Mapping Your Journey to SAP S/4 HANA

Mapping Your Journey to SAP S/4 HANA

I would like to bring your attention to a fantastic document that is an essential read for anyone thinking about embarking on their SAP S/4 HANA journey.

This practical guide for senior IT leadership was created by SAP in collaboration with Americas’ SAP User Group (ASUG) and the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG).

“This is a ‘must-read’ document for customers exploring the migration to SAP S/4 HANA…..the ERP of yesteryear simply cannot keep pace. It is time to move forward to the next generation of ERP – SAP S/4 HANA”.

“It addresses many of the questions SAP customers face when planning their SAP S/4 HANA transformation projects”.

The target audience is executives, project managers, decision-makers, and senior IT leadership.

The goal of the guide is to help its readers find their way to the new digital core and shape their strategy by:

  • Identifying the strategic choices and understanding the trade-offs.
  • Knowing the right questions to ask your project teams.
  • Understanding the essential tools that SAP provides – and continuously improves – for both new implementations and conversions.

The guide is divided into three parts:

Part 1 – Strategic choices.

Part 2 – Ingredients for project success.

Part 3 – Essential tools.

Part One – Strategic Choices

Part one is dedicated to the key decisions to be made when planning your approach to your SAP S/4 HANA transition. The way the SAP S/4 HANA program is planned and executed will substantially influence an organisations ability to adopt next-generation business processes and use the new capabilities of SAP products.

It discusses topics like how to choose between new implementation or conversion. There are eight main considerations that determine the choice for new implementation or conversion. Not all of them may be equally important in every case. However, they help you understand the essential trade-offs.

SAP Model Company services as a baseline for system design and helps to establish a fit-to-standard and clean-core-by-design mind-set. The benefits are discussed and explained in detail.

After a conversion, you have to plan for an innovation phase – you have to continue on this path to leverage the new functionality to the full extent and thus bring the innovations to your company.

Deployment options – do you deploy on premise, hybrid, in the cloud, and, what other options follow on from this? Deployment options are compared and explained and reasons for opting for each are discussed. If these are some of the questions you have been looking for answers to then this document is a must read!

Every project needs to develop a risk mitigation strategy. There are recommended steps that will guide you on this topic.

It highlights, and provides metrics, to show the benefits of using SAP Model Company for both new implementation and conversion projects.

Part Two – Ingredients for Project Success

Part two covers the pivotal elements of a successful project setup and discusses the tasks you shouldn’t leave to chance. It goes in depth to the specifics of conversions and new implementations. It explores how to bridge the digital skills gap in your organisation.

One of the key success factors for your project is transparency in both functional and technical architecture – this document highlights five key tasks to ensure architectural due diligence.

Part two also discusses how to create an exceptionally cost-efficient model for operational reporting using embedded analytics.

SAP Fiori is not just the user interface for SAP S/4 HANA, this guide explores how SAP Fiori can unlock the potential of key innovations in SAP S/4 HANA e.g. enterprise search and SAP CoPilot.

Highlighting that ABAP has seen a tremendous evolution over the past decade, it is recommended to set up an ABAP technology boot camp as a first step to harness the latest technologies.

The guide suggests using SAP Cloud Platform to create minimum viable products and proof-of-concept apps for your business quickly and then connecting these “playground” accounts to the systems with test data which will help convince the business more than anything else. Links are provided to show you what other customers have done with SAP Cloud Platform.

As some of you might be familiar that from the 1990’s, the acronym RICEFW stands for “Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Extensions, Forms, and Workflows. Regardless of the transition scenario, these need to be managed meticulously, neglecting it will most certainly result in a failure of the first integration test.

Various scenarios are highlighted and explained with regard to the transition from the accounts approach to the ledger approach for parallel accounting with the new G/L functionality.

The guide explores how to use tools like SAP Software Update Manager, “Custom Code Migration” SAP Fiori app and ABAP test cockpit (ATC) to get a baseline plan.

According to SAP records, 3 out of 5 SAP ERP systems have third party add-ons. In this document SAP have offered guidance on the questions that should be asked to ensure smooth integration.

It discusses timelines for using SAP Readiness Check and suggests using the transition as an opportunity to clean up your system and custom code and warning that as tempting as a custom code ‘lift-and-shift’ policy is, SAP does not recommend it and provides an array of reasons as to why not.

Although every project is unique, this document has captured the factors that influence the duration of a typical project and presents them to the user for review.

Part Three – Essential Tools

Part three provides you with the most essential technology knowledge. It is intended for technology-savvy IT leaders who want to understand the most influential technology aspects for successful project planning and execution, such as system readiness, downtime, custom code adaptation, and data loading. SAP continuously invests in tools for both new implementations and system conversions to reduce complexity, increase automation, and make the tools easier to use. A variety of tools are explored and their usage explained.

The SAP Readiness check and the topic of custom code is addressed in further detail, continuing on from part two.

Available downtime services are discussed, including the near-zero downtime technology (NZDT) and Software Update manager is promoted along with other specialized tools as the tool that technically converts an SAP ERP system into an SAP S/4 HANA system.

A large portion of part three is dedicated to data migrations and identifies the tools that have replaced SAP’s legacy system migration work-bench and also briefly mentions a tool being piloted by the SAP customer care program to enable direct transfer of data from SAP source systems.

It talks about SAP cloud platform integration and integration adviser and explores how the integration adviser generates proposals for interfaces and mappings tailored for a specific industry, country, and business context – ultimately saving the most labor-intensive part of integration projects.

The final topic discussed in this must read document is SAP Solution – the numerous tools to support individual project tasks are listed and elaborated on and it is highlighted that Using a tool with guided project procedures decreases the risk of deployment failures, enables a real-time status view of all project activities, and helps to keep a centralized source of truth for business processes and documentations.

SAP S/4 HANA provides companies with break-through technology However, this is of little benefit if a company uses a 2020 system to run its business processes in the same fashion as in the 1990’s. With SAP S/4 HANA performance isn’t all about doing the same things faster, learn how to exploit this cutting edge technology to the utmost. This document asks thought provoking questions to help you ‘re-think’ those processes that matter most for addressing today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities with flexibility, speed, and insight.

This guide is loaded with useful links if you would like to fully engage on particular topics. It contains many metrics from trusted sources which are identified in the text and assists you in understanding the function and scope of the most innovative tools that SAP offers.

Read More: SAP S/4HANA Sales Certification

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