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Today—May 4—is apparently Star Wars Day. “May the Fourth be with you.” Naturally, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Can the teachings of the Jedi prepare us for SAP S/4HANA?” The answer is yes! Turn away from the dark side of legacy database systems with these 5 Jedi lessons from S/4HANA customers.

I’ve adapted these lessons from conversations and research we’ve done recently with customers running live, production systems on S/4HANA. You can hear plenty of customer stories at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando May 16-18, 2017. Also, stop by any of these other S/4HANA sessions. I hope to see you there.

Now in honor of Star Wars Day, I present 5 Jedi lessons from SAP S/4HANA customers.

Have Faith

Jedi teaching: Fear prevents Jedi from accomplishing their duty. Jedi learn to let go of their fears through their faith in the Force.

Application: Don’t lose out on the potential of S/4HANA because you are unsure of how the exact deployment will happen.

Successful customers have told us that IT should not worry about infrastructure (a complete choice of deployment you have) and instead should focus on more strategic and differentiating pursuits, which is what S/4HANA is all about. Even so, you can take the uncertainty out of an S/4HANA project with the S/4HANA Readiness Check.

Train Thoroughly

Jedi teaching: Jedi understand that physical training is as important as training the mind and the spirit. They know that all aspects of training are necessary.

Application: Don’t approach S/4HANA as a technical project only. Consider all aspects, especially working with your business colleagues on new and improved functionality.

S/4HANA is transformative and thus requires buy-in from all parts of the business. Business Value Adviser you shall study. Use prototypes with your actual data to get everyone inspired.

Let Go of Attachments

Jedi teaching: Jedi must let go of obsessive attachment, both material and personal. The obsession over possessions creates the fear of loss, which can lead to the Dark Side.

Application: Consider losing your old customizations and returning to standard SAP functionality.

Our own research shows that about two-thirds of custom code in SAP systems is no longer in use. Weigh you down holding on to the past does. Run custom code lifecycle management you shall. Free of these burdens you shall be.

Be Diligent

Jedi teaching: Jedi are patient. They know becoming a Jedi requires rigorous dedication and commitment. Jedi train to act with a conscientious state of calmness.

Application: Preparing the data is the biggest technical challenge. Take the time to do this right to realize the full benefits of S/4HANA.

For a successful deployment (of any software, really), you need to do the unglamorous data quality work. I suggest learning from Jedi Masters like The Data Migration Guys.

Bring Hope to the Galaxy

Jedi teaching: Jedi believe that love and compassion are central to their lives. They love and care for each other as they do for themselves. They are providers and beacons of hope.

Application: IT can change the relationship with business through S/4HANA by providing direct access to live data. This means paying attention to the end users and making them successful.

S/4HANA can change the lives of your end users. I don’t mean to be trite—it’s quite true, and made possible through a simpler data model and improved user experience. But this potential won’t be realized unless your users are ready. Start with the UX Community for ideas.

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