Introduction

Currently state of the art in using EHS classic is SAP ERP Enhancement Package 8. Future state of the art will be version as delivered with SAP S/4 HANA. This document should talk about historic challenges and the future challenges as well.

Challenges in the past

If you check document SAP EHS Management for Beginners you will find some “historic” information how EHS has grown. For those who participated in this grow: they can really talk about “nice stories” how easy it was sometimes to jump from EHS version x to y (and later from SAP ERP version x to y). If you ask the IS managers in many companies they will give feedback as:

You would like install new Support Package ? Why ? And then you explain and then you do the job. But based on release change you will realize that sometimes this “simple”change was not easy as expected; you have had the need to do “afterwork” which was not planned. In some cases in good situation you realized the “issue” before Go Live to productive environment; sometimes 1 h after GoLive (TROUBLE……. ). So you have learned in lot in “updating/upgrading” EHS from one veriosn to the next (hopefully you have learned it; don’t forget your “lessons learned)

Later story growed because of complexity. Then there was the need to start from e.g. EHS 2.7 to SAP Enterprise Version 4.7 (either in subversion 1.1 or 2.0). Once again: you have done your very best… but in many cases you have identified challenges in many areas. And depending on the fact at which point on time you “switched” to UNICODE in your system once again trouble was seen (sometimes). And as next step we have had SAP ERP 2004, then SAP ERP 2005…


Now things are changed once again. Now we have a “Business Function” “on board” which we can use (if needed). So this was more ar less a real major upgrade. And then the next challenges come up. With Enhancement Package 3 we have seen for the frist time some Business Function in EHS area. Now we have Enhancement Package 8 and the numbers of Business Function increased once again (but no new function in EHS).


Then in parallel SAP started new approach and delivered SAP EHSM (officially called: Component Extension for SAP EHS Management). A big new step for SAP (and the customers).

Reason is simply: if you check now the current version of EHSM then you need to decide: should I start with “new stuff” or should I use “old stuff”. For those who are in the situation that you have not used old functionality: start with EHSM ! For those who use the old ones: think about to migrate ! and prepare your self.


Reason: be prepared for S/4 HANA


S/4 HANA


If you check discussion http://scn.sap.com/community/chemicals/blog/2016/07/06/strategy-update-on-product-safety-and-stewardship-solutions-from-sap

this seems to be clear:


from time to time SAP will deliver a new S/4 HANA version (currently one per year). Per version some of the old EHS functionality will be modernized and can be used then in full “HANA mode” (sorry for this new term). Roughly end of 2020 we can expect that most of the EHS classic is modernized and available completely in S/4 HANA. In the meantime you can use SAP EHS in “compatibility mode” if needed (and you are still using S/4 HANA).


So the challenges are here more or less the same as coming from may be SAP Enterprise 4.7 and switching to SAP ERP 2005; because of less of experience: we can not judge today how “easy” the transformation will be; but we can assume that per version challenges might be there (and as in the past: each variant of change might have its own challenges)


So be prepared, and prepare your self to get ideas about S/4 HANA installations (topic of e.g. hardware, software components to be used etc.).


As with old SAP version we have seen initiatives as “mySAP ERP” which “modernized” the GUIs..


With S/4 HANA once again new approach will be used: SAP FIORI. Here as well you should check: are you prepared ?


What will come next?


In most cases until 2020  you as consultant work in EHS on:


  • handling changes in regulations (and per year we have many)
  • SAP landscape optimization projects
  • and other potential projects of many kind and changes as well of many kind to be implemented by whatever reason


At least before 2025 you should check (if needed): am I ready to move to S/4 HANA?


But in parallel you should check SAP communications to be ready if the challenge will come: the migration to S/4 HANA

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4 Comments

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  1. Mark Pfister

    Hello Cristoph,

    I agree – there will be challenges. The more aligned you stayed with the SAP (and SERC) Standard and the less custom code (For S/4 you need to check all your custom code and adopt it) you have in your system the easier it will be – at leas we all hope so.

    Roughly end of 2020 we can expect that most of the EHS classic is modernized and available completely in S/4 HANA.

    Not in my book 🙂 – asMarko Lange said:

    Most of the transition shall be done until 2020 starting with product compliance and modernization of dangerous goods management and having product safety improvements later in the process.

    For me personally product safety (Creation of MSDS and SDS Shipment) is the biggest part of EHS in terms of functionality. Talking about “most” and leaving product safety out of the picture doesn’t make sense to me…

    Cheers

    Mark

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    1. Christoph Bergemann Post author

      Dear Mark

      because of good reasons Marko could not use “precise” wording in the discussion etc..

      And you have catched more or less those “wordings” there questions come up.

      Paragraphs as. “Most of”.. “will be modernized” … “not only simplification”, “getting rid of what is “obsolete”” are “key words”.

