A guide for every existing SAP customer.
Organizations that seek to stay competitive in the digital era of enterprises have to ensure that they are dexterous and innovative. With constantly increasing demands on current IT systems, it is crucial that you are paving the path for newer, more robust solutions to take their place in your company. As daunting as the process of a system conversion is, this is still an important transition to make.
A system conversion involves a complete conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite system or SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA.
While installing a new system is a clean and fairly easy start, a system conversion is not as simple. There are several critical complications that you may encounter due to customized legacy environments currently in operation.
However, since this conversion is bound to create a simplified environment and generate tremendous possibilities, don’t let the complexities faze you.
Stages of conversion
The conversion of the system includes stages of preparation and implementation. Starting from the prepare phase of the conversion process, you need to get an idea of the project steps, the necessary preparations and system requirements.
You need to know system requirements, start releases, conversion paths, and data volume. To plan and define necessary project steps use
- The Roadmap Viewer and SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA.
- SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA.
The sequence listed below discloses the conversion process:
1. Maintenance Planner
To start the conversion process run Maintenance Planner tool. The Maintenance Planner checks the organization’s business functions, industry solutions and IT system add-ons to ensure compatibility with SAP S/4HANA, and creates a stack file that is used for the conversion process (done by the Software Update Manager tool). For sandbox system conversions, you can create an exception to continue the conversion of the system without an add-on release.
2. Simplification Item Catalog
For successful conversion, you need to configure IT systems to meet the SAP S/4HANA infrastructure requirements during system conversion. At the functional level, the simplifications list contains a detailed description of how SAP S/4HANA will affect the individual transactions and functions of the SAP ERP system solution. In order to get a summary of the possible settings, the “readiness check” for SAP S/4HANA should be performed as early as possible. These preliminary measures can then be analyzed amid operation if necessary.
3. Review the Customer Codes
The simplification of the data model is one of the most essential preparation to migrate to SAP S/4HANA. SAP provides compatibility views for tables that are no longer required when migrating to SAP S/4HANA. A list has been created showing the trusted client code and indicating any code that needs to be changed to make it compatible with S/4HANA.
4. Simplification Item-Check
These checks identify important steps that need to be taken to ensure that your system can be technically be converted and that your business processes can start right after the conversion process was completed.
5. Cross-application preparation activities
Except for the preparation steps above you may need to do some other manual cross-application activities.
6. Application-specific preparation activities
Besides cross products, application-specific preparatory steps may be also required to do. Preliminary checks and custom code checks provide only some part of the documentation for these steps.
After you complete the steps in the preparation phase, you continue the implementation phase:
1. Software Update Manager (SUM)
When you have terminated the above sequence and implemented all the required actions and the system and your custom code are suitable for SAP S/4HANA, then you run the Software Update Manager. The SUM implements migration of data (if required), update of the actual system, and conversion of the database.
2. Cross-application follow-on activities
Check whether you need other types of cross-application activities.
3. Application-specific follow-on activities
In addition to the cross-application follow-on activities, you may also need to do application-specific manual steps.
These steps and their documentation are provided by preliminary checks and the custom code checks, which provide a list of simplification elements relevant to your specific systems.
Proper allocation of resources and intensive testing are key to the success of the successful SAP S/4HANA conversion. The above steps will help you create a comprehensive pre-conversion plan. Make sure that you have set sufficient time for all activities in planning your project.
Savantis is an experienced team of experts working with SAP ERP customers, prepared the following article to guide customers be aware what to do before implementing S/4HANA.
If you are still not sure about your enterprise’s readiness to upgrade to SAP S/4HANA, Savantis can help you. We have made many customers, partners, and colleagues happy in their journey to SAP S/4HANA and helped their conversion projects successful and smooth. Right project setup and planning are the secret to your success. Schedule a call with one of our experts now.