Transferring off ECC environments to SAP/S4HANA

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With solely about one quarter of SAP clients having moved from their current ECC environments to S/4HANA, it’s clear companies are in search of steerage on one of the simplest ways to handle such a transformative migration. This hesitancy is comprehensible – SAP S/4HANA represents greater than a technical improve, it’s a serious purposeful change.

Which means IT leaders are fascinated with extra than simply the prices of transferring and the timing of workload migration. They’re additionally confronted with growing a technique for taking full benefit of S/4HANA’s radically completely different, cloud-optimized software and database environments, and utilizing the transfer as a chance to undertake a clear core methodology. In spite of everything, the true driver for transferring to S/4HANA isn’t a deadline, it’s the enterprise worth of modernizing one’s code, knowledge, processes, and infrastructure. Put one other means, if clients are going to make a major funding emigrate to S/4HANA, they wish to do it within the smartest doable means.

A clear core methodology can decouple ERP environments from customization that has elevated complexity and made such environments way more tough to improve. Particular to SAP, clear core means conserving S/4HANA freed from customization, making a system that’s manageable, simple to improve, and extensible to fulfill distinctive enterprise wants. Such modernization will allow companies to leverage new sources of information, extra successfully reply to modifications of their markets, and innovate at a tempo that can delight their clients.

Let’s break down S/4HANA migration into its part elements:

Code modernization

Code modernization – which depends closely on the clear core methodology – establishes a path away from present monolithic ERP fashions and customized code, which make integrations throughout enterprise functions complicated and gradual innovation. Step one in code modernization is to make sure there’s a cloud-native DevOps platform in place to include the SAP extensions. Throughout migration to S/4HANA, extensions requiring customized improvement ought to be completed on the cloud-native platform and built-in to the digital core by means of internet service APIs.

As soon as an SAP ERP digital core is “clear”, SAP model upgrades grow to be considerably much less disruptive. Companies are additionally higher ready to make use of superior expertise native to cloud environments, together with machine studying and AI. As well as, code modernization lets companies incorporate new knowledge sources into their functions. Think about, for instance, the affect of including climate knowledge to an organization’s functions for provide chain administration, monetary forecasting, predictive upkeep, or logistics routing.

When selecting a cloud-native DevOps platform that’s inherently capable of run your extension workloads on any main cloud supplier, the pure alternative for SAP extensions is SAP’s Enterprise Know-how Platform (BTP).  SAP BTP facilitates the required connectivity setup  that should exist between the extensions and the S/4HANA core when it comes to customers, authorizations and entry to APIs. Moreover, SAP BTP comes with a number of trendy cloud providers for enterprise workflows, integration and analytical situations.

As well as, many organizations have already chosen a cloud supplier and used the cloud-native providers out there to create progressive options.  Many have a most well-liked cloud-native DevOps platform, supporting a “develop as soon as, deploy wherever” functionality, comparable to Pink Hat OpenShift, SUSE Rancher, or VMware VCF.  Enterprise-scale DevOps platforms are generally chosen as a result of they can be utilized to increase any software throughout the enterprise, not simply SAP.  Additionally, along with with the ability to deploy workloads to any cloud, a runtime and administration tooling is offered to deploy cloud-native workloads to an on-prem datacenter.  Of the enterprise multi-cloud DevOps platforms out there out there, Pink Hat Openshift has a powerful management place with almost 50% of the highest Fortune 100 corporations utilizing it.

 Information high quality and conversion

As companies plan their transfer to S/4HANA, it’s important to find out if the present state of information helps deliberate enterprise outcomes, and to automate remediation of information errors to cut back general knowledge complexity and footprint. One among SAP S/4HANA’s greatest modifications is the consolidation of grasp knowledge and transactional knowledge databases throughout the assorted software modules. In earlier variations of SAP, for instance, there have been a number of buyer grasp databases for ERP, CRM, provide chain, and different modules – every of which wanted to be consistently synchronized for consistency.

As well as, a migration to SAP S/4HANA offers a chance to cleanse and archive knowledge that has collected in SAP for years. Usually, there are duplicate, incomplete, out of date, and previous information which might be now not wanted.  Examples might embrace 5 completely different buyer document entries for a single buyer, or bill information from 12 years in the past.

An S/4HANA migration offers an important alternative to consolidate and cleanse this knowledge. As a result of SAP S/4HANA requires the HANA database to run in-memory on the server, lowering the info footprint can present vital financial savings on {hardware} or cloud IaaS subscription prices.

Course of optimization

Course of optimization affords a method to simplify and optimize enterprise processes to enhance outcomes. SAP is historically a transaction-driven software, not a process-driven software. SAP has a repository the place processes might be graphically designed and documented, however there is no such thing as a course of runtime engine that ensures SAP customers observe that course of circulation as they use SAP. 

A migration to S/4HANA offers a chance to research whether or not customers are utilizing SAP because it was supposed based mostly on the unique course of design, analyze for potential to enhance enterprise processes, and put expertise in place that may automate and monitor processes in SAP. That provides companies the chance to achieve real-time visibility into lively processes and to proactively handle inefficiencies by means of automation.

 Infrastructure modernization

 Infrastructure modernization entails introducing cloud native capabilities to ERP environments whereas extending the worth of current investments. When transferring to S/4HANA and the SAP HANA database, companies ought to search for a cloud supplier that may speed up time-to-value leveraging your current investments and supply infrastructure capability that may scale in granular increments. This helps you keep right-sized environments and pay for less than what you want, with out being compelled to overprovision capability. 

Organizations have the selection of deploying SAP S/4HANA on-premise or within the cloud.  To deploy SAP S/4HANA on-premise an SAP perpetual software program license is required.  On-premise licenses may also be deployed by means of an SAP licensed cloud supplier.  Nevertheless, most who select to modernize their SAP setting with cloud IaaS will choose to license SAP as a subscription service.

With the intention to assist clean the transition of operating SAP workloads within the cloud, SAP launched RISE with SAP at first of 2021.  RISE with SAP is a totally managed subscription service that comes with a pre-defined set of service-level argreements (SLAs) for parameters comparable to software availability, efficiency and backup retention.  Organizations can use their most well-liked cloud supplier for RISE with SAP S/4HANA cloud non-public version, together with IBM cloud.

HANA database sizes, and whether or not S/4HANA databases must run on a bare-metal setting, also needs to be thought of, or if there may be extra profit within the flexibility of a virtualized cloud infrastructure to run their SAP workloads as a part of modernization efforts.  SAP HANA is an in-memory database that works greatest when all the database is absolutely contained within the system’s reminiscence.  Some {hardware} platform choices have limitations of how massive of a HANA database might be supported whereas virtualization is enabled.  When shoppers hit the reminiscence limits of virtualization on x86 platforms, they’re compelled to change to bare-metal environments, which cut back the worth/advantages of cloud and may contain a multi-year dedication to the precise bare-metal server.  In its place, the IBM Energy platform doesn’t have any limitations related to HANA database dimension and virtualization and affords higher scaling in granular increments as database dimension grows.  The last word purpose is to not need to pay for greater than what you want within the cloud.

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