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SAP S/4Hana Transition Journeys Must Start Now

Andrew Hayden | July 13, 2022

SAP is ending support for its current ECC in 2027, which means that if you’re one of its users looking to transition to the next generation platform, the clock is ticking.  In late 2018, SAP announced that just 2,100 of its customers were live with S/4Hana. And while 2027 may seem like a ways away for many, it’s not far in SAP terms – these customers needing to migrate still have a long journey ahead

The S/4HANA survey says …

It’s easy to understand the delay of many organizations. Migrating to any new platform is a massive undertaking, after all.

A survey by Americas’ SAP User Group (ASUG) polled respondents about switching to S/4Hana, and found that:

  • 56% plan on making the move but have yet to start the process
  • 32% have completed or started the process
  • 12% do not plan to make the move at all

The results of a UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) survey painted a similar picture. After asking their respondents about the plans for their transition, here’s how their timelines broke down:

  • 52% in the next 1-2 years
  • 38% in the next 3-5 years
  • 9% are in the process now
  • 2% are already live

Time, lack of resources and focus on other IT priorities are just some of the reasons that many organizations aren’t as advanced with the state of their migration to S/4Hana as they’d hoped to be.

There are a host of other concerns shared by enterprise IT and SAP teams. Many have very complex legacy ERP landscapes to navigate, and these existing systems often hold poor quality master data, which ideally needs to be cleansed before the migration can begin.

Others are also still working on a justifiable business case to make the move.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The complexity of a move to the next generation platform also isn’t helping with business migration plans.

Although there are several functional commonalities between ECC and S/4Hana, the transition cannot be considered a simple upgrade. In some areas, it will require significant changes in both business processes and functionality and requires detailed planning and change management.

The move can be complicated even further if your organization is trying to migrate from SAP and non-SAP ERP systems to the new platform, as one of Precisely’s Automate customers discovered. Let’s explore how they successfully navigated this transition.


Scientific Drilling on its way to S/4Hana

Scientific Drilling is an independent service provider of navigation and drilling solutions to all energy sectors globally.

The company faced a challenging migration to S/4Hana, having ERP data in multiple homegrown systems as well as in ECC. Initially, the company used SAP’s LSMW migration tool but had only succeeded in transferring material master data from one of the 108 manufacturing plants. The IT team at Scientific Drilling then evaluated the SAP Data Services tool but felt it would not meet their needs, given that their cutover deadline was in four months.

So, what ended up fitting the bill?

The company ultimately chose a Microsoft Excel-based SAP data management software solution from Precisely’s Automate portfolio, which supports both ECC and S/4Hana and doesn’t require technical programming skills.

The team was able to quickly create data migration scripts for any part of the business, making any modifications needed along the way in moments. This speed and ease of use meant that the team was able to meet the tight cutover deadline while cleaning up data in the process.

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Imperial Logistics’ transition journey

Imperial Logistics International is another organization that found success with Precisely Automate’s Microsoft Excel-based SAP data management software solution, speeding up their transition to S/4Hana.

The accounting team needed to migrate finance data from their ECC system to the new platform for 30 subsidiaries. When piloting another solution with external consultants, it took six weeks to build and test scripts for just four of the 30 companies – making it clear that they needed to move faster.

Five months after initial product training, the accounting team was able to successfully migrate their finance data to S/4Hana for all 30 subsidiaries without the need for external consultants.

As was the case with Scientific Drilling, the accounting team was also able to improve the quality of their financial data during the migration process.

The challenges of migration, the looming deadline, and the scale of task don’t have to be overwhelming, even for the largest organizations.

With the right SAP data management solution, IT teams can empower people in the business to clean up and migrate their data into S/4Hana without risk to data security or governance. We’re here to help you get started now.

Read our eBook Insights from SAP® Master Data Professionals and learn about the benefits your peers are experiencing using Precisely’s industry-leading SAP ERP automation and data management platforms.

Author’s note: this blog post about SAP S/4Hana has been adapted from an article originally published in