The end of the line for SAP ECC is fast approaching and users need to make swift decisions about how to proceed with migrating to S/4HANA. Initially, there were really only two migration options in opposed directions: a brand-new implementation (greenfield) or a system conversion brownfield) approach. Later on, the hybrid approach Selective Data Transition emerged as a suitable option. Now, SAP has developed the SAP Business Transformation Centre to facilitate S/4HANA migration in the Selective Data Transition scenario. Keep reading to learn more about SAP new solution.
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Different models for S/4 HANA migration
There are a range of options to consider when planning a migration to S/4HANA. A ‘brownfield’ migration typically involves moving absolutely everything on the legacy system across to the new environment. Users get a new ERP environment, but they also retain many of the disadvantages and efficiency problems inherent in their old SAP system It sounds the simplest route to take because it doesn’t involve as much data management, but it can be problematic in the long run, not least because of the high costs of retaining legacy data. S/4 HANA hosting and data processing is expensive.
Instead, organisations may go for a brand new, ‘greenfield’ migration, possibly switching from another non-SAP ERP system, or as part of a radical business transformation strategy. Whilst this approach offers many business benefits, it is also the most challenging and requires extensive business process re-engineering.
For a long time, there were really only two migration options. Now , the hybrid approach, Selective Data Transition (SDT), is starting to emerge and SAP SDT, available within the SAP Business Transformation Centre, is the solution for the job.
SAP Business Transformation Centre, a lean solution
The TJC Group team were very excited to learn more about Lean SDT and SAP’s solution for this at the DSAG Annual Congress in Bremen during September 2023. Lean SDT offers SAP ECC users a middle ground migration path, whereby just a few years’ worth of data is migrated into S/4 HANA (typically around 2-3 years). The remaining data is either archived or decommissioned, depending on business and compliance requirements. To deliver Lean SDT migrations, SAP has developed a new Business Transformation Centre (SAP BTC) within SAP Cloud ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) which forms part of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) environment and is designed to take organisations step by step through the migration process. Importantly, the launch of SAP BTC will (hopefully) ensure that every organisation contemplating migrating to S/4 HANA takes a best practice approach.
Once a lean SDT data migration is completed, it is strongly recommended to decommission the SAP legacy system with a legacy system application. Legacy systems contain huge amounts of critical data that must be kept and maintained due to legal audits, regulatory reasons, or simply for business needs. Enterprise Legacy System Application (ELSA) is a cloud application built on SAP BTP that safely decommissions legacy systems, ensuring all historical data can be accessed at any time from any source, through a single point.
ELSA by TJC creates a tax archive by extracting all the data from the legacy system(s). This is the safest option to ensure future compliance with tax, audit, and data privacy requirements, rather than just sunsetting the legacy system, that is, converting it to read-only status.
Soft launched at the DSAG Jahreskongress 2023
SAP BTC is a new offer by SAP to facilitate Selective Data Transition for S/4HANA Migration. SAP is describing this new migration tool (SAP BTC) as a lean SAP solution that offers an end-to-end, guided process for data migration and transformation’. It was soft launched at the DSAG Jahreskongress 2023 this autumn with immediate availability of 2 of the eventual 6 components.
“The SAP Business Transformation Centre is included in the SAP standard support license and the new solution promises to be a game changer for many organisations struggling with their S/4HANA move.”
One of the features of SAP BTC is to heavily support the development of the digital blueprint for migration with data-driven insights. This is one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of any migration project. Users of SAP BTC will discover that once stages one (Assess) and two (Profile) have been completed using the solution, a digital blueprint then guides the organisation through the remaining four stages. Remarkably, SAP BTC is included in SAP cloud service subscriptions and SAP Enterprise Support, within SAP Cloud ALM.
Our SAP Consultants have explored the solution and created a quick demo for you to get a glimpse of SAP Business Transformation Centre. Watch this video!
Advantages of legacy data decommissioning
Historically, many organisations have resisted data decommissioning, believing it to be unnecessary, however, the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages. Part of the SDT approach to S/4 HANA migration, well known as “time-slice”, involves retaining only the last 2-3 years of data. This business requirement has currently limited support by SAP BTC based on manual user scoping decisions. Nevertheless, the topic is currently part of the externally available roadmap (you will need an SAP universal ID to access this link).
There is a high likelihood that data not migrated may be required in the future, for reporting or audit purposes. Herein lies another advantage of SAP’s ecosystem approach. Also available within SAP BTP is ELSA, an SAP certified solution developed by TJC Group for accessing legacy data. Enterprise Legacy System Application (ELSA) is a best-in-class solution for decommissioning legacy systems (SAP and non-SAP systems) and currently available on SAP store. It was built on SAP Business Technology Platform to “keep the core clean” and ensures that all legacy data is both securely stored and easily re-accessible. ELSA was one of the first solutions to be developed within SAP BTP and the arrival of SAP BTC as a dedicated legacy system transition methodology is a perfect match.
Learn more about SAP BTP and keeping the core clean in S/4HANA migration in this guide: https://www.tjc-group.com/resource/ultimate-guide-to-understanding-sap-btp/
Key benefits of SAP Business Transformation Center
It is well documented that organisations are struggling with the transition from ECC to SAP S/4 HANA and SAP BTC will definitely provide much needed support for this journey. The key benefits of the solution are to provide three levels of assistance:
- Reducing the time requirement – SAP BTC will help cut planning complexity and therefore significantly speed up migration and transformation project cycles.
- Reducing the costs of S/4HANA implementation – deployment of S/4 HANA is expensive and the solution also comes with a low total cost of ownership (TCO) for the long term. SAP BTC addresses this by simultaneously reducing the cost of implementation and improving reliability rates through solution provisioning by SAP, which is included as standard within SAP’s support offering.
- Guided data migration and transformation – SAP’s support function is offering streamlined and guided migration support. In addition to this, organisations planning to switch across to S/4 HANA can benefit from TJC Group’s expertise as data decommissioning experts. We can help you implement ongoing ILM (information lifecycle management) and permanently get your data under tight control.
Find more about SAP Business Transformation Centre in this blog post by Matthias Schilka, author of this article: https://blogs.sap.com/2023/06/29/sap-business-transformation-center-digital-blueprint/
Finding the perfect formula that best suits your company isn’t an easy job. In fact, Data Management in S/4HANA migration has been a key reason behind many organisations delaying their decisions but now, a promising new solution has been released by SAP.
We are very excited and encouraged about the arrival of SAP BTC. Although it was clearly only a ‘soft launch’ at this stage, what it demonstrates is that SAP, just like TJC Group, is committed to supporting users with their future migrations to S/4 HANA.
Get in touch with us to speak to TJC Group experts about SAP Business Transformation Center and how to implement it. As SAP partners with over 25 years of experience in Data Management, we are confident that we can support you with data management challenges in the S/4HANA move.