What you need to know before migrating to SAP S/4 HANA
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SAP S/4HANA or SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA is the fourth version of the SAP Business Suite, which runs exclusively on SAP HANA. Built using SAP’s flagship in-memory database technology, HANA, the tool enables the processing of massive amounts of real-time data in a short period, making it indispensable for most business organizations.
Why Migrate to S/4 HANA
Compared to the previous versions of SAP HANA, S/4 HANA is much faster, intelligent, and user-friendly. Hailed as a “long-term strategic solution by SAP,” the company expects all its customers to move to S/4 HANA by 2030. In fact, it plans to offer mainstream maintenance of SAP Business Suite on other databases only until the end of 2030.
Factually speaking, migrating to S/4 HANA is inevitable eventually, though it does offer a lot of promise in terms of process optimization and leveraging real-time data for business analytics. However, the migration to S/4 HANA isn’t quite as simple and could take between a few months to a couple of years for most firms.
Some of the biggest challenges we identified include:
- Identifying, upgrading, or replacing legacy applications that are not compatible with S/4 HANA. It stems from the fact that S/4HANA runs solely on the SAP HANA database, unlike the previous versions of SAP ERP software that could run on a variety of databases, including Oracle.
- Comparing the cost and benefits of moving to a new ERP solution and how this change will impact your critical business processes, staff, and end-users.
- Analyzing the overall system, interfaces, and programs to determine how and what all to migrate.
In spite of these minor obstacles, Gartner predicts “a tsunami of S/4HANA adoption between 2021 and 2023”, which points in the direction of the over-riding benefits of S/4 HANA adoption for enterprises. Gartner also adds that a minimum of 35% of SAP ERP clients would be running on one or more functional modules of SAP S/4 HANA by 2020.
Yes, despite the challenges to adoption we listed above, the benefits in terms of extended functionality and agility offered by S/4 HANA can turn around your business by accelerating the sales cycle and improving operational efficiency. One of our clients, a leading biotechnology research firm, reported an acceleration of over 2X in 70% of their business-critical transactions after S/4HANA migration. They also confirmed improved user experience through Fiori Adoption.
Based on our experience, third-party research and the results obtained by our clients, we have captured some key benefits of S/4 HANA migration that existing SAP clients must consider:
- S/4 HANA has been designed to function as more than just a database. Instead, the ERP system intelligently connects various applications and processes to enable digital analytics and offer clients real-time insights into their business.
- Another benefit is the hybrid transactional/analytical processing (HTAP) architecture that allows S/4 HANA to run high-speed transactions in parallel with advanced analytics.
- S/4HANA runs exclusively on SAP’s flagship in-memory computing database, which is SAP HANA, unlike the previous versions that were compatible with other databases. S/4HANA will accelerate the speed of various functions, leading to higher business productivity and better customer service using real-time data.
- S/4 HANA offers a revamped user interface that can be accessed with a web browser without any desktop application. The tool also makes for better customer experience owing to the new Fiori UX for SAP software and applications. Fiori, a web-based interface, replaces SAP GUI and is designed on the basis of user feedback.
Building a Future-Ready Organization
In light of SAP’s efforts to move all its existing clients to S/4 HANA by 2030, it is our aim at Zensar to create future-ready systems for our clients that wish to migrate to SAP HANA. We recently worked with a leader in the life sciences industry, to facilitate their migration to SAP HANA to achieve process simplification and enable real-time data analytics for better business and customer insights.
We leveraged SAP and Zensar HANA migration tools to identify and correct mandatory fixes and codes in less than four weeks to integrate SAP HANA as the future platform for the client’s SAP landscape. While the client went live with a traditional SAP solution, we ensured that the platform is ready for future functionalities, such as S/4HANA, Fiori, HANA live reporting, etc., so that the client can upgrade at any time without any additional effort or rewriting of code.
To Be or Not to Be
Well, the decision of sticking with a traditional SAP ERP solution or upgrading to S/4HANA requires serious contemplation. However, there is no denying the fact that S/4 HANA holds power to revolutionize business management software and make your operations smoother, seamless, efficient, and more agile – a requirement to succeed in today’s competitive landscape.
You can always get in touch with us to know more about S/4 HANA and whether your organization is ready for HANA migration.