The Road to SAP S/4HANA from ECC6

The Road to SAP S/4HANA from ECC6

Published: 01/April/2018

Reading time: 28 mins

Sponsor: SAP

SAP S/4HANA provides the opportunity for IT to lead digital transformation efforts. With SAP S/4HANA, IT can not only improve its own operations, but also deploy technology innovation to bring transformation and productivity gains to the business. Not sure how to get there? Join us to learn more about the path to SAP S/4HANA for your company and tools you can use.

Read this live Q&A transcript with SAP experts to get answers to questions on what you need to know when making the move to SAP S/4HANA. They shared tips and best practices for how you can reduce risk and improve your return on investment in SAP S/4HANA.

The panelists were:

  • Carl Dubler, Senior Director, SAP S/4HANA Product Marketing
  • Van Vi, Product Expert, Practice Engineer, SAP S/4HANA
  • Jose Marquez Mares, Product Expert, SAP S/4HANA
  • Daniel Boehm, Platinum Consultant at SAP

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Comment From Howard: Is moving to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (Suite on HANA) the only method to get to SAP S/4HANA from SAP ECC 6.0?

Carl Dubler: No. You can go directly from ECC 6 (any enhancement pack) to S/4HANA. This is called a system conversion and is done with the Software Update Manager (SUM). You can also migrate the data to SAP HANA in one step using SUM with the Database Migration Option. There really isn’t a technical reason to make a “stopover” with Suite on HANA. Running the SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA tool is the best way to get started on this conversion. Read this blog for details.

Comment From Jose Antonio: We have identified around 1,000 Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements, Forms (RICEF) objects (custom code). So in addition to all this code that needs to be analyzed, I wonder what the best path to follow is for the natural changes on S/4HANA versus Suite on HANA to minimize the impact on our organization?

Van Vi: When customers are analyzing custom code impacts from ECC 6 going to either S/4HANA or Suite on HANA, we have tools such as Readiness Check, SAP Code Inspector, and ABAP Test Cockpit. These tools accomplish various tasks when converting or migrating data to S/4HANA or the HANA database. Readiness Check provides custom code impacts based on the Simplification Database for the target release to which you are planning to move. Code Inspector and ABAP Test Cockpit are tools that can be leveraged to get deeper analysis of customer code impacts for a HANA database change and moving to S/4HANA. If you use Code Inspector or ABAP Test Cockpit on SAP NetWeaver 7.51 or higher as the ABAP Analysis system, you have a new check variant called S4HANA_READINESS_. This check variant determines the custom code impact on HANA database changes and the simplification list item. The customer should look at the Priority 1 and 2 items from the result.

For the Suite on HANA path, we recommend that customers use the check variants Functional_DB, Functional_DB_Addition, and Performance_DB. With these available tools, I would consider looking at remediating the impact of moving to the HANA database as a lot can be done when the database is on non-HANA then work on the impacts from the simplification list once you start the conversion project. To reduce the effort while you are planning the S/4HANA journey, you can use Code Inspector or ABAP Test Cockpit to create a baseline and continuously check new custom code that is being introduced to ensure it is written in compliance if possible.

Comment From Abdus: What would be the impact to the SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) system with the transformation from ECC to S/4HANA?

Jose Marquez: You still can use APO without any major impact. Just be sure you have the right APO release. For more information, read SAP Note 2238445 — Integration of Supply Chain Management Applications to S/4HANA.

Comment From FemiA: What are the major differences in the user experience (UX) between ECC 6 and S/4HANA? How much UI5 or HTML5 is deployed in S/4HANA, and what is the latest version you recommend to migrate to? Should we migrate to S/4HANA 1610 or higher?

Van Vi: In S/4HANA, we have a yearly innovation cycle with a new release coming in Q3 or Q4 of each year (e.g., 1511, 1610, 1709, and soon 1809). Once a new release is available, the previous release is in mainstream maintenance for another four years with only support packages being delivered. With this release and maintenance strategy, it’s best to start with the latest S/4HANA release. With each release of S/4HANA, more innovations and Fiori apps will be delivered. To observe the available apps in each release, go to the Fiori apps reference library and then choose either the All apps for S/4HANA option or the Fiori apps for S/4HANA option. The All apps for S/4HANA option will also include non-UI5 apps.

Comment From Ryan: How many customers have migrated from Suite on HANA to S/4HANA? What is the average timeline for that particular upgrade path?

Carl Dubler: More than 1,700 customers are live on S/4HANA today, with another 3,700 in an active project. I don’t know how many of those are coming from Suite on HANA. The closest timeline I can think of would be those coming from Suite on HANA with Simple Finance. We’ve seen as short as three months on those projects and as long as 11, with an average of seven months.

