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Your Roadmap for the SAP S/4HANA Migration

Does the abundance of SAP S/4HANA sources mirror an information jungle on your path to S/4HANA?

With this SAP S/4HANA roadmap for your strategically sustainable S/4HANA migration project, we aim to demonstrate step by step why you should not miss the opportunity to set the stage for an early starting point.

When is, therefore, the right moment for a company like ours to undertake the migration to S/4HANA?

Get warmed up for the sprint

While some have cautiously waited in the past years, leaving the field of future technologies to market leaders, many of our customers are now increasingly recognizing the opportunities presented to them through migrating their SAP ERP systems to the smart, fourth-generation product with SAP HANA as the underlying database technology.

It is a fundamental step for data-driven companies that aim to undergo the transformation into an intelligent enterprise. In times of volatile markets, SAP customers are increasingly challenged to bring more power on the road technologically, in order to meet the demands of a dynamic market environment.

To enable growth and maintain competitiveness, this means aligning the entrepreneurial mindset towards IT, business administration, and the “human factor” with the transformation.

It is crucial, especially for traditionally oriented medium-sized enterprises, to recognize when it is time to break down outdated structures and business processes, bid farewell to obsolete ERP systems, reduce manual time and effort, and reconsider and redesign existing business models. SAP S/4HANA offers significant advantages within your S/4HANA transformation project.

The migration to S/4HANA drives process optimization and consequently leads to:

  • Process acceleration and harmonization through the reduction of manual tasks
  • Increased employee productivity by freeing up time for core business activities
  • New functionalities to support your business case and innovative business models
  • Improved efficiency in reporting and analytics as a driver of innovation

Make your most important decisions now when planning your SAP S/4HANA migration based on the following considerations:

Secure available resources for the project kick-off

Against the backdrop of increasing demand for the implementation of S/4HANA projects among partners, the scarcity of resources in the market will soon be noticeable for customers.

To determine which SAP partner you want to embark on your journey with, we recommend reaching out to service providers you are already familiar with. This is done with the question of which consulting partner possesses extensive S/4HANA expertise and best fits your company and its needs.

Orientation is crucial: For many customers, a full-service approach along the entire S/4HANA lifecycle is a decision criterion to feel fully advised and comprehensively supported.

Questions for positioning

  • Which SAP innovations can drive us forward in terms of our company goals?
  • How should our SAP system evolve with the integration of S/4HANA?
  • Which functionalities of S/4HANA are essential for us to remain competitive?
  • Which new best practices do we want to implement?
  • Under what criteria do we decide between a new implementation and a conversion?

Value-added benefits of valuable SAP solutions in conjunction with your S/4HANA implementation partner:

SAP Signavio assists you in identifying critical processes in advance and modeling them according to your company’s strategy.

SAP Process Discovery provides you with assistance to evaluate your current business process performance. It enables the identification of new functionalities through SAP S/4HANA to strengthen your company goals.

Your SAP partner will gladly advise you on this matter and assist you in determining the solution path. Additionally, through exchanging information, you will find helpful tips as a basis for decision-making. Customers with existing SAP ERP systems are faced with the choice between system reimplementation and system conversion:

Decision-making between system reimplementation and conversion

The choice of approach determines which functionalities and benefits are deployed to differentiate oneself from the competition:

  • Fully automated business processes
  • User experiences based on language, vision, and messaging
  • Insights into new levels of knowledge through the analysis of new data types

It can also be helpful to shed light on the company’s goals for the next 5 to 10 years and decide which innovations and technology drivers will propel the company forward. It is essential to clarify how the development opportunities of the SAP landscape should look with the transformation to the “digital backbone” under SAP S/4HANA.

Another significant factor is the time required for the SAP S/4HANA migration, which depends on the chosen migration approach. The project duration can vary significantly, ranging from several months to several years, depending on the company’s size and migration approach.

According to the latest June edition of Computerwoche, the conversion and hybrid transformation approaches are leading in terms of chosen migration approaches. 40 percent of respondents prefer the Brownfield approach, but the Greenfield implementation is gaining momentum again with 28 percent compared to the previous year. One-third of respondents primarily consider the Bluefield method, i.e., the hybrid scenario.

System reimplementation on a "Greenfield" basis

When choosing the Greenfield approach, SAP customers benefit from the opportunity to review the process landscape and solution architecture as part of the migration. Harmonization, standardization, and heterogeneous system landscapes are often reasons for choosing the Greenfield approach.

Regarding system reimplementation or Greenfield approach, there are two scenarios:

  • Big Bang with simultaneous go-live of all companies
  • Phased introduction with go-live of the parent company and gradual roll-out to other companies

Conversion or "Brownfield"

Companies opting for a conversion are generally satisfied with their SAP system and aim to switch to S/4HANA as quickly as possible.

