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Author's profile photo Shaji Narayanan

Lessons Learned from SAP ERP Conversion to RISE with SAP S/4HANA PCE

S/4HANA%20PCE%20Conversion

Overview

This post is on the key technical lessons learned from a recent brownfield conversion of the SAP ERP system hosted on our client’s on-premise data centre to SAP S/4HANA in the RISE with SAP Private Cloud Edition (PCE) on Microsoft Azure.

Background

The client is an SAP user from the SAP R/3 years onwards. The existing infrastructure as well as the Operating System and Database versions are reaching their respective end of maintenance. The SAP ERP system too is not on the latest available Enhancement Package or Support Package Stack (SPS).

The technical debts are significant.

It has not only an impact on the day-to-day technical operations, but the business too is unable to take advantage of the next-generation business processes, instant insights from live data, Fiori User Experience (UX) and other benefits offered by SAP S/4HANA.

The Discovery Phase identified the following key IT benefits too:

  • Better performance by implementing SAP HANA in-memory capabilities.
  • Reduction of current data footprint, by moving to the simpler data model offered in SAP S/4HANA.
  • More time to focus on business requirements, by outsourcing the everyday technical operations to SAP RISE with PCE.

Approach

To address the challenges mentioned above, the client is on a digital business transformation journey, managed in several phases.

The first phase focuses on removing the technical debts, by converting and re-platforming SAP ERP to the next-generation environment offered by SAP via the RISE with SAP S/4HANA PCE.  Post conversion, the upcoming phases will aim to take advantage of the business innovation, analytics, continuous improvement and service innovations offered by SAP S/4HANA PCE.

Conversion Basics

Back to our client.  The source and target versions of the components in play are as follows:

Components

Components

Topic Source Target
Hosting location On-Premise data centre RISE with SAP PCE on Microsoft Azure
System version SAP ERP 6.0 EhP 6.0 SAP S/4HANA 2021 FPS1
Add-ons in scope
  • OpenText VIM
  • OpenText Business Centre
  • OpenText VIM 20.4
  • OpenText Business Centre 16.3

Initial Findings

# Topic Finding Phase Remarks, Comments
1 Hyperscaler Use Private Endpoints for faster and more secure file transfer to BLOB storage through ExpressRoute. PREPARE
2 RISE with SAP Ensure that the network, firewall changes and authorisations required to access the following are in place:

  • Microsoft Azure Migration server.
  • SAP MAP / SharePoint folder (to share user credentials).
PREPARE

Refer RISE with SAP Conversion approach for Microsoft Azure.

 

3 RISE with SAP Ensure that the required storage space is calculated prior to the start of the conversion.  This includes the space required for the:

  • Conversion activities (SUM, additional backups).
  • Data transfer from source systems.
  • Additional backups during the conversion process.
PREPARE
4 Add-on compatibility Ensure to:

  • align with 3rd party partners on add-on compatibility.
  • collect all relevant target add-on software components and Attribute Change Package (ACP) files.
PREPARE
5 Check the Pool and Cluster Tables

Perform the checks for the Pool and Cluster tables to identify corruption or incorrect BCD numbers.

The relevant reports could take a long time to finish, and additional time will be required to resolve issues, if any.

Hence it will be ideal to run these checks prior to the Conversion activities to identify issues earlier.

PREPARE
  • Refer Conversion Guide
  • Refer SAP Note 1807959.
6 Ensure optimum access in Launchpad Align with RISE with SAP Team to ensure the following access in SAP Launchpad:

  1. Display and update system details.
  2. Create Incidents and Service Request (Please note that there could be commercials / additional fee implications, based on your RISE contract details).
PREPARE

 

Refer RISE with SAP Support and Governance approach.

 

7 Network whitelisting Whitelist network/connectivity to/from 3rd parties / partners / SaaS systems. PREPARE
8 Re-route RFC connections to SAP Support Following RFC connections will need changes to ensure the systems in RISE with SAP PCE access the SAP Support sites (eg: for Note downloads) through the SAP backbone:

  • SAP-SUPPORT_NOTE_DOWNLOAD
  • SAP-SUPPORT_PORTAL
  • SAP-SUPPORT_PARCELBOX
Post-Migration

Other misc. points:

  • Ensure to switch-off / deactivate antivirus programs, if any, running on the source SAP application servers.
  • Perform data archiving where possible, to reduce the storage requirements and improve system performance.

Closing Notes

  • This post was published just after the initial conversion. I will update the post in the coming weeks to capture additional findings.
  • Following are the key technical benefits realized at this early stage itself:
    • One-third (3.4 TB to approx. 850 GB) reduction of data footprint.
    • Overall faster performance in transactions and operational reporting.
  • This post does not contain all the technical issues that you might face during your conversion. Hence, always refer to the latest available Conversion Guide, SAP Notes and RISE Recommendations.
  • Setup regular interaction sessions with your Conversion Factory team members, RISE PCA (Partner Cloud Architect) and RISE Account Executives/ team members to ensure the tasks and RISE SME allocations are done early enough for a smoother conversion.

Reference

Here are some excellent reading materials on the approach towards move to RISE with SAP S/4HANA PCE:

Please do comment with your experiences, findings and updates; let us make this post useful to those who will be looking for more details.

Abbreviations used in this post:

Abbrv. Description 
FPS Feature Pack Stack
PCE Private Cloud Edition
VIM (OpenText) Vendor Invoice Management
ACP Attribute Change Package
UX User Experience

 

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      3 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Karan Shah
      Karan Shah

      Thank you for the blog. Very useful to get an idea about our upcoming Brownfield.

      How do partners and customers connect to the SAP Migration Server provisioned for each RISE project ? Is there a standard way through the link provided in Marketplace or do customers and partners need to raise a Service Request to get the OS access first time around ? We are currently held up and asked to raise a SR for network connectivity to be opened for the migration server which seems like a hassle.

      Author's profile photo Shaji Narayanan
      Shaji Narayanan
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Karan Shah

      Your RISE ECS team should provide you the OS level credentials to the Migration Server via MAP file/shared folders.  With the details, you should be able to access the migration server.

      The network connection to the migration server need to be established as part of the onboarding activities, along with the opening of required ports, depending on your organisation's network and security policies.

       

      Author's profile photo Karan Shah
      Karan Shah

      Thank you - This is the path taken up - but it is very much a given that migration server will be accessed and apart from credentials if Service Request and other aspects are to be done, that would be communicated during onboarding - which is not the case. In the past with HEC, SAP would provision links or other tools to login at OS level or to execute command line statement making it easier during onboarding.