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Transformation to SAP S/4HANA

Table of contents

What distinguishes between Brownfield, Greenfield and Selective Data Transition

Companies that have subscribed to a comprehensive digitization strategy quickly land up with an ERP system. It is precisely those users of SAP ERP who move almost inevitably towards a change, but the maintenance for the system runs out in only a few years. This means that there are no more upgrades and repairs become increasingly costly. It is precisely those IT departments that have used SAP ERP or SAP R/3 up to now that should also take a long before long at the change to SAP S/4HANA. But many of them have difficulties with this, and the opinion nationwide is that modernizing an ERP system demands a great deal of time and resources. But this is just a rumor. In fact the, switch to SAP S/4HANA can be done without any great difficulties, and especially if the operation has been well prepared and thought out. If the companies additionally relay on a consulting partner, they can primarily concentrate on the content aspects and leave the technical challenges to the service provider. A number of transformation paths are available for selection for the changeover to SAP S/4HAN; and the company concerned would do well to choose what is best for it.

How companies switch over to SAP S/4HANA

Decision makers who promote the switch to SAP S/4HAN quickly encounter the Greenfield approach when searching for a suitable route. As the term implies here you literally begin in a green field. Here the SAP S/4HANA is set up as a completely new ERP system and the former ERP is abandoned.

Here companies profit in particular from adopting the best practices from their respective sector and from SAP standard customer-own solutions that urgently need to be retained but need to be reimplemented. This approach cuts the costs considerably, while any existing problems that hung over can be dumped and excessive complexity disappears. Only the existing data needs to be taken over.

The greenfield approach makes sense especially in the case of older ERP systems or ones that have become increasingly complex over the years. If this is too radical, then the Brownfield approach can be used instead. Here the existing settings, data and configurations are retained and the existing ERP is converted. The user’s own code is also retained as well.

While Greenfield means a complete new installation, a Brownfield approach is a massive upgrade. Both variants are possible routes; companies must be able to rely on an external partner to be able to cope with the technical challenges and for their part concentrate on questions of the contents and the wishes of the users.

Selective Data Transition – a middle path to SAP S/4HANA

Selective Data Transition is a middle path between Brownfield and Greenfield and the term “Bluefield” is also used. Here is generally necessary to distinguish between two procedures: the system without Shell, and the Mix-and-Match option. Hence the Shell approach is comparable with the Brownfield one. Here parts of the ERP are reused and supplemented by a new Shell system. Any modifications are largely retained;, and changes are only made with regard to SAP S/4HANA . The Mix&Match approach is quite different. Here, a large art of the ERP is set up with new modifications and the smaller part of the existing ERP system and selected customer developments are taken over. In this sense Mix&Match more closely resembles Greenfield. Selective Data Transition is always suitable if historical customer data is to be retained as least in part and SAP systems need to be merged. Furthermore, all SAP systems, clients and processes and conflicts in the data and in customizing are investigated. If problems arise here, the business processes can be modified accordingly. Old systems can be deactivated once the data history has been migrated.

Brownfield? Greenfield? Selective Data Transition? On to SAP S/4HANA

Companies that are looking at the transformation to SAP S/4HANA should look at the various options for the changeover well ahead of time. The content questions are even more important; above all, decision markers should concentrate on the when looking at the schematics for the transformation. There are further forms of support for the technical challenges concerning Brownfield, Greenfield and Selective Data Transmission: an experienced and competent partner, the RISE with SAP service package, which aims to simplify the development into an Intelligent Enterprise, and active Change Management. Regardless of this, once the transformation to SAP S/4HANA has been concluded, this has taken the first step towards becoming an Intelligent Enterprise.

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