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Author's profile photo Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony

SAP MDG – A Stepping Stone for SAP S/4HANA Journey – Part I


Clients across the globe are getting into the Transformation journey started with SAP S/4HANA.

In this blog, we will take one of the use cases to discuss how the master data (MDG)  journey will be the stepping stone for SAP S/4HANA Transformation and the needed steps to achieve it.

Use Case

Business Context

  • In the current landscape, there are 3 separate SAP ECC instances for each region: APAC, Europe and the Americas
  • The business process for both master data and transactional data is different by country within a single Region ( ECC instance) and also across regions ( Other ECC Instances)
  • The best practices are not fully adhered to in many cases, so in the long run, it is expected to optimise/standardize the process for better efficiency

IT Context

  • In the roadmap, a single instance of SAP S/4HANA to replace the 3 separate ECC instances in the phased manner
  • A dedicated master data system to ensure the governance, data quality and unified master data sent across the landscape for business operations


Master Data Journey

In the complex landscape having multiple systems, one of the major challenges is the lack of unified master data with unique definitions and quality.

SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) is the strategic tool by SAP to have master data managed in a governed way to achieve “Get Data Clean; Keep Data Clean”.

There are multiple styles of having a master data journey started.

We will focus on the style that SAP MDG getting started ahead of the SAP S/4HANA journey as preparation.

When SAP MDG is to be built at the start of the program, MDG has to be independent of the operational ERP systems.

SAP MDG will be implemented in the Hub model, meaning there will be a dedicated SAP S/4HANA instance on which MDG will be running.

In this blog, we will be focusing on the scenario: SAP MDG has been implemented in a central governance mode and connected to operational ERP systems.

Advantages of starting MDG ahead of the S/4HANA Journey

  • Early insight and opportunity of getting the master data prepared
  • Work on business processes optimization using master data cleanup
  • To start the work on “Get Data Clean” and “Keep Data Clean” through MDG
  • Build a team with ownership defined
  • Unified master data is created in one single place and sent it across the operational system.

Key Aspects of MDG Journey

As MDG has been getting started, there are multiple key factors to be considered and design aspects to be considered

Following are the key topics to be covered

A.     Initial Setup

  1. Baseline Configuration
  2. Account Group Consolidation ( As needed)
  3. Number Ranges

B. MDG Specific

  1. Data Model
  2. User Interface
  3. Workflow
  4. Validation & Derivation
  5. Syndication
  6. Authorisation

C. Data Preparation

  1. Data Quality
    1. Cleansing
    2. Deduplication
  2. What’s specific in SAP S/4HANA from ECC
  3. Data Migration

D. People

  1. Data Governance Organisation setup

E. Other Systems Remediation

  1. SAP ECC Remediation
  2. Downstream system remediation
  3. Middleware


Key Aspects for MDG: Deep Dive

Scope Finalisation

The very first thing is the scope of the master data objects to be governed in MDG to be decided. SAP provides Material, Vendor, Customer and Finance master data objects as out of the box solution.

A. Initial Setup

A.1. Baseline Configuration

The baseline configuration needed to be done for the identified fields (Will discuss in detail during the data model topic on identifying the fields needed for MDG).

Values Finalization

As there are 3 different SAP ECC systems, the drop-down values for the field need to be analysed to understand the cardinality (usages) in the master data in each ECC system.

Usages will be one of the key factors to consider for future MDG system

Values Analysis

SAP delivers the standard out-of-the-box data model which includes the drop-down values as well. These MDG values need to be compared against the finalised drop-down values of 3 ECC systems

There could be the following 4 combinations of occurrences on analysis

(i) Code and Description  Matches → No Action as needed values already exist in MDG

(ii) Code Matches; Description doesn’t match → Need to create a new code in MDG with the needed description and do value mapping against the ECC value.

(iii) Code doesn’t match; Description match → Need to create a new code in MDG with the needed description and do value mapping against the ECC value.

(iv) Unique ECC Values don’t match with MDG → Need to create a new code in MDG with the needed description and do value mapping against the ECC value ( if MDG follows a different code from ECC).

In the next blog, I will cover other topics in detail.

About the Author,

Antony Prasanna has been working in SAP master data space for the last 17+ years. Has experience working across multiple large transformation programs on SAP S/4HANA . From tools, perspective, worked on SAP MDM, MDG and Data Migration tools.

This is my first SAP blog and looking forward to an exciting journey ahead.

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      Author's profile photo Vardhaman Nitave
      Vardhaman Nitave

      All well said agree to most of the points. Interim architecture is always complex; hence thoughtful decision to be made; meanings should S/4 MDG should provision master data to legacy ECC. The major down side will complete green field approach will not be possible on S/4 MDG due to legacy ECC.

      Author's profile photo Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Vardhaman,

      Thanks for your comments.

      In the next part, i will be discussing the opportunity of business process optimization / standardization ahead of SAP S/4HANA. On other side, it could lead to some rework on SAP MDG if SAP S/4HANA program brings new processes which is not covered now.




      Author's profile photo Shriniwas Mogarge
      Shriniwas Mogarge

      Hi Antony,

      Great work, but usually customer never agree on MDG-Hub interim solution due to cost, rather they prefer embedded SAP MDG implementation on S/4 HANA ERP System.

      Author's profile photo Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shriniwas,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The deployment option of having MDG as Hub have both Pro's and Con's. In this use case, i have considered to be Hub model.

      The same goes for having MDG as Co-Deploy in SAP S/4HANA ( End Solution)

      Yes, as part of the client discussion, the enterprise architecture will be discussed and we can enable MDG as per the requirement




      Author's profile photo Nagaraj Narimetla
      Nagaraj Narimetla

      Hi Antony,

      Thanks for presenting a clean approach for MDG journey for all those on ECC currently.  I anticipate clear challanges around standardization and deployment on a global scale. Looking forward to your part 2

      Best Regards



      Author's profile photo Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Antony Vivek Prasanna Antony
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Nagaraj,


      Thanks for your comments. Part 2 of this blog is in progress and hope to be published soon.