Discover Free Tools to Help You Prepare Your ERP System for SAP S/4HANA

by Lauren Bonneau, Senior Editor, SAPinsider

As SAP customers make the move to SAP S/4HANA from SAP ERP, there are many preparation tasks that need to be addressed before the migration even starts. For those looking for tips and tricks to simplify and ease the migration process, SAPinsider presents insights from an SAP mentor who shares details, valuable resources, and lessons learned from her experiences.

On May 5, 2020, Tammy Powlas, Senior Business Analyst at Fairfax Water, will be a featured speaker in the SAPinsider 2020 Virtual Event – SAP S/4HANA, where she will discuss key steps that SAP customers should take before they migrate to SAP S/4HANA and shares insights into the no-cost options available for customers. Her session titled “Case Study: Preparing your ECC for SAP S/4HANA” will walk through her experience at Fairfax Water and the helpful tools that she turned to along the way.

The information presented reveals what SAP customers can do today to prepare for the journey to SAP S/4HANA and how to ensure the move goes smoothly. Powlas shares a host of free tools and services that customers might not realize they even have access to and tips for how to take advantage of these. She also covers how to build a business case to make the move, how to improve skills, and key steps to prepare, including data archiving, customer-vendor integration, and more.

To begin, she explains why Fairfax Water decided to undertake the transformation and shares her experiences working with SAP in a business transformation workshop in 2018, which helped to identify the strategic transformation goals – for example, employees wanted easier system navigation, improved integration, more mobility, better visibility, and advanced reporting and analytics.

“The outcome of workshop was a core transformation plan to acquire SAP S/4HANA — as a digital platform to provide ease of use, a new interface, mobile solutions for better reporting, and embedded analytics that were real time and more operational — which we did in 2019,” Powlas says.

She provides an overview of Fairfax Water’s experience and offers several tips, such as to consider setting up a pre-project to focus on getting the functional expertise in place and planning a few test conversions in an isolated sandbox system. “There’s no SAP S/4HANA migration that’s the same so you want to get familiar with the steps and see how long things take, which is the only way you can accurately plan,” she says. “You should identify all the activities that need to take place and plan that dress rehearsal to have a detailed runbook of the sequence, errors, and resolution.”

Powlas encourages all SAP customers to take advantage of SAP Enterprise Support contract offerings and value maps, and specifically to make note of these key success factors:

  • The free cloud application SAP Readiness Check 2.0 has a simple-to-consume dashboard, checks various aspects of the conversion (before, during, and after), and provides insight into how to prepare for SAP S/4HANA.
  • The Simplification Item Check is a report run in the SAP ERP system, which is mandatory and can be filtered by module and checks things, such as transaction codes, that have changed from the ERP system to SAP S/4HANA.
  • The Maintenance Planner checks to see which third-party add-ons can be converted to SAP S/4HANA, and the Roadmap Viewer contains templates and procedures for the various checks (both are extensions of SAP Solution Manager).
  • The SAP Data Volume Management cloud application is an easy-to-use-and-execute app where you can optimize memory and disk usage – a Basis admin must grant access on the launchpad.
  • The openSAP courses offer free training and courses on SAP S/4HANA implementations as well as other topics.
  • The SAP S/4HANA Movement program is a 90-day plan that offers step-by-step strategy and provides free charts, templates, and decision trees for high-level plans to give an idea for management to start the project.

“I strongly encourage you to check out the SAP S/4HANA Movement program to see when it’s offered,” Powlas says. “We spent time with other utilities customers on defining the strategy, and SAP helped us consider our options and build our case. They will help you run the SAP Transformation Navigator, which looks at a system to see what replaces what, and help understand those recommendations. I think all customers who are considering a move to SAP S/4HANA should take advantage of it.”

Powlas also strongly emphasizes the importance of developing an archiving strategy. “One thing you want to take care of in your ERP system before you migrate is delete old data that doesn’t provide any legal or business value,” she says. “You don’t want to spend time moving that data over so declutter your SAP system before you migrate. Contact your archiving experts, clean your system, and check out the blog I wrote about how you can delete data.”

In addition to the great advice and explanations provided in the presentation, Powlas also shares pages of resources in an appendix – with links to more info on the SAP product-related training, subtopics such as financial conversions, technical topics, and ABAP resources for development folks. The appendix shares all the trials, best practices, and roadmaps mentioned and points viewers to precisely where they can investigate deeper on their own to begin defining their business case.

Tune in for more details and for this great list of resources. Powlas will be presenting this session at the SAPinsider 2020 Virtual Event – SAP S/4HANA on May 5, 2020 as well as at the in-person SAPinsider 2020 event in Austin, Texas that is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020. For more information on either event, visit here. To watch a live Q&A with Powlas for even more information about the steps to success with SAP S/4HANA, watch this video.