Questions by Partners on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition – Part 3
In our continuous endeavor to serve our SAP Partner & internal ecosystem, we from RISE Expertise Services Team are glad to share an abstract from a third session in the form of Community Live on 17th November 2022. This session was intended to provide our partners and internals an opportunity to have an open mic session directly with our experts on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. This session was targeted for all those business technology enthusiasts from our partners and internal ecosystem who are interested and looking forward to help our customers together in their journey of Business Transformation using the RISE with SAP package based on SAP’s implementation methodology – SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. This blog-post caters as a Question-Answer transcript of the session conducted for which the recordings can be found on the Partner Edge portal (needs PartnerEdge login).
As we all know by now, that RISE with SAP provides a seamless and easy path for transforming an organization from traditional and legacy ERP systems to a modern, cloud based and an intelligent suite of softwares which caters for next generation business operations for an Intelligent & Sustainable Enterprise. The focus of this session being an open discussion between partners, internals and SAP experts on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition for new implementations, we were able to get insights on variety of questions from our partners. Our speakers were also able to provide clarifications on their doubts and questions during the 60 mins session. We also use this forum to look into the challenges which our partners and internals face and try to feed it back into our product teams in order to further fine-tune the gaps if relevant.
To cater questions on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition – we called in experts from various areas like SAP Activate, Solution Management, Project Excellence, Partner Solution Center and Partner Engagement and Experience Center. The below slide shows the speakers of the sessions
Also due to the vastness of the topics in implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud – Private Edition, we decided to confine this session only on topics which revolve around SAP Activate for new implementation scenarios and not around system conversions, migrations and selective data transitions. To make the 60 mins most relevant on the topic of SAP Activate for our audience we chose the topics around project management, project methodology, fit-to-standard project delivery, phases, deliverables & concepts, cloud mindset, organizational change management, transformation, tools, enablement and adoption. The deep dive topics which require in-depth techno-functional expertise were not in the focus of this session and we might plan to bring such topics in the future for our community live session going forward. Hence the below slide shows the guardrails which we put into our session to provide a precursor to our audience.
Having provided the information about the community live session, now let’s see the actual questions which were asked live during the session to our experts and their answers to them. Before I move into transcribing the answers, please make a note that the answers are just opinions and viewpoints from our experts from their own experience and expertise and hold no official/legal obligation whatsoever on the part of company or individual.
Question 1: Do we have SSCUI’s in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition as we have in SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public) or we get a full-fledged SPRO-IMG access for custom configurations?
Answer -> In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition you have full fledged access to SPRO-IMG to decide either to start the configurations from the scratch or leverage the SAP Best Practices already established. We do not have SSCUIs in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition as we know it in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public). You can also activate the business functions as there are no restriction. Also in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition you have the openness to use the SAP GUI for user interface.
Question 2: Are there Best Practices on how to deal with Upgrades in S/4HANA Private Cloud?
Answer -> Based on the SAP Activate methodology, while you are transiting from On Premise to Cloud implementations – most of your questions will be answered in the SAP Activate. On the same lines you can find a good guidance on the best practices of Why, How and the Best Practices of Upgrading the SAP S/4HANA as well as S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition – Here
Question 3: Clients are increasingly hearing the term BlueField deployment to strategically leverage their investment. Can you speak to how PCE plays in this methodology as opposed to On-Prem?
Answer -> Just to clarify – the term Bluefield is not an official term and we use the term -Selective Data Transition (SDT) for similar approaches towards Bluefield implementations. The difference to target Private Cloud to that On Prem is the advantage as what you have w.r.t the Cloud scenarios for overall Private Cloud like – One Contract, One License which includes the Infrastructure + License + Maintenance + Support. It’s the overall benefit of going to the Private Cloud instead of On Premise where the responsibility towards hosting, maintenance are highly complex in SDT scenarios. Functionally the S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition & S/4HANA On Premise are more or less same and it does not make sense to differentiate both solutions from a functional standpoint. From a future landing point of view – the Private Edition versus On Premise is what really makes a major difference as the enterprise will end into a Cloud way of working than much more heavy On Premise way of working.
