Jeanette Mifsud, Whinshuttle
Late 2018, SAP announced that just 2,100 of its customers were live with S/4 Hana. With just five years to go until SAP ceases to support its current ECC, there’s still a long journey ahead for users looking to transition to the next generation platform. Five years may seem a long time, but not in SAP terms.
A survey out by Americas’ SAP User Group (ASUG) showed that 56 percent are planning to make the move to S/4 Hana but haven’t even started the process yet. 32 percent have made a start or are already live, while 12 percent aren’t planning to switch at all.
The UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) painted a not dissimilar picture, with 52 percent planning to migrate within the next 1-2 years, 38 percent in the next 3-5 years; only 9 percent are in the process of doing so, and just 2 percent are actually live.
Migrating to any new platform is a massive undertaking. Time, lack of resources and focus on other IT priorities are just some of the reasons that many organisations aren’t as advanced with the state of their migration to S/4 Hana as they’d hoped to be.
Additionally, there are a host of other concerns shared by enterprise IT and SAP teams. Many have very complex legacy ERP landscapes to navigate. Also, a common issue is that these existing legacy systems hold poor quality master data, which ideally needs to be cleansed before the migration can begin. Others are also still working on a justifiable business case to make the move.
Light at the end of the S/4 Hana tunnel
The complexity of a move to S/4 Hana also isn’t helping with business migration plans. Although there are several functional commonalities between ECC and S/4 Hana, the transition cannot be considered a simple upgrade. In some areas, it will require significant changes in both business processes and functionality and requires detailed planning and change management.
The move can be complicated even further if your organisation is trying to migrate from SAP and non-SAP ERP systems to the new platform, as one of Winshuttle’s customers discovered.
Scientific Drilling on its way to S/4 Hana
Scientific Drilling is an independent service provider of navigation and drilling solutions to all energy sectors globally.
The company faced a challenging migration to S/4 Hana having ERP data in multiple homegrown systems as well as in ECC. Initially the company used SAP’s LSMW migration tool but had only succeeded in transferring material master data from one of the 108 manufacturing plants. The IT team at Scientific Drilling then evaluated the SAP Data Services tool but felt it would not meet their needs given that their cutover deadline was in four months.
The company chose a Microsoft Excel-based SAP data management software solution that supports both ECC and S/4 Hana and doesn’t require technical programming skills. The team was able to quickly create data migration scripts for any part of the business, making any modifications needed along the way in moments. This speed and ease of use meant that the team was able to meet the tight cutover deadline while cleaning up data in the process.
Imperial Logistics’ transition journey
Imperial Logistics International is another organisation that used a Microsoft Excel-based SAP data management software solution to speed up their transition to S/4 Hana. The accounting team needed to migrate finance data from their ECC system to S/4 Hana for thirty subsidiaries. The team first piloted another solution with external consultants, but after taking six weeks to build and test scripts for just four of the thirty companies it became clear that they needed to move faster.
Five months after initial product training, the accounting team was able to successfully migrate their finance data to S/4 Hana for all thirty subsidiaries without the need for external consultants.
As was the case with Scientific Drilling, the accounting team was also able to improve the quality of their financial data during the migration process.
The challenges of migrating to S/4 Hana, the looming deadline and the scale of task don’t have to be overwhelming, even for the largest organisations. With the right SAP data management solutions, IT teams can empower people in the business to clean up and migrate their data into S/4 Hana without risk to data security or governance.