Taking Swift Action to Migrate and Consolidate Data

InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications enables cost-effective data migration and consolidation

Enterprises are increasingly recognizing data as a strategic and critical success factor in deploying enterprise applications. Projects designed to deliver operational efficiencies or consolidated analytical insight face data challenges because of lack of data visibility, unforeseen data quality problems, and unwilling adoption and trust because of data inconsistencies.

For many organizations, SAP applications are mission-critical. They operate many of the processes that keep the business running. The ability to easily and repeatedly access, leverage, and integrate SAP data with the rest of their business not only maximizes the value of an enterprise’s SAP investment, but also turns previously disparate applications into a stream of trusted, actionable information. Getting enterprise-wide SAP data into an easily accessible, manageable form is the key to deriving insight from the data that can fuel strategic projects or provide a competitive edge.

Migrating and consolidating data

Increasing numbers of organizations are discovering that migrating from legacy applications to advanced applications and consolidating their existing applications—whether they are from SAP or other vendors—to fewer separate instances helps them reduce costs. They are also finding it can improve efficiencies and take advantage of the value hidden in their enterprise data.

Many organizations fail to complete data migration projects on time and within budget for a variety of reasons including a lack of documentation, poor data quality, and multisystem complexity. These causes can result in very late error detection in the project lifecycle, leading to data quality and data management problems that can be quite costly to fix.

IBM® InfoSphere® Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications software provides a methodology that helps significantly reduce the cost and risks associated with these projects, such as poor data quality and delays from late error detection.1 Ready to Launch establishes a leading-edge approach for migrating legacy data to new SAP implementations (see figure). It leverages IBM knowledge capital built over a decades-long alliance with SAP—as well as more than 3,700 SAP implementations.2 The solution is designed to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Reduce the data migration risks for SAP implementations by delivering a well-tested methodology.
  • Enhance business process execution by increasing information accuracy.
  • Deliver a repeatable and reusable infrastructure that can be leveraged for multiple SAP rollouts and for ongoing enterprise integration, quality, and governance.

Taking Swift Action to Migrate and Consolidate Data – figure

An enhanced approach for migrating legacy data to an SAP implementation

When compared with a traditional approach to data migration and application consolidation, the IBM approach is designed to create a sustainable process (see table).

A benefits comparison between a traditional and IBM approach to data migration

Traditional approach   IBM approach



Go live with good-enough data and fix it in production.
Gather the legacy data once when the design is complete.
Map the source to the target using worksheets.
Redevelop and re-implement the transformation of data code.
Test during the initial data load.



Get data right the first time. Start early and build a sustainable process.
Help reduce risk for data to impact the program schedule.
Surface customer problems and address them before they become critical.
Integrate the business process and data teams.
Deliver predictable timelines and quality.

Enhancing data quality

For organizations implementing SAP environments and considering an application migration or consolidation project, InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications helps to improve success rates and enhance data quality. (For a real-world implementation perspective, see the sidebar, “Case study: Swedish Armed Forces updates its support systems cost-effectively.”) Has your company tackled a data migration project or consolidation recently? How did it change your business? Please share your experiences in the comments.

Case study

Swedish Armed Forces updates its support systems cost-effectively

The Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) works with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the United Nations on peacekeeping and related worldwide initiatives. Over time, significant operational changes created new requirements and demand for updated support systems.* Existing processes for migrating data from legacy systems to a target SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment were resource intensive, time consuming, and costly.

The SwAF chose the SAP Business suite ERP to help centralize IT governance and process management cost-effectively across its IT environment. It implemented IBM InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications to migrate millions of legacy data records to the target SAP environment.

Forrester Consulting conducted interviews with the SwAF for a Total Economic Impact study commissioned by IBM.** The study found that using InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications with an effective data migration initiative drives process efficiencies and helps improve time to delivery of trusted data. It also helps reduce the risk of costly deployment delays by ensuring data quality in the production environment. Other benefits include enhancing accurate results in less time cost-effectively and helping eliminate the need to hire a significant number of migration consultants.

The assessment of these benefits demonstrated a 115 percent return on investment (ROI), a 15-month payback, and approximately USD7.7 million in total present value (see figure).
  The study also found that SwAF derived three key benefits from its implementation:

Enhanced cost efficiencies of the implementation processes: SwAF recognized that continuing to use the traditional data migration approach was much more costly than the InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications approach. The organization had migrated away from a distributed, siloed data environment and integrated more data into its SAP platform. The use of the IBM solution enabled developers and business users to become highly efficient and help reduce the overall cost of project deployment.

Bolstered time to value: Compared with traditional and internal deployments, IBM solutions were able to help improve the speed and time to delivery by slashing the number of data errors and streamlining the migration process. IBM helped SwAF reduce the variability and risk of the migration process by identifying over 200 errors during the blueprint phase. These errors would have caused substantial problems in the system if they had not been caught before going live.

Improved data quality: Increasing data quality early on in the project helped decrease the likelihood that inaccurate or incomplete data would migrate into the production environment, resulting in costly mistakes. SwAF estimated that the cost impact of improving data quality for the entire project would be roughly USD40 million.

Taking Swift Action to Migrate and Consolidate Data – sidebar figure

A three-year, risk-adjusted financial summary of the SwAF implementation

* Swedish Armed Forces, IBM Case Studies, June 2013.
** “Total Economic Impact Study of InfoSphere: Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM, May 2013.

1InfoSphere Information Server Ready to Launch for SAP Applications,” IBM Software data sheet, September 2012.
2 Information Integration and Governance use cases website at

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