Question 4: For private cloud implementations, does SAP recommend Solution Manager or CALM as the application lifecycle manager?
Answer -> The suggestion especially for the greenfield for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition is majorly Cloud ALM. The full landscape can be integrated with the SAP Cloud ALM and you can work on different functionalities like Project Management, Change Management, Monitoring and Operations. Also SAP Cloud ALM is included in the contract so no extra cost required. We also do support the SAP Solution Manager – but majorly for those customers who are having On Premise existing licenses or maybe when the customer wants to decide to involve the Solution Manager for S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition depending on their use cases. There are some functionalities which are available in Solution Manager but not yet in SAP Cloud ALM – which also might be a driver for customer scenarios for using SAP Solution Manager. But for New implementations – SAP Cloud ALM should be the way to go ahead.
Also another driver can be depending on the architecture-landscape of the customers. If they are majorly based on Cloud infrastructures – maybe SAP Cloud ALM can be a better way to manage applications. If the customer is more towards the On Premise mindset around it’s deployment of system then SAP Solution Manager can be a considerations as well.
All the available ALM options from SAP are mentioned here – Application Lifecycle Management
Question 5: Is there a difference between S/4 on-prem hosted on a hyperscaler and S/4 cloud private edition and what about the Golden Rules which imposes some restrictions?
Answer -> The major difference is in terms of deployment. For S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition the hosting is done majorly on the Hyperscalers whereas On premise it is fully up to the customer on how the hosting has to be done. Functionality & Solution Scope point of view – majorly SAP S/4HANA On Premise & SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition are the same. One must consider this w.r.t the RISE with SAP offering as well which actually benefits the customer transformation from not just ERP side but also from the SAP BTP, Business Transformations, Business Networks and so on. Now around the Golden Rules, using the SAP Activate will instil the usage of the Solution Standardisation Board (SSB) to keep the core clean which is more towards the implementation side. Principles like using the API-first approach, having minimal backend customizations etc. are the key pointers which help the governance & maintenance of custom code in check & within control.
Also the value proposition of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Cloud is to open up the modifications. But the key pointer is to look after an Agile approach which brings customer more value and an Upgrade stable system which is the main point of the Golden Rules. We do not want to ban customer from modifications but rather give them an option to work on more Cloud-ready & Upgrade-stable manner w.r.t custom extensions & modifications.
Question 6: Are there any limitations known with PCE from compatibility with add-on components/ 3rd party component integrations which otherwise compatible with On-Prem?
Answer -> We from SAP want our Partner Add-ons to be fully available for not just the SAP S/4HANA On premise but also for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. We try to be as open as possible for Partners allowing almost all Partner add-ons with only a limitation to those Add-Ons which require Operating System access. There is a Partner Add-on Guidance available which can be helpful for the same query and will be shared soon.
Question 7: Is the code base for PCE is same as on-prem? to expand the question – If we have written a piece of code on S/4HANA On Premise, will that also work in S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition?
Answer -> Yes, the SAP S/4HANA On Premise and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition are based on the same code base. Just to add – if you write a code, the additional components which might be required at the OS/DB level might need to be checked. But just make sure that piece of code should be running into the S/4HANA system and not requiring root access or runs like an agent etc.. This should be noted when you mention the piece of code. Here we are only covering the ABAP code which runs in the S/4HANA system (both On premise and Private Edition).
Question 8: Private Cloud Edition – aka RISE is it good for customers with large user base, thousands of custom objects and for Brownfield Migration?
Answer -> We have majorly observed that when you have a lot of custom code, then it is wise to go for a System conversion (Brownfield implementations) – because one must consider all the permutations & combinations before coming into a conclusion. As an example for some customers it might be too daunting to create a new code and refit the older code into S/4HANA Cloud. We need to also evaluate this from Line Of Business point of view as well. Like for Finance, when there is a lot of custom code we have usually seen that greenfield might not fit, and in such cases system conversions might be better. For some scenarios – customer might want to completely reinvent their business process and there are no requirements for bringing the technical debt into the new system. So this can be more a case-by-case based decision.
