Would Shakespeare Understand S/4HANA Conversions?

One of the most famous quotes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is “What’s in a name?”. In today’s blog post, let’s examine that question.

In just the past five years, SAP has changed its recommended approach to S/4HANA migration several times, from Brownfield to Greenfield, and back again to Brownfield! And with the patented Bluefield strategy and varied, bespoke hybrid strategies, the ‘color palette’ of S/4Conversions has become more diverse over time.

Each strategy takes a very different approach, with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages. But over these years, while working with dozens of companies assessing, planning and implementing their S/4HANA migrations, I have seen one immutable fact: the risks are real and have a significant impact on organizations

Whatever the strategy’s name – Brownfield, Greenfield, Bluefield, or anything in between (Can I vote for “Hazelfield”?) – S/4HANA implementation delays and go-live errors can, and often do, happen. How can a company avoid those risks? The answer is simple: with accurate data.

Data is the key to S/4HANA success

Migrating all your business processes, workflows and data to a new environment is a significant undertaking. But the more comprehensive information you have about a planned course of action, the easier it is to identify potential issues and plan for them accordingly. At Panaya, we call this “change intelligence” and it is the key to a successful implementation, helping reduce the risk of unexpected challenges, delays and errors.

I believe that every company embarking on an S/4HANA conversion – no matter which migration strategy they choose – cannot have enough change intelligence.

It makes complicated changes easy, by both identifying precisely what areas will be impacted and saving time on those that won’t. For example, will a Greenfield project need a list of every technical risk factor common to a Brownfield project? Perhaps not. But SAP’s Simplification Item List does not identify every TCode you are using in ECC6 that SAP has deprecated in S/4HANA (many with no replacement!). Panaya’s change intelligence platform does.  And if you are assuming that these Tcodes will be available in your Greenfield sandbox, you are in for a rude awakening.

Proactive intelligence can play a critical role in your business, project planning and innovation prioritizations. It can even provide enough data to justify your chosen migration strategy.

Change intelligence is power

The deeper and broader the intelligence, the more you can know – ahead of time – about every potential technical risk factor and every critical business process that will be impacted. You can then plan precisely for any necessary re-engineering or remediation, and confidently embark on even the most complex SAP S/4HANA migrations.

Your project’s deliverables will be truly prioritized, you’ll encounter fewer bumps in the road (during UAT and after go-live), and you’ll save time and money – whether you’re a Brownfield, Bluefield, Greenfield, Capulet or Montague. Shakespeare would definitely be on board with that.