Activate S/4 HANA, the Digital Core: Critical Steps for Planning your S/4 HANA Migration

With SAP’s emphasis on HANA and the value of HANA and S/4 HANA as a disruptive platform, it makes sense to put this project on your IT Roadmap. If you currently have ECC, the first question is deciding which of the two upgrade paths you should take:

  • SAP Business Suite (ECC, CRM, BI, etc.) on HANA (SOH), or
  • Activate S/4 HANA

We will focus on Activate S/4 HANA, the adoption framework leveraging best practices, methodology and prescribed steps to help you plan and implement your migration. We are assuming that you understand the value, benefits, and transformation that occurs when S/4 HANA is your ERP backbone. If you are unclear of the benefits, our Advisory Services team can assist with your business case and provide insight for standing up your S/4 HANA platform. Next month, we will address the SAP on HANA (SOH) migration.

One of our clients running ECC 6, EHP 5 paved their S/4 HANA Migration Roadmap. We think it is helpful to share the 3 step process to get to S/4 HANA and to estimate the project scope, duration, and effort.

  1. Migrate Current State to S/4 Compatible Version.
  2. Upgrade to HANA DB.
  3. Deploy S/4 HANA Code.

Our Advisory Services team assisted this customer with assessing the current level of each application and then to confirm the appropriate support pack and enhancement pack required for each of the applications i.e. ECC, CRM, BI and other applications. For customers that have kept current with support packs and EHP’s, this effort is minimal.

Upgrading to the HANA DB and deploying the S/4 Code is addressed as either a one-step or two-step process. SAP provides Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) tools that accelerate the upgrade steps. Many factors influence whether the DB and S/4 Code steps are consolidated. A significant driver for using the one-step or two-step process is the database size and the window available to convert the legacy database to HANA.

Other considerations that affected the estimated Timeline and Effort are:

  • Data Archiving – DB size is a key factor determining the migration window.
  • Platform – Cloud or On-premise Edition.
  • Best Practices Options – Analytics, Industry, Line of Business and User Experience (UX).

There are still many misconceptions about migrating to S/4 HANA. Some of the more frequently asked questions are:

  • Our industry functionality is not yet in S/4! S/4 HANA on-premise edition addresses similar coverage regarding functionality, configuration, industries, and languages as the current SAP Business Suite.
  • We need more than just Simple Finance! Simple Finance is the first step in the SAP’s simplification of the data structure for Finance and Controlling. In the November 2015 release, Release 1511, specified FICO modules had a 90% reduction in the data footprint resulting from no indexes, no aggregations, and no data redundancy. The specific modules and processes affected are included in the Release Notes on Service Marketplace. Following SAP’s announced delivery schedule, releases will occur in March (1603), May (1605) and November (1611) of 2016.
  • Custom Objects are not Migrated! The RDS tools migrate all custom objects to S/4 HANA. However, it is generally advised to evaluate the RICEFW list to see if some should be re-engineered or removed altogether. We anticipate that up to 50% of the custom objects developed during earlier projects are candidates for simplification reducing your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

These are just a few of the FAQ’s that we have heard from our customers. If you have additional questions about migrating to S/4 HANA, contact your Titan Sales Director.

For an executive summary of the S/4 HANA Migration path, or to better understand the benefits of SAP S/4 HANA, contact Warren Norris, or call me at 972.679.5183.