In the SAP® Software world, migrating documents from one repository to another can seem like an overwhelming task. Organizations often put this migration on hold and continue to work with expensive and hard-to-maintain legacy systems. Smaller organizations use the default storage option of storing documents in the database, which impedes their S/AHANA migration. However, moving this content to use M365/SharePoint Online as the external content storage system is straightforward if you have a document migration strategy.
This blog series aims to outline the migration strategies used to move content from a legacy ECM system to SharePoint without using any custom development. Rather than providing a single option for migrations, we will outline several options and discuss how to evaluate them for a particular migration effort.
SAP® Software Content Migration Methodologies
Several methodologies exist to migrate the content from one repository to another. The source repositories can live in a legacy system or the database of the SAP® SOFTWARE ERP system.
There are two ways to migrate the content:
- Using migration programs within SAP® Software (such as standard SAP tools)
- Use an external tool (such as Gimmal Migrate) to transfer between ECM systems
Before discussing the methodologies, we need to understand what type of information is attached to each business object in a SAP system. SAP® Software supports hundreds of business processes that can involve documents both in paper and electronic form. Either document can trigger processing steps in FI (Financial Accounting), SD (Sales and Distribution), HR (Human Resource Management), and other modules, or can be documents relating to processes in one of these application areas. At various steps in the business process chain, key documents need to be saved or referenced to support the activity.
By default, SAP ERP is designed to store unstructured content in the same database as the structured data (transaction data). This is unwieldy for large organizations and a liability with the mandatory roadmap to move to SAP HANA, the next-gen in-memory database. It is clear that a separate ECM system is needed to keep the unstructured data out of the SAP database.
Connecting SAP® Software with Microsoft
As organizations increasingly become more integrated and utilize Microsoft 365 SharePoint Online across the enterprise, it makes sense to connect the ERP to SharePoint for document storage. This is facilitated by Gimmal’s robust platform, Gimmal Link. In the remaining blogs in this series, we will show how the migration of content, whether from the database or from a legacy ECM is easy and cost-efficient.
To learn about the top five reasons to integrate SAP® Software with Microsoft 365, watch this free on-demand webinar.
In the next post, we will specifically delve into the most common approach to migrations that utilizes the standard SAP content migration programs to move existing documents to the new content repository.