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SAP Data Migration – how does it work?

So, you’re thinking about migrating to SAP S/4HANA?

Well, it’s an excellent decision, we must say. After all, it can make…

  •       It is much easier for you to update your business model.
  •       Total cost of ownership will be lower.
  •       Quicken the process of getting new analytical insights.
  •       Offer better, faster, and more efficient forecasting.
  •       The user interface is much simpler.

And, with it by your side, you can also automate almost any kind of tedious and tricky task in a second. There’s no need to think too much about anything at all.

However, here’s the thing.

The process of SAP data migration is quite difficult and complicated. Without the right knowledge, it can look like a huge and daunting task. Let’s see if we can help provide a bit of context to help you navigate the waters.

Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll cover the following –

  •       What is SAP data migration and data migration factory?
  •       How does it benefit you?
  •       The primary steps of data migration.

There will be some additional information available here as well. So, we’ll request you to keep reading until the end and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


SAP Data Migration and Data Migration Factory

In essence, SAP data migration is a technical procedure that allows you to move all your data and information into your new S/4HANA system.

Now, you can add the data from an existing SAP system or a non-SAP system. The process of migrating will change depending on the source you are using. There are standard SAP tools, as well as various 3rd party tools in the market to help execute these types of data migrations.

Now, let’s talk about the data migration factory. This is a specific program that can help you simplify as well as accelerate the adoption of –

  •       SAP HANA database.
  •       SAP Data Warehouse.

This will help customers achieve cross-platform integration and help customers fast-track their modernization and digital transformation journeys.

The program generally comes with a few automation tools, industry-best practices, and loads of accelerators. These are all supported and approved by SAP.


The offerings of an SAP Database Migration Program

The SAP Database Migration factory programs provide the ability to bring together 3rd party data from a variety of platforms into SAP HANA. These may include the following –

  •       Custom and well-configured applications (it might include a few third-party enterprise data warehouses).
  •       ESRI Geodatabase (it can run almost any kind of third-party database).
  •       SAP business applications (SAP S/4HANA, SoH, SAP BW/4HANA).
  •       ISV applications (like the ESRI Geodatabase, it can also run almost every app).
  •       Sybase upgrades and SAP HANA Migrations + Sybase.

Bringing all these together is making SAP HANA the most preferred platform for data warehousing out there.


Advantages of using the migration program

The SAP data migration program can improve the speed and efficacy of the process. It can also help out with the following too –


Benefit – 1: Can work as a trusted advisor.

The program can literally offer the insights you need to improve or rectify your data migration procedure. You can also get an idea about the ROI, value, and overall cost ownership for a wide array of products.


Benefit – 2: Can support optimal deployment.

You can easily deploy any kind of customized feature you have made in SAP. This doesn’t really affect how your business structure works at all. Instead of just doing a lift-and-shift, leverage key innovation and new functionality without disruption.


Benefit – 3: Lower the risk of implementation.

As mentioned before, you can easily choose from a wide array of tools and software to foster the migration procedure. Hence, it can help you reduce the risk of implementation, as each of these apps is perfected by SAP.


The Phases of SAP Data Migration

Whether you are going through an SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA data migration procedure, you must always consider the same phases. Each of these is going to be a critical success factor in the project.


Phase – 1: Discover.

The first step of your data migration task is always to embark in a discovery phase. In this segment, you and the team are going to get an understanding of your data footprint, as well as getting introduced to tools such as the migration cockpit for example.

This really focuses on education. What’s the sizing going to look like, how will the landscape infrastructure look like. You are essentially doing the pre-project to make sure you will be taking the right approach during execution.


Phase – 2: Making the preparation.

Once you are done discovering the issues and have taken care of them, you can start the preparation for your migration. The tasks related to such might include the following –

  •       Creating a business process map (in this case, you’ll need to discuss the data format as well as the data requirement properly).
  •       Working on the specific migration approach and strategy –
  •       Preparing a brand-new data migration workshop (be sure to check if there’s an issue lurking here and there within the platform).
  •       Conducting the data migration workshop (once you’re done with the check-up and all, you can deploy the workshop right away).
  •       Beginning a data audit proceeding (check the health of the available data that you want to migrate from one platform to another).
  •       Preparing the scope of data migration and gathering up all the requirements or assessment-related documentation.
  •       Presenting the scope and documentation in front of your team and asking them to evaluate it. If there’s a problem with anything, they should raise it now.
  •       Conduct an organizational assessment proceeding to begin your data migration in the best possible manner.

