Can Change Be Painless?

We all want to see a change, but we are all afraid of it. Those who are brave enough to take the first step, lead the world and encourage others to move forward. Human history, on the other hand, is littered with examples of individuals who changed only because they were forced to change due to unforeseen events or misfortune. Had Richard Lionheart not left England for his wars and had his evil brother not seized power, Robin Hood would never have emerged.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to confront a new reality: global lockdown, limited flights, closed businesses, children at home, and almost no opportunity to meet face to face. Apocalypse films make their way from the big screen to the streets.

Before the pandemic, most people took for granted the freedom to travel and meet friends, to hang out and participate in social activities, to spend a couple of hours in a coffee shop, occasionally complaining about a lack of sleep and free time. Everything changed in the year 2020: confined at home with family and Netflix, overwhelmed with worries and anxiety, forced to deal with face masks, restrictions, and sanitizers. Constantly scanning the newsfeed, we all became “experts” in PCR and amino acids. And, there was no place like … zoom – for children to learn and for us to chat (Ray Bradbury would not be pleased to know his fantasies came true).  

Hard times for most of us!

Change for the better

Despite our grief and sorrow, our fears and disbelief, I dare to say we all learned to appreciate the simple things in life.

We spent far fewer hours stuck in traffic. We spent more time with our families and loved ones. Surprisingly, we found ourselves a part of our children’s lives. Many of us began new online classes in yoga, knitting, gardening, philosophy, or baking. In any case, the pandemic has “gently” pushed us to try something new – something we’d been thinking about for years but would never have done otherwise.

Simply put, we were forced to adopt a lifestyle and reconsider our choices. But in many ways, things changed for the better.

Still raises questions

When I consider the upcoming SAP S/4 HANA system conversion, which is being promoted, my feelings are identical to those shared above regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Though, to be honest, the SAP GUI developed more than a quarter-century ago has been around for far too long, and more and more businesses are migrating to Fiori. At least some SAP customers want to simplify business processes, cut costs, and make changes more rapidly.

SAP S/4 HANA appears to be promising in some of the aforementioned areas. However, the announced migration appears to be more frightening than not, or, at the very least, the costs and risks appear to be high, with the benefits unclear.

Our clients have voiced concerns regarding the planned SAP S/4 HANA migration. Despite the fact that there is still plenty of time left, their voices are filled with anxiety: billions of accounting transactions, thousands of business partners, dozens of fiscal years, not to mention all the adjustments made by ABAP developers to meet your particular requirements. How do you move all this?

Where do you begin? How can you avoid data loss? How can you meet the SLA-downtime? How long will the project last? Sleepless nights, hundreds of pages of SAP handbooks, hours of team meetings, reports, calculation, estimations. And after all that, the whole picture still looks vague…

This is akin to being forced to move to a new house after years of living in one place. You’ll need to find a reputable real estate agent, a moving company, and, yes, you’ll have to put down new roots in the new environment. Even with the same furniture and habits, it will take time to transform your new house into a place you can call “home.” It will make things easier if you hire an interior designer to advise you on which of your old belongings to take with you and which to leave behind because they will not fit – someone reliable and attentive to your requirements.

The same is true for migrating to SAP S/4 HANA after years of working with ECC. You’ve got your screens and menus set up, transaction codes you know by heart, things you use thousands of times a day and are comfortable with. The system meets most of your needs and you trust it.  And now… Starting almost from scratch. Feeling like a freshman. So, what ideas do you have for easing transitions and mitigating transition stress/risks? Roadmaps? Roadmaps? Gants charts? System integrators? A magician from your childhood?

Well, we in Panaya, have the answer!

It’s easier when assisted

We developed a product to make the tough but necessary transition to SAP S/4 HANA easier, including essential analysis and effort estimations, as well as certain ABAP developer tasks.

Let’s get acquainted! Panaya S/4Convert product  – a plug-and-play solution to accelerate the SAP S/4 HANA system conversion. 

What exactly do we do? We “read” the documentation for you and analyze your code structure. We inspect all modifications, locate clones and other changed objects such as implemented BADIs or enhancement spots.

We analyze the thousand-page list of Simplifications versus your system usage. As a result, we only recommend implementing relevant Simplifications. These will be organized by application area, and you can drill down to learn which notes to implement and how long it takes on average. The same holds true for Deleted Transactions, Modified SAP Standard code, Obsolete functions, etc.  For deleted transactions, for instance, you will be prompted regarding usage frequency– the more frequently the transaction is used, the higher priority it should receive as a task. 

We commit to conduct the analysis within 48 hours. When it’s finished, you will get the heat-map of “hot” areas that should be top priority, and some low-priority items you may ignore (alternatively, you may only want the Assessment Report that fosters efforts estimations and planning). Above all, we provide well-adjusted test coverage with recommended unit and progression tests, covering commonly used transactions.

Well,  let me quote one of the customers. 

“When we began the project and planned the transitions, we discovered that we had no idea where to begin.

We discovered Panaya at this point, and they have become a trusted advisor. We received a full report of impacted areas with severity, complexity, and effort estimates after using the Panaya S/4 Convert product. Furthermore, we were able to remove old unneeded code and determine which parts should be converted or ignored, resulting in a 30% reduction in project scope.

In general, after all preparations, we were able to complete the production migration in less than the SLA-defined downtime.”

Will the Panaya S/4Convert product turn the transition into a walk in the park? The truth is, it will still be challenging, but the risks will be significantly reduced.

We in Panaya believe in change with confidence! 

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