Conversion to SAP S/4HANA:  taking a Brownfield approach

Paul Smitherman |

If you’ve spent considerable time and effort continuously improving and configuring your SAP landscape then you are unlikely to want to scrap it and start afresh.

Even so some companies decide on a Greenfield approach where they completely re-engineer their systems. Although this approach can bring many potential benefits such as faster time to innovation, it is a major undertaking and can present a number of change management challenges.

Taking a Brownfield approach to conversion enables you to migrate to S/4HANA by building on your existing SAP environment without re-implementation or disruption to your existing business processes.

S/4HANA Brownfield conversion takes you forward gradually

Although our customers have been happy with their ERP – it met their needs over the years and took time and money to implement – they do not wish to remain static using software that will inevitably cease to be updated or supported.

ERP (SAP ECC 6) is reaching end of maintenance by 2025 and SAP is investing heavily in S/4HANA its new generation ERP that simplifies and digitizes business processes. If you’re starting from an existing SAP solution such as SAP ECC/ERP you can convert to S/4HANA. It is the natural move forward, and it makes sense to do this in the most efficient and modern way.

Start by technically moving your systems onto S/4HANA

We can migrate you to S/4HANA but want you to optimise the impact on your business.

There is a two-tiered approach, one that focuses on the technical/software side and one that is more about the functional side of the migration. Both are important steps and most customers are involved in both approaches.

We recommend firstly moving your system to S/4HANA from a technical and software perspective. Once this is achieved we can delve deeper into the more functional improvements that need to be made to get the most out of the system.

This gradual approach is popular and enables you to build your foundations, control the risk and manage your business processes because you will need to worry initially much less about change management issues with your end users. It also works well with global organisations that have different systems operating across multiple countries.

A large part of the functional improvements will stem from SAP Fiori, the world class consumer-grade interface allowing users to easily interact with their SAP software, and the new standard for the SAP user experience.

Are you ready to take our 5 step approach?

To enable your decision-making for your S/4HANA migration process we offer our customers an assessment to understand 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 5 step approach covers:

  1. Create understanding
  2. Increase your knowledge and understanding of S/4HANA (through workshops and discussion)
  3. Business assessment
  4. Proof of value (optional)
  5. Project proposal

Our advice is don’t delay. Even if you are not thinking about your S/4HANA migration this year or next year, an evaluation process will enable you to plan effectively for the future.

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