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Upgrading SAP S/4HANA AnyPremise – How, Why, and Best Practices guide now available!

Have you already made the move to SAP S/4HANA and are now wondering where to next to keep up with the latest SAP S/4HANA innovations?

If you are currently on SAP S/4HANA and have read Let’s Talk SAP S/4HANA AnyPremise Upgrade, you will already know that there are many reasons to upgrade.  There’s some official resources available already, and perhaps now you are looking for more lessons learned guidance from other customers to help you through.

Latest Update June 2021: June 2021 version is now released! The guide has been updated with:

  • The latest information on upgrading to SAP S/4HANA 2020
  • Even more lessons learned from customer experiences
  • A fast track guide to help you move through the document
  • A revised content format
  • Links to the latest enablement resources including openSAP microlearning “how to” videos

Latest Update August 2020: August 2020 version released! The guide has been updated with some early feedback.  With end of 2020 coming up fast we wanted to capture first feedback quickly.  So you will find:

  • More guidance on SAP Fiori, SAP Activate, Downtime Optimization, and services from SAP
  • A few more known issues and FAQs
  • Latest Learning Journeys and openSAP microlearnings – quick how-to guides to help you make the most of the available tools

Why consider upgrade now?

  • Maybe you have been on SAP S/4HANA 1610 for a while and just want to take advantage of the latest innovations in SAP S/4HANA 1909
  • Maybe you are on SAP S/4HANA 1511 and facing the end of maintenance date of 31st December 2020. Or on SAP S/4HANA 1610 and realizing 31st December 2021 might be closer than you like as well
  • Maybe you have read about The Future of Compatibility Scope Packages in SAP S/4HANA and are starting to consider what you need to do avoid end of usage rights by 31st December 2025
  • And perhaps after listening to a few SAPPHIRENOW REIMAGINED replays you are all fired up for planning your upgrade to SAP S/4HANA 2020, SAP Fiori 3, lots more innovations and taking the next step towards your Intelligent Enterprise.

Or maybe you just want to drive more value out of your current SAP S/4HANA solution via Continuous Improvement Projects.

The good news is there is now a comprehensive guide especially for you:

Upgrading SAP S/4HANA – How, Why, and Best PracticesUpgrading%20SAP%20S/4HANA%20June%202021%20Version%20-%20available%20now%20for%20download

This downloadable guide is based on the latest information available and many lessons learned from SAP customers – just like you – who have already successfully upgraded their SAP S/4HANA release.

The information has been gathered and collated worldwide by myself and other colleagues from SAP S/4HANA RIG, SAP Enterprise Support, SAP S/4HANA Customer Care Program, SAP MCC (Mission Control Center), SAP CoE (Centre of Excellence), and SAP Customer Success.

The good news is that so far most customers complete their upgrade in as little as 3-6 months, based on statistics from the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care Program.  Those timeframes are readily achievable providing you do your due diligence beforehand.

So this guide covers a range of advice to assist you Before, During, and After your upgrade including:

  • Understanding key drivers for upgrading your SAP S/4HANA solution
  • Deciding on your target SAP S/4HANA release and Feature Package Stack
  • Key tipping points for deciding on Functional Upgrade vs. Technical Upgrade
  • Preparing for your project
  • Example project plans
  • Evaluating the delta between your current and target SAP S/4HANA release
  • Considerations in estimating effort to upgrade
  • Where to find the technical upgrade guide for your target SAP S/4HANA release
  • Managing and automating regression testing
  • Known issues
  • and last but not least FAQ

You will find listed all the latest and best tools to help you on your journey.

You can even find advice on potentially tricky questions such as what to do about your SAP Fiori architecture if:

  • You did not set up your SAP Fiori in your initial implementation of SAP S/4HANA
  • You are already using SAP Fiori and considering whether to save on costs and simplify your architecture via transition from standalone to embedded mode with your upgrade

But wait there’s more! 

SAP S/4HANA has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last 5 years. You have already seen out-of-the-box innovations come to SAP S/4HANA such as embedded analytics, chatbots, machine learning, SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, and SAP Fiori Situation Handling.

You have already seen brand new (never provided in SAP Business Suite) processes such as Demand-driven MRP, Group Reporting, and Central Procurement.

You have seen more and more industry solutions covered, more languages supported, more add-ons embedded.

You have seen flexible business model innovation made achievable, where running multiple industry solutions side-by-side has moved from impossible (with SAP Business Suite) to easy (with SAP S/4HANA).

The evolution of SAP S/4HANA releases 1511 to 1909

And there’s still lots more to come on the SAP S/4HANA journey.

So once you have upgraded your solution – and perhaps even before your next upgrade – you will want to drive more value out of your current SAP S/4HANA release.

So we have a whole chapter to get you started on running Continuous Improvement Projects – whether you want to introduce the latest and greatest innovation scenarios, or just want to introduce SAP Fiori to a new group of business users.

What are our best tips for getting started for your upgrade?

Request your free SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder Report to get you started on your business case for upgrade or continuous improvement.

And don’t forget to capture your own lessons learned!

Remember the pace of innovation is gaining momentum.

So look to make a habit of upgrade and continuous improvement – that’s how you can keeping taking advantage of the latest and greatest in the SAP S/4HANA roadmap.

Signed up already for SAP Enterprise Support?

You can access additional learning content in the SAP Enterprise Support Value Map and watch out for some coming sessions in the SAP Enterprise Support Academy (Learning Hub – Enterprise Support Edition).  Find out more in blog post Is it time for an SAP S/4HANA Upgrade? And is it really necessary?

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  • We are willing to migrate to SAP S/4 HANA but SAP has not yet released the Industry Specific Solutions for Media which forces us to remain on SAP on HANA. What is surprising is SAP do not have a road map for Media Vertical. Approximately 232 Customers world wide is left high & dry with no migration option.

    It is high time SAP takes care of their existing Customers across all Industry verticals while promoting the S/4 HANA version.


    • Hi Varkey,

      Sorry to hear of your frustrations. It's true that the careful journey to include different IS-solutions has taken some time.

      A small part of IS-Media is already covered and a side-car approach for IS-Media with SAP S/4HANA is also currently possible as explained in the most recent SAP Note 2677010 - SAP Media in ERP / ECC 6.X and SAP S/4HANA

      By the way the SAP Roadmaps information for SAP S/4HANA has just been updated for June and can be found in the new Roadmaps Explorer tool - I see 209 innovations related to SAP S/4HANA + Media planned out from now to 2022 so perhaps at least some of your needs may be covered by then.

      With regards to this particular guide blog post, I also wanted to make sure you were clear that this guide is about upgrading between SAP S/4HANA releases, and so it is not relevant to your current situation.

      To move from ECC to SAP S/4HANA is termed system conversion, and you can find more information on that on the site for the SAP S/4HANA movement.

      I hope that helps somewhat


    Its a great blog and we see many customers going for S/4 upgrades now. I just want to add that SAP Solution Manager accelerates the upgrade process further with the following capabilities

    Of course the traditional process management and change management capabilities can also be leverage if the customer is undergoing a bigger functional upgrade process with additional requirements and scenarios being implemented as part of the upgrade.



    • Hi Vyomakesh, We are only discussing SAP S/4HANA on-premise, SAP S/4HANA Single Tenant Edition and SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition here.

      i.e. SAP S/4HANA on-premise software on on-premise or on Cloud infrastructure.