Working on Projects for SAP S/4HANA Cloud from SAP Central Business Configurations
Disclaimer – The below blog-post has been written keeping in mind the current state of features and functions available in the solutions/products/softwares as of the day this blog-post is published. The functions and features are subjected to change as per SAP discretion and we advice viewers to check the relevance and applicability of the information mentioned below as per the latest version of the solutions/ product or software.
SAP is highly feedback driven and oriented towards helping our Customers and Partners in their implementation journeys as well as during their post Go Live phase. In this blog post, we want to share our experience and insights on one crucial aspect of SAP Central Business Configuration during SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public) implementations – Operating Central Business Configuration Projects for multiple implementation waves.
With the introduction of SAP Central Business Configuration, SAP aims to provide a central hub for configuration experience for SAP’s Cloud solution starting with SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public). But as we all know, advent of a new configuration layer over the SAP S/4HANA Cloud landscapes brings a lot of questions from users/consumers who are using it for the first time.
In this blog post we will try to delve deeper on how to manage multiple waves or multiple country rollouts with SAP Central Business Configurations. In this blog we also aim to clarify some of the questions (like the ones mentioned below) from Customers and Partners based on our experience of managing Customer projects:
- What can I do with my SAP S/4HANA Cloud Quality & Production Systems to do configurations during ‘Run’ phase of the project?
- How do we work on an SAP S/4HANA Cloud project with multiple waves ?
- How do transport work for multiple waves in SAP Central Business Configuration and SAP S/4HANA Cloud once we have gone live and are in ‘Run’ phase?
To answer the above we will be illustrating three scenarios which will indirectly answer the above questions.
Scenario 1: Customer is live in one or more countries (i.e., in Run phase) and wants to add additional configurations to the existing scope
Scenario 2: Customer is live in one or more countries (i.e., in Run phase) and wants to add another country or business area (region/country or scope expansion)
Scenario 3: Customer is live in one or more countries (i.e., in Run Phase) and wants to add additional configuration in the existing countries as well as extend the scope with addition of another country or business area (region/country or scope expansion)
Now let’s deep dive into each scenario. However, before we move ahead, we want to make sure our readers understand the terminologies being used on the SAP Central Business Configuration. With SAP Central Business Configuration 2108 release, the phases and the milestones are renamed as below:
The project phases in Project Experience have been renamed to better match the activities that they are made up of.
• Explore -> Scope and Organizational Structure
• Realize -> Product-Specific Configuration
• Deploy -> Production System Settings
Accordingly, the milestones have been renamed as well:
• Milestone 1: Complete Scoping -> Confirm Scoping is Completed
• Milestone 2: Complete Explore Phase -> Confirm Scope and Organizational Structure Phase is Completed
• Milestone 3: Complete Realize Phase -> Confirm Product-Specific Configuration is Completed
• Milestone 4: Confirm Go-Live -> Confirm Production System Settings are Completed
Scope Extensions and configuration Activities:
Let’s deep dive into the scenarios mentioned earlier. Our assumption for all scenarios is that the Customer is live in three countries – USA, Germany, and Netherlands. The functional scope of the project includes – Finance, Professional Services, Sales and Procurement.
Scenario 1: Customer is live in one or more countries and wants to add additional configurations
Like mentioned, customer is using SAP S/4HANA Cloud productively and have received a new requirement from their business team regarding additional order reason codes. Here we will see how we includes and initiate change to the existing configuration when the project is already in ‘Run’ phase as per Activate.
For this, the IT responsible from Customer/Partner must “initiate change” and move back to “Product-specific Configuration”.
The Implementation Project of Central Business Configuration is now in “Product-Specific Configuration” phase.
Here in the activities tab, we can see all the relevant LoB-wise configuration. For our scenario, click “Open” in the activity “Configure Billing and Invoicing”. This will open relevant configurations, or they can directly navigate to Configuration activities tab. Here customer can use additional filters such text search, status etc.
Click on Go to Activity against the selected configuration activity, it will take to relevant configuration node in S/4HANA Cloud where configuration can be done.
The below video will show you the steps as well.
