Nipro eases data migration in the cloud with SAP BW Bridge

When Nipro Corporation chose a cloud migration to unify its cluttered IT landscape, several new focus areas presented themselves. The large-scale project would take up to five years, during which Nipro would have to ensure business continuity without delays or system overloads. Flexso helped simplify that transfer by means of SAP BW Bridge: a “bridge” between old and new data that improved efficiency and reduced load times.

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Decentralised data flows

As a long-time SAP customer, Nipro Corporation has witnessed the steady growth of its IT landscape for decades. The expansion has spawned a complex worldwide patchwork of legacy systems, including multiple SAP ERP applications – with or without SAP Business Warehouse (BW)– as well as many third-party ERP systems.

Unfortunately, such fragmentation complicated the delivery of real-time data and analytics, and lacked the flexibility to accommodate growth. “It prevented the IT department from offering the best possible data management solutions,” acknowledges Iaroslav Korzh, SAP Technology Manager at Nipro Europe. “Users ended up doing a lot of manual work in spreadsheets.”

About Nipro Corporation

Nipro Corporation, based in Japan, manufactures medical devices and solutions as well as pharmaceutical packaging for hospitals and other healthcare organisations. Their European HQ, Nipro Europe Group Companies, has been based in Belgium for more than 30 years. It encompasses 18 production sites, 34 sales offices and over 3,400 employees.

Cloud migration: a slow-footed solution

Nipro was looking for more connectivity and room for growth, but wanted to honour its SAP software investments as well. That is why the company chose a cloud migration to a new SAP S/4HANA system, backed by the data intelligence technology of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and replacing Nipro’s Qlikview reporting environment. This digital journey would allow Nipro to consolidate corporate data across global branches and enable user-friendly planning, reporting and forecasting.

However, a migration of that scale can easily take up to five years. Moreover, the team discovered that they had to reload the data from SAP ERP to DWC on a daily basis throughout the entire fiscal period. The result: 20-minute sessions per system, high workloads and delayed reporting.

Iaroslav Korzh

"We needed to decrease pressure and ensure business continuity, so our users would keep receiving valuable data. We were looking for a solution that complied with our actual digital infrastructure, ensuring that we could transfer data from the source systems to SAP DWC without having to reinvent everything.”

Iaroslav Korzh - SAP Technology Manager at Nipro Europe

New SAP BW Bridge solution bridges the gap

Nipro considered the different options together with Flexso, their trusted SAP partner on their digital transformation journey, and found SAP BW Bridge as ideal solution to revolutionise Nipro’s business processes. This particular SAP Cloud solution allows DWC customers to reuse their existing technology and connect those assets to newer cloud-based solutions without a system overload.

As the use of this new data cloud solution would save heaps of time to Nipro and would guarantee an excellent user experience at all times, Nipro and Flexso regarded SAP BW Bridge as the ideal metaphorical bridge between the old data and DWC.

Since the development of the BW Bridge technology was in its early stages, Nipro followed an early adopter challenge (EAC). That made it possible to adopt the new SAP technology while it was still being finetuned, with the help of a direct SAP support line. The resulting implementation of BW Bridge, DWC and SAC only took 3 months.

Curious how the EAC process with SAP went off? Explore Nipro's journey with SAP.

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Improved efficiency and performance

Thanks to BW Bridge, Nipro was able to load data natively by recycling existing SAP BW data models and extractors on the SAP ERP side. Efficiency increased considerably: hourly uploads suddenly took no more than one minute – instead of 15 – and didn’t overheat any SAP source systems.

Furthermore, BW Bridge uses the same tools that local support teams are used to, while the smooth hourly uploads make sure that the finance department receives all necessary data in real time. “SAP BW Bridge for SAP DWC is a complete game changer,” Iaroslav Korzh confirms. “The cloud architecture allows us to simplify our landscape. Our performance has significantly increased.”

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“SAP BW Bridge gives users the reporting and analytics they need, in a user-friendly, flexible and much faster way. We’re excited to explore even more use cases going forward.”

Iaroslav Korzh - SAP Technology Manager at Nipro Europe

For the time being, SAP BW Bridge will support data flows from SAP ERP applications until Nipro Europe is fully running on SAP S/4HANA. Eventually, the company will also use BW Bridge for transfers from SAP S/4HANA to SAP DWC. By consolidating SAP data with third-party systems, all active users on those systems, will be able to gain helpful business insights as well.

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