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This is the most popular question in SAP Customer EcoSystem in Turkey. Almost all customers are convinced about HANA and innovations beyond. However, minds are not clear about when and how. Thanks to mark.chalfen he has cleared blur minds about S4HANA and versions with this great article: Which SAP S/4HANA version are you thinking about?

For me the answer is obvious, just start NOW fist with migrating from any db to HANA. But before this technical focus, let's move one step back and understand the core reason for HANA migration.

Why need to move HANA?

There are many reasons and facts to move HANA, but real reason is not technical, it is something about Digital Transformation, however this transformation is not only digital. We are living in a digital world, all of us somehow has already transformed in our daily life, none of us using photo album to share good moments or phisical personal organizers (which were very popular in 1990s). Our smart mobile devices and applications are helping us to survive in this hectic world. But what about our business? Just watch this:

We need to move HANA, in order to transform our business, products and offerings. Existing tools, software components or products can not help us to move beyond. Let me give an example, Blackberry Passport is great phone in terms of processor, memory or other component, all these high-end components, unfortunalely become useless, because of incompetability of the applications that you want to use. So if you want to be a game changer in your industry, you need the correct DB, which helps you consume the most innovative offerings.

But before moving to next step you need a strategy, but not digital strategy only. A total strategy which is made up by distruptive approach to move the heritage further. Tesla Motors is the icon of the distruptive technology, however, once German Manufacturers complete transformation, I personally beleive we'll see beautiful electric vehicles on the road. So the strategy should keep the company DNA, otherwise total transformation will be good wish on the paper or C Level's agenda.

Once the company sets the 3-5 years strategy, then they need a team, dedicated, passionated and influencer team. Coming from the deep of the companies micro cells. This team will use the high-end tools, mega trends to move the company next level. This video will help me to be more clear, Steve Job's Think Different speech in 1997 :

This team will first need a methodology to breake the chains of existing solution landscape and bring the freedom, which is called SAP Active; the innovation adoption framework by SAP.

Once HANA migration is completed, wonderland's gate door will be opened, then second step will be enabling users to feel SAP by beautiful Fiori screens and HANA Live's magic touch.

Now it is time for S4HANA, this is the core for future, main land. But this step has to be handled more precisely, because this is totally new product, has new codeline (HANA optimized and UX enabled) and simplified database design, this new engine called S4CORE. Many functions are changed or left its' place to new functionality. Please read this article The TOP Simplification List Items by frank.wagner5

These simplifications brought by S4HANA need to be deployed by the team in-line with the companie's main strategy by using SAP Activate. But everything starts with HANA migration.

Do not wait, start NOW...

Many thanks to sven.denecken for his great efforts about S4HANA and digital transformation, all content by Sven can be found here: sven.denecken/content