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SAP Activate – A new implementation approach for a new tool S/4 HANA Digital Core

In a digital world economy, Tools and Technology are changing at an accelerated phase and customers are looking for a faster implementation with a quick return on investment. If we go back to earlier years,  for any product, the next release used to take some time such as one to two years and also the delta used to be minimum. But with technology disruption, the version releases are happening at faster pace with a major additions which is driving clients to execute implementations in a shorter period with an intermediate results instead of waiting till the last phase. The existing implementation methodology of SAP (ASAP methodology)  or system integrators methodologies need to be re-visited to take care of new approaches to enable business on Cloud, on-premises or in a Hybrid environment.

SAP has come up with a new methodology called “Activate” in place of ASAP methodology for any new implementation, system conversion or for a landscape transformation to SAP S/4 HANA.

SAP Activate framework  is based on agile methodology with an embedded best practices and with a guided configuration which will help in less implementation cycle time with a streamlined project life cycle of four phases.


The methodology is divided into four phases as compared to earlier five phases ASAP methodology.

Prepare:  The prepare phase tasks are more or less similar to earlier one which primarily focusses on project governance procedures,

Explore: This blueprint print phase of earlier has been replaced with Explore phase which primarily focus on conducting  Fit/Gap workshops to explain S/4 HANA Enterprise management functionality and to assess the gaps.  In this process, the business scenarios will be divided into sprints, design sprint plans and show the standard process scenario demos using best practices, proof of concepts  for each sprint, identify the gaps and close the gaps.

Realize: Like ASAP methodology, configure and build system for the business scenarios/processes in an incremental way by executing build, test for each sprint instead of doing it for all processes at a time. This way, the client team needs not wait till the end to see the result.

Deploy: Prepare S/4 HANA to move to production environment by performing cut-over activities in production environment and support production environment.

Also, Activate brings up Guided configuration functionality which helps to minimize configuration time and test scripts preparation time. It is a tool that helps you configure, test, and supports data migration process that are needed the selected best practices. For a functional consultants who spent large amount of their time in IMG, it is not a threat but it helps in reducing the effort in configuring core steps. At a very high level, the flow is like this

. Identify Best practices ( View solution scope)

Configure your solution :  This is a self-service configuration utility which will to perform depended configuration steps in an automated way. For example, while setting up company code by answering business scope checklist steps, the system take care of the dependent configuration steps. It helps two things, one is it will reduce the errors and also minimize errors. Also, it helps in designing automated test scripts and data migration activities by providing the list of data objects and templates.

Guided config.png

Activate supports SAP recommended  migration/conversion of  three different deployment options:

1. System conversion:  It is SAP R/3 or SAP Business suite  conversion running on any database to SAP S/4 HANA landscape

2. Landscape transformation: Landscape transformation scenario deals with designing a global on premise/cloud edition from an individual business suite landscapes.

3. New implementation: It is a brand new implementation from an existing SAP customer or third part ERP software.

My observation is that these tools will be really a great help for new implementation projects, but not much to the system conversion projects.

SAP Activate is free for SAP customers and partners upon request. SAP has provided good number of tools to support the transformation to S/4 HANA, but it is a long way to go, but the team is fully focused to make it a successive one.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very good blog Ranga, 

      Which of the deployment scenario will Customer go for heavy usage of Activate functionality



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you, Rishab. My perspective is that to utilize the complete functionality of Activate tool and to get the desired output in a quicker period, it is good to start with a new implementation scenario. Based on experience, I feel it is not an easy task in the beginning to convert existing landscape to S/4 HANA.

      Author's profile photo Javier Andres Caceres Moreno
      Javier Andres Caceres Moreno

      Good blog,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Ranga,

      Do you know where I can fidn demos of SAP Activate ?



      Author's profile photo Tomislav Azinovic
      Tomislav Azinovic

      Hi Ranga, great blog,

      do you maybe have any new information about "configure your solution" for S/4HANA on premise? Cause app "Manage your solution" is only available in cloud version, when will be able to use guided configuration, in S/4HANA 1511 or 1610 on premise?

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Susanne Knopp
      Susanne Knopp

      Hi Tomislav, Hi Ranga,

      Guided Configuration is covering two main aspects:

      A) it shall support S/4HANA implementations that are using SAP Best Practices, and

      B) it enables the Content LifeCycle Management of business process configuration.

      In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Guided configuration is fully available.

      For on premise installations, content lifecycle management is not yet available.

      SAP does not recommend to use the Apps "manage your solution" or "extend core configuration" in S/4HANA on premise installations. In on premise, the clear guidance is to use the traditional way via IMG to do the customizing in an S/4HANA system. Please have a look at the SAP note 2234180.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Tomislav Azinovic
      Tomislav Azinovic

      Hi Susanne,

      thank you for your response, i already checked out note 2234180 and am following updates of that note. We have installed S/4HANA 1511 in November 2015 and implemented S/4HANA Best Practices baseline package DEV1X,also upgraded our system  to FPS01 in February and FPS02 in May.So we understand aspects of "guided configuration" but I still have one more question regarding SAP note 2234180; Does it mean that use of Apps "manage your solution" or "Extend core configuration" will never be recommended to use in "on premise" installations and will "content lifecycle mangement" be available "on premise" at all, and if will be, do we know for which version(or date) is that planned?


      Best regards,