8 Steps for your system conversion to SAP S/4HANA

Paul Smitherman |

There are several approaches to your S/4HANA migration – greenfield, brownfield and selective. Brownfield, or system conversion as it’s more usually called, is by far the most common within the industry and becoming more popular as the tooling support matures.

If you don’t have any major process re-engineering to make to your SAP system then brownfield is usually the recommended route, especially if you want to act quickly.

Here are our 8 steps that will ease your SAP S/4HANA conversion:

  1. Preparation

    To prepare for downloading software you should ensure you have the right people available at the right time for tasks such as directly configuring the tools and ensuring your operating systems and database are at the correct level.
  2. Consider who your dependencies are

    With different SAP systems, interfaces and landscapes coming together for your S/4HANA migration, you need to consider who your dependencies are.
  3. Runbook approach

    From your ERP we’ll make a copy of your production system to prepare for the migration. We fine tune our standard runbook, to establish how much data there is and any issues that need to be resolved. We use our runbook to migrate the SAP landscape and then based on what we have uncovered from the runbook, perform the migration quickly.
  4. Dealing with data inconsistencies

    Data inconsistencies in this process can be expected, especially within financials. We use the runbook approach to revisit the information a few times until we are satisfied with the results.
  5. Attention to custom code

    While standard codes are transferred from one software to another, custom codes are more complex. Even before the conversion begins and as part of the technical assessment we will analyse your custom code and provide advice and costings for adjustments.
  6. A technical and functional focus

    Once you have completed the technical steps you are now effectively running on S/4HANA. But there are still some follow-up actions that require collaboration between the technical and functional consultants which shouldn’t be overlooked in order to ensure correct business use. Once the technical consultants have completed their part of the conversion then the functional consultants should begin the post-conversion configuration steps before releasing the system to the customer for testing.
  7. Testing

    This needs to be thorough and done well! Don’t underestimate this exercise or make shortcuts, otherwise you will pay the price in after go-live change and issue management.
  8. Change management

    Many companies focus on the technical aspects of their S/4HANA migration first followed by the more functional improvements. Depending on how many functional aspects are added there will be a need for change management, even if zero functional changes are done and it’s a purely technical conversion. With large numbers of staff working on your SAP systems you need to manage expectations, giving them understanding of the capability between the old and new system, and provide training and guidance to ensure a successful project.

How long does this process take?

We normally recommend a minimum of 3-4 months for the completed end-to-end project depending on the complexity.

How can we help?

This is a popular conversion approach for your SAP landscape and one that we know extremely well. To ease the process we offer our customers an assessment that enables you to get an idea of your SAP landscape and the impact on your business. It usually takes 15 to 20 days and is a useful exercise as it will answer your questions, provide insight into the recommended project approach and look at your systems architecture and anticipated costs.

Our assessments will ensure your project can be kicked off very quickly. So call us and find out how you can start your S/4HANA conversion.

Discover our S/4HANA Migration Workshop