April 8, 2024

Navigating the Transition to SAP S/4HANA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Since its introduction in February 2015, SAP S/4HANA has emerged as the successor to SAP ECC, signaling a shift in ERP technology. With SAP’s announcement of discontinuing support for ECC by 2027, many organizations are considering or have already embarked on the journey to transition to S/4HANA. This transition, however, comes with its share of questions and challenges. To address these concerns, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) along with expert insights to guide you through the process.

1. What challenges might our organization face during the migration, and how can Oxford help mitigate these challenges?

Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA presents various challenges, including data migration complexities and process realignment. However, overcoming these challenges is essential for a successful migration. In our recent blog on SAP S/4HANA Migration & Implementations: Overcoming Challenges for Success, we highlighted strategies for overcoming these challenges, such as conducting thorough assessments, defining clear objectives, and involving key stakeholders early on in the project. By following best practices and leveraging insights from successful implementations, organizations can mitigate risks and ensure a seamless transition to SAP S/4HANA.

2. How does Oxford differentiate its approach to S/4HANA transitions from other consulting firms?

We differentiate ourselves through a combination of SAP Best Practices, our technical proficiency, industry insights, and client-centric solutions. Our holistic approach encompasses comprehensive assessments, customized strategies, and ongoing support, ensuring organizations maximize the benefits of SAP S/4HANA adoption while minimizing disruptions.

3. If our organization is currently on SAP ECC, what’s the business case to migrate to S/4HANA?

Migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is a significant decision for any organization, and it requires careful consideration. When building a business case for migrating to SAP S/4HANA, you should conduct a thorough assessment of your organization’s current IT landscape. Some common reasons and benefits organizations are making the switch include: 

  • Enhanced Functionality: S/4HANA offers improved analytics, real-time reporting, advanced automation, and streamlined processes. 
  • Simplification and Standardization: S/4HANA simplifies IT landscapes, promotes standardization across business processes, and supports digital transformation initiatives. 
  • Improved User Experience: S/4HANA’s user interface is more user-friendly, leading to higher adoption rates and improved productivity. 
  • Better Analytics and Reporting: S/4HANA’s in-memory database technology allows for faster data processing and real-time analytics. 
  • Cost Savings: S/4HANA can lead to long-term cost savings through improved efficiency and optimized business processes. 
  • Competitive Advantage: Leveraging S/4HANA’s advanced capabilities enables organizations to respond to market changes more quickly. 
  • Future-Proofing: Investing in S/4HANA ensures organizations are prepared for future technological advancements. 
  • Long-Term Support: With the end of mainstream support for SAP ECC in 2027, migrating to S/4HANA ensures continued support and updates from SAP, reducing risks. 
  •  How do I decide between a greenfield or brownfield migration path for my company?

Migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud is a significant undertaking, and there are several migration paths to choose from. To pick the best migration path, companies should consider factors such as business goals, system complexity, budget, timeline, risk tolerance, and industry requirements. Greenfield implementations provide the opportunity to redesign processes and adopt best practices. However, it may require more time and resources compared to other migration paths. Brownfield conversions focus on retaining existing business processes and data, making it less disruptive. It requires analysis of custom code and modifications to ensure compatibility with S/4HANA. 

Engaging with SAP experts and conducting a thorough assessment can help you identify the most suitable approach. 

4. What complementary products should I implement prior to my S/4HANA migration?

When considering complementary cloud products like SuccessFactors, ARIBA, and IBP alongside SAP S/4HANA, several key considerations should be kept in mind: 

  • Integration 
  • Data Consistency 
  • Functionality Alignment 
  • User Experience 
  • Security and Compliance 
  • Scalability and Flexibility 
  • Vendor Relationship 
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis 

By carefully considering these factors, organizations can effectively leverage complementary cloud products alongside SAP S/4HANA to enhance operational efficiency and decision-making capabilities. 

5. Do I need to create additional roles/positions in my organization to support the new S/4HANA application, and if so, what would they be?

Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA may require the creation of additional roles or adjustments to existing roles within your organization.  Specifically, you will need employees to manage the cloud connection within the ERP environment.  You also may need BTP resources for Integration, Analytics Cloud and Organizational Change Management.  

6. How important is Change Management if I am migrating from ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA?

Although you are staying with SAP, you do still have to ensure that you manage the change, because the business processes themselves are changing. Since there is new functionality in the new technology, there will be changes that your end user will need to adopt.  

How Can Oxford Help with My S/4HANA Transition? 

Navigating the transition to SAP S/4HANA requires careful planning, technical expertise, and ongoing support. With Oxford’s comprehensive guidance and industry-leading solutions, organizations can successfully embrace the future of ERP and unlock the full potential of SAP S/4HANA. 

For more information on how we can help you on your S/4HANA journey, CLICK HERE.

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