SAP S/4HANA Migration
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- Problem description
2025 will see SAP terminate support for all previous versions of SAP S/4HANA. For most existing SAP customers, this is a mammoth project, not a simple upgrade, but a new implementation. The greatest challenge, both in terms of complexity and time, is the migration of data and documents to the new environment.
Existing SAP customers who are already planning their migration to the new software generation from Walldorf are quickly faced with a workload of several thousand man-days for large SAP installations with several terabytes of data volume. Added to this, there are the potentially considerable investments in the new infrastructure that will become necessary as a result of implementing SAP S/4HANA.
In addition, the database inevitably contains many erroneous data records that have accumulated over the years. These would be transferred to the new environment during a complete migration without prior cleanup.
The migration of existing data pools to SAP S/4HANA also requires their transformation because the database structures are different. If the legacy systems are no longer run after migration, problems arise with internal auditing as well as with external audits. Who could guarantee that no data was changed during the transformation? It is precisely for this reason that the SAP inventory systems cannot be simply switched off during a migration to SAP S/4HANA, at least not until the various retention obligations and periods are fulfilled.
The situation is made even more complicated by new requirements that not only regulate storage and retrieval but also erasure. Since 25 May 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) has obliged companies to be able to reliably erase certain information precisely at the level of individual data records.
Migration to SAP S/4HANA, in which all data and documents from the existing systems are transferred to the new world and the legacy systems have to continue to run parallel to the new software generation, makes no sense from a business perspective. The continued operation of legacy systems in companies is a major reason why 80 percent of the entire IT budget is generally spent on operations alone. 70 percent of this alone is often accounted for by the cost of legacy systems. On the other hand, a division of 60 percent for IT operations and 40 percent for innovations would be ideal, and in fact permanent.
An equally high hurdle is the lack of data quality after migration. Because digitization lives on data. If these are not correct, highly automated processes between man and machine, but also between the machines themselves, only function to a limited extent and are prone to errors. Analyzes of erroneous data lead to wrong conclusions, which may have fatal consequences for the further development of business models.
Finally, the continued operation of existing SAP systems represents a legal risk for companies as long as they are not retrofitted for the EU GDPR erasure requirements. However, this retrofit is associated with a high technical workload and financial expenditure.
The solution to the challenges associated with migration to SAP S/4HANA is the system-independent management of the entire life cycle of legacy data and documents – also and especially as part of the target landscape after migration. Data Migration International has developed the JiVS IMP information management platform precisely for this purpose.
The road to SAP S/4HANA is indeed rocky. A huge mountain of accumulated data and documents as well as business logic from the existing systems makes the journey so arduous. Should the mountain be removed, loaded and transported to its destination (Brownfield)? Should you bypass it, leave it behind and start again on the green field (Greenfield)? Or should you just remove parts and deposit the mountain elsewhere, in a slightly different form and on a smaller scale (Bluefield)?
4.1 Data staging area
JiVS IMP generally acts as a central collection point and provisioning area or “data staging area” for company information. Data and its quality can be analyzed and optimized here, for example, using duplicate cleansing, enrichment from other, business-relevant sources and harmonization. By the way, this is of essential importance not just for migration projects, but also in all agile business scenarios such as mergers & acquisitions or digital transformation and the resulting digital business models and processes.
The JiVS IMP data staging area reveals its full benefit when migrating to the SAP S/4HANA und SAP C/4HANA. There are five steps to shorten, speed up and reduce the cost of the path to the new SAP world:
JiVS IMP is the solution to the problem of getting rid of legacy issues – regardless of whether customers choose a greenfield, brownfield or bluefield approach for migration. As JiVS IMP allows the management of data and documents that are no longer operationally required, including their business logic throughout their entire life cycle: from their transfer from the production systems to legally compliant storage and final erasure. Thanks to JiVS IMP, customers can view information management independently of the question of whether they are taking individual developments and configurations from existing SAP systems over in whole or in part to the new SAP world based on the brownfield or bluefield approach, or whether they are returning to the greenfield standard.
The most important aspect of housekeeping to switch to SAP S/4HANA, however, is that historical information remains accessible at all times. This allows companies to migrate only that part of the data to SAP S/4HANA that they actually need in their day-to-day business, such as open orders.
Once the information pool has been transferred from the legacy systems to JiVS IMP, the analysis can begin of whether and which data the customers need and which they don’t need in SAP S/4HANA. JiVS IMP offers an analysis tool with various parameterization options for this. For example, the information stored in the legacy system can be selected sorted by orders that are older than six months and have therefore already been completed, or by company codes and plants that no longer exist. Other selection criteria for data reduction potential analysis (DRPA) would include organizational units, various master data and transaction data types, modules that are no longer required, such as MM/PP and Basic, or certain business objects. This DRPA results in reports for management in the form of whitelists or blacklists that specify which tables and fields in tables are transferred or are no longer required.
JiVS IMP therefore already provides a very good basis for deciding whether and to what extent the switch to SAP S/4HANA is worthwhile already during the identify phase. Due to the large number of successfully completed SAP projects, JiVS IMP knows the data structures of various SAP releases from R/3 Version 3.0 up to SAP ECC 6.0. The selection criteria no longer have to be developed, but just configured.
Once it has been clarified what’s operational and what’s historical information, the detailed planning of data selection and migration follows in the design phase. This also takes place on JiVS IMP. The selection criteria from the identify phase are then further refined and tested, so that the cut in the data pool can be automatically done by software and real-time access to the data pool in SAP.
But the design phase offers even more advantages: It allows decisions to be made as to whether the number of business objects in SAP S/4HANA can be massively reduced from the 180 maximum possible to perhaps 40 or 50, for example through process changes or returning to the SAP standard.
