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Author's profile photo Sarhan Polatates

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created

My favorite quote by Albert Einstein : You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.

I have chosen this quote to support companies for their decision about moving S/4HANA. Basically there are two options: Brown field implementation vs Green field implementation. To be honest I have never take brown field as an option for my self. Let me explain why:

I think converting SAP ERP ECC 6.0 EHPX to S/4HANA on Premise (S4CORE) is like trying to convert a diesel engine car to an electric engine car. Is this possible? Theoretically yes, however, not easy and not feasible. Best way is to purchase a brand new electric car. Let’s take a live sample from a well-known German Car Producer BMW. Has any of you considering to convert 2008 model BMW 6 serie into a BMW i8? The question itself sounds ridiculous. Then why are we trying to convert our existing ERP to S/4HANA.

On the other hand, Green field implementation is fastest way to adopt ERP to digital economy. However this option has many disadvantages. Thanks to Michelle Crapo , she has listed bunch of them in my latest blog post called : Good Start in year 2018 with many S/4HANA go-lives in Turkey. Share yours 🙂 I am pasting her comment into this blog, because all of them are very important to discuss:

“Viewed as a new installation.   With all the fun installation issues.  Purely a technical standpoint.

  • Getting all the data needed over to the system.   We may decide it isn’t needed, and later find out it was.
  • Changes will be needed to SAP forms to reflect your company way of doing things.
  • Companies that have really customized SAP will have to add the changes back in – if still needed.
  • Upfront analysis will be more intense
  • The last minute struggle with things that users have to have that they have forgotten about
  • All configuration must be done again.
  • Security Roles have to be added
  • Most connections with outside will have to be fixed all at once
  • I don’t think – correct me if I’m wrong.   That there will be anything like SPAU/SPAD to let you know the difference when the system is updated.


  • Less “bad” data is moved – probably.
  •  Data will get fixed all at once if there are error
  • New analysis.   Possibly moving closer to a vanilla system.which will make less work on the customization changes.
  • No unicode conversion – if one is needed.
  • Security is done again in the new system.   It is corrected if needed, and new authorizations are added so it doesn’t drag out for a long time. “

I am totally agree with her, but, there are investments already made by SAP help us to handle disadvantages like S/4Hana Migration Cockpit. Great blog post by Jörg Knaus Getting started with the S/4Hana Migration Cockpit (OnPremise)

Most of the disadvantages still remain for brownfield option, addition to Brownfield implementation option’s own disadvantages.

Finally, almost all of the existing SAP ERP customers are complaining their existing SAP ERP’s complexity, bad UI, etc. And trying to find a solution from existing ERP level of approach.

Even one single S/4HANA tile may fix your many issues, so please do not waste your most valuable resource : Time.

The Sales Overview tile, helps you manage your daily sales operations in real-time. This is a standard tile provided by SAP. There are many many other tiles waiting for you.

Thanks to Golive Consulting for letting me to use their S/4HANA 1709 system for this blog.

Looking forward to read your thoughts in comment section.




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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Interesting, Thank you very much for the info! The example to convert 2008 to i8 was a good example.

      Author's profile photo Sarhan Polatates
      Sarhan Polatates
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Former Member , love to hear your opinion as well.

      Author's profile photo Mehmet Yilmaz
      Mehmet Yilmaz

      We are discovering S/4 HANA 1709 standart tiles and functionalities on the system. There are so many ready to use standard tiles to accelarete customers digital journey. S/4 HANA 1709 also provides logistics efficency by embedded EWM, embedded TM and embedded AATP.

      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy


      That is a wonderful breath of fresh air opinion. In essence you are agreeing with what SAP have said all along - this is a new product, so you are not doing an upgrade but rather a re-implementation.

      Presumably then, following on from that logic, you should treat the S/4 HANA implementations just like the 1997 - 2000 era, where you move from a "legacy" system to a brand new system, whilst doing a  "business process re-engineering" project, which generally translated to changing your business processes from the way you actually want to do them to the way SAP software is designed to work, the so called "best practice".

      I recall those days very clearly. Every company, with their consulting partner, swore on their life they would do a 100% vanilla implementation. Every single one of them ended up doing tons of user exits and Z code to get around the problem of trying to ram a square peg into a round hole.

      The questions would then be - what has changed in that intervening period? And what would your advice be for companies that have done 20 years of custom development, albeit tat 75% of that is most likely never used?

      Cheersy Cheers


      Author's profile photo Sarhan Polatates
      Sarhan Polatates
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Paul,

      Great to hear from you the same, Everything changed, if we compare it with late 90's. Business changed, communication changed, economy changed, people changed even journalism changed. So we need a different way of thinking and way of doing. We can not make it happen by converting our legacy.

      My personal advice is for the companies is very simple: forget everything in the past that they have made. Act like a startup. Design business by taking startups as real competitors.

      Once you set your approach then learn from SAP best practices to cover 80% of generic processes (spend only 20% of your efforts) and concentrate on 20% of unique features of your your own (use your 80% of efforts and resources) Pareto Rule 🙂

      Many thanks again for your time and comment Paul.



      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees

      Hi Sarhan,

      thanks for sharing!

      Before I continue reading, I want to comment on your turn a diesel into electric car example:

      There are actually people and companies doing exactly that, here's a nice example:

      But one also has to see that this is either tinkering by hobbyist/enthusiasts or (as in the above example) high-value prototyping in a sense of "cost doesn't matter".

      You would want neither of those for your professional ERP-System, so the point you make stands!

      -> Go ahead and by that electric car, that was designed with the knowledge that constraints from combustions engines can be left behind, actually driving innovation, not just re-building something old*!



      PS: *If you're looking for electric cars following that approach, maybe have a look at the
      Uniti ( )
      or the
      Sion ( )

      ...and now back to S/4HANA 😉


      Author's profile photo Sarhan Polatates
      Sarhan Polatates
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Joachim,

      I really like your comment, and information that you have provided about electric cars, you are a great man !:)))

      To be honest I really do not know companies and people trying to convert their cars into electric ones.



      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Awesome blog!!!

      Thank you for giving us all more information,


      Author's profile photo Sarhan Polatates
      Sarhan Polatates
      Blog Post Author

      Many thanks Michelle

      Author's profile photo Huseyin Dereli
      Huseyin Dereli

      The metaphore you've used is great for understanding two options. And I agree with you for the most part.

      I think some of the disadvantages would become helpful processes to renovate your way of doing things, to adapt new technologies. If you have enough time and right resources.

      However as Paul Hardy stated, 100% vanilla implementations seems not possible. Never for any software with a huge coverage like this. If you have a small and specific enough problem, then you would find a software that 100% fits. Otherwise, the need for custom applications or customizing your core applications will never end. The way of doing it might get easier and the lifecycle of it might get better.