  • Technical migration with only minor process changes (where necessary)
  • Technical migration is done first and process optimizations are done more after go-live
  • Faster conversion is possible
  • Big Bang is mandatory for all

Whitepaper

S/4HANA Converion Guide

Learn about the most important aspects of a migration to SAP S/4HANA using the brownfield approach. Following a structured approach based on SAP’s Activate method, we guide you through all project phases in the white paper, from project planning to go-live.

Hybrid transformation approach

  • Middle ground between Brownfield and Greenfield approaches
  • Adoption of proven processes and functionalities while still implementing optimization potential
  • Big Bang or phased introduction is possible.
  • An example of this is the Empty-Shell approach

Deepening understanding of the different scenarios is crucial for making the decision on the most suitable approach.

It is also important to consider how you want to handle the new user interface, SAP Fiori. Various strategies are possible:

  • SAP FIORI FIRST
  • SAP GUI FIRST
  • Mix of both strategies

Consider the change

"The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades."

It requires the bundling of all forces towards the project goal and, above all, pulling together in the same direction to successfully manage an SAP S/4HANA project of this magnitude.

In our experience, without change management, project delays occur more frequently due to resource constraints, lack of information flow, or essential collaboration conditions within project phases.

Additionally, if the project focus unexpectedly shifts due to other projects being given higher priority internally, valuable project time is lost. Resources and budgets need to be redefined on both sides.

Many companies overlook how crucial change management tools are as an integral part of their S/4HANA project planning.

It is a significant quality assurance measure with a preventive character that pays off from the beginning, throughout the project, and beyond its completion.

Potential resistance and obstacles within teams, often indicating project failures, can be detected and addressed early on. In addition, underlying fears are uncovered, alleviated, and the position within the organizational structure is strengthened.

Experts work with you to build a project culture that transforms affected individuals into participants: your project members are aligned with the bigger picture and the priority of this transformative major project.

You improve your communication culture and know which information should be shared among project teams to successfully complete the project on schedule and within your time and budget constraints.

Preliminary assessment of the current status through Change Readiness Check

We consider a Change Readiness Check as an essential project component for preliminary assessment.

It is designed as an initial questionnaire-based evaluation followed by analysis and can be conducted with minimal time investment from project members. This examination helps identify project factors that require optimization and determines the necessary adjustments to be made before the project begins.

Interested customers are welcome to reach out to us if needed.

Developing a successful Key User concept

Key users are appointed based on their expertise and experience. However, there may be instances where a key user has been promoted within the hierarchy and can no longer fulfill their role effectively. Alternatively, your key user may have already left the company.

While most of our clients utilize key users, not all of them have a concept that aligns with their specific needs. This can result in a lack of suitable contacts for S/4HANA training and insufficient knowledge among users about the new opportunities available to them.

As a result, the technology may not be utilized to its full potential by the business units as desired.

We assess whether your Key User concept is tailored to your needs and critically evaluate your existing approach.

Contact us!

Tanja Nikolaus
Tanja Nikolaus
Customer Success Manager

Conclusion

The SAP S/4HANA migration is a comprehensive transformation project. It is crucial to consider this in terms of strategic and sustainable project development to ensure a successful implementation.

Take action now! We are ready to support you with your SAP S/4HANA project. Feel free to explore our workshops on this topic as well.

S/4HANA workshop offers

Are you just starting out with S/4HANA? We will give you an initial overview.
You will learn about the innovations in S/4HANA in logistics, accounting and the user interface. In addition, migration scenarios and appropriate project approaches.

Time required: 0,5 days

Read more

You have the task to develop the S/4HANA strategy in your company? We teach you the cornerstones of the S/4HANA implementation.
Effects on business processes, organizations, master data and employees are topics of the workshop as well as migration scenarios and target architectures.

Time required: 1 day

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You have already gained an initial overview, but have further questions on various points? You can put together your own workshop from a modular system of possible in-depth topics. As the workshop is put together individually for you, the required time is not fixed.

Time required: 0,5 – 2 days depending on individual arrangement.

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The S/4HANA implementation “on the greenfield” is already set for your company?
In the workshop, we develop together with you the appropriate roadmap with time and budget planning and address topics such as data transfer, preliminary work, etc.

Time required: 1 – 2 days, depending on individual arrangement.

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You have decided on Conversion as the scenario for your migration? Learn in the workshop how to best approach your SAP S/4HANA conversion project and develop your digital roadmap.

Time required: 0,5 – 2 days depending on individual arrangement.

Read more

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About the author
Tanja Nikolaus
Tanja Nikolaus
I am a Customer Success Manager at PIKON. My focus is on SAP S/4HANA and the support of our customers from the DACH region regarding their legal requirements and intercompany. Furthermore I support transformation projects with a focus on change management.

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