by Robert Holland, VP Research and Publishing, SAPinsider
For customers who are planning for the migration to SAP S/4HANA, ensuring that you are prepared can be just as significant a task as doing the migration. What is needed to ensure success is an understanding of the tools that are available to help with that preparation, and good advice from someone who has already been through the process. Tammy Powlas, an SAP Mentor and Senior Business Analyst at Fairfax Water, is just the person to help ensure that you are as prepared as possible for that migration, and to provide you with an overview of what she has learned that will make your journey that much easier.
Chartered in 1957, Fairfax Water is the largest water utility in the state of Virginia, and one of the 25 largest in the country. With approximately 450 employees, they have one of the lowest commodity rates in the Washington metropolitan region and are one of only a handful of water utilities in the country to receive a AAA rating from the top three financial rating services.
Fairfax Water are currently running ECC 6.0 EhP8, and initially performed a sandbox migration to SAP S/4HANA 1809 during 2019. This was largely so that they could evaluate the functionality of the release, as well as get an understanding of how their existing ERP data would look and perform in the new system. Having learned from their experiences with the previous deployment, Fairfax Water is currently planning a new sandbox migration to SAP S/4HANA 1909, which they plan on performing during 2020. Although they use a third-party hosting provider, Fairfax Water are currently tied to the on-premise version of the product because the utility focused modules they require are not yet available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
What Fairfax Water found during their initial migration was that the bulk of the work in planning for the migration was getting the data ready up front. The most helpful tools that they used were the programs that identified any data that needed to be cleansed. Even if someone believes that their data is ready, being able to identify whether there is something as small as the wrong tax jurisdiction code for a region can help avoid issues that might otherwise come up as problems during the migration.
Some of the tools that Fairfax Water have leveraged are the SAP S/4HANA Readiness Check, a continuous quality check with Enterprise Support, and they are also part of the SAP S/4HANA Movement program. One of the tools that they are most looking forward to utilizing in their migration is the newly released Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) Cockpit. Only announced in October and available for installation via an SAP Note, the new CVI cockpit is intended to help provide a seamless integration to all the reports, transactions, and components that would normally be required to execute the Business Partner Synchronization process.
To hear more about what Fairfax Water is doing with SAP S/4HANA, and understand how you can prepare for your own migrations and deployments, come and hear Tammy speak at the SAPinsider 2020 conference in Las Vegas where she will present a case study that covers “Preparing your ECC for SAP S/4HANA,” and will also deliver sessions on “Enhancing memory performance of SAP HANA with data-aging” and “Early Customer Experience with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud.”