Comment From Jane: We are a local government public sector organization. We are on ECC 6 enhancement package 7. Do you recommend that we do any data cleanup? Do you recommend that we archive our data prior to migrating to S/4HANA (we went live in our SAP system in December 2002)? I am concerned about data migration. Also, can you discuss the security model concerning end-user access?

Van Vi: One aspect of the system conversion is data volume management. Since a migration of the database to HANA is required for converting to S/4HANA, reducing the size of the source database prior to the conversion project will help reduce the business downtime during the migration conversion. I strongly recommend that you implement a data volume strategy prior to the conversion project. In the SAP Digital Business Services organization, we offer service plans and packages to help customers go through the planning process. For more information, go to SAP Digital Business Services. With S/4HANA , Fiori is the new UX for the end-user experience. In addition to back-end S/4HANA security, additional security has to be conducted on the Fiori Gateway server. From our project experiences, traditional SAP security resources can quickly come up to speed on this in no time. The security is still based on transaction code PFCG (Role Maintenance).

Comment From James Swanson: I see a lot of configuration and business process information about S/4HANA, but I don’t see much about development and technical training. What training do developers need to make a transition for working in S/4HANA ?

Van Vi: SAP education does offer S/4HANA training for developers. These classes range from gateway foundational and fundamental topics such as OData services and Fiori to advanced topics (e.g., SAPUI5, ABAP, Core Data Services views [CDS], and Fiori UIs). Refer to Training for SAP S/4HANA in Development.

Comment From James Swanson: What are the most needed technical skills for working on S/4HANA? Is ABAP still relevant, or will we need to use Java, SAPUI5, or advanced HANA Extended Application Services?

Van Vi: For developers, ABAP is still required. The S/4HANA system is built on top of the NetWeaver ABAP stack. In addition, new skills such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery will enable UI5 development for Fiori as well as HANA Extended Application Services development.

Comment From Mark: What is the roadmap and recommended landscape for those customers running payroll, time, benefits, and most of the core HR modules along with most of the SAP ERP Financials (FI) and Logistics General (LO) modules? It seems as if the direction is SAP SuccessFactors for HR and S/4HANA for the rest.

Van Vi: The strategic direction for HR is SuccessFactors. However, if you are converting from ECC 6 to S/4HANA, HR can be run in S/4HANA in a compatibility pack. Most of the functionality in ECC 6 (SAP-HR and EA-HR) is in the compatibility pack. For more details and restrictions, refer to the following SAP Notes:

  • 2273108 – S4TWL – General HCM Approach within S/4HANA
  • 2383837 – S4TWL – SAP Learning Solution not available in Compatibility Mode
  • 2383888 – S4TWL – SAP E-Recruiting not available in Compatibility Mode
  • 2383879 – S4TWL – Java-based ESS and MSS not available in Compatibility Mode

Comment From Sally: To run SAP Lumira must you have S/4HANA?

 Van Vi: No. Lumira is SAP’s visualization tool, and it can run independently of S/4HANA. The tool is used to provide reporting users of all types to design and discovery. It also is used to browse data from various data sources. SAP S/4HANA is one of many potential data sources for Lumira.

Comment From Perry B. Koob: What is the adoption rate of S/4HANA among current ECC customers?

Carl Dubler: Today, more than 1,700 customers are live on S/4HANA, with another 3,700 in an active project. This total includes all types of customers, and the project numbers are climbing rapidly. About two-thirds of our projects are system conversions, which is one of the three main ways of going from ECC to S/4HANA.

Comment From Kamal: What are the options for HR if we don’t want to use SuccessFactors? If the company wants to go choose S/4HANA on cloud, then can HR tables be moved to the SAP HANA Cloud and function as they do in SAP ECC?

Van Vi: I assume you are asking about S/4HANA Public Cloud. SuccessFactors is the HR solution for S/4HANA Public Cloud. For on premise, see the answer above as there are more options.

Comment From Joseph: If the tables and structures in ECC change with S/4HANA, what is the impact on SAP BW data sources? What we are supposed to do to make continuous loads to BW without any issues?

Daniel Boehm: Before the downtime during a conversion, perform delta uploads to BW. SAP Note 2289424 lists extractors that are deprecated.

Comment From Ken K: What is the best advice to move forward? Should we convert all systems at the same time or individually? Also, what is the expected timeframe for conversion?

Carl Dubler: There are a number of ways to handle this depending on your requirements. I haven’t heard of many ECC customers converting all systems at once, but I have heard of many projects where several ECC systems were consolidated into one S/4HANA system (the largest being 80 subsidiaries combined). The strategy is really up to you. In the same way, it is difficult to give you an expected time frame, but overall, we find that typical S/4HANA full implementations take between 6 and 14 months, and the average timeline is 11 months. This timeline will go up or down based on many factors, of course.

