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SAP S/4HANA SYSTEM CONVERSION: cool things that have happened in 2021

SAP S/4HANA

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SAP RISE

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EasyRUNNER

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EasyRISER

SAP S/4HANA SYSTEM CONVERSION: cool things that have happened in 2021

Sergio Ferrari | Dec 17, 2021

Introduction

I began posting a series of blogs here about the conversion to SAP S/4HANA back in Apr 2019. There was a lot of interest in KEEP CALM AND MOVE WITH BROWNFIELD, Reduce Business Downtime with Robotic Process Automation, bye-bye SAP GUI, welcome to SAP Business Client and on those about real-life experiences. Indeed as Techedge Group, we are very satisfied with the conversion procedures and with the results obtained in each project.

In 2021 I took a pause and now that the end of the year is approaching, I want to take this opportunity to review the “What’s new” this year regarding the conversion to SAP S/4HANA and to verify if the previously shared content still applies.

I am personally very involved with the Climate Change and Sustainability topics as well as with the pandemic that is completely impacting our lives and also the business models that we support with our solutions and projects. In this blog series, we will keep the focus on the technical aspects. 

Maybe in the future, we will analyze how the conversion to S/4HANA may have an impact on the above-mentioned mega-trends. For example, I think it is interesting to keep an eye on the CPU types that are supported by S/4HANA; in 2021 IBM Power and its RISC CPU entered into the scene (SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems) and who knows if in 2022 AMR and AMS CPUs will also be supported (Why doesn’t SAP open HANA to run on chipsets other than Intel? ). If that is the case, the power consumption would decrease significantly.

In addition, later on, I will tell you about SAP HANA Native Storage Extension that, to its extent can support savings and sustainability. 

Ready, set, go!

 

SAP S/4HANA 2021

As usual, with respect to the yearly release cycle, the new version SAP S/4HANA 2021 was released in October. Improvements are amazing and we can take a taste from the blog SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Highlights in Seconds and enjoy the interesting embedded video. 

The  “What’s New Viewer - SAP S/4HANA” site is then the best way to deep dive into the product news.

 

RISEwithSAP, EasyRISER and EasyRUNNER

I think that the game-changer of the year is the launch of the comprehensive proposition RISEwithSAP

Endless words have been spent on it, I assume that everybody already knows it very well but, in case you don’t, here is the announcement RISE with SAP: Business Transformation as a Service.

During this year, I have been very busy creating our EasyRISER and EasyRUNNER packaged offerings specifically designed to complement RISEwithSAP. The first focuses on the conversion project while the second on the Managed Services. I am proud to say that they have been the first partner packages officially qualified by SAP for the RISE offering. We have already completed the qualification process in Italy, Spain, Portugal and USA and we are now working in other markets.

SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP)

From SAP HANA Cloud Platform to SAP Cloud Platform Neo to Cloud Foundry (CF) to SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). During this year “the Platform” became even more strategic, robust and powerful.

At SAP TechEd 2021 the free Trial edition was announced and very much appreciated by the community.  

In addition, RISE with SAP includes a very interesting Starter Pack (credits) to simplify SAP BTP adoption. 

In the context of innovation and SAP S/4HANA Enhancement and Integration, SAP BTP can really play a relevant role. 

SAP BTP offers hundreds of services including SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Integration Suite,  SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Mobile Services, SAP AI, Conversational AI (ChatBots) and ABAP Steampunk. It’s really strategic for technology-led business innovations.

 

ABAP Steampunk (on SAP BTP or Embedded)

Another game-changer

One of the most popular slogans is “keep SAP ERP core clean” and the strategy seems to be directing our attention to ABAP Steampunk.  It is available as SAP BTP service but it will be also soon available embedded in SAP S/4HANA 2021.

It seems very sure that in the context of Enhancement and Integration Steampunk plays a strategic role and here we can find an interesting blog Steampunk is going all-in

 

DISCOVER PHASE

At Techedge Group, we packed our offering with fixed price and time into the EasyRISER - DISCOVER that includes the support, execution and training also about the topics of the phase.

Readiness Check 2.0

SAP Readiness Check 2.0 is another big news of the last year. 

Personally, I think the name could be improved to stress the point that it is now one of the most powerful friends of the conversion team. It supports the conversion project phases and tasks and with SAP Cloud ALM it is becoming a kind of project collaborative framework.

I would suggest going through the functionalities released in 2021 to get a first idea about how powerful it has become: New in SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA .

Among my favorites there are Readiness Check: Financial Data Quality Check, Fixed Assets Consistency Checks: FIN_AA_CORR_RECON & FIN_AA_CORR_DISPLAY, New Planned Downtime Calculator in SAP Readiness Check Is Now Live, Custom code analysis for SAP S/4HANA with SAP Fiori App Custom Code Migration, Data Volume Management App that now comes with an integration with the EWA data collection.

 

Process Discovery for SAP S/4HANA transformation

It was announced in January, 2021 in the blog NEW: Process Discovery for SAP S/4HANA Transformation (evolution of SAP Business Scenario Recommendations) To me, the PDF version called Process Discovery summary seems a natural evolution of SAP Business Scenario Recommendation.

Process Discovery Solution, the cloud-based analysis, is instead much more interactive and interesting.

