The new SAP ERP generation is coming. Are you ready?

Jan Königsmark Aimtec
19. 3. 2019 | 4 minutes reading

Starting in 2025, the new generation of SAP ERP – SAP S/4HANA – will fully replace the current version. The current version, SAP ECC 6.0, will no longer be supported or see further development. What are the options for moving to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA uses the familiar SAP HANA database and the Fiori UI. Its goal is to ease work for both SAP’s users and the computers running it. Among the new system’s key benefits are reduced demands and increased system performance. “S/4” also promises easier deployment, configuration and business processes. And since SAP is an IT leader, S/4 naturally also has things like built-in IoT functionality, Big Data processing and Machine Learning. All this makes SAP S/4HANA a brand-new tool prepared for the future of the enterprise world.

S4/HANA
S/4HANA promises a faster and smaller database and a simplified data model.

Variants for a SAP S/4HANA transition

There are several ways to arrive at the new system. All of them require thorough preparation and process analysis. So you should first when (not whether) you’ll be moving to SAP S/4HANA and how you’ll deploy it at your company. 

Transitioning

Most users of systems from the SAP Business Suite use an on-premise version. SAP S/4HANA takes this into account. It thus lets you simply switch to the new ERP, while keeping your infrastructure. This method is good for companies whose current process status fits with the use of their existing SAP ERP system. The system is converted including its settings and keeps all data, including historical data. 

New deployment

The second method is a full new deployment, during which an enterprise can fully redesign their processes. Open items are converted from the enterprise’s current ERP system (which need not be SAP) into SAP S/4HANA. Here you have the option to choose an on-premise version or a cloud version, or combine them. Historical data is not converted; it can only be accessed over the original system. 

Transforming the whole environment

If you are using multiple SAP Business Suite systems or multiple ERP systems, when switching to SAP S/4HANA, they can all be unified under one global system, again with the option of choosing between the cloud, an on-premise solution or a hybrid environment.

S4/HANA
The options for moving to S/4HANA

What a SAP S/4HANA transition looks like

A SAP S/4HANA switchover is performed in several phases. The first phase is the technical upgrade, during which the actual change of the system to SAP S/4HANA occurs. This is a series of technical steps such as database migration, converting data to the new data model, adjusting one’s customisations, and other operations; a number of support tools have been developed for all of them. The original features are retained thanks to the use of a Compatibility Package.

The technical upgrade can be followed by a gradual move to the new SAP S/4HANA processes and the Fiori UI. This is a form of system re-engineering, during which processes are adapted in S/4. 

We’ve customised our SAP. Should we worry?

No matter whether these are small custom adjustments or entire add-ons like SappyWMS or SappyEMS, there’s no need to worry about the move to SAP S/4HANA. However, in the preparation phase, you must make sure to test and adjust these special aspects in time, so that it all works as it should once the new environment starts up. Our systems are ready for the switch, so when you want to start your SAP S/4HANA transition project, all you have to do is call us.

S4/HANA

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