A leader in biotechnology extended the IT Services partnership with Seargin to yet another project. The Seargin team took responsibility for the technical upgrade of the Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS), built on the SAP ERP.
The results? A 4-months project* passed all the technical tests at the first release and was approved by the system users in 18 countries. The project was even finalized two days earlier than initially planned.
Prior to the project, the last update of the CTMS dated back to 7 years ago.
“The upgrade was essential to improving the system performance and security, and to enable further system enhancements. Being stuck with the EHP5 version of SAP prevented the client from launching new business functions,” Marceli Sypień, the Project Manager at Seargin, who, together with the Project Manager from the client’s site, worked on the system upgrade, explains.
Testing and quality assurance were the biggest and most complex stages of the project. The team conducted over 2,000 tests to confirm that all functionalities and business processes continue working as expected.
The mentioned system is being used worldwide by over a thousand employees who manage broadly defined logistics processes – including demand forecasting, manufacturing, quality management, packaging, labelling, and shipments of medicines and placebos.
*from the project discovery summary in September 2021 to deployment in late December.
The devil is in the details
… and there were numerous details to account for during the SAP-based system upgrade. To begin with, the CTMS solution had not been upgraded since 2014. Therefore, the team dedicated to the project had to upgrade the SAP ERP system from EHP5 to EHP8, thus skipping through a few versions at once.
In addition, the Clinical Trial Management System is highly personalised for the client’s business needs. That means that the environment contains tens of thousands of custom lines of code, which emerged over the years to address the constantly evolving business needs specific to clinical trials.
“On top of that, the mentioned system integrates with multiple SAP and non SAP applications and business processes. All of that and more had to be accounted for to ensure the smooth upgrade in a strictly defined timeframe,” Marceli adds.
In Seargin’s coordination model we trust
Picture this — none of the employees witnessed the system upgrade in 7 years. Getting the end-users onboard and empowering them during a what-could-be-a-stressful-for-them system upgrade was essential. After all, the system is there to support and simplify their everyday jobs.
“From the beginning, I understood the importance of communicating and supporting people who use the system. We couldn’t allow the upgrade project to become a burden for end-users,” Marceli Sypień explains.
That’s why training, regular updates with employees in 18 countries (such as Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Spain, and more) and developing contingency plans became an integral part of the project.
And here’s how the client sums up the system upgrade, “After the hard work, all planning and preparation steps, chasing people and check-in calls, we are more than relieved that the upgrade went smoothly. Your orchestration was really superb and we thank you very much for that.“
The project in the nutshell:
Over 1,000 active system users in 18 countries
4 month completion time, a few days ahead of the schedule
The SAP-based CTMS is highly personalized
About the client
The client is a global company that specialises in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Their employees spread across the globe contribute towards transforming the patients’ lives through developing innovative solutions.
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