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Data Migration From ECC To S4 HANA (Detailed Guide)

If you’re, theoretically, an “SAP insider and enthusiast,” you probably already heard that SAP has recently extended its support of SAP ECC. And according to the brand-new deal, it will go through till the year of 2027. In addition to this, the consumers also have the option to buy extended maintenance at a two percent premium through 2030.

However, this extension doesn’t mean you can waste your time, though.

Digital technologies, which allow modern work culture, will continue to be important for the rest of our future. Hence, it’ll be critical for businesses to embrace and integrate the intelligent enterprise model today to ensure their success in the market.

The current customers of SAP ECC (ERP Central Component) should prepare for S/4 HANA, which is considered to be the future of SAP.

 

What is SAP ECC?

SAP ECC, in essence, is an on-premise ERP infrastructure that can integrate information from one area to another in real-time. Therefore, with it, you can get an update on one segment of a business procedure, such as sales, and trigger updates on a related section, like inventory.

Having a collaborative view of the enterprise resources can enable a manager to make various data-driven decisions that improve and optimize core business processes.

SAP ECC, if used properly, can improve your business operations eminently, especially in the departments of logistics, finance, HR, product planning, and consumer service. 

Also, the ERP system of SAP is highly modular and, therefore, can be used piece by piece as required by a business-related landscape. Besides, it can also work with a customized or third-party application due to the level of flexibility it comes with.

However, here’s the worrying part.

As mentioned before, the support for SAP ECC has almost reached the end of the line, as it’ll be stopped after 2027. That’s why it’s important to move to SAP S/4HANA quickly.

 

What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is the latest ERP offering provided by SAP and is entirely based upon HANA in-memory database to help you execute transactions properly. And you’ll be able to evaluate your business data in real-time and gain important insights into the data you have. 

The user experience of the same is pretty decent too. You can easily find whatever data you’re looking for by using a single click. It’s much more powerful and flexible than SAP ECC too.

Apart from these, it can also –

  • It’s easier to update business models on SAP S/4HANA than on SAP ECC. Hence, if you are working in a hybrid environment, it’ll be perfect to the touch for you.
  • With S/4HANA, businesses don’t need to fold acquisitions into their core. Instead, the data can be kept in the SAP public cloud for much better usage.
  • Unlike SAP ECC, HANA comes with more and more functionalities embedded into a single solution. Therefore, it becomes easier for you to reduce the ownership costs too.
  • The in-memory database of SAP HANA is much faster and more agile than usual. Besides, the smart data design can also reduce their overall time consumption even more.
  • Due to the embedded machine learning and AI system, the SAP S/4HANA structure is capable of offering faster and better predictive outcomes than usual.

Furthermore, the period-end closings tend to get speedier with SAP S/4HANA as well. Also the predictive analysis system of the same can improve this aspect as well. 

The assets of the organization are also maintained exclusively and proactively too. Hence, it’ll become easier for the organization to predict when a machine needs maintenance and provide the same to it accordingly. The simple and intuitive interface is the cherry on top.

SAP ECC to SAP HANA – Data Conversion

When migrating data from SAP ECC to SAP HANA, it’s possible to work with three different conversion methods. Here’s what you need to know about them.

1: A Brownfield Approach

With this method, you will be able to migrate your SAP-based data by converting the existing environment without any disruption or implementation. While you’re implementing a specific brownfield approach, you can keep performing your business-related processes accordingly.

This procedure generally works well for companies who are satisfied with their previous working structure and want to get it to the new environment. Some of its benefits of it are –

  • With it, you will be able to migrate the ECC version of your infrastructure into an SAP S/4HANA ecosystem without any disruption. It’ll be possible to pick up some specific elements selectively and ensure that they are being implemented into HANA.
  • In this case, you’re adopting the current processes with your system accordingly. So it will be easier for you to get done with the procedure quickly and efficiently. It will not cause any disruption to your system, so that’s another plus point too.
  • As you are not starting anything from scratch, you can also complete this procedure in a few days too. When compared to a greenfield approach, it feels less time-consuming and faster. The risk of making an error will be low too.