Apart from these, you’ll also need to conduct a risk assessment during this phase. It will ensure that your system is ready for the migration process.

Finally, if you are unsure about things there are always demo or playground environments for additional testing. This comes with an added price tag, but an available option for those hesitant about the migration.


Phase – 3: Exploration.

In this phase, you’ll have to start working on designing the legacy data migration. Remember, it’s going to be used through the next (realize) phase.

The specific tasks that you may need to undergo here can include the following –

  •       Conduct a data mapping workshop.
  •       Conduct a thorough data quality assessment procedure.
  •       Make sure that the ownership of the master data management processes looks good.
  •       Define a proper manual and automated data migration approach.
  •       Prepare a data quality plan for your migration process.

Finally, you’ll also need to prepare a proper data security plan. It’s best to do it sooner rather than later or it might come back to bite you later.


Phase – 4: The Realization.

Now, in this phase, you’ll have to complete and execute the whole data migration. In this aspect, the migration cockpit is going to be established properly. This way, it’ll be best for you to carry out the quality assessment system. The tasks that may include here are –

  •       QAS or Quality Assurance Environment data load –
  •       Prepare and load transactional data into the QAS infrastructure.
  •       Curate and get done with the transactional data into the QAS infrastructure.
  •       Preliminary cutover plan –
  •       Prepare and assess the preliminary cutover plan.
  •       Review and adjust the plan.
  •       Conduct production support readiness check process.
  •       Work on a master data process assessment and corporate change readiness check.
  •       Legacy data migration –
  •       Validate and execute manual data migration.
  •       Develop as many data migration program units as possible.
  •       Obtain and gather well-maintained data quality reports.

As always, testing data quality is key. Without data validation testing there is no way of ensuring the migration was a success. We always recommend that customers execute a minimum of 3 test cycles, including UAT.


Final Phase – Run.

Once you are done with moving the data from your legacy system into SAP, it will start running. If the migration procedure was followed, all things should be operational.

There will always be minor issues here and there, this is normal. Over the course of the next few weeks, small issues will continually be brought up by the business until the system has stabilized, and the IT organization can focus on growing and further enhancing SAP for the future.


FAQs – Answering whatever’s lurking in your head

We feel like we’ve talked about almost everything at this point. However, if you still feel like we have missed out on something, here is a short FAQ.


What is SAP Data Migration?

SAP data migration, in essence, is a procedure of transferring data between various computer storage types and file formats. In this case, you may need to transfer the required information from a non-SAP system to an SAP-based one or traditional hardware to a cloud-based system. In addition to these, you can use the same upgrade from an older SAP format to a new one.


What is the difference between S/4HANA and SAP HANA?

SAP HANA is SAP’s in-memory database technology. S/4HANA (SAP for HANA) is SAP’s newest ERP created specifically to leverage the speed benefits from the HANA database.  It is the core business suite launched or provided as the next-generation ERP.


Why is SAP Data Migration so difficult?

It’s not difficult, per se. However, the technology can be a little complicated to use for people who aren’t familiar with data migrations. Due to this reason, it’d be best to engage with data migration specialists who have experience and can support you throughout the process. Data is the new oil, so making sure it is handled safely, and is accessible will be key factors of success.


Why Should You Migrate To SAP?

SAP is the clear market leader in ERP technology, with over 50 years in the market. Its software solutions are flexible and mature, but more importantly, have been proven across a wide variety of industries.

It has a wide array of industry solutions to help address specific market requirements, as well as a great partner ecosystem with millions of experts available to share their experiences with your team. Whether you want to move into the cloud, or remain on premise, SAP allows the customer to decide how the tool will be shaped to benefit them.


Migrate in the right manner!

So, there you go.

We hope we could offer as much information as you were looking for from this article. But, if you are still looking for something else or want to add additional data here, please comment.

We do check the comment section on our website regularly. You’ll definitely get some sort of reply from us as soon as possible.

Great! So, that’ll be all for this one. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you in the next article!