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Business case:

An organization is in the process of implementing a new supplier management solution (viz. Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance). The Ariba SLP needs to connect to multiple ERPs(S4HANA and ECC) and non-SAP systems as data source for suppliers. The current architecture employs a MDM system connected to multiple ERP systems for managing the supplier master data. The organization is looking to efficiently migrate the existing supplier master data from its legacy MDM and/or ERP systems and non-SAP systems to the newly implemented supplier management solution (viz. Ariba Supplier Lifecycle Performance) as part of overall implementation program.



The challenge is to migrate 100k+ supplier master records(in ERPs) along with supplier risk records (not part of supplier master data and currently maintained in non-SAP system) to supplier management solution (in this case Ariba SLP) with following key things in mind:

  1. Reduce time and cost of such large-scale migration

  2. Ease of approach and methodology

  3. Mitigate risk of duplication of supplier objects/data loss.


There are 2 different types of supplier related data which are in the scope.

  1. Supplier business partner data

  2. Supplier risk records (not part of BP)

The key is to address all 3 important aspects of data migration as shown below. There is currently no tool to facilitate the migration with this organization.

3 key aspects of data migration



Based on customer requirements, a tool is designed to exploit capabilities of MDG. SAP MDG-S being the only solution for integrating Ariba SLP to multiple ERPs, is also a perfect 'fit gap' for data migration. The overall architecture of the supplier management solution post implementation would look like below. The risk shown here is not related to Ariba Supplier risk module but is a data point within Ariba Supplier Lifecycle Performance module captured for suppliers in the various external and internal questionnaires’ responses in the registration/qualification phase..

Overall integration architecture of supplier management suite of applications


Data migration strategy:

SAP MDG can address the data consolidation and distribution challenges using the CVI. It facilitates the consolidation of the master data from the decentralized data sources and/or centrally governs the data.

Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) in MDG

  • CVI is SAP's way of converting business partner data into customer and vendor master data, and vice versa

  • CVI component ensure the synchronization between the BP object and the Customer/Vendor objects.

SAP MDG capabilities


There are 2 options available in MDG for customer vendor integration

Method 1: BP creation in source

  • CVI sync configuration in respective ERP

  • BP IDOC from ERP to MDG

  • Any Cleansing & Enrichment needed

  • Overlapping number range for Suppliers to be managed

  • BP number range to be aligned with existing ERP’s BP

  • Needs multiple iterations to get perfection

Key Advantage: Incorrectly created BP can stay in source system and selective migration can be done with clean data in new system


Method 2: BP creation in Target

  • CVI sync configuration in MDG

  • Supplier IDOC from ERPs to MDG

  • Cleansing & Enrichment happens in staging

  • Overlapping number range for Suppliers to be managed

  • BP number range to be aligned with existing ERP’s BP

  • Needs multiple iterations to get perfection

Key Advantage: Better control during transformation as cleansing and enrichment happens at one place during staging.

The major hurdle here is that the target system is Ariba SLP (cloud solution outside firewall) and it doesn’t use idoc, To facilitate such data migration, we need to have a smart and intelligent data migration tool with a framework which bridges the gap between multiple sources & complements the MDG consolidation for efficient data migration to Ariba SLP.

The migration framework for the newly designed tool looks like below

Smart data migration framework


While designing this framework, we need to keep in mind two different approaches and evaluate which one is simpler and cheaper to implement on case-to-case basis. The below diagram depicts we have two different paths to achieve the migration and they are usually mutually exclusive.

Design - Intelligent Smart data migration framework


The supplier risk records are not part of supplier master data but are maintained as separate records in on cloud non-SAP systems. The supplier risk records can also be uploaded into the supplier management solution (viz. Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance) using an RPA bot.

Automation framework for supplier risk data migration



  1. With the advent of new age cloud solutions for supplier lifecycle management (in our case Ariba SLP), we need to innovate for addressing real life problems like devising smart data migration tools. The conceptualization and design of smart and intelligent data migration framework is the main ingredient of our data migration strategy and we should try to exploit the existing capabilities of source, target and intermediate systems to achieve our goal.

  2. Automation in data migration is now need of the day and we need to continuously look for automation opportunities throughout the program lifecycle & beyond.


In our case if we are also replacing SAP MDM with MDG as part of the project, we also need a transition phase strategy to minimize impact and mitigate business disruption risks. I will cover this in a separate blog post.

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