The key 5 answers you need when considering SAP S/4 HANA migration

December 28, 2017

The business environment currently goes through a set of changes of impact. The experts and analysts widely recognize their amplitude, insomuch they agreed upon the surname of “disruption”.

The core of this disruptive process is digital. Businesses restructure their processes having the cloud in mind, and all the departments reinvent their operations, in view of the latest technologies.

When keeping the traditional mindset, one cannot fully grasp this movement. One of its main traits is that it cannot be described as transitory. This type of dynamism and this software – material processes fusion is here to stay. The landscape will not revert to its previous stage, therefore positioning themselves towards the current state of facts as soon as possible is highly recommended for all the organizations.

To get straight to the point, there are digital tools that serve the businesses wanting to sail through this major upgrade process faster – by compiling all the necessary means in one complex, integrated package. These concepts also feature an anticipative mindset. Here is where SAP S/4 HANA comes in, perfectly illustrating the above notions.

This software solution perfectly fits the momentum affecting businesses everywhere. However, when considering the SAP S/4 HANA migration, an organization’s decision factors absolutely need to go through the personalized answers to the following 5 questions:

  1. What is SAP S/4 HANA, in fact?

SAP S/4 HANA is a new, standalone ERP tool for enterprises that evolved out of SAP HANA. In SAP S/4 HANA the former SAP Simple solutions became 10 SAP S/4 HANA specific LoB solutions.

According to SAP’s own schematics*, the main three levels of SAP S/4 HANA are the S/4 HANA Enterprise Management – the core solution; the enclosed S/4 HANA PRODUCTS – separately priced & S4 branded; and the SAP S/4 HANA Suite – composed out of the SAP Cloud Products and the LoB core functionalities.

*1220 SAP S4 HANA

  1. How does planning your migration work?

A successful migration to SAP S/4 HANA involves going through the following steps: exploring the value of this solution, identifying how it will fit your requirements & checking various use cases, planning the entire process together with your SAP consultant (e.g. you can upgrade your existing HANA system or implement a completely new S/4 HANA one), procuring the solution – “over 60% of implementations are performed by partners and integration partners, not by SAP”, deploying it (there are 3 ways to go, respectively public cloud, managed cloud and on-premises/hosted), testing it to make sure it all functions properly, and finally experiencing all the benefits driven by SAP S/4 HANA.

  1. What are the preliminary requirements for the migration?

At the launch (2015), SAP informed those who desired to migrate that they recommend moving to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA and then implementing packages that contain the simplifications.

Currently, what you need to know about the preliminary requirements is:

  • Your system has to be on Unicode
  • For a direct system conversion to S/4HANA, your minimal start release must be SAP Enterprise Resource Planning 6.0 (EHP 0-8 allowed)
  • If your system is an earlier SAP Business Suite release, you can move to

SAP S/4HANA 1709 in a two-step approach (first to ERP 6.0 and then to S/4HANA)

  • When converting an existing SAP Suite System to SAP S/4HANA, you need to do some adaptations, for example, you need to convert your existing business processes to simplified SAP S/4HANA processes. Some of the SAP Business Suite processes are no longer supported, some have been changed, and there are also new processes. You may find out how to convert your existing processes to SAP S/4HANA processes in this Simplification List
  • Being an in-memory database, SAP HANA requires that your entire database is able to fit into the existing RAM memory, so before migration you must perform a careful hardware sizing process
  1. Who operates the implementations?

As we’ve mentioned above, the SAP partners and integration partners are the ones that operate the majority of the implementations. They are already familiarized with the clients, their customization and personalization features. Or, in the case of a new client, they would efficiently know how to summarize the customization requirements.

  1. Why is the SAP S/4 HANA migration important?

The SAP S/4 HANA migration is crucial in preparing for a cloud-based future, by opening up the access to the advanced SAP specific tools, such as SAP Success Factor or SAP Hybris. The adoption process is in fact bigger than the mere migration stage, and this is a positive thing. SAP designed this next-gen tool as a continually developing one, planning to add/integrate further solutions, all in view of extending the core functionalities through progressive cloud environment features.

 

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