Scenario 2: Customer is Live in one or more countries and wants to add additional country or business area (region/country or scope expansion)
Like scenario 1, the assumption is that Customer is live in one or more countries. Now, they would like to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud in additional countries, which means extend the scope of S/4HANA Cloud with an additional country in SAP Central Business Configurations tool. In our example, for scope extension, two new countries are to be added – United Kingdom and Switzerland with the same functional scope as for USA, Germany, and Netherlands.
Let’s see how to use “initiate change” option in Central Business Configuration and enhance the scope.
Click on initiate change in your implementation project.
A pop up will appear, here customer can choose the option “scope and country/region”
The phase is moved to Scope and Organizational Structure. In this phase all the activities are opened except for Assign Deployment target & Specify Primary Finance settings. These activities cannot be changed after the initial confirmation.
Now go to activity “Define scope” and add new countries for Scoping.
Click on Select Countries/Region and add the countries
Now add the additional countries.
You can also add additional scope items within the same activity “Define Scope”.
Once the scope is confirmed, you should complete the milestones and proceed as usual. The country-dependent configurations are done in the product-specific configuration phase.
The below video details the steps mentioned above.
Scenario 3: Customer is Live one or more countries and wants to add additional configuration in the existing countries as well as enhance the scope with additional country or business area (region/country or scope expansion)
Like scenario 1 and 2, the assumption is that Customer is already live in one or more countries and is using SAP S/4HANA Cloud productively. Now, the Customer would like to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud in additional countries. This effectively means, addition of new countries within SAP Central Business Configuration tool. Also, in this scenario, customer has the requirement to maintain additional configurations in the existing live countries/business. In our example:
1. For scope extension, two new countries are to be added – United Kingdom and Switzerland with the same functional scope as for USA, Germany, and Netherlands.
2. For additional configuration in existing live countries, business team requires new order reason codes.
Let’s understand how to use initiate change in the existing implementation project to add new countries & add configurations when the project is already in ‘Run’ phase as per Activate.
Here, it is important to understand that you can do the above activities one after another and not parallelly.
To achieve the first requirement of additional countries, you can initiate change and select “scope and country/region”. This will take you back to phase “Scope and Organizational Structure”. Now you can add further countries (and scope items if required). The next set of steps would be same as your earlier implementation. This is already explained in Scenario 2.
To achieve the second requirement of new configurations for existing countries, you must go to “Product-specific configuration” and maintain the customizations requested by business in existing countries (i.e., addition of new order reason codes) as well as do the country specific configurations required for the newly activated countries.
In case, you would like to differentiate the transports between the existing live countries configurations and newly activated ones you can make changes for one and immediately transport and then do the next set of changes, without changing the phase of the project in SAP Central Business Configurations.
Another question, which we keep receiving from our partners and customers is regarding Transport Management. Unlike the On-Premise systems, SAP S/4HANA Cloud (including Central Business Configuration) does not support multiple transports. At any given point in time, you will have one open transport request to save your configurational changes. The system generates the new transport request after the existing one is moved to production system. To release a transport, you must click the button “Release Transport” shown against the Quality System in the tab “Systems”.
There can be 2 scenarios w.r.t transport management for managing multi-country, multi-wave roll outs:
Scenario 1: All go-live relevant configurations have been transported to production system and you have confirmed the milestone “Production System Settings Confirmed”. Though the system has generated new Transport Request as soon as the previous one was moved to Production, there are no configurational changes saved to the new TR. In such scenario, when you initiate change to add new scope or configurations, the changes are saved in the existing blank transport request. You can release this transport request to move your changes to production.
Scenario 2: All go-live relevant configurations have been transported to production system, thus leading to generation of new transport request. Now, you have few more configurations to be saved in this new transport request. However, these changes are not go-live relevant, and you don’t want to transport them to production system. Unlike, solution builder, there is no dependency between movement of transports to production with milestones/phases. You can keep open TRs in Central business configurations and confirm milestones.
When you initiate change to add new scope or configuration, your changes will be saved in the existing Transport Request (which already contains earlier configurations). If you want to keep your new configurational/scope changes separate, you will have to transport the previous TR and then start with the configurations/scope enhancements.
To conclude, Initiate change within SAP Central Business Configuration gives the necessary flexibility to manage your business requirements.
Saumi, Architha, Sahil and Vidya