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October Roundtable Q&A Thread

Topics: SPS Companies S/4HANA Cloud Story, RISEwithSAP, Landscape Transformation, Selective Data Transition

Q1. Can you share any lessons learned, gotcha’s, things you would do differently if you had to do it all over again with regard to SDT?

One important thing to understand is the need of at least one additional testing cycle (possibly even two) compared to a Brownfield conversion. Since Selective Data Transition (SDT) involves complex data transformation from SAP ECC into new S/4HANA structures, it is imperative to have thorough testing to ensure things are working the way they are supposed to. Another recommendation would be to consider tackling as much as possible that you can up front. For example, Business Partner (BP). Getting BP activated in ECC prior to your S/4HANA move will reduce complexity (or overall stress curve) of the later project.

Q2. What was the timeframe of the single go live?

The SPS Companies S/4HANA Go-Live took place over a weekend as is commonly the case. Depending on the database size this will of course vary (12-48hrs is common). We also offer downtime optimization options with pre/post-loads of historical data or even near-zero downtime options but this carries an additional cost for customers who would like to keep system downtime to an absolute minimum.

Q3. How does the SDT approach relate to legacy (LSMW, EMIGALL/ Migration Workbench) and Migration cockpit strategies or are they complementary?

The cbs ET Enterprise Transformer software for SDT can be used to complement standard SAP data migration solutions such as LSMW (for ECC) and the S/4HANA Migration Cockpit in a more Greenfield adoption S/4HANA scenario. In such scenarios SDT tools extend the flexibility of what is possible to migrate such as large volume historical transactional data. For conversion+ type S/4HANA adoption scenarios the SDT approach comes with a specific methodology, technical steps and the SDT tools for migration will be exclusively used for the data migration. The SDT proprietary migration tools work at the database level, contrary to traditional data migration tools who are going through the SAP logic in the application layer. This also greatly affects the speed of the migration, as the cbs ET can run 200+ jobs in parallel and migrate sales orders without the material master having been migrated beforehand for example. This is where the SDT tools add a lot of flexibly.

Q4. We have one sap box that is over 20yrs old.  Can SDT be used as an approach to move only maybe last 5 years of data to HANA along with all dependent data & archive rest of data?

The short answer is Yes. Archiving is a topic that would need to be discussed separately, however. In the case of SPS Companies, we focused exactly on just the previous 5 years of data, along with 15 out of the 30 company codes they had in ECC (the 15 left behind corresponded to companies they had sold over the years as an M&A&D growth strategy organization).

Q5. Historically we had 2 SAP Boxes, 5 years back we merged them in One Box but we never got a chance to Harmonize and Business process. if we choose to go via SDT, do we have opportunity to Harmonize and How do we deal with Migration of open transaction?

Yes. We’d be able to harmonize data and business processes in combination with an S/4HANA transition using SDT. This is something a lot of customers are considering as a value “add-on” to a traditional Brownfield adoption. Using SDT as some sort of system clean-up/harmonization step on the way to S/4. We also see for very large systems the ability to split up the inevitable big-bang go live that one would be forced into with a Brownfield approach into multiple, more manageable waves via SDT.

Open transactions can be migrated without any issues.

Q6. What about cybersecurity in this case? who will be responsible for the protection of Data?

The cbs ET software does not require any additional system installation. The software is  ABAP-based and imported in your secure SAP environment in your data center. The data extraction into flatfiles on your file system takes place from your SAP ERP source and then moved to the target file system through your secure system file directory structure before uploading into the SAP ERP – S/4HANA target system. this is the common way of working and we have extensive experience in working with confidential and classified data. The aforementioned flatfiles can be delivered encrypted or decrypted for review the business. As described above as a customer you would have full visibility on the data stream; There is no direct communication between different systems nor SolMan; There is no upload of data into any other system, including Cloud – Therefore Security is preserved.

Q7. We want to deploy S4/HANA on premises but the Dev and Test will be on cloud environment. What’s the minimum bandwidth required to have access to the cloud environment?

The system resource requirements, database- application- network bandwidth are important elements in the success of the project and specifically for the optimization of the business downtime during the production cut-over and always tailored to the specific scenario of the project. This requires further discussion.  

Q8. SDT can be used for Oracle and SQL data bases?


Q9. In the near future, can IT assets will be managed by SAP S4/HANA?

There are different products available to manage IT assets; some information can be stored in S/4HANA. This requires further discussion.  

Q10. Are there others that offer a similar approach to SDT? Or is CBS/Cap at the forefront? (Debbie S.)

From a technical migration and specialized software perspective there are only 4 companies globally capable of performing SDT complex data transformations (SAP DMLT and cbs are two of the four). Capgemini and cbs have a strategic partnership in place around SDT and have built a combined service offering leveraging the cbs ET software. This partnership provides deep knowledge and global scale to our customers to successfully executed M&A&D and S/4HANA Business Transformations.

Q11. Can you expand a little on what RISEwithSAP is? How do you tailor this to each individual customer, so you use what you want, but exclude what you don’t need?

SAP has traditionally been selling software as a product company.  Under Christian Klein’s leadership a significant investment has been made to make the full scope of products that were exclusively available as on-prem features now to be commercially available as SaaS products on both public cloud and private cloud offerings, giving customers a choice.  RISE with SAP represents these SaaS offering both for existing and new customers coupled with entitlement starter packages for Business Transformation Platform (BTP), Business Process Insights, Asset Intelligence Network, Logistics Business network to help them fully realize a transformation to an Intelligent enterprise.  We tailor the offering based on their Industry, Size and scope that is based on their adoption strategy.  It’s very easy to customize the model since SAP has taken away the headache of sizing activities since the infrastructure that is bundled will scale based on the scope.

Q12. Can you provide a breakdown of how many customers are choosing Green vs Brown vs Selective Data Transition?

Guru: There is no specific breakdown of customers going one way or the other. We have, however, noticed over a 150% increase in demand over the last year alone from customers inquiring about SDT. As more and more customers continue to step into their S/4HANA transformation journeys, we expect this trend to continue.

Q13. What is the typical timeline on a project like this, and how did you scope out the requirements to make the project a success?

Like we mentioned during our session with Justin Moldrup (IT Director, SPS Companies), the original timeline was estimated at around 8 months. This was quickly adjusted to a year after it was identified that additional testing was required due to the complex nature of the data transformation. Of course, each customer’s journey is unique, and this is why we always recommend customers to take advantage of all the free SAP reports available to help kickstart the journey. At cbs and Capgemini we typically like to engage with customers during the very early stages of the decision-making process, and combine additional technical analysis using our own tools, as well as high level strategic management consulting to understand what the new system needs to look like, what is the envisioned business transformation and overall roadmap. This can typically range from a simple two-day management consulting workshop to a full-scope, granular 6-mo technical readiness with POC offering for larger customers with very complex environments. It really all depends.

Q14. As a live S/4HANA customer, how would you recommend as a starting point for someone just starting the journey?

  1. Take advantage of all the free reports available from SAP such as the Business Scenario Recommendation Report (BSR), S/4HANA Readiness Check, etc
  2. Start thinking about S/4HANA right now and establish the Business Case, adoption path and overall roadmap
  3. Engage with a knowledgeable partner who’s done it before. There are many companies out there that can talk the talk but haven’t actually had the experience in projects like this.