The transition from today’s SAP environments to SAP S/4HANA is an important initiative, but many companies are understandably concerned about getting it right. This is a guest blog by Jan Durinda of Datavard, a SUSE partner and an SAP partner who offers an innovative solution for a smooth transition for SAP data to the S/4HANA environment.
Posted on 31.05.2017 by Jan Durinda
How many companies in your region have migrated to SAP S/4HANA from their old SAP systems? Yes, you are right – not too many (comparing with overall number of SAP customers).
And why is that? Many of companies are waiting for peers to go first, to have at least few successful reference cases. Here are the top concerns that we hear from the decision makers:
- it is a complicated process,
- not yet 100% bulletproof and potential issues may occur,
- existing brownfield solutions do not meet with our requirement and are not agile enough.
With more than 20 years of experience in SLO (System Landscape Optimization) projects, we managed to address this problem and design a simple and straightforward process for preparation and transition to SAP S/4HANA.
SLO approach enables companies to align their existing SAP system landscape after restructuring their business, updating existing processes, integrating a recently acquired company, or removing parts of the business data due to a divestiture from their existing SAP system landscape. SLO approach ensures full data consistency and data integrity within transformation projects such as data migrations and data conversions.
We upgraded the SLO approach and now it is supporting both SLO activities and transition to SAP S/4HANA. Moreover, these activities now can be combined and executed within one project.
5 steps for a smooth transition to SAP S/4HANA
Step 1 – Datavard Fitness test with focus on S/4HANA readiness checks
During this initial step, complete scan of the ERP system(s) is performed. Based on the results, we evaluate the overall readiness of system for migration to S/4HANA. This service supported by automated tools tells you precisely how and which business processes are impacted by S/4HANA. Major part of analysis is also component compatibility overview and detailed assessment of custom development with recommendation of all necessary adjustments. Moreover, Datavard Fitness Test helps you with calculation of size for hardware where we also consider the so called “Quick Wins” – housekeeping and archiving activities which lead to reduction of TCO
Step 2 – Creation of empty S/4HANA shell
We decided to save each possible effort on the customer side and make the whole transition as simple as possible, therefore using Datavard solution “Lean system copy” we bring all possible setup, customizing and custom development from original system directly to S/4HANA. Using this approach majority of setup work is done and only small trimming is required. Another huge advantage is that the setup can be done during uptime and therefore no daily business processes are influenced. Once S/4HANA shell is built, it is possible to simulate business processes which leads to better preparation of business users till “real” transition with all data will take place.
Step 3 – Pre-selection of data to be migrated
As it was already mentioned above, Datavard approach is based on the proven SLO technology which enables the SAP users to transfer the data they really need (e.g. certain company code) and get rid of obsolete or outdated data. This strategy reduces the TCO and improves overall data quality
Step 4 – Migration
During downtime, which happens usually during the weekend, pre-selected data are taken from source system(s) and are moved directly into new S/4HANA structures in an adjusted format. Migration is done on the database level, therefore additional transformation of data (e.g. rename) is also possible.
Step 5 – Evaluation
After all data is moved, we run evaluation supported by the automatic kit tool called KATE, which dramatically reduces the overall effort.
We understand that each customer is unique and therefore we also tailor solution accordingly. Agility of our solution for transition to SAP S/4HANA relies on the following main principles:
- Merging your systems, you can use multiple sources for migration
- Possibility of selective migration by taking organizational units based on customer preferences
- Harmonize your data using transformation rules on the fly (Rename, Merge, …)
- Automated testing to prove system suitability
- Reduced downtime due to skipping the upgrade phase and migration to HANA DB phase
- Possible to achieve near zero downtime
- Reduced effort with S/4HANA Readiness check by Datavard