In 2015, SAP promoted the launch for SAP S/4HANA – the next generation ERP solution available in multi-lingual configurations. SAP S/4HANA changed the traditional ERP system since then. It gives you the ability to digitize your business and simplify processing.
As SAP keeps improving and evolving its products, it can get challenging to adopt new technologies for new customers. Common reasons for reluctance in moving to SAP S/4HANA are:
- Deployment and license cost
- Resource constraints
- Lack of skills or knowledge
- Fear of business disruption
- Complicated migration path
- Lack of install base or system readiness etc.
If you are thinking whether it is time to move to SAP S/4HANA, there are six important points to consider before your project starts. In this blog, we are sharing with you six lessons learnt from our experiences during an implementation of SAP S/4HANA for new customers.
1. Clear strategy
Every project has to start with a clear strategy, especially when you decide to adopt the newest SAP technologies. Define, plan and build your strategy aligning it with business goals.
The three approaches in moving a company to SAP S/4HANA:
- New implementation (greenfield approach) – for customers who are new to SAP ERP or companies who want to re-implement their SAP core solution.
- System conversion (brownfield approach) – for existing SAP customers who want to upgrade their current system to the latest SAP S/4HANA solution.
- Landscape transformation (hybrid/phased approach) – for companies who want to consolidate their current regional SAP Business Suite landscape into one global SAP S/4HANA system.
Lesson: Build a clear strategy from the beginning following the approach that suits for you. Create a business-aligned road-map, plan time and resources for all activities so that you minimize risks and business downtimes.
2. SAP best practice activation
SAP delivers a series of best practices for moving to SAP S/4HANA that you can activate and use as a reference for a variety of scopes. These best practices recommend you the appropriate process flow, configuration steps, and standard test script. Once you identify your scopes, the best practice activation helps you ease the implementation process.
Lesson: The key to a successful project is to define the scopes. Focus on the best practice scenarios available within SAP S/4HANA as the base of the solution to avoid common errors. Use newly available tools to quickly configure the system.
3. Exploration of SAP S/4HANA functionality
Ensure all your current business processes are already covered by new product functionality on the new suite. There is a road-map for SAP S/4HANA to include all ECC functions or even other solutions that are already or will be included on core suite.
Lesson: Explore SAP S/4HANA simplification list and SAP help thoroughly to check for functionality on each version. Choose the deployment type: on-premise or on-cloud editions. If you prefer a cloud solution, then choose between public and private cloud models. For on-premise edition, you will get upgrades once a year and for cloud edition every three months.
4. IT architecture
One of the advantages of SAP technologies is the constant updates made to ensure that SAP products are constantly evolving. At the same time, fresh releases are not disruptive for businesses. Plan and stick to the standard upgrade definitions before starting SAP S/4HANA implementation or conversion. Install and activate all required components to eliminate system errors.
Lesson: To avoid system failures generated by upgrades, keep checking for periodic updates on system components and plan upgrading in advance.
5. Pre-checks of data
Transitioning big amount of data to a new ERP system is always an issue. Loading data that is no longer in use will be wasting time and money. It’s essential to pre-check your database and clean up all the outdated information before moving to SAP S/4HANA system.
Lesson: Ensure the right amount of accurate data for a successful project. Use the LSMW tools to extract data from Excel sheets.
6. Change management
Change Management aligns all your project team to embrace changes and innovations of your company. It is must for any transformation process, especially transition to SAP S/4HANA. A successful project requires an experienced team who is willing to adopt changes and is focused on the main goal.
Lesson: Clarify objectives and participation for all business roles during the project. Ensure communication, coordination and integration between the different work areas for a better understanding of the transition statement. Change management will help you achieve your goals faster and easier.
SAP S/4HANA is transforming businesses. Take these 6 points into consideration to be a part of the digital economy. Don’t be afraid or reluctant to adopt new technologies but look forward for a good strategy and gain an advantage over your competitors.
Savantis team is always glad to help you start the digital transformation of your enterprise. We will support you throughout your journey to SAP S/4HANA in order to align your project with SAP best practices and methodology. Let’s get started now.