On 1st June 2013 we had planned to Go Live with a new SAP system at Takshi Auto, a fast growing automobile component manufacturing company at Chakan, Pune. The entire team including the management team of Takshi, system users and the consulting team from Godrej Infotech were  anxious and working very hard to make this phase successful.

So what is Go Live and why it is so important for ERP products like SAP?

Go Live marks the beginning of a new ERP system.

Okay so what’s so great about it? Are we not starting a new IT system or a new software/application every now and then? So what’s so great about ERP?

ERP is a single software for any organization & it replaces all other softwares such as inventory management, finance, purchase etc.

Going Live means stopping all existing systems and shifting to new single system called ERP from that moment. So it is kind of like heart replacement surgery but only for a company.

So what is the danger?….if single system stops then the entire organization will come to standstill. As is the case in replacing a person’s heart with a new heart….if it doesn’t work, then a person can collapse or even die.

In case of ERP failure all transactions of the organization such as receiving of raw material, dispatching of finished material, processing of work in process material, processing of payments, recording of quality parameters…..everything can come to standstill as there is no information available….completely blind folded organization.

So are we not testing ERP thoroughly?

Yes through testing of any ERP system is mandatory. Many times testing is carried out in a box i.e. server or a system which is different than real system, also called as Production system or a system in which real transactions are carried out. Hence for a large and complex ERP, such as SAP, a small error can halt the entire system resulting in a complete collapse.

Imagine the case of a batsman who is playing well in net practice; is his performance in real match guaranteed? Not at all…it’s finally that small but important luck factor which is equally important.

But don’t worry…..in my long ERP career I have seen very very few failed Go Live attempts and all those failures had a strong reasoning behind them. So do thorough testing before you Go Live and you will have high chances of success.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding “Go live”. I will be happy to answer them.