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SAP S/4 HANA Journey: From Why to How

sap s/4 hana journey datavard why how
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In this short blog I will try to answer some questions about SAP S/4HANA that I usually get on meetings with top level managers and company’s IT architects.

Why do you need to move to SAP S/4HANA?

In general, there is only one main reason for the transition – ‘availability’ of the existing system, which includes system’s technological capabilities to support business needs, business growth, business changes and existing system maintenance duration (check SAP Product Availability Matrix)

Even if you are fine with your system capabilities at this point of time, are you sure that you will have the same feeling after, let’s say half a year? And if your competitors will be on the technology edge, will it make difference to you? Nowadays, market leaders heavily depend on technologies to support their business, so if you miss the boat, it will suffer a serious impact on your performance and competitive advantage.

If you need additional help with building a business case for SAP S/4HANA transition, refer to this SAP web page about ERP and Digital core.

OK, you need it, but where to start from?

Let me guess – you are using your SAP ECC (or R/3) for quite long time, you went through a tough implementation in the past, you have plenty of modifications in the system, like unique business processes and various custom development (WRICEF). Moreover, you are spending time and money for continuous improvements and support of existing functionalities…

If this is your case, and you would like to keep using all features that you have implemented, you need to consider system conversion approach known as ‘Brownfield’, i.e. take the system as it is and convert it to SAP S/4 HANA. In the end-result, you will gain innovation possibilities while your systems functionality will remain the same (to the extent that is feasible).

The first step is a full assessment of your existing system readiness for conversion. You have various options for doing this, e.g. you can use internal team to read through multiple SAP notes and conversion guide, execute SAP Readiness Check (check SNote 2290622), execute additional required reports, consolidate all information and understand what then need to be done and how. Another option – you can sign for SAP Value Assurance Service Package for SAP S/4 HANA and you will receive SAP support for your S/4 project.

To be clear, above-mentioned options are good, but bear in mind that both options require considerable amount of your company’s money and time.

Another option is to turn to a third party and, for example, use Gartner awarded Datavard Fitness TestTM with focus on S/4 Readiness assessment. For more information about this option, you can check our web page or read our blogs about S/4 readiness. To sum it up – with minimal involvement from your side you will get a complete readiness report with detailed descriptions and recommendations, and custom-tailored S/4 transition roadmap.

You have a plan and roadmap, what’s next?

It’s easy – start your journey ASAP. There are plenty of things that you can start doing right now to make your transition much smoother. Just refer to the roadmap and act immediately.

SAP S/4 HANA transition itself – accelerate it!

How long did usual functional upgrades (EHP) of your system take from planning till go-live? Three, six, or more months? Depends on various factors… But in most cases, it is not a heavy and very complicated project.

Did you know that transition to SAP S/4 HANA from your existing system can have the same duration as your previous functional upgrade?  Even better, that it is possible to make transition with near zero downtime of your production system and with minimal business interruption? And imagine that majority of System Landscape Optimization (SLO) features can be done during the transition project (detailed info what is SLO can be found in our webpage).

You might be skeptical about it, but let us convince you by having discussion on your case!

Takeaways or To-do plan:

  1. Build your business case for SAP S/4 HANA transition
  2. Choose your general strategy for implementing S/4 (greenfield, brownfield, SLO)
  3. In the case of brownfield and SLO – make your system S/4 readiness check
  4. Build a transition roadmap
  5. Start laying the groundwork for transition ASAP
  6. Invite trusted SAP partners for executing the transition project

Or just contact Datavard and we will take care about everything and will guide you through this journey.

 

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