How to migrate to S/4 Hana – SAP Best Practices and Tools

NEW SAP best practices and tools that you can apply right away, for free.

When it comes to SAP S/4HANA, there are a variety of paths to choose. We were able to narrow it down to three possible transition scenarios. The journey to a digital future looks more like a maze than a straight line, depending on the deployment strategy (Cloud (SaaS), HEC (IaaS), or On-premise) and maturity level (S/4HANA Finance or Full S/4HANA Enterprise Management).

But first, let's take a step back. First, let's go over the three SAP S/4HANA transition scenarios:

Scenario 1: New Implementation

This is a new SAP S/4HANA implementation: It's for customers who wish to deploy a new system that requires an initial data load after migrating from a legacy non-SAP or SAP ERP system. Because the SAP S/4HANA system is being built and master and transactional data from the legacy system is being migrated, standard data migration tools and content should be used.

Scenario 2: System Conversion

This is a comprehensive lift and shift conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite system to SAP S/4HANA: Customers who wish to migrate from their present SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. If the customer is not currently using SAP HANA as the underlying database, this scenario is technically based on Software Update Manager (SUM) with Database Migration Option (DMO).

Scenario 3 – Landscape Transformation

SAP System Landscape transformation is either a consolidation of current regional SAP systems into a global SAP S/4HANA system or a splitting of different parts of one system – customers who want to consolidate their landscape or create select entities (such as a company code) or processes in a single SAP S/4HANA system.

Going back to the maze, scenarios 2 and 3 are very similar: it looks simple from afar and really cool with all the options and possibilities. However, sometimes you just can't get through it, especially when the maze is really tricky due to the super custom old environment you might be running in and your lack of commitment to change.

Assuming you're reading this on a regular basis because you want to transform your company into a digital one, and you've already heard that SAP S/4HANA is the way of the future and the solution to the difficulties that arise in the digital world. You can't afford to put your business at risk by deferring future IT investments, so you're eager to make the switch. And, at the very least, this modification will surround your UI in new UIs (aka Fiori). Change is required since the old ERP transaction environment had a lot of space for improvement. It will also necessitate modifications to your procedures, as it hints at a simplification here as well.

Migration of data to SAP S/4HANA in an on-premises or HEC hosted environment:

SAP Data Services is a key element of SAP solutions for Enterprise Information Management (EIM). SAP Data Services provides capabilities for data extraction, transformation, and loading (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 having an expensive SAP Data Services license (for more information, continue reading). But you may consider purchasing that additional license (in case you don't already have it) to perform data cleansing and deduplication of your data before upload.

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

For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP offers the integrated S/4HANA Migration Cockpit. This tool is available as part of the integrated application Manage your Fiori solution. You can run data migrations directly from this app through a simple file upload and migrate your non-SAP or SAP legacy data. The data migration objects are proposed based on the preconfigured business processes that were selected when the system was configured.

While the tools listed above, including best practice content, are available without money, the best way to start fresh is to start with clean, reliable data.

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