Streamlining Pharmaceutical Operations: A Case Study on a Journey Through a Complex SAP ECC Upgrade

Interested in receiving a PDF version?

Click Here



Company Size

5,000+ Employees

Company Revenue

$4.2 Billion



Project Type

SAP ECC Upgrade

Tech Stack


Case Study Coming Soon!

We've got exciting things in the works!


A pharmaceutical manufacturer had seen significant business growth since it upgraded to SAP ECC 6.0. The company wanted to perform certain enhancements to its ECC environment to continue supporting its growth trajectory, including a fiscal year-end conversion. However, they were constrained by the current ECC version. The company required external technical help and guidance to deliver a successful upgrade.


• Pharmaceutical manufacturer wanted to upgrade its current ECC System

• Current internal talent pool was not equipped from a manpower perspective or the internal expertise necessary for a successful upgrade

• Organization needed to perform enhancement planning and execution without disrupting current business flow


GlobalSource IT was engaged to perform a technical upgrade of the ECC 6.0 system to Enhancement Pack 6 Support Pack 9, with minimal disruption to business. The solution involved preparing a second support landscape for ECC as well as installing and configuring SAP Solution Manager to support this work.

The project team was assembled using a combination of client’s internal resources and external SME’s. The client chose to staff the project management function internally and brought in several subject matter experts to supplement their functional and technical staff.

The go-live date was set to occur at a time of lower business volume (to minimize disruption to ongoing business) and to ensure that the fiscal year end conversion work could be initiated and delivered before the end of the next fiscal year. This predetermined project timeline was a duration of 40 weeks. Extraordinarily aggressive given the amount of technical and functional change management, and the volume of testing required prior to go-live.

GlobalSource IT staffed a dedicated consultant to focus on the Solution Manager upgrade and configuration. In parallel, the Technical Lead worked with the client’s staff to build and configure a parallel landscape for production support and a production replica environment to test out the upgrade procedures. Multiple test upgrades were executed in the replica environment, to resolve issues with the process and the tools. The functional and technical teams were kept engaged during these upgrades to perform some degree of unit testing and issue resolution at this early stage. Consequently, the Q/A testing cycle uncovered fewer than expected defects.

Given the client’s emphasis on minimizing downtime, it was recommended that several ‘optimization upgrades’ were run at various stages of this project, to reduce the duration of the business outage. This work reduced the duration of the technical upgrade significantly – so much so that the technical process took less time to execute than the database backup!

GlobalSource IT Performed the Following:

• Upgraded Solution Manager environment, to support the ECC upgrade.

• Copied production ECC to standalone non-production replica to develop, test and validate the upgrade procedure. The focus of the procedure was on the quality of the delivery, as well as minimizing the downtime needed for the conversion.

• Built a separate 'Production-Support' landscape for production fixes and minor business enhancements.

• Upgraded the development and test ECC Landscapes. Validated the upgrade through unit and integration testing.

• Supported UAT.

• Developed a detailed cutover plan to execute the production upgrade. Led and delivered a successful production upgrade. Provided additional care/support to monitor the environment post-upgrade and address any issues that arose.


The production upgrade was delivered on schedule, with a shorter than anticipated business outage. The number of production support issues that arose afterwards was lower than expected. This demonstrated that quality was not compromised given the aggressive timeline required.

The client was pleased by the quality of work delivered. The production upgrade was delivered with high quality, on-schedule, and well below the acceptable outage duration. As such, the client chose to engage GlobalSource IT to support the subsequent fiscal year end conversion of the ECC environment (delivered by the SAP System Landscape Optimization team).


• Technical Architect


Industry SI average price point per consultant = $295/Hr

GSIT average price point per consultant = $165/Hr

Total consultants placed = 1

Time on assignment = 40 weeks

Approximate cost through SI = $2,043,760.00

Approximate cost through GSIT = $1,143,120.00

Estimated Cost Savings = $900,640.00

Are you interested in receiving a PDF version? Let us know!

A member of our team will reach out to you shortly

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


At GlobalSource IT, we understand that every project is unique. There’s no cookie-cutter solution…there never has been. Each project has to be approached on its own merits.

That’s why we listen, first and foremost, to our clients before mapping out the plan to succeed. It’s why we’ve developed genuine, lasting relationships with U.S.-based subject matter experts creating one of the world’s most powerful and functionally diverse talent networks. From assessment and requirement gathering to solution creation and implementation, our experts help deliver critical projects on time and within budget.

Since 1998, we’ve scaled our business through relationships based on trust. Trust is built on promises kept. Let us earn your trust.