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Customers deploying SAP S/4HANA Cloud in their organizations face a-number-of decisions and choices along their deployment journey. From the initial scope decisions, to deciding on specific way to handle configuration, extensibility, integration and solution adoption. SAP supports customers with a guided journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud delivered in SAP Activate methodology and powered by pre-configured business processes. In this blog we will highlight the principles customers follow to achieve the value and speed in their deployment journey.

Good examples of customers leveraging the SAP Activate guidance and ready-to-run business processes in their deployment of SAP S/4HANA Cloud are customers like Taronga Conservation Society Australia (Taronga) that operates Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. Taronga is on a journey to modernize its business, they sought to overhaul its aging legacy systems, cumbersome processes, and paper-based reporting. For that they chose SAP as a partner and in their first step deployed SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution that was later complemented with SAP Analytics Cloud. Taronga’s experts relied on SAP Activate and Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud in their deployment of SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution to learn how to proceed in their deployment activities and to follow SAP’s guidance in SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.


Another customer that understands the value of following the fit-to-standard mindset (key element of SAP Activate approach we will discuss later in the article) in their deployment of SAP S/4HANA Cloud is Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation. Their team implemented cloud-based core systems for acquired companies in just months to meet the changing needs of global technology consumers. And as Takuya Sakai, Managing Director, General Manager of Digital Transformation Division, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation says, “Simplifying the value chain by implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud was essential to promote our overseas strategy and integrate business processes around the world.”


What principles in their deployment did these companies apply to achieve this success?

It is not magic gold dust that these companies used, their project teams relied on proven and simple set of principles and techniques detailed in the SAP Activate approach supported by the ready-to-run business processes SAP delivers to all SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers. Let’s briefly look at the key components of SAP Activate to understand them.


Fit-to-Standard mindset

It all starts with what SAP refers to as “fit-to-standard mindset” or “cloud mindset” - both these terms refer to the mindset of maximizing re-use of SAP delivered ready-to-run business processes in your project while carefully assessing where your business requires to tailor or extend the solution. This approach has several benefits, including:

  • Shorter time to value - as your team has smaller number of design decisions to make compared to building the solution from scratch

  • Faster realization - smaller number of delta requirements coming from fit-to-standard workshops lead to shorter the time to configure, extend, integrate and test the solution before go-live

  • Easier change management - as you can bring your business users into the fit-to-standard workshops where they will experience the interaction with the system for their area of responsibility in live system (plus they are encouraged to “play around” the system and try it out which is simply impossible if you are using paper-based design and not prototyping)


Strong governance (drive the fit-to-standard mindset)

Deploying with strong focus on cloud mindset requires customers and their implementation partners to implement strong governance in the deployment project to create framework for the team to follow and ensure adherence to this principle. This is especially important for customers deploying their SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution in private cloud deployment mode which offers broader range of extensibility options. SAP prepared set of guiding principles for such deployments in 5 Golden Rules for deployment of SAP S/4HANA that set the framework for implementation of controls in the project. For the setup of the governance controls, SAP has introduced concept of Solution Standardization Board that we encourage customers to establish in their projects.


Continue innovating after your initial go-live

In addition to the focus on re-use of the pre-configuration and strong governance, customers with high rate of success deploying their SAP solutions in the cloud think of the deployment as a journey rather an event. Let me explain - in traditional on-premise projects are handled as deployment events - teams tend to think along the lines of “when we go-live we are done for a while”. This is not the case for successful customers deploying their solutions in the cloud, the teams embrace concepts of continuous innovation to constantly adjust their solution to best support their organization’s strategic goals. SAP Activate enables this mindset and provides teams with tools for value assessment and benchmarking.  These tools and techniques help customers identify future improvement opportunities, create improvement roadmap and execute on it.


SAP Activate methodology for SAP S/4HANA continues to be improved in short innovation cycles and our customers can access the latest version of the methodology in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer. SAP delivers updates to the ready-to-run business processes in SAP Best Practices Explorer where you can review the available business processes, check out process flows, and capabilities supported by these business processes.


At the end of January, SAP launched RISE with SAP to offer one bundle of products and services that help our customers start their journey to the Intelligent Enterprise at their own pace and on their own terms. Following this launch, the SAP Activate team released a blog introducing Rise with SAP: Get your projects started right with SAP Activate and Ready-to-Run Business Process C.... We are pleased to announce the release of the new roadmap called SAP Activate Methodology for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

I would like close by inviting you to read the entire customer experience through SAP Activate by sharing that blog post written by Chief Product Expert, Jan Musil, around our new offering and new SAP Activate methodology implementation roadmap for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

We invite you to share your experience with SAP Activate in comments to this blog post or in the SAP Activate JAM (request access here). You can explore more resources in SAP Community using tags #sapactivatemethodology and #sapactivate.


Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast

As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our new podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA product experts, partners and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practice. There is no customer success without product success and project success; we help you get to the next level and make your SAP S/4HANA projects a success. Subscribe now and benefit from the shared knowledge.


openSAP microlearning’s for SAP S/4HANA

Just a couple of months ago, we launched openSAP microlearning’s for SAP S/4HANA as an exciting new learning opportunity. What began with a small batch of 20 videos, has now become a channel with more than 50 microlearning’s that have generated over 20,000 views since then. Today we cover multiple lines of business, like Finance and Manufacturing & Supply Chain, and key technology topics like Master Data Management, Extensibility, User Experience, and Upgrade Management. We are continuously adding new microlearning’s to the SAP S/4HANA channel, so make sure you check them out.


Your voice matters!

If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community – now fully integrated with SAP Community. The community brings together SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers, partners and SAP experts and has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions. We invite you to explore the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community ‘one-stop shop’ as the central place for all resources, tools, content questions, answers and connect with experts to guide you through your SAP S/4HANA Cloud journey.



For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:  

  • The power of best-in-class and Next Practices business content for a modern ERP Blog Post by Sven Denecken

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud: The Intelligent ERP Link Collection Blog Post by Sven Denecken

  • Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here

  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Content here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease

  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here

  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community here

  • SAP Activate Community here

  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here

  • Help Portal Product Page here


Follow us via @Sap and #S4HANA and our SAP Activate Guru @janmusil or myself via @SDenecken