At the end of the design phase, JiVS IMP provides accurate and tested filter rules as whitelists and blacklists. This gives customers the choice of whether they want to use the SAP conversion tool or third-party solutions to transform and migrate the information. Alternatively, JiVS IMP can transfer the complete data package to SAP’s Migration Cockpit and JiVS IMP’s own Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) solution or to third-party ETL tools such as SNP.
Once the migration has been completed and SAP S/4HANA has been successfully started, JiVS IMP wholeheartedly plays its strategic role as part of the target architecture during the operational phase (Operate). With JiVS IMP, many problems typical for existing SAP environments can be avoided right from the start in the SAP S/4HANA world. This includes, for example, the continuously rising need for resources. As a result, data and documents that are no longer needed in day-to-day business after a certain point in time can be regularly historized using JiVS IMP. SAP S/4HANA therefore remains permanently lean, which reduces operating costs accordingly over time.
Furthermore, the information in JiVS IMP continues to be of high value not just for legal but also for business reasons. The longer the order and project lead times are in an industry, the more regularly business users need to access information from the past. They also only get an all-round view of a customer or process if they actually know what information exists for it as a whole. However, they do not want to switch back and forth between different environments for this purpose; after all, media breaks are taboo in the cloud age.
4.7 Integrated SAP editions
With its SAP-specific S/4HANA and C/4HANA editions of JiVS IMP, Data Migration International is offering the optional integration of its information management platform into target systems. Irrespective of the interface, whether it’s SAP Fiori, S/4 or C/4, SAP users are shown the information pool belonging to a business case. They also have the option of navigating directly to this content and opening it from the respective SAP interface. This not only increases productivity, but also user satisfaction when working with JiVS IMP.
Backend integrations also play an important role in addition to these frontend integrations. As the data structures will change again and again with SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA. Automating the data transfer to SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA from less structured non-SAP systems, for example, requires a dynamic adaptation of the mapping rules in JiVS IMP. For this, changes to the data structures must be automatically transferred via the interface to the Java-based platform for information management. This is exactly the option that the JiVS IMP editions for SAP S/4HANA and SAP C/4HANA offer.
Customers can implement JiVS IMP both in their own data center or use offers from the public cloud for implementation. Supported environments include the Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. At the same time, customers can choose from a variety of popular database management systems (DBMS), from IBM Db2 to Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server to SAP IQ.
- Customer benefits
Over 1,000 implementations worldwide have shown that this concept works. The costs for operating JiVS IMP are generally 80 percent lower than the expenditure to continue running the legacy systems. The fact that the information is transferred unchanged from the legacy systems and stored audit-proof is recognized by auditors, so legal certainty with regard to the tax authorities is provided. Add to that: As a Java-based platform, JiVS IMP is independent of the systems on which it runs. Consequently, there is no spare parts problem with the hardware, as is the case with legacy systems. As a living system, JiVS IMP also allows for regular security updates, so that the risk of cyber attacks and espionage is permanently contained. Once the information, including the underlying business logic, has been transferred from the legacy systems to JiVS IMP, it can be completely switched off and disposed of.
5.1 High degree of automation
Thanks to a very high degree of automation, JiVS IMP enables the transfer of all information from legacy systems at the touch of a button. Compared to conventional methods, this corresponds to an acceleration of several orders of magnitude.
5.2 Massive data reduction
As a rule of thumb, transaction data is not required for more than one year. This means a 90 percent reduction in the original information pool for a legacy system that has been in operation for 10 years and a 95 percent reduction for a system that has been in operation for 20 years. In addition, the new systems can be kept permanently lean and can therefore be operated more cost-effectively by continuously moving information generated and processed there to JiVS IMP on a specific date, for example, one year after generation.
5.3 Migration into the future
Whether it’s greenfield, brownfield or bluefield, JiVS IMP supports any migration approach that customers choose. For this purpose, JiVS IMP follows the same business object-focused approach as conversion and migration tools from SAP (e.g. Migration Cockpit) or third-party vendors. This support is directly reflected at the JiVS IMP repository level. As a result, JiVS IMP is able to map the business objects of the legacy systems as well as the new software generations and their further developments at database level. For example, SAP S/4HANA no longer distinguishes between the business objects Customer and Vendor like SAP ECC 6.0, but only recognizes the common business object Business Partner. Using JiVS IMP, auditors can display customer data and documents as they were created in SAP ECC 6.0. However, a customer adviser working with SAP S/4HANA receives a view of the customer in JiVS IMP, as if the customer had been created in the new software generation. Finally, life cycle management also means the ability to support future changes to business objects and completely new business objects.
5.4 Fit for digitization
With the help of JiVS IMP, existing SAP customers can ensure the level of data quality that is appropriate for the requirements of digitization alone – also and especially in the context of big data projects. JiVS IMP not only saves existing SAP customers costs, but also provides companies with great additional benefits in the form of greater agility, flexibility, legal certainty and innovative strength.
5.5 Massive benefits
The advantages of JiVS IMP in the context of migration to SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA are huge: The operating costs generally drop by 80 percent or more compared to the cost of continuing to run the legacy systems. At the same time, the migration workload is generally reduced by 50 percent, while access to legacy data and documents remains 100 percent intact. Together with the retention management function, JiVS IMP provides the basis for 100 percent legal certainty. As part of the target architecture, JiVS IMP ensures permanently lean SAP S/4HANA and SAP C/4HANA systems. Customers can therefore expect the new software generation from Walldorf to reduce total operating costs by 25 percent.
- Price and availability
JiVS IMP and the edition for SAP S/4HANA are available now. The range of functions and price are determined specifically for the project.