Complete Breakdown of the SAP S/4HANA Migration

Complete Breakdown of the SAP S/4HANA Migration

Mar 21, 2024
4 minutes

Migration refers to the act of transferring a database from one platform to another. Similarly, SAP S/4HANA migration refers to the switch between an existing SAP or non-SAP ERP platform to the latest ERP platform offered by SAP, namely SAP S/4 HANA.

Today, no matter the type of your ecosystem, you can easily switch from a non-SAP ecosystem to the latest SAP S/4HANA platform, thanks to the multiple schemes offered by the developer. Equipped with the best-in-class in-memory database designed over the HANA platform, the different approaches to SAP S/4HANA give you a top spot, either ahead or at par with your competition.

Now, if you’re one such user who has been thinking of reasons to migrate to the latest edition of the cloud ERP, here are a few reasons to help you get started:

Reasons to Switch to the SAP S/4HANA Platform

  • 2025 deadline: SAP has revealed that it will no longer provide any support to the earlier versions of the SAP ERPs by the year 2025. While it might seem that 2025 is a lot of time, the complexity of the migration process is topping as a significant stress on businesses that are still willing to upgrade to the latest SAP S/4HANA platform.
  • Future-proof your business: Another important reason for migrating to SAP S/4HANA is to future-proof one’s business. SAP S/4HANA is such a solution that although its migration process is a bit complex, it is straightforward to use. There are no other ERP platforms that are as easy to use as SAP S/4 HANA, its user interface is straightforward to understand, and with little training, anyone can use those. The latest update plans also help the users greatly as earlier new functionalities had to be manually switched by in-house teams, and now, due to its cloud integration, new features are automatically updated every quarter.
  • Simplified business process: SAP has been able to hugely simplify the SAP Business Suite data model. In its current update, the ERP specialist has reduced several table types from the data model due to the impact of the in-memory SAP platform. This has not only led to simplification but has also resulted in making the SAP S/4HANA platform faster.

What are the Different Migration Methods?

According to experts, there is no one way that is the best for migrating to SAP S/4 HANA. The migration process mainly depends on the system readiness and the stage of migration, the organization is currently at. While some might prefer to start by implementing the Greenfield approach, others might want to start by making a complete system conversion known or the Brownfield approach.

On the other hand, some might want to start by only migrating the currently used system landscape to SAP S/4HANA landscape transformation by using the Bluefield or Hybrid approach. Each of the three mentioned methods has its challenges, and it is up to the user; the challenges in each process are mentioned below:

Greenfield Approach

This approach needs the user to start everything from the ground up, and as a result, it is a very lengthy, tiring, and time-consuming process. And since SAP S/4HANA is already a complicated process, adopting this will only increase the time requirement. And as most companies are in a hurry to convert before 2025, choosing this might not be a wise choice.

However, the only benefit of this process is that it gives complete freedom to the developer to make the system from scratch and thus use the exclusive benefits provided by the SAP S/4HANA platform. It will be time-consuming but, if done correctly, can help in providing a massive edge to the company’s data management and ERP system.

Brownfield Approach

Considering all the negative aspects of the greenfield method, this is SAP's recommended way of migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA as it will ensure that the investment is still present in the current system. This is mostly a conversion of just the technical system, and the other things remain the same and are preferable for those who do not want to change the current business processes.

Bluefield Approach

The Bluefield transformation or landscape conversion technique is a little different from the two earlier-mentioned ways. It focuses not on complete transformation or migration but rather on transferring parts of the business process as per the user’s requirements. Using SAP’s landscape migration, one can either migrate parts of the business process to the SAP S/4HANA or put those into one global system.

With the help of this, customers can easily select the most important process, and this process will provide you with the best and fastest ROI to be migrated to SAP S/4 HANA.

Takeaway Tip

Depending on its situation, organizations should make the desired Greenfield, Bluefield, or Brownfield migration approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP?

SAP S/4HANA is the successor to SAP ERP, offering real-time data processing and a simplified data model for improved efficiency.

What are the benefits of SAP S/4HANA over previous versions?

Benefits of SAP S/4HANA include faster data processing, improved decision-making through real-time analytics, and reduced complexity through streamlined processes.

How long does an SAP S/4HANA migration take?

The time for an SAP S/4HANA migration varies depending on the complexity of the system, but it can take several months to a few years.

What are the potential risks and challenges of SAP S/4HANA migration?

Risks and challenges of SAP S/4HANA migration include data loss, system downtime, and compatibility issues with existing software and hardware.

How much does SAP S/4HANA migration cost?

The cost of SAP S/4HANA migration varies depending on factors such as system complexity, customization, and professional service fees.

Can I perform SAP S/4HANA migration myself or do I need professional assistance?

Professional assistance is recommended for SAP S/4HANA migration, as it involves complex technical and business considerations.

In Conclusion

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA is something every company is trying to do at this moment as the SAP ECC platform will be becoming obsolete in 2025. SAP has defined three ways of migrating to the all-new SAP S/4HANA platform, which will also be provided with cloud integration and quarterly updates.

All the steps are efficient in one way or another, but that depends on the user’s intentions. Remember, your SAP consulting company plays a significant role in aiding your migration, the right company is half the problems solved.