Data migration tool eases transfer path from Excel to SAP

Spreadsheets can be a lifesaver for companies that rely on them for countless tasks. But when used for updating and transferring large amounts of data, users often must manually key in data that already exists in digital format. Not only is this a wasteful exercise, but it can be particularly time-consuming when moving data from Microsoft Excel or Access programs into various SAP business syst...

By Staff May 1, 2007

Spreadsheets can be a lifesaver for companies that rely on them for countless tasks. But when used for updating and transferring large amounts of data, users often must manually key in data that already exists in digital format.

Not only is this a wasteful exercise, but it can be particularly time-consuming when moving data from Microsoft Excel or Access programs into various SAP business systems. It’s also expensive, since many organizations resort to hiring programmers and consultants for data migration using SAP-provided tools.

TxShuttle, a data migration tool from WinShuttle , specifically transfers, uploads, and downloads between Office applications and SAP’s R/3 ERP system. Users save time and eliminate errors by handling mass uploads and data maintenance tasks instantaneously.

WinShuttle, an SAP certified partner, targets midsize and large organizations with revenues of $500 million or more.

“It took us two years to achieve SAP certification, but our significant investment is paying off,” says Vikram Chalana, president of WinShuttle. SAP applications include Logistics and Supply Chain Management, SAP Finance and Controlling, and SAP Human Resources.

Companies improve data quality and eliminate errors at the source by using TxShuttle to write directly into database tables in SAP, says Chalana. Users work with standard templates in TxShuttle to populate data into SAP. “Templates can be scheduled to run at specified times, such as daily, weekly, or even annually as some companies do for yearly price changes,” adds Chalana.

Companies use TxShuttle for creating and updating master data such as material, vendor, customer, and equipment.

“One user created a vendor materials template for batch uploads,” Chalana points out. “They also use the system for daily data transfers of FedEx invoices and other shipping and journal vouchers to SAP. Our solutions are easy to use, and intended for engineering data managers or human resource managers.”

The simplicity and flexibility of TxShuttle continues to impress Hubbell Wiring Systems , a Milford, Conn.-based electronics manufacturer, which implemented the system three years ago. What started as a 30-day free trial run at a plant in Puerto Rico has grown into an enterprisewide deployment covering five divisions and 54 users. “We wanted to eliminate hand keying, and consequently, reduce errors and promote data ownership,” says Paul Cahill, director of information technology for Hubbell.

Prior to using TxShuttle, Hubbell relied on a data conversion team and other maintenance personnel for R/3 conversions. “We hired temporary help to key in and correct master data,” says Cahill. “We used an SAP mass-transaction tool when we could, but it was not very user-friendly. It was a blunt tool that would update 1,000 fields at a time with one value, for example.”

With TxShuttle, users query SAP and pull data from it, but also can extract information and manipulate fields. “We don’t just push data into SAP,” says Cahill. “We have 25,000 finished goods that need to be updated annually, in addition to manipulating SKUs and product hierarchies. Now we can load in all the new values in an hour or two with TxShuttle.”

After the first implementation of TxShuttle, Hubbell gained a better understanding of procedures and data criticality for subsequent system rollouts. “We learned the importance of master data, and we set much better targets,” says Cahill.