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Planning your SAP S/4HANA project – How SAP MaxAttention supports you

Introduction

Many SAP MaxAttention customers have been using SAP software for many years. They have potentially gone through many classic SAP Business Suite implementations and upgrades already. However, implementing SAP S/4HANA is different. The reason is that SAP S/4HANA comes with fundamental functional changes and innovations compared to the traditional SAP Business Suite.

To get the full benefit and value, it is very important to make the right decisions, and to take the right steps in the early phases of a transition. SAP’s implementation methodology, SAP Activate, lists the following sequence of activities:

This article describes how SAP MaxAttention services support customers executing the latter. The first one – Strategic Planning – will be described in detail in a future issue of this newsletter. All listed services work in customer- or partner-led projects.

 

1.      Strategy Creation

At the beginning of your transformation journey towards SAP S/4HANA, SAP recommends creating an overall strategy and road map for your entire SAP solution. This strategy describes at a high level your as-is application landscape, the desired end state of the enterprise architecture in three to five years from now, intermediate transition steps, and major change events listed on a time line.

SAP MaxAttention customers can request “Architecture Planning Services” to create or review such a strategy.

 

2.      Application Value & Scoping

One or some of the major change events from above will be related to the implementation of SAP S/4HANA. Customers may join the “SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter” or request a “Discovery Workshop” to become more familiar with SAP S/4HANA.

For business-case compilation, customers then need to identify the specific value SAP S/4HANA brings to their businesses. SAP MaxAttention offers a “Value & Implementation Strategy” (VIS) service to those customers, which compares the current functional usage of the SAP Business Suite with enhanced functionality and innovations in SAP S/4HANA. In addition, VIS:

–          Supports the decision on the recommended implementation scenario (new implementation vs. system conversion).

–          Identifies “low hanging fruits” – functionality that brings a large benefit, but is relatively easy to implement

–          Creates an application implementation road map, which lists preparatory activities, functionality, which is implemented in wave 1, and innovations that are implemented with wave 2 and beyond

After in-depth scoping and preparation, VIS lasts usually in one packed week, with functional work streams running in parallel.

 

3.      Prototype (optional)

There might be reasons to run a prototype before the real implementation project starts. For instance, customers might want to evaluate functional fit upfront, or learn on conversion preparation steps.

SAP MaxAttention supports customers in efficiently running a prototype project:

–          A “Scoping Workshop for Prototyping” defines the functional scope of the prototype, creates a first project plan and a list of recommended services for past prototype execution.

–          Individual functional and technical implementation services from SAP MaxAttention help customers with key activities during the 3-6 month of the prototype project. For instance, customers are guided in Fit/Gap – workshops by functional experts.

–          A “Results Workshop for Prototyping” finally evaluates results and learnings from the prototype, to be incorporated in the real implementation project.

Both services are usually 2 to 3 packed days.

 

4.      Transition Planning

Finally, SAP MaxAttention customers get support in the detailed planning of the implementation project. Here the approaches for new implementation and system conversion are different:

–          In a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA, customers start fresh. Many would like to stay close to the SAP standard. The “Transition Planning for New Implementation” (TNI) service defines the implementation scope with configuration content from SAP Activate, or with the help of an SAP Model Company. It covers the Fiori based UI, data migration and the technical landscape. TNI finally creates a first version of a detailed project plan.
In case of a complex data migration, SAP MaxAttention offers a “Data Migration Architecture” service on top.

–          In a system conversion, customers want to take over current configuration. Application focus is here on “simplification items”, which describe mandatory and optional changes between SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA. The “Migration Planning Workshop” (MPW) discusses mandatory preparation items identified in an “SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA” upfront. The ideal technical conversion option is identified based on business downtime requirements. MPW also creates a high-level project plan.

For customers who don’t have experience with SAP HANA yet, SAP MaxAttention recommends the “Technical Architecture & Infrastructure” service, which explains everything relevant for IT on data center level.

All services listed here are documented in SAP Activate: The “one-stop-shop” for details on transition project activities, and related services is the “Transition to SAP S/4HANA” road map. The road map includes many accelerators and links to further information, is updated quarterly, and always includes latest service offerings from SAP MaxAttention.

 

Author: Dr. Christoph Nake, Global Focus Topic Owner Implementation Support Service portfolio, SAP SE

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