SAP S/4HANA Migration

Data migration to newer applications is a crucial and necessary event in the lifetime of any IT system and SAP systems are no exception to this rule. Data migration can be a complex and challenging endeavour, with the right approach and the right people, system and data migrations can be carried out successfully.

Why migrate to S/4HANA?

S/4HANA only runs on the SAP HANA database, and all subsequent SAP ERP releases will do the same. Previous versions of their flagship ERP software could run on a variety of databases, the most notable of which is Oracle.

Many SAP users currently run their ECC landscape on a non-SAP database, like Oracle or IBM's DB2. Neither company has said it will extend support for these databases beyond 2027.

As with ECC, SAP has stated they plan to end support for SolMan (SAP Solution Manager) by the end of 2027.

"SAP S/4HANA is the next-generation intelligent suite, enabling the move to a digital intelligent enterprise based on next-generation best practices and artificial intelligence-enabled automation. At the same time, it is paving the way to cloud and hybrid architectures, driving a substantial level of landscape simplification and TCO (total cost of ownership) reduction. Over 13,800 customers have already chosen SAP S/4HANA." - SAP News Feb 2020

With SAP officially stopping support for ECC (ERP Central Component) by the end of 2027, and with over 77% of the world's transaction revenue touching an SAP system, it is no longer a question of whether to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, but instead, when to migrate.

Benefits of migration to S/4HANA?

Real-time Decision Making

SAP S/4HANA is built on an in-memory database, enabling businesses to process vast amounts of data in real-time. This real-time capability empowers organisations to make informed and data-driven decisions quickly and with ease. Providing access to real-time analytics, it enables users to gain insights into key performance indicators, financials, inventory, and customer behaviour instantaneously. By making decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information, companies can respond swiftly to market changes and customer demands, staying agile and one step ahead of the competition.

Embedded Analytics and Machine Learning

SAP S/4HANA incorporates advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities directly into the ERP system. Organisations can leverage predictive analytics and AI-driven insights to optimise their processes, detect anomalies, and identify growth opportunities. These embedded analytics enable businesses to uncover hidden patterns in data, enhance forecasting accuracy, and automate routine tasks, leading to more efficient operations and improved business outcomes.

A Simplified Landscape

SAP S/4HANA brings with it significant simplifications to the data model and processes compared to previous SAP systems. It eliminates redundant data tables, optimises the database structure, and reduces the data footprint. This simplified landscape leads to faster data processing, reduced storage costs, and improved system performance. Additionally, the simplified architecture streamlines IT processes, making maintenance and upgrades more straightforward and less time-consuming.

Enhanced Supply Chain Management

For businesses with complex supply chains, SAP S/4HANA's advanced supply chain management features are a game-changer. The system provides real-time visibility into inventory, demand, and supply, enabling businesses to respond rapidly to changes in customer demands and market conditions. With accurate supply chain data at their disposal, organisations can improve inventory management, reduce stockouts, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency.

Improved User Experience

With its modern and intuitive user interface, SAP S/4HANA offers an enhanced user experience that encourages adoption and productivity. The Fiori UI provides a role-based, responsive, and user-friendly interface accessible across different devices. The system's user-centric design ensures that employees can efficiently perform tasks, access relevant information, and collaborate seamlessly, ultimately increasing user satisfaction and productivity.

Seamless Integration with Emerging Technologies

SAP S/4HANA offers seamless integration with emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and Big Data analytics. Leveraging these technologies within the ERP system creates new possibilities for automation, predictive maintenance, and improved customer experience. Integrating these innovative technologies can help businesses unlock new revenue streams and maintain a competitive advantage in the digital era.

Migration Scenarios

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Scenario 1: New Implementation

This is a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA (green field): customers who are migrating from a non-SAP legacy system or from an SAP ERP system and implementing a fresh system that requires an initial data load. In this scenario, the SAP S/4HANA system is implemented, and master and transactional data are migrated from the legacy system; thus, standard data migration tools and content must be used. You retire legacy customisations and work to streamline processes.

Scenario 2: System Conversion

This is a complete conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite system to SAP S/4HANA (lift & shift or brown field): customers who want to change their current SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. This scenario is technically based on Software Update Manager (SUM) with Database Migration Option (DMO) in case the customer is not yet on SAP HANA as the underlying database.

Scenario 3: Landscape Transformation

This is a consolidation of current regional SAP systems into one global SAP S/4HANA system or a split out of different parts of a system: customers who want to consolidate their landscape or carve out selected entities (such as a company code) or processes into a single SAP S/4HANA system. Or it can be S/4HANA to S/4HANA (carve-out), which entails the cloning of the SAP application itself (including the technical repository and the configuration and customising of the system), and second, the migration of all (but only) the application data, which relates to the divested business.

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