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How to prepare for a S/4HANA migration project?

Last updated : July 25, 2023
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How to prepare for a S/4HANA migration project?

In the first part of this series, we looked at the reasons to migrate or not to migrate to SAP S/4HANA and the benefits of doing an Assessment. In the second part, we reviewed what alternatives there are to migrate. The following article is designed for those IT leaders of companies that do not know how to start or how to prepare for a migration to S/4HANA. We also want to tell you that Novis is running an assessment of your SAP ERP system called Assessment PTS (Path to S4).

How to get started?

We know that sooner or later all clients with SAP ERP will have to migrate to SAP S/4HANA ®, either in the short or medium term. However, the decision to go to S/4HANA is not trivial and has many variables to be analyzed, there are different motivations why companies want to migrate and, therefore, in this information entropy, we believe it is important to “put the ball on the floor” and deliver some relevant points to keep in mind to prepare for this challenge. In fact, every IT leader should keep in mind the following:

  • You must start by assessing what are the motivations, why go to S/4HANA? Is there a digital transformation driver in the company that motivates? Is it time to redesign the processes?
  • Question data health, how are the records of the accounting assistants, it is difficult to execute a migration if there are inconsistencies, it is essential to analyze the quality of the database; this is one of the most important variables that define the decision of the PTS (Path to S4).
  • Analyzing the size of the database is also relevant, is there the cost capacity to support a change to the new database? Will it be possible to run some archiving process to reduce the database before jumping to S/4HANA?
  • One of the most relevant changes in S/4HANA is the master of clients, suppliers, and partners of the operation; S/4HANA centralizes all partners in Business Partners and, therefore, there is a very important work in this point. Our experience with migration projects tells us that this has been a big headache and often the cause of their freezing.
  • A project team that includes SAP experts, IT managers and representatives from key areas of the company must be established to make decisions. This is because there are functionalities that will cease to operate, others that are maintained and, therefore, there will be applications that need to be corrected, while others will have to be adjusted to the standard proposed by S/4HANA. Finally, others may not be relevant for the migration, but they must be in the implementation pipeline ex post this project.
    • Regarding the developments, will they take the whole universe of “zetas”? Can a “fit to standard” be made? Are the integrations aligned with the standard and the current protocolization? In short, it is necessary to look at the “custom code” and to stress the variables for which they exist.
  • Organize workshops and briefings to educate members of the organization about the benefits and changes associated with SAP S/4HANA and prepare them for it.
    • It may be useful to look for a technology partner to provide guidance on these benefits, there are several functionalities and recommendations.

Companies that migrate to SAP S/4HANA generally carry out a survey of current processes and ask themselves, with procedure in hand, which ones can be redesigned, how to improve, thinking about reducing the administrative burden, aligning with the strategic objectives of the digital transformation and promoting the use of tools that, at the end of the day, improve management, operation and, above all, the quality of life of employees.

The change or challenge of having S/4HANA, and the promise of a tool that allows “real time” management, also makes it essential to rethink processes.

In summary, there are many variables that define the polynomial that delivers the best way to go to S/4HANA; from the above, it is important to have a consultancy and execute an Assessment with a technological partner, because it requires multifunctional and technical analysis to make the decision.

In Novis we have created an assessment service for migration to SAP S/4HANA, the Assessment PTS (Path To SAP S/4HANA), with which, in a short period of time, you can have the necessary information to make the best decision.

We use several tools that facilitate diagnosis and preparation: SAP Readiness Check (1) and ATC (Abap Test cockpit), among others.

Our Assessment PTS is based on a well-defined project methodology, with activities distributed in the 11 domains that impact migration. In each of these, the activities are supported by tools that apply to specific domains, such as roles and profiles or ABAP code.

The deliverables of this service are the following:

  • Project strategy recommendation.
  • Detail of the necessary simplifications.
  • Estimation of project efforts.
  • Detail of Add-ons and business functions compatibility.
  • General Z code status.
  • General data status.
  • Infrastructure architecture and sizing.
  • Status of business partners.
  • Status of interfaces.
  • Conclusions, recommendations, and executive summary.

From this service, it is possible to make decisions based on a scientific analysis of the system, to evaluate a migration strategy and, from there, to budget and plan a project of this type.

For more information on this and other of our services we invite you to contact us.

Feedback/discussion with the author Luis Sasmay, SAP Pre-Sales Consultant Novis.

(1) SAP’s Readiness Check tool is a set of reports that are run on the system to be migrated, providing valuable information about the system status, incompatibilities with S/4HANA, infrastructure sizing, custom ABAP code (Z), etc.

SNP’s CrystalBridge is useful both in the diagnostic stage and during the migration itself, as it allows the migration to be carried out with the Bluefield strategy or selective data migration.