Value Lifecycle Management (VLM) - Business Case

With the packages EasyRISEr and EasyRUNNER, I have been very committed to optimizing the times and costs related to a conversion project to SAP S/4HANA.

There is however something missing.

The crucial aspect is about the Why moving to SAP S/4HANA or, in other words, which are the business values supported by SAP S/4HANA in comparison to SAP ECC. This point is now very well addressed by the SAP standard tool SAP Value Management LifeCycle released in 2021.

I recommend everyone to leverage this tool since the very first stages of the conversion initiative. 

Business Process Intelligence (BPI) by Signavio

It is interesting to note that included in the RISEwithSAP proposition there is the Business Process Intelligence (BPI), solution by Signavio, which is a relevant company acquired by SAP in 2021.

 

PREPARE FASE

At Techedge Group, we packed our offering with fixed price and time into the EasyRISER - PREPARE box to support this project phase.

Customer Vendor Integration (CVI)

Reviewing my previous blog SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: Real-life experiences with the Business Partners in 1809 I can confirm that the New Central Cockpit for Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) made available by SAP in this year is very useful.

I suggest analyzing the OSS note 2832085 - New Central Cockpit for Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) to Business Partner.

In addition, SAP RIG released the useful manual SAP S4HANA BP & CVI 04_2021 that together with SAP S/4HANA Cookbook Customer/Vendor Integration make the PREPARATION easier.

 

MOVE FASE

At Techedge Group, we packed our offering with fixed price and time into the EasyRISER - MOVE to support this phase.

SAP HANA Native Storage Extension (NSE) [license free]

Even if game-changer is for sure an abused term, I am convinced that SAP HANA NSE is “the” game-changer when speaking about optimizing the infrastructure TCO. 

The topic is well described in SAP MaxAttentionInnovation Workshop - SAP HANA Native Storage Extension and  News in Table Management for SAP S/4HANA [DT200]

DTV - Data Transition Validation - Tool

Reviewing my previous blog SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: Reduce Business Downtime with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), first of all I confirm that the topic is still very applicable.

We improved our Techedge asset by migrating our “bot” from RPA to ABAP. We now have a neat tool, much simpler and faster and even more appreciated by our customers.

I am very happy that SAP reached the same conclusion and started working on the topic by releasing with OSS note 3117879 - DTV Tool - Central Note a comparable functionality. We already tested it in the source system (SAP ECC) but we have to wait for the next project that will target an SAP S/4HANA 2021, a strong pre-requisite for its implementation. 

Our proprietary asset supports any standard and custom report that produces an ALV list and we are waiting for the next releases of the DTV that at the moment only supports a fixed set of standard SAP reports.

System Downtime

In my previous blog SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: Comparable to Business Downtime of an EhP Upgrade? I discussed the system downtime.

Today I can confirm it is still one of the most critical topics of the conversion projects. 

SAP released very interesting options to reduce downtime. Results are good but, believe me, when the size of the SAP ECC is greater than 2 TB it is important to engage very expert consultants.

There are plenty of optimization options and, improvement after improvement, a target downtime of 48 hours can normally be obtained.

In 2021, for the conversion from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, some new parallelization options have been released as described by the OSS note 2351294 - S/4HANA System Conversion / Upgrade: Measures to reduce technical downtime

Custom Code remediation

This is always a HOT Topic. To be honest, after several projects and after having remediated more than 60K ABAP custom objects we are so confident and fast that I would say the topic is often overestimated.

Our conversion projects have never been delayed or put at risk due to the Custom Code remediation.

Here it is also important to highlight that the standard SAP quickfixes work well saving a lot of time granting, at the same time, a good quality level. For example, consider that in a project, out of 3000 ATC findings, around 1000 have been fixed automatically thanks to this feature.

In addition, as well described here Use SAP Fiori Custom Code Migration App to Analyze Your ABAP Custom Code for SAP S/4HANA Readiness the process is very well supported by standard features.

SAP Fiori

Reviewing my previous blog SAP S/4HANA System Conversion: bye-bye SAPGui, welcome to SAP Business Client and SAP Fiori Mobile App I can share more considerations that came from the latest real cases. 

First of all, I can confirm that the mandatory SAP Fiori Apps are very few. It means that SAP GUI transactions available in the latest version of SAP ECC (EhP7 - EhP8) are still very well supported.

Even if I am a fan of SAP Fiori and I always try to promote its adoption, I have to say that customers with more than 200 end-users often prefer to continue leveraging SAP GUI. They evaluate the SAP Fiori introduction impact carefully, often opting for a phased introduction, by functionalities or by department. 

At each customer site, the debate between confirming SAP GUI or adopting SAP Fiori is always very interesting.

I strongly believe that SAP Business Client for Windows can play an important role in providing the best of both words but unfortunately, I have to confess that it is struggling to be well understood.

Jumping from desktop to mobile, in 2021 the SAP Fiori Mobile App has been defined as obsolete and in 2022 it will be removed from Apple and Google stores, probably because it was based on the deprecated Apache Cordova Kapsel framework.

You can find several blogs about SAP Mobile Start that, for a certain extent, can be considered the SAP Fiori Mobile App successor. For more information, check out SAP Mobile Start – the new native entry point to access applications & contents and OSS Note 2992772 - Removal of SAP Fiori Client From Public App Stores

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