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RishabBucha
Explorer
Hello All,

I wanted to conclude the blog series on the S/4HANA public cloud and this time with a few things which may go wrong, or pitfalls for the projects.

You can refer to the previous blogs here:-

https://blogs.sap.com/2023/05/25/sap-public-cloud-blog-2-use-of-test-automation-tool/

https://blogs.sap.com/2023/05/11/sap-s-4hana-public-cloud-blog-series-article-1/

Also if you are new to the topic , you can see the difference between public and on premise-

https://blogs.sap.com/2023/05/03/functional-differences-between-sap-s-4hana-cloud-private-edition-an...

The cloud version has a few issues which are fairly well documented and understood, summarizing a few below:-

  1. Customization Limitations: SAP S/4HANA Cloud is designed to be a standardized solution with limited customization options compared to the on-premises version. Organizations with specific or unique business processes may find it challenging to adapt their processes to the cloud version. This can be a challenge to an organization who are used to on premise or legacy SAP ECC versions.

  2. Integration Challenges: Integration with other systems and applications can be a significant challenge. Organizations may need to integrate S/4HANA Cloud with their existing legacy systems or third-party applications, requiring additional effort and resources.

  3. Data Governance and Security: Moving sensitive data to the cloud raises concerns about data governance, security, and compliance. Organizations must ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect data, comply with regulations, and meet their internal policies. Few countries like China will have cloud specific policy which firms needs to comply with.

  4. Limited Industry-Specific Functionality: SAP S/4HANA Cloud may not offer the same level of industry-specific functionality as its on-premises counterpart or other industry-specific solutions. This limitation may require organizations to explore additional customizations or third-party applications to meet their specific industry requirements


Apart from these, we would like to mention a few points from how we have encountered in the projects:-

  1. Managing the transport and change especially for the two tier cloud version.


With the public version, you can have and option of 2 landscape (Q and Prod) or 3 landscape version ( dev, Q and Prod).

Since about Oct last year (2022), 3 tier is offered as a default but for a lot of clients who were using S/4HANA public cloud before that, are still on 2 Tier landscape.

With this background I would like to dive on one of the issue which is more persistent with 2 tier but also impact 3 tier systems:- Managing the transport and conflicts as you roll out.

As would be the case with any ERP implementation or migration, you will have an initial country or template being build and is rolled out to other entities. During this time, you will have :-

  1. Changes to template for other countries

  2. Changes to support new issues or bug fix for existing countries.


One of the major challenge faced for 2 tier ( also with 3 tier but with more controls), as shown in diagram below, you can have changes done in system which are partially tested or partially complete but as 2 Tier system can only have 1 transport request, everything gets bundled in 1.


All changes in 1 request


This has potential to cause lot of headache for project and support team. SAP's explanation is that for cloud system, you might just have 2-3 people doing the change so they should know and be coordinated, but this is hardly the case.

So how do you get around it?

Try to have an offline process whereby you get the list of all the key config and the respective test evidence for the changes maintained. Once this is in, have a support ticket to SAP to get the list of configuration items which are part of the transport request.


Sample transport request items



This will look something like above. With the above file try to find who all did the change and have tested it and only ensure those changes are moved to production.

With three tier it is easier to get the transport list as you have access to DEV and you can setup the process easily.

 

2) Difference in on premise vs public cloud version of S/4HANA and managing client expectation-

This is a big stumbling block for many consultants working on the public cloud version and it is almost like re-learning some of the tricks of client management when working on the public cloud version.

It is aways better to try something out and see the areas which you can change in the public cloud and only then promise the end client for certain solution.

Again it is good to have a sandbox or a CAL system to play around and not do configuration in the Q system ( especially for 2 tier system).

 

3) Dealing with upgrades-

Currently there are 2 planned release or upgrade for the public cloud in an year and as a project / program manager you should plan these into your project plan to ensure there is time for stabilization.

SAP provides a roadmap and list of scope items which send well in advance,

https://www.sap.com/documents/2021/09/58ffa59e-f97d-0010-bca6-c68f7e60039b.html

Below is also a good blog to plan the upgrade activities intro your overall plan.

https://blogs.sap.com/2022/10/28/upgrade-of-s-4hana-cloud-public-edition-3-system-landscape/

 

Hope this series has been helpful and will help you in your public cloud S/4HANA project.

With SAP sales executive having a 5 X incentive for public cloud vs on prem deal, you will most likely see more such deals especially as the product matures.

If you are planning your public cloud journey or are in middle of one, feel free to reach out-rishab.bucha@astrontech.co.uk.

Regards

Rishab
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