your project on schedule and on budget while delivering maximum benefit to your organization.

Your BI deployment is a living system. It needs to be ready for new demands, and you need to be ready to meet those demands through efficient, streamlined, and automated processes and best practices. Major planning considerations that will inform your migration practices include:

  • Project size — Do you need to break your migration project down by function, business unit, or some other classification? Do you need to migrate all reports and instances? Or can you be selective while still meeting regulatory requirements, and the needs of our information consumers? Can you inventory your system?
  • Project schedule — What are the hard deadlines for each task on the schedule? Are the SDKs available for custom features required by your deployment?
  • Project resources — Are all personnel available and committed to the project schedule? Will your hardware accommodate increased processing requirements and 64-bit architecture?
  • One-time tasks Can you automate and simplify the one-time tasks that are labor and time intensive, and potentially prone to human error? (for example, UNV to UNX conversion, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence report repointing)


Preparation Best Practices

Well-managed migration starts with well-managed BI. Migration gives you the opportunity to clean up your system, improve business processes, and streamline platform management.

Some checklist considerations:

  • System criticality — Will there be down time? Will you be required to migrate to a fully functional BI platform overnight or over a weekend? What is the best timeframe for migration? Full-system or staged migration? Will you run the old and new systems in parallel?
  • System security — How will you account for security changes in version 4.0? What security structures are currently in place? What changes are required moving forward?
  • Data integrity — How will you decide what to migrate? What elements of your current deployment are unused? Do you need all document instances migrated, or can you simplify with an archive strategy? Do you need to migrate all Universes, or can you undertake consolidation? Will you be able to restore or roll back the entire system if necessary?
  • Regulatory compliance — Will you have secure and ready access to all of the document instances required by regulatory bodies? How will you address regulatory requirements for the separation of development, QA, and production environments?


Read More About Migration to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0

We have many more resources focused on migration best practices available to help you. This migration blog post in the SAP Community Network (SCN) is a great starting point. It includes links to APOS content, such as the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Upgrade Resources, which cover solutions for simplifying and automating  time-intensive, labor-intensive, and one-time tasks such as UNV to UNX conversion, SAP Crystal Report conversion, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence repointing, and desktop intelligence scheduling, publishing and migration. Another great source of actionable information on SCN is the version 4.0 Upgrade page, which is a live collection of useful resources to support version 4.0 upgrade projects.