Also customers appetite on their readiness to adopt to the Cloud Mindset is a crucial part to access and this decisions needs to evaluated very carefully. Multiple factors weigh in here and different tools like custom code analyzer and ATC for custom code migration can be leveraged in order to understand if the old custom code fits for the implementation scenarios.
Question 9: What is the best practice to exit Realize phase organized in 2 week sprints to Deploy phase ? Should we keep executing cutover plan in sprints or be back as one integrated team?
Answer -> From our experience, if you are having Sprint planning it should be done as per the Scrum method with little help from the application/LoB teams. Usually one way of looking at it is also – ‘Show & Tell’ so that Partners can show what is built to the user community and then assess their readiness. If they are accepting, maybe you might require another Sprint for a Show & Tell. For the Deploy phase – One can have different functional group/tracks along with the customer with very tight coordination, they can be integrated depending on the working relationship and integrated business processes. There are multiple factors like geographical placement of the teams and the overall planning should be done considering the sprint planning and cutover in the Deploy phase. Ultimately depending on the Go-Live as well as roll-out stye (Single Country or Multi-Country) you can plan the complete Project Plan for the key dates.
Question 10: Is INT4 (Service virtualization) already included or expected to be in the Roadmap viewer accelerators?
Answer -> This is a Partner solution and is certified by SAP which is hosted on the SAP store. This can be consumed with S/4HANA and this is not currently referenced in the SAP Activate as we do not want to promote only one Partner solution in the Roadmap. This can be found in the SAP store.
Question 11: What is the best practice to run version upgrade (from 2021 to 2022) in case if S4/HANA Private edition implementation project is in the middle of the Realize phase?
Answer -> The recommendation here would be same as what we say in the SAP S/4HANA On Premise. Depending on where you are in the Realize phase – this might be considered based on the landscape and so on. Please consider that the Upgrade here in SAP S/4HANA can delay the overall project as there are multiple steps (Pre, During and Post) which will be a key decider. Also as per the RISE, the technical upgrade is done by SAP whereas the non-technical part is where the Partner will be involved during the Upgrades. Hence this is also a Project Management topic and might be an impact on the overall project plan. Hence this is more of a decision which Customer-Partner needs to evaluate based on the requirements of the Go-Live dates and rollouts and so on.
Question 12: Can you touch on the BTP arch/usage considerations with On-Prem vs PCE? Are there any baseline architecture guiding principles we need to adopt when we look at this?
Answer -> SAP BTP is already a part of the RISE with SAP offering and also make a note that the SAP Cloud Connection is included as a default part of your subscription. The Cloud Connector will be majorly used in terms of having integration points from your SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition towards the SAP BTP. Also other services like Adobe forms and so on based out of SAP BTP can also be consumed in the Cloud Credits you get on the RISE with SAP. We also offer huge flexibility in Data Center selection when it comes to SAP BTP as well as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and the customers can make this choice for the best choice of deployment and best performance. A good deal of guidance on the implementation aspect of both SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition along with SAP BTP is already available in the SAP Activate which can be found here – SAP BTP in SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.
Question 13: One of my customer is exploring the RISE with SAP PCE solution for ECC conversion. They have offsite backup requirements to store the data off to their own hosted cloud/DC, and recover the data from there.
Answer -> The Backup by default is stored in a different data center by SAP than where the actual database is for security & Business continuity purpose. If the customer concern is about the placement of the Cloud Backup, then maybe this might help. The Service Level Agreement also explains the same here – SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT.
Also providing backup disks to the customers to be hosted on the customer premises will then defeat the purpose of the Cloud concept. Also for data recovery in case of any disruptions, customers will not be able to recover by the tools which SAP has with their Cloud Operations team. Please discuss this further with your CAA (Cloud Architect Advisor)
In conclusion, above questions and answers provides you with the Q&A transcript from our partners on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. These also serves as the frequently asked questions around the area of S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and SAP Activate.
In order to further reach out to us and ask your doubts, queries and share insights on SAP Activate or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition – we highly encourage you to use the below communities and post your questions with the relevant tags.