Here is part three in our short series of blogs on all things SAP S/4HANA. Our first blog explained what S/4HANA is and why your business would benefit from investing in it, the second outlined how S/4HANA relates to the broader SAP portfolio, the business scope, and considerations when planning your journey to S/4HANA. And here, in the third and final blog in the series, we will outline what your journey to S/4HANA could look like and FAQ’s on upgrading.

The Journey to SAP S/4HANA

What is SAP Activate?

For both new implementations as well as system conversions, SAP Activate methodology gives you the freedom to get up and running quickly and to innovate continuously with S/4HANA. SAP Activate has the following elements:

  • SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA – this provides ready-to-run digitised business and technology processes optimised for S/4HANA. Leveraging SAP’s expertise and experience for standard processes helps deliver predictable results and saves time, so you can focus your efforts on innovation. SAP Best Practices are designed to guide you through the optimal integration and migration scenarios, whether you are moving from a legacy SAP software system or from a third-party database.
  • SAP Activate methodology – SAP’s new software implementation methodology that builds on proven approaches and SAP’s experience to offer a consistent, agile method for any deployment type – cloud, on premise, hybrid, or mobile. It offers support for initial implementation and continuous innovation with S/4HANA.
  • Specifically available for S/4HANA Cloud – guided configuration provides assistance not only throughout the implementation project, but also beyond – while running the solution in a production environment. You can adapt the best-practice pre-configurations delivered by SAP Best Practices – for example, to modify the organisational structure or expand the chart of accounts. Guided configuration is available for S/4HANA Cloud deployments.

What is the typical journey for an existing SAP Business Suite customer?

Moving to an on premise deployment of S/4HANA for a typical SAP ERP 6.x customer from any database can be achieved in a single step that includes a database migration to SAP HANA followed by the installation of the new code. Moving to an on premise deployment of S/4HANA for customers with SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA require only the installation of the new code since the SAP HANA database migration has already been performed. In both cases the existing system is converted into an S/4HANA system, without the need for re-implementing the business processes, and SAP provides concepts and tools for this system conversion. Some customers want to take the opportunity to optimise their processes and reconsider their priorities, so they choose to transition using the “new installation” scenario rather than the “conversion.” This approach may be combined with simplifying the system landscape, a scenario that is described as “landscape transformation.”

What happens to existing modifications when a customer moves to SAP S/4HANA?

In any scenario, the move to SAP S/4HANA is a great opportunity to validate the existing extensions and modifications with the goal of simplifying your solution. It is not unusual for customers to realise that 50% of the extensions and modifications that hamper fast release cycles and require long test cycles are no longer key to running the business. To manage modifications (and custom code in general) that will be sustained, SAP provides a full tool-based approach to identify challenges and give adoption guidance.

What is a compatibility pack for SAP S/4HANA?

A compatibility pack provides customers with a separate usage right for selected SAP Business Suite core applications and related add-on products. The usage right is limited in time and specifies which features and functions are released for SAP S/4HANA. Compatibility packs:

  • Cover functionality from SAP ERP core or line-of-business or industry solutions
  • Comprise the complete or partial scope of the related SAP Business Suite product

The aim of a compatibility pack is to allow business continuity with SAP S/4HANA: customers can use the compatibility in SAP S/4HANA while SAP may be developing comparable business functionality for SAP S/4HANA in parallel. Compatibility packs apply only to on premise licensing of SAP S/4HANA; cloud licensing models follow different patterns. The right to use a compatibility pack is restricted in time. They expire at the date given in the SAP S/4HANA Compatibility Scope Matrix.

What happens to existing legacy interfaces if a customer moves to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA currently supports most of the existing published legacy interfaces when deployed on premise. The limitations are due to data model simplifications to optimise the solution for SAP HANA and are described, together with functional changes and business impacts, in the “Simplification List,” which is guiding the SAP S/4HANA releases and is available in the SAP Help for S/4HANA (on premise).

Can a customer choose to run the traditional SAP user interface and custom screens or is SAP Fiori mandatory?

The SAP Fiori Launchpad is the central entry point to S/4HANA for all users. The award-winning SAP Fiori UX is a significant attribute of S/4HANA. It includes modern UX paradigms supporting intent-based navigation by being service-like, intuitive, and Internet-like. With respect to SAP GUI usage, S/4HANA offers different options depending on deployment model. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is accessible through the Web browser and no local client is required to access it; each user’s access is managed by the SAP Fiori Launchpad. The user can launch or display SAP Fiori apps, SAP GUI for HTML, and Web Dynpro applications using the SAP Fiori Launchpad. SAP S/4HANA deployed on premise follows the same cloud principles as SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

What is the pricing model for SAP S/4HANA?

For the on premise version, SAP Business Suite customers need to purchase the SAP S/4HANA foundation license to run the new SAP S/4HANA code line. For the SAP cloud version, the pricing model is subscription-based. G3G offer the flexibility of an on-premise model supplemented by the affordability of a subscription model in our own private cloud. Please get in contact for more information on pricing.