S/4HANA was launched 4 years ago; so how much has SAP worked on the Product itself and the tools that help you switch? Has the path to start your S/4HANA Journey been made easier? My answer is a resounding "YES" !!!
I am S/4HANA evangelist with almost 20 years’ of SAP experience in the IT industry and I support customers on their HANA journey. I started my SAP career as ABAPer (just for trying out IT) and the power of ABAP programming language was so much that it kept me glued in !!!. My SAP journey started with SAP 4.5B and since then I have participated in variety of project types, got involved in almost all layers of SAP Technology stack and even tried my hand at managing SAP Programs. So with so much experience in hand, in 2017, I too decided to switch (pun intended !!!) and joined S/4HANA Transformation Center of Excellence within my organization (which is responsible for providing strategy and architecture involving S/4HANA projects including customization and integrations).
And when I started my S/4HANA journey, I was overwhelmed to find the sea of information out there. Learning today has changed compared to when I started my SAP career, when a 8 week SAP training would cost you a bomb !!! and the system access was limited to a few; viz a viz today when SAP is a course at many universities, when SAP system access is more open, and SAP know-how has grown beyond its SAP Help Portal and Community, to multiple YouTube Channels, SAP Learning HUB and above all openSAP (which was a topic of discussion with our community head craig.cmehil too last year). And these channels of education were my lighthouses too and @ OpenSAP this year, amongst other topics there has been good focus on System Conversion wherein we had 3 courses (System Conversion, Technical Processes and Functional Processes).
While we get a lot of information on what the product has to offer, what are the new guidelines and how SAP is supporting the S/4HANA Move initiative; Information related to real life experiences of system conversion is not available as abundantly. Recently I completed an S/4HANA conversion project and through this blog series I want to take you through my project life-cycle; How to start, plan and execute; what to keep in mind and watch out for. I have divided this into a 10 series blog with below topics (I will focus on project execution and learning but I will not talk about why S/4HANA and its product features; you can refer to Join the S/4HANA Movement portal for the same).
Hopefully this will convert your opinion too !!! Happy S/4HANA Move 🙂
Figure 1 : A functional view of each S/4HANA In-place Conversion phase with team involvement
The above picture gives you a high level glimpse of the steps and teams involved to convert an ECC system in-place to S/4HANA (in case of heterogeneous platforms OSDB migration steps too will be involved). And you can refer to blog#1 & blog#2 to read little more about system conversion. And this is another old blog but a good FAQ series for S/4HANA topic if you are new to this topic (though dated). !!!
In TOPIC 01 we will discuss "When to choose S/4HANA In-place System Conversion".