Comment From PB: If a customer is using SAP R/3 4.6c, what are the guidelines to move to S/4HANA?

Jose Marquez: First, you have to upgrade your system to ECC 6. Then you then can plan your system conversion to S/4HANA.

Another option, perhaps a better one, is to move to S/4HANA through a new implementation: setup a new instance of S/4HANA and then migrate your data from 4.6c.

Comment From Dinesh Kumar: What is the impact of custom code in the environment upon moving to S/4 HANA?

Carl Dubler: The best way to find out the exact impact for you is to run Readiness Check. In general, we’ve found that custom code is a big concern for customers at the beginning of an S/4HANA project, but then it turns out to be much less arduous than they anticipated. This finding is from a survey we did with IDC of several hundred live S/4HANA customers.

Comment From Pat McCarthy: Of the live and active migrations to S/4HANA, what are you seeing in the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) space? Are you seeing a migration away from legacy applications such as Hyperion in favor of BPC?

Daniel Boehm: There are new customers taking advantage of the new BPC solutions as well as existing SAP customers migrating to the new offerings. SAP now has both cloud and on-premise solutions for planning and consolidations. There are reasons to use a standalone BPC system, the integrated real-time BPC optimized for S/4HANA, or the cloud solutions. The customer’s requirements and the architecture should both be considered.

Comment From Guest: We are moving to ECC 6.08. Is it going to be mandatory to move to S/4HANA by 2025, or is moving to Suite on HANA still an option? We are a public-sector organization, and we discussed Suite on HANA last year.

Carl Dubler: The 2025 date is for the support of ECC 6. Suite on HANA is still ECC 6, just running on the HANA database. If you are going to wait until 2025 anyway, I would recommend looking at going directly to S/4HANA from ECC 6.08 at that time instead of making a stopover to Suite on HANA. There really isn’t a technical reason to go to Suite on HANA anymore.

Comment From Rajsampath: To migrate from ECC 6.08, what would be the recommended path? Should we move to Suite on HANA and then move to S/4HANA?

Van Vi: This question does come up quite frequently. Suite on HANA is still the old classical ERP and does not have all the functionalities and innovations that S/4HANA has. You also need to consider the mainstream maintenance for ERP on any database (anyDB) as well as Suite on HANA. The priority is to scope the efforts to convert to S/4HANA and then work backward to Suite on HANA due to customer priorities. Moving Suite on HANA is more a technical lift and shift of the database only and does not bring the same value. As we’ve said a few times already, there is no technical reason to go to Suite on HANA first.

Comment From Tamas: Can S/4HANA be used as a central hub to house financial data from other external SAP systems (HANA or non-HANA). In other words, if a company has two very different business lines and each one has its own SAP system because the process flows are so much different, can one of these or perhaps a third system become the central hub for financial data only (all without having to develop custom interfaces)?

Carl Dubler: Yes. This is called Central Finance, and it is a popular way to get S/4HANA going in an organization with a lot of value to finance.

Comment From allan: Do the S/4HANA data models dictate which tables are row organized and which are column organized, or is the organization left to the customer to determine or tune based on customer-specific context?

Carl Dubler: The data models are set by S/4HANA. The customer does not need to try to figure out how to optimize them. There is a nice technical whiteboard video on this subject: S/4HANA Technical White Board.

Comment From Lynda Harris: We are not using the SAP General Ledger (SAP GL). Do we have to convert to the SAP GL prior to moving to S/4HANA?

dan: You do not have to convert to the SAP GL first before migrating to S/4HANA. You can migrate from the classic general ledger to S/4HANA. As of release 1610 you can add the functionality of the additional ledger after you migrate as a separate project. As of release 1709 you can add the functionality of document splitting after you migrate as a separate project.

Comment From Dave: What percentage of ECC 6 functionality is available in the S/4HANA environment at this point, and what is the plan for building out functionality to match ECC 6 ?

Carl Dubler: There are a few tools I recommend using to determine S/4HANA functionality and how it matches to what you need. First, is Readiness Check. Also, check the Innovation Discovery Tool (login required).

Comment From Sridhar G: What is the recommendation for all other satellite systems, such as SAP Solution Manager, SAP CRM, the Enterprise Portal, SAP BW, SAP Process Orchestration, and SAP GRC solutions when converting ECC 6 to S/4HANA?

Van Vi: When converting to S/4HANA as part of the system requirement, you will need to refer to the following SAP Notes to determine interoperability between S/4HANA, the NetWeaver hub, and Business Suite running side by side:

  • 2251604 – Version Interoperability between S/4HANA On Premise Edition and NetWeaver Systems
  • 2200904 – Official Violation of Version Interoperability for Business Suite 7