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How do you Migrate to SAP S/4HANA

I will focus on how to migrate to a new SAP S/4HANA system, independent of the source environment. I’ll also talk about SAP Best Practices and tools that you can use out of the box – at no cost which is NEW.

When it comes to SAP S/4HANA, there are a lot of options on how to get there. We nailed it down to three so called transition scenarios. Depending on the deployment model (Cloud (SaaS), HEC (IaaS) or On-premise) and maturity level (S/4HANA Finance or full S/4HANA Enterprise Management), the path to a digital future looks more like a labyrinth than a straight line. This is the case, because you may have a lot of requirements to carry over and don’t want to digest too many changes at a time. However, you also might be trapped with too many corridors that you want to try out before you even realize that it means changes to your custom coding as well as changes in how your system works today.

But let’s back up a little bit. I mentioned SAP’s three transition scenarios for SAP S/4HANA:

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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 has to be used.
  • Scenario 2: System Conversion
    This is a complete conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite system to SAP S/4HANA (lift & shift): 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.

Coming back to the labyrinth, scenarios 2 and 3 are a lot like that: it looks simple from afar and really great with all the options and possibilities. However, sometimes you simply can’t make your way through it, especially when the labyrinth is really tricky due to the uber-customized old environment that you might be running on and your non-committal to change.

I guess you’re continually reading this because you want to change to a digital company, and you already got the message that SAP S/4HANA is the future and the answer to those issues arising with the digital world. You simply can’t risk your business with standstill on future IT investments, so you actually want the change. And at least somehow, this change will also involve your UI with new user interfaces (aka Fiori). Change that you need because there was actually a lot of room for improvement in the old ERP transaction world… In addition, it will involve changes in your processes as you actually aim for a simplification here, too.

So why not start fresh? Use a green field approach and implement a clean new SAP S/4HANA system! With this approach, you’ll have the opportunity to take the straight route without being trapped in the labyrinth of your old environment. Below are the tools and the SAP Best Practices content, which will help you in your transformation:

Data Migration to SAP S/4HANA in an on-premise or HEC hosted environment:

SAP Data Services is a key element of SAP’s solutions for Enterprise Information Management (EIM). SAP Data Services provides capabilities for data extraction, transformation, and load (ETL), as well as data quality management, and text data processing. The good news is that you can use the ETL capabilities of SAP Data Services for your SAP S/4HANA system without owning a costly SAP Data Services license (for more information continue reading). But you may consider to acquire that additional license (in case you don’t own it already) to perform data cleansing and de-duplicate your data before the load.

 

Data Migration to SAP S/4HANA offered as a SaaS model Cloud:

For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP offers the built-in S/4HANA Migration Cockpit. This tool is available as part of the built-in Manage Your Solution Fiori application. You can execute data migrations directly out of this application via simple file upload and migrate your non-SAP or SAP legacy data. The data-migration objects are proposed based on the pre-configured business processes that were selected when the system was configured.

 

What will you take with you from your legacy systems into SAP S/4HANA?

Data Quality – you don’t want to just push your existing data problems into a new system, do you? SAP S/4HANA is the core of your digital enterprise, the postmodern ERP system for the information age. Success depends not just on going live with S/4HANA, but with running a real time enterprise where decisions and actions are based on high quality, dependable data. That is why data quality matters.

SAP Data Services has Data Quality capabilities for profiling, cleansing and de-duplication of data. It can even help you feed the migration templates that are used in the S/4HANA Migration Cockpit. Take the opportunity and try it!

Below is a comparison of the free Data Integration capabilities for ETL (aka basic data migration) or full use of SAP Data Services (aka data migration pro):

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Bottom line

This blog post provided an overview on how to migrate to SAP S/4HANA by choosing from 3 transition scenarios, focusing on the New Implementation one. In addition to this, it introduced you to the process of data migration to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise or cloud by using SAP Data Services and SAP’s built in S/4HANA Migration Cockpit.

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