Effective data management
Gira is establishing a strong basis for future digitalization projects and optimizing its daily reporting with the help of SAP Analytics Cloud. The migration to S/4HANA serves to create a solid technological foundation for future projects. valantic was selected as a consulting partner due to its outstanding SAP expertise.
Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Radevormwald, is one of the leading complete suppliers of intelligent system solutions for electrical and networked digital building control. With its numerous developments, the family-owned company has shaped and influenced the world of electrical installation and building control ever since it was founded in summer 1905. Gira, a pioneer of smart building from the very start, has provided a decisive impetus to the future-oriented development of intelligently networked SmartBuilding systems and the digitization of buildings with a wide range of innovations, such as the Gira HomeServer.
Gira products and solutions stand for German engineering, for quality “Made in Germany,” for sustainable processes in their production and for environmentally and resource-friendly operation, for perfection in form and function – but above all, they make life a bit easier, more comfortable, and safer for people.
The (double) challenge
Migration to SAP S/4HANA and to the SAP Analytics Cloud
Conception, support and implementation of the migration from S/4HANA and the SAP Analytics Cloud
Customer benefits and solution
Fast, successful extended brownfield conversion to S/4HANA and performance gains as well as greater overview, transparency and efficiency thanks to a daily management dashboard
Head of IT Service Management at Gira
”We are very happy to have taken this big step in the course of digitalization so successfully. [...] In summary, we can say that in valantic, we have found exactly the partner we were seeking for the S/4HANA project and for the future.“
Project Manager at Gira
”We consistently create a great deal of transparency at the company; the new reporting system based on the SAC is more secure and of much better quality.“
Head of SAP Analytics at valantic
”Working closely with Gira, we replaced the old daily reporting system and created a central report for the management. The new daily report has been received very positively.“
Manager and Project Manager at valantic
”Thanks to the close involvement of the departments from the very beginning, we encouraged great project loyalty among the teams, which allowed us to identify optimization potential.“
The challenge: Migration to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud
Support for SAP ECC ends at the end of 2027. Gira therefore decided to use an extended brownfield conversion developed by valantic to convert the current SAP ERP system into an S/4HANA system and lay the foundation for further digital transformation. Procedural optimizations were not initially supposed to be part of the migration project but instead implemented step-by-step via an optimization roadmap after the successful introduction of S/4HANA.
A solution the company had developed in-house was previously used as a reporting tool. However, this solution does not run on S/4HANA and could only have been migrated with great time and cost expenditure, and in parts not at all. That’s why Gira decided to go to the SAP Analytics Cloud in parallel with the brownfield project in order to improve the performance of the entire daily reporting system and make it user-friendly using the existing SAP BW 7.5 on HANA. At the same time, an HR cockpit based on SAP HCM was implemented for the first time in the BW.
Solutions and results in detail
The overall project, which valantic and Gira handled jointly, included two parallel sub-projects.
Extended brownfield migration to SAP S/4HANA:
Migration of daily reporting:
Fast, successful extended brownfield conversion to S/4HANA
Establishment of more efficient processes & reduction of manual effort
Significant performance gains in SAP BW 7.5 on HANA
Better overview, transparency, and efficiency thanks to a daily up-to-date management dashboard
“We wanted to create a solid foundation for future digitalization projects and improve our daily reporting,” explains David Kowolik, project manager at Gira.
Gira wanted to successfully complete the transformation to S/4HANA in time for the end of SAP ECC support on December 31, 2027. In order not to be under unnecessary time pressure, the company had to secure sufficient consulting capacities at an early stage. Gira selected valantic based on its SAP expertise and competence. At the same time, the migration to S/4HANA was supposed to provide a solid technical basis for future digitalization projects.
Gira prefers extended brownfield migration methodology
Gira and valantic preferred an extended brownfield conversion, i.e., a primarily technical transition, which was followed by a process-related optimization roadmap after successful conversion. It should be emphasized that, contrary to the classical approach, Gira closely involved the departments in the project even during the preparatory phase. “This resulted in an unusually large project organization with up to 100 participants at times,“ says Alexander Koloska, manager and project manager at valantic.
“By closely involving the specialist departments from the very beginning, people were very committed to the project. As a result, optimization potential was identified, and either realized directly as low-hanging fruit or reserved for later on the optimization roadmap,” recalls Koloska.
Gira and valantic successfully completed the S/4HANA conversion on time. The go-live took place in November 2022. The project was under great time pressure, because a postponement of the go-live would have resulted in a project delay of six months. Not only the direct migration of the SAP ERP system to S/4HANA, but also the connection of the existing subsystems and all directly adjacent applications had to be guaranteed.
“The S/4HANA transformation has demonstrated impressively that an extended brownfield project approach is not a purely technical update that is the responsibility of IT. It was precisely through the close involvement of the various departments that value-added optimization potential could be identified at Gira and exploited, at least in part,” says Alexander Koloska of valantic.
Migration to SAP Analytics Cloud
The SAP BW 7.5 on HANA has successfully prepared Gira and valantic for the S/4HANA migration and implemented the new requirements. Large parts of the old reporting system were not S/4HANA-capable. In parallel with the brownfield transformation, Gira has therefore pushed ahead with an expansion of the SAP BW 7.5 on HANA and the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). “Both projects ran in parallel and there were dependencies. Working closely with Gira, we replaced the old daily reporting system and created a central report for the management. The new daily report has been received very positively,” recalls Stefan Blinkmann, Head of SAP Analytics at valantic.
The challenge was that content adjustments were also made as part of the technical migration to S/4HANA. This required a very high level of detail, an exact calculation of key figures, and high-quality data, processing and testing. The structure of the HR cockpit with data from HR administration was smaller in scope, but with equally high demands for the quality of the content. All data models were then provided with high-performance queries, and through live connections, the SAC displays daily dashboards.
“The SAC offers many visualization options. But we had to think carefully about what the reports should look like in order to then build the queries accordingly,” explains David Kowolik, project manager at Gira. This required close coordination between colleagues in the back end and the front end. “With the new reporting system at SAC, we have completely automated our reports and reduced the manual work reduced to almost zero. The performance of reports with high data volumes from the ERP system has also improved significantly,” he adds.
New daily reporting world provides great transparency
Kowolik also praises the great dynamics of the new daily reporting system. A selection by customer, country, and product or a comparison of orders received from the previous year, to name just two examples, was previously impossible without manual effort. “We consistently provide greater transparency at the company; the new reporting system based on the SAC is more secure and significantly better in terms of quality,” he says. Both top management and self-service users in the specialist departments profit from this through central dashboards and dynamic reporting.
The huge amounts of data that had to be modeled and migrated was a particular challenge. Some figures on the history: The project was launched in mid-April 2022, the go-live for management took place in December 2022, and the solution was rolled out for all stakeholders throughout the company in February 2023.
Gira and valantic have completed both projects – the extended brownfield conversion to SAP S/4HANA and the migration of the daily reporting world to SAC and SAP BW – on time and successfully. In retrospect, the main drivers of success were trusting communication, the close and early involvement of all the specialist departments involved, and the coordination of the project teams.