However, if there is something wrong with your previous system, it will limit your scope of growing your business properly. Also, this procedure might be less-compatible if you think of working with a future-facing technological procedure or practice. Additionally, the technical impediments will be more prominent compared to greenfield too.

2: A Greenfield Approach

Unlike the previous, the greenfield approach refers to developing your system for an entirely new environment. And to do that, you will need to begin your journey from a clean slate – so there shouldn’t be any legacy code around it. 

This approach is used when you’re beginning fresh and don’t want to keep any dependencies or restrictions around. However, opting for a greenfield development has become quite rare in today’s dynamic world, as it can be quite time-consuming.

But, if used properly, it can be quite beneficial for your system in more than one way –

  • It can offer an opportunity to integrate state-of-the-art technology from scratch. Due to the clean slate offered for software development, it’s mostly used when you are trying to get rid of all the issues your previous infrastructure had.
  • With it, you won’t have the compulsion to work within any constraint of the previous infrastructure or system. There’s no need to be dependent on preconceived notions or business procedures as well.

Nevertheless, if you don’t have a clear direction on how you should begin your project, it may get unsuccessful after a while. The degree of risk of the project will get comparatively higher too. Besides, as there are too many development options available out there, you might not have an understanding of what approach you need to take.

3: Selective Data Transition

A selective data transition procedure, in general, is a middle ground for both a greenfield and a brownfield approach. With it, you can take a small amount of data from the system you used to use before while starting some segments from a clean slate.

With this approach, you can easily define brand-new configuration settings and improve all your business proceedings exclusively. Additionally, it’ll enable you to keep all your historical data and convert the same to fit into the desired S/4HANA configuration.

Here’s how it can be beneficial for your business or transformational project –

  • It’ll help you avoid business disruptions when you are moving data to SAP S/4HANA. This approach can enable you to go for a single go-live while ensuring that you’re able to move a huge amount of data at once.
  • With it, you can migrate your relevant historical data only while retaining a consistent document flow or process chain accordingly. Leave as much obsolete data behind as it is possible, like all of your outdated company codes.
  • Define whatever speed or efficiency you want to get through and combine projects and data segments effortlessly. The near-zero downtime approach of the same can prompt the entire procedure to complete within a couple of hours or so.

In any case, you will need a proper plan before you can go with the selective data procedure. It’s not too difficult to get through if we’re being honest. But you will need to have a proper idea about what you are doing. So, get to planning today!

Direct Data Transfer to SAP S/4HANA from ECC

There’s another way that can help you with the data migration in SAP S/4HANA. It’s known as the direct data transfer procedure. It’s quick, efficient, and the least difficult.

Here’s how the process usually goes –

  • If you want to start data migration, the first thing you need to do is create a project in a FIORI-based ecosystem. Clicking on ‘create new migration project’ will do the trick.
  • Now, choose the migration object for which you wish to migrate the master data. One example of it can be the Fi-CO Cost Center.
  • Once you click on ‘save,’ it will ask you whether you want to migrate any predecessor object alongside the same or not. If you do, click on ‘add.’
  • Now, tap on ‘view details’ to check the predecessor details properly and click on add to include the ‘cost center object.’ Here, you can find more about who created the file, the source system, and the date when it was created.
  • After that, tap on the Click on Cost Center project, and it will display an enlistment of the migration objects available in the segment. As no activity has been created for the migration, you will find the object to be ‘not ready for Processing.’
  • Now, tap on ‘show activity tracking,’ and you will see the status of migration project preparation as ‘Started.’ Once it’s done, the activity status will move to ‘completed.’
  • After the migration activity is completed, you will find out the ‘not ready for process’ status to disappear. It means that the migration object is ready to be processed.

Now, you can select whatever data you want to move from SAP S/4HANA to SAP ECC. It’ll be done in an instant or may take a few hours to complete.