Every organization and individual in the SAP community is in the same boat — they’re faced with a need to transition to SAP S/4HANA prior to December of 2025 when SAP support for legacy products is expected to end.
Simple, right? Not at all, says Rizal Ahmed, President and Chief Research Officer for SAPinsider. He calls the move to SAP S/4HANA “one of the most complicated decisions” that SAP community members must make.
That being said, the move itself isn’t really a decision at all — it’s something that’s unavoidable, according to Ahmed. Rather, it’s the considerations related to the move that make up a set of complex “mini decisions” that customers must make. And the move is not limited to a certain segment of customers. “Everybody needs to do it,” says Ahmed. “There’s a deadline coming up and it impacts your entire ERP landscape.”
That, in essence, is why SAPinsider is offering its Your Move to SAP S/4HANA conference, December 10-11 in Dallas. Planning for the move to SAP S/4HANA is both inevitable and complicated, and there are many topics related to this transition that are covered in the 17 SAP expert-led sessions taking place over the two-day event.
At this conference, SAPinsiders will gather to learn and network about the move to SAP S/4HANA — an undertaking that unites the SAP community. That, in itself, makes a solid business case for attending, but we’ve compiled four reasons for you to meet us in Dallas to help prepare for your move to SAP S/4HANA.
1. Build a Foundation for Your SAP S/4HANA Strategy
Again — it’s not about deciding to move to SAP S/4HANA, since that decision has already been made for the SAP community. At the event in Dallas, there’s an opportunity to build a foundation for the many mini-decisions that Ahmed says are wrapped up in this move.
Several sessions at the event will help attendees build a foundation for making decision such as:
- Should I deploy in the cloud or on premise?
- Should I re-implement or go the traditional migration route?
- What are the impact areas that SAP S/4HANA will have in my organization?
- How will SAP S/4HANA affect my technical landscape?
- What is the potential impact on existing business processes?
As SAPinsiders prepare to move to SAP S/4HANA, they need to address all of those things, each of which will be discussed in detail at the event in Dallas, Ahmed says. “So really one big reason to attend the event is to get a foundation for making smart decisions around SAP S/4HANA.”
2. Tackle Data and Custom Code Migration
As SAP community members consider their move to SAP S/4HANA, “it’s important for them to understand the technology landscape that will drive their migration specifically related to data migration and custom code migration,” says AJ Whalen, Senior Research Analyst for SAPinsider.
Your Move to SAP S/4HANA is a logical place for SAPinsiders to explore this significant consideration for those making the transition. They can learn about SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM), which Whalen says can really accelerate data readiness. “They need to understand the preconfigured content or accelerators like SAP’s rapid data migration templates that can help them easily determine if their data is clean and how to get it clean, and guide them on which processes to follow to implement going forward.”
SAPinsiders also need strategies for migrating custom code when making the move to SAP S/4HANA. At the event in Dallas, Whalen says there’s an opportunity to learn about tools that are available that can help SAP professionals do things like scan code for inefficiencies that can be critical in creating an accurate assessment of the migration scope.
Migration “isn’t as simple as flipping a switch,” Whalen says. At the event, attendees will “not only hear experts talking about the different strategies and paths they can follow, but also get to listen to peers that can speak from first-hand experience. There are customer case studies in the program where they can hear what their peers have done and the roadblocks they’ve encountered along the way.”
Migration of data and custom code is not to be overlooked, according to Whalen. “Failing to accurately plan for the migration of the code can cost a lot of time and effort,” he says.
3. Understand the Universal Journal
SAPinsider’s finance-related research indicates that financial close and budgeting are among customers’ biggest pain points. That’s one reason why there is a lot of interest around the new Universal Journal in SAP S/4HANA, according to Craig Himmelberger, Senior Research Director for SAPinsider, although currently “it’s not very well understood.”
Your Move to SAP S/4HANA provides a platform for attendees to learn more about the Universal Journal and find out if the tool can help their organizations. Himmelberger points out that SAP positions the Universal Journal as a valuable tool for organizations as they work on financial close, budgeting, financial planning, and analysis — in part, by providing real-time data for nimble decision making. “You can look right at it as it’s happening and adjust forecasts. That could be a beautiful thing.”
Attendees in Dallas can gain a better understanding of whether the Universal Journal can do the same for their organizations.
4. Leverage Invaluable Expertise
One challenge that SAP professionals encounter is that it can be difficult to find colleagues that can directly relate to their struggles. It’s hard to pick the brains of those who only conceptually understand the subject matter. Your Move to SAP S/4HANA immerses attendees in an SAP expert environment.
“Over the course of a day and a half you get to talk to a very distinguished group of experts and customers around SAP S/4HANA,” Ahmed says. “You’re not going to get this much expertise in one place often.”
Also on hand in Dallas will be customers that have recently undergone implementations. “They can advise you not just on concept but based on their real-world experiences,” Ahmed says.
Despite the SAP expert environment, Ahmed adds that it’s not intimidating. “It’s not this massive, impersonal landscape,” he says. “This is a place where you and 150 of your colleagues can gather to ask questions, network, and catch speakers in between breaks to get very specific answers.”