      But I look more positive in the future.

      a.) We can assume that SAP will work on a roadmap for EHS classic (and EHSM) modernization: if this roadmap can be defined as “stable” they will publish it

      b.) based on current situation: the best you can do now is: can i move more “close” to SAP standard?; Can i simplify my SAP landscape etc. which initiative can help to make migration to S/4 HANA “simpler”?

      c.) the “tricky” question is: can i start now big new projects in EHS? What risks might come up if i start now and then i need to S/4 HANA… and / or I should wait to start the project.. Answer depends clearly on customer specific situation

      But  some simple answers can be defined now:

      If you use EHS IHS classic now: check now (and not later) EHSM and may be implement it and migrate now (but some SAP consulting is recommended)

      If you use EHS Waste now: you habe to check other options. I am not aware of a SAP alternative (which is handling the same on same level) so you need to decide: what is next step? Honestly: i have no clue; as S/4 HANA is based on SAP Netweaver: we know ABAP will work… But are you really willing to “reengineer” EHS Waste and generate customs code… => in such a situation “coinnovation with SAP” and other options should be checked (may be)

      I have up to now not have had the chance to read the “installation guideline” and other core documents in context S/4 HANA; but we can really assume. Any custom code in your SAP ERP system will work “somehow” later in S/4 HANA

      But here we need to differentiate a little bit (may be): We have “exits/BADIs” and other SAP Options to Extend SAP ERP: I believe we can assume that SAP will make sure that they are available in S/4 HANA; it is business critical to support all that because of lines of codes of order of magnitude ??? million ? Billion? would be effected (considering the many SAP EPR installations)

      And if you use “Z” or “Y” code… I believe it will work; but you need to check new data model. I am not the “superexpert”in S/4 HANA but we know: we have the “compatibility mode”. So even if S/4 HANA reorganized SAP tables it can “show” to other code the “old structure”. The only topic I do not know here is: what about “live time” of such compatibility modes… can they be used for “ever”…? (at least 10 years). To be on safe side. ask SAP contacts.

      Let us wait for next SAP communication.

      C.B.

      PS: I believe if you look to history we have some points in time there we have been in “panic” mode as well: e.g. topics as. “year 2000” issue; “Euro introduction” (new character needed in character set)); move from SAP 4.6. to SAP Enterprise etc. MIgrate to UNICODE mode etc. start with ERP 2006….

      If you prepare yoru self now and try to gain know how in S/4 HANA (how to set up, how to “run” it, what need to be learned/What is new? (as well for Enduser but consultants, ABAPer or other technical persons).

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      1. Mark Pfister

        Hi Christoph,

        I’m not at all worried about the re-renewal of SAP EHS PS or in a panic mode.

        I’m actually quite looking forward to it. In my opinion it’s about time that this application gets an complete overhaul…

        It is quite some work to do by itself to re-create the most important parts of the EHS PS functionality.
        And on top SAP should provide some way of migrating custom WWI Templates / Rules as well – at least in an ideal world 😉 .

        Besides Waste other often used functionality – like the EHS Web-interface – will not be available either on S/4. (Get in contact with me if you need a replacement 🙂 )

        Christoph Bergemann wrote:

        Any custom code in your SAP ERP system will work "somehow" later in S/4 HANA

        But here we need to differentiate a little bit (may be): We have "exits/BADIs" and other SAP Options to Extend SAP ERP: I believe we can assume that SAP will make sure that they are available in S/4 HANA; it is business critical to support all that because of lines of codes of order of magnitude ??? million ? Billion? would be effected (considering the many SAP EPR installations)

        And if you use "Z" or "Y" code... I believe it will work; but you need to check new data model. I am not the "superexpert"in S/4 HANA but we know: we have the "compatibility mode". So even if S/4 HANA reorganized SAP tables it can "show" to other code the "old structure". The only topic I do not know here is: what about "live time" of such compatibility modes... can they be used for "ever"...? (at least 10 years). To be on safe side. ask SAP contacts.

        Regarding BADIs / Exits / Enhancement Points:
        Once a solution is fully native on S/4 the “old” BADIs might no longer be available – at least that is what I would think: After all the complete code and the underlying DB Tables have changed – and maybe even the business logic as well (simplify) – so how could old Exits / BAPIS / Ehnhancements still work / have the same interface?

        Anyhow I’m really looking forward to this – interesting times 🙂

        Kind Regards

        Mark

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        1. Christoph Bergemann Post author

          Dear Mark

          for:

          “Regarding BADIs / Exits / Enhancement Points:

          Once a solution is fully native on S/4 the “old” BADIs might no longer be available – at least that is what I would think: After all the complete code and the underlying DB Tables have changed – and maybe even the business logic as well (simplify) – so how could old Exits / BAPIS / Ehnhancements still work / have the same interface?”


          we have to wait until S/4 HANA is ready and we may be understand better: how does it work.

          If the”worst might come up and BADIs etc. is not available any more i expect to get an alternative and an option to “migrate” coming form old to new situation.


          Looking back in history: if needed SAP has provided in many cases “migration” reports etc.


          C.B.

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