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SAP S/4HANA Migration: Are You Ready for the Move?

Maria Homann

Maria Homann

Many enterprises rely on SAP to run their most critical business processes. Most of these businesses will eventually have to face the transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.

SAP S/4 HANA is the successor of SAP ECC (Enterprise Core Component) and is thus SAP's new Business Suite offering for enterprises.

Related reading: What Businesses Forget When Testing Enterprise Applications

This new Business Suite is intended to be easier and more agile to use and administer, and to help enterprises solve more complex business processes and handle more data than its predecessors.

However, to reap those benefits, enterprises will have to set up their systems anew in SAP S/4HANA, which is a big pain due to the amount of time it will take as well as the risk involved in tampering with business critical processes.

The deadline for migrating is not until 2027 but as a business, you should already consider how to approach the transition. As the process can take up to a year, business should begin by putting a testing plan in place to secure a safe transition.

Best practices for transitioning to SAP S/4HANA

It can be a good idea to get experts to advise and guide you through this comprehensive transition, and so we recommend reaching out to one of our partners, NNIT, who are specialized within this area for consulting services.

A good starting point, however, is to learn about the process ahead of you. For that, we have put together this informative guide in collaboration with SAP Consulting Director Kenneth Vagn Olsen at NNIT.

This guide answers the following frequently asked questions:

  • What makes SAP S/4HANA different from previous SAP ERP Business Suites?
  • How long does the transition take?
  • When should I start the transition journey?
  • What tools are available to get me through the process?
  • How can I lower the risk involved?
  • What should I know when searching for an SAP S/4HANA testing tool?

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What makes SAP S/4HANA different from previous SAP ERP Business Suites?

With SAP S/4HANA, SAP are releasing an entirely new product line of their ERP business suite that offers several benefits in the form of a series of new features. All in all, SAP S/4HANA is intended to give users a better experience with a faster and more streamlined execution of individual transactions.

How long does the migration take?

The current deadline for transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is in 2027. After 2027, customers will only be supported by optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030, with a maintenance commitment until the end of 2040. According to SAP, it can be done in as little as 6 months, but longer if you have many and complex customizations, whether you use consultants, or have particular regulatory compliance, and what tool you use to test the transition.

When should I start the transition journey?

Some organizations will have very complex SAP ECC solutions implemented that require more time. And some solutions, processes and integrations will need to be tested before others, or they’ll be contingent upon one another. This calls for a cyclical approach, with testing gates that check whether a process runs as intended before moving on to the next. For this reason, test automation is a crucial component in your migration setup.

What tools are available to get me through the process?

SAP has its own set of tools lined up to help you through the transition journey. These include the Maintenance Planner, the Readiness Check 2.0, the Custom Code Worklist, the Software Update Manager, and the Value Assurance Packages. Bringing external consultants to assist you can be a good investment.

How can I lower the risk involved?

Testing is the best way to lower the risk involved in the transition to SAP S/4HANA, and with automated testing, it becomes feasible to test much more than if you were to perform the tests manually.

What should I know when searching for an SAP S/4HANA testing tool?

Choosing the right testing tool is crucial to success with SAP test automation. It can also get you off to a fast and efficient start.

In sum, you should look for an automation tool that lets you:

  • Do end-to-end automation inside and outside SAP
  • Execute robust, lightning-fast tests for maximum efficiency
  • Easily generate master data and build flows to verify processes
  • Implement test automation and RPA without writing a single line of code

For more information on transitioning to SAP S/4HANA, and how to automate tests in SAP with Leapwork, you can download the detailed guide or join our on-demand webinar where you can get all the answers to your questions. Or, see Leapwork no-code automation in action by starting a trial today.

This blog post was created in collaboration between Leapwork and NNIT.

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