Preparation for the transformation to SAP S/4HANA PART3
Welcome back to part 3 of the series “Preparation for the transformation to SAP S/4HANA”
In Part 3, I will continue directly to the contents of Part 2 and describe further SAP tools, commitments and support for a forthcoming SAP S/4HANA transformation.
Business Scenario Recommendation (BSR)
Based on your current system the BSR will provide
The Business Scenario Recommendations for SAP S/4HANA (“BSR”) will use your current SAP usage information to help you identify the most valuable digitized business scenarios for your enterprise and is available for all customers on SAP maintenance.
The BSR is a free report that can be requested at the following URL:
SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder for SAP ERP
From the SAP website:
“Get tailor-made recommendations on areas of relevant SAP innovations, business process improvements and IT optimization potentials for your core SAP ERP system.”
Also included in the report are, for example, overviews on the subject of “Improve Business Processes” (beautifully presented in a bar chart sorted according to business goals, in which the analysis contents of one’s own system are compared to an industry benchmark) or “Optimize IT” (Data growth per month, number of ABAP dumps, etc.).
More information available here:
- Blog “SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder – Get your free report today!” by Christian Oehler
- How-To-Guide at https://d.dam.sap.com/a/JAxPy6/Pathfinder%20Manual%20-%20V66.pdf
You can request the report at the following URL:
In the past, we have used a variety of project methodologies to perform an SAP project (e.g. ASAP). Since 2015 there is an official successor of ASAP: SAP Activate.
SAP Activate is the innovation adoption framework that expedites SAP S/4HANA implementations throughout the customer lifecycle. It offers ready-to-run digitized business and technology processes, guided configuration, and next-generation methodologies.
Membership in the corresponding JAM group is a MUST! There, you will find all content related to the project method, including many useful accelerators and other templates.
Join the SAP JAM Group here:
See also the blog from Jan Musil “SAP Activate methodology JAM space – we are open, come in“.
The JAM Group currently has almost 30,000 (!) Members and the SAP colleagues (e.g. Jan Musil , Kelsey St. Ledger , Bob Byrne ) update the content continuously and answers are fast and targeted if you have any question.
SAP Activate Training
It is also worthwhile to attend the training course for SAP Activate (ACT100).
As part of the training phases, procedures and accelerators are extensively trained. This is a great benefit as it greatly increases the overall knowledge of possible procedures for a starting or pending SAP S/4HANA transformation.
Even if you are not working directly with SAP on the SAP S/4HANA implementation project, but with another external consulting company that does not use SAP Activate as a method: the basics are significant and will not be very different with other project methodologies.
Back to your strategy
Use your newly acquired knowledge to further adjust your roadmaps and to further harmonize your strategic orientation.
If there are any further ambiguities regarding the SAP products and their functional coverage at this time (and these ambiguities will certainly exist), you can use the following two options to shed some light on the matter.
SAP Discovery Workshops
Well, now you may have further questions regarding the future scope. In addition, you would like to find out how your core processes will run under SAP S/4HANA in the future and how they can (continue to) be used appropriately for your company.
You can use the SAP Discovery Workshops for example. oriented to LoB (Line of Business). It’s about communicating your customer requirements to SAP. SAP will come to you at the Discovery Workshops and will, based on your requirements, introduce the capabilities, benefits and products that meet the requirements. The Discovery Workshops can be expanded to examine not only the business requirements but also the possible effects on an IT transformation. The Business Requirement One-Pager (see Part 1) proved to be a good starting point for the preparations for the SAP Discovery Workshops.
Contact your SAP representative to evaluate and plan possible discovery workshops. Use the Discovery Workshops as well to get your internal stakeholders on board.
In some cases, you will have specific (possibly functional) questions that you would like to discuss promptly with SAP.
Collect these questions and work them off. For this purpose, we conducted more technical workshops with SAP and referred to them internally as “deep dives”.
In your current setup, you use variant configuration under SAP ECC 6.0. So your question for a DeepDive with SAP could be: How does variant configuration work under SAP S/4HANA (on premise)? Is there a functional gap to be expected or will the functional coverage under SAP S/4HANA be even better covered? (by the way: the answer in this case will reassure you)
Gather as many open questions as possible and clarify them in advance of the actual implementation project.
The open questions will not only refer to functional areas, but also flush up procedural, internal questions (responsibilities, processes, etc.). The latter has to be clarified internally and (if possible) not unnecessarily extended by the time line before the start of an implementation project.
SAP Roadmap & SAP Improvement Finder
If you discover already yet a functional gap, please check the SAP Roadmaps in the respective product range before you think about closing the gap with non-Standard developments during the implementation project.
It’s also worth taking a look at SAP’s Improvement Finder: https://sapimprovementfinder.com/
So before you think about non-standard extensions: rule out that they may be included as standard in the future.
Additionally it’s also worth to check the use case series from Bert Schulze which you can find here:
Make use of the opportunity to “try out” SAP S/4HANA at an early stage. For this purpose different variants are available.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud Trial
You would like to have a quick look into the S/4HANA world? For this, the variant “SAP S/4HANA Cloud Trial” is useful, it offers
- “Explore SAP’s award-winning Fiori user experience
- Dive into SAP S/4HANA Cloud through a broad range of role based guided tours
- See how the powerful capabilities and intuitive workflows within SAP S/4HANA Cloud will elevate your performance to new heights
- Test drive SAP S/4HANA Cloud at your own convenience
- Best of all, experience all of the above live since this is not just another recorded trial”
SAP S/4HANA Trial / SAP Fully Activated Appliance
The functionality of this variant offers much more compared to the first variant. From the blog “SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Create your SAP S/4HANA 1809 system in a fraction of the usual setup time” from Joerg Wolf :
- “The appliance is a pre-packaged software bundle that contains an SAP S/4HANA system with pre-configured SAP Best Practices and demo scenarios.
- It can be rapidly brought up as your personal instance with administrative rights either hosted in the cloud (takes ~ 2 hours) or on your own on-premise hardware (takes ~ 2 days).
- Typical use cases are sandboxing, proof-of-concept, scoping, or fit-gap analysis.”
The Fully Activated Appliance can be expanded up to 4 components:
- SAP S/4HANA
- SAP NW JAVA (SAP NetWeaver) / ADS (Adobe Document Services)
- Remote Desktop (also reachable via SAP GUI / Browser)
- BI Platform
The SAP S/4HANA Trail itself is free for 30 days. Only the operating costs for the customer cloud are incurred (about 3-4 $ / hour when the system is running). Get in contact with SAP if you need the system longer then 30 days to ensure your licence package includes the correct components to use it further.
SAP Best Practices
The RAPID Explorer guides you through the best practices of SAP. These are very helpful to get an overview of possible standard processes in a first step. The best practices could be important to you as the project progressed (for example: integration with the Solution Manager, new standard processes, base for fit-to-standard workshops, etc.).
Hint: Browse through the system as a registered S-User, because then you will also see config files and test scripts.
- Best Practices Explorer -> https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#
- Trainer-Session “SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition, Introducing SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA” -> here.
- Reference Guide -> here
If you have completed the mentioned steps or activities the time has progressed. In many areas where you previously had little or no knowledge, you are now much better positioned.
This now allows you to finalize your internal roadmap and strategy. You will now be able to plan and tackle your first transformation plan. Also note the possibility of scenarios such as the side-by introduction of (relevant to you) SAP products that could actively support and advance your business (Ariba, EWM, etc.). These could (partly) be operated in parallel or in advance. The advantage of these scenarios is the use of new SAP technologies and products in the run-up to a holistic SAP S/4HANA GoLive. In addition, you will now have to consider what your future SAP license portfolio should look like (contract conversion vs. product conversion, digital rights management, etc.).
I wish you good luck and much success for your upcoming transformation project.
Check permanently the “SAP S/4HANA What’s New Finder“.
Learn more about product innovations from SAP. Many sources on the website from SAP are available, e.g. the “Innovation Discovery Service“.
- “Critical Success Factors For each phase of Digital Transformation” by Raimar Hoeliner
- “SAP S/4HANA Discovery – Transition Paths and Best Practices Webcast Recap” by Tammy Powlas
- “Key elements for your Digital Transformation Journey with SAP S/4HANA” by Robert Heer III
- “Ready to start your SAP S/4HANA journey with SAP Enterprise Support” by Robert Heer III
Thanks Michael for putting out such a document. I have been looking for such a document for an S4 HANA transformation project where all the information from various sources are available for me to refer.
Thank you for the great piece on SAP Activate! This is an awesome blog!
This is a very nice blog series. If you allow a comment, I would suggest that the SAP S/4HANA Fully Activated Appliance get its full chapter within one of your 3 parts, although readers can find it through your "trial" link. It is a key point for me that organizations involved in SAP S/4HANA transformations "touch" and "feel" the product as soon as possible. Only this allows to understand WHAT is SAP S/4HANA.
Hi Renaud. Great, thanks for the hint. I added an extra section (in part 3) and described the topic in more detail.
Great ! You would need to correct one thing: Appliance deployed in CAL is free for 30 days (beside the hyperscaler provisiniong as you correcly mentioned which is there from start). Once you go over than 30 days, you would need to pay for the CAL hosting as well, and after a certain period of time, you would need the SAP S/4HANA licences.
Thanks Renaud, I added the remark also in the section.
Awesome. Very helpful as like your previous 2 blogs.
Thanks for sharing.
Hello Michael Wulf
the link to BSR is unfortunately dead