Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Deprecated SAP TCode

Most of us love a good mystery. There is something about the genre, whether in books, TV, or movies, that seems to capture our attention. As a child, I loved reading Encyclopedia Brown and The Hardy Boys, reviewing and re-reading sections for facts and statements, looking for (and usually failing to find) the minute details that were critical in solving the mystery. And my children had their fair share of many modern series along the same vein.

No doubt the most cerebral of all mystery series is still Sherlock Holmes. The plots are complex and intricate, yet they never cease to entertain. Another significant aspect of the series was its many quotable lines that have withstood the test of time. One of my favorites is: “It is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all.”

And that wisdom no doubt includes Sherlock Holmes’ advice that it “is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

I have found this quote applies very well to many areas in life – including my professional involvement in optimizing SAP S/4HANA conversions.


It captures the most critical success factor of every S/4HANA conversion, be it Brownfield, Greenfield, or any other color in the visible spectrum: proactive intelligence regarding all the conversion’s risk factors.

No nasty surprises – if you have the data

If a team truly understands every technical and functional risk factor to be faced during their conversion initiative, then the project can be planned and budgeted appropriately. Expectations regarding the upgrade can be set appropriately, and arguably the most complex ERP project since Y2K can be run with confidence that no nasty surprises are lurking around the corner.

SAP tells its customers that it will typically take four or more iterations before unexpected issues are identified and resolved in Brownfield conversions. This is because their analytic tools do not capture every risk factor. Without all the facts, IT teams have no choice but to push forward until problems begin to emerge. And they will, either during testing or possibly post-go-live. That’s why we have hypercare.

The same goes for Greenfield conversions. Companies leverage this methodology not to save time but as a catalyst for the introduction of new and efficient business process innovations. In some cases, working processes are re-engineered to achieve even greater levels of desired efficiencies for their stakeholders.

But without all of the facts, valuable time and resources may be allocated for what companies want to fix as opposed to what they need to fix. Ultimately, as issues emerge, addressing all the ‘need to fix’ items will become unavoidable, leading to scope creep, delays, and budget issues.

Keep your mysteries fictional

Let’s say there’s a SAP TCode, used frequently by your organization, that plays a key role in one or more critical business processes. However, SAP’s analyses did not tell you this TCode has been deprecated in S/4HANA. So, you planned your conversion project assuming that this standard component, and its related business processes, do not require remediation or complete re-engineering.

Suddenly, a mystery! There are great and unexpected disruptions to your project – and they begin to have a serious impact on your business users.

“The game is afoot!” you cry.

And then you finally discover that the TCode was deprecated. Imagine the frustration and pointless waste of resources. Imagine if you could have planned your conversion project knowing all the facts ahead of time.

You may not believe this, but there are thousands of such TCodes.

The Sherlock Holmes of ERP Change Intelligence

That’s where Panaya comes in. Our patented AI and run-time simulation algorithms are like your own Sherlock Holmes, proactively identifying more technical risk than any alternative. They also find those mysterious TCodes and foresee their potential impact on your business processes – before you even start your conversion project.

Panaya’s analysis preemptively identifies dozens of risk factors that other tools miss so that later on, you do not have to scratch your head and plan difficult conversations with your boss or business stakeholders. Instead, knowing the actual risk factors you will be facing, your SAP S/4HANA conversion is designed more accurately, completes faster, and introduces no go-live errors into production. 

No mysteries, no nasty surprises. 

One might even say that the Panaya value proposition is ‘elementary, my dear ERP manager.’

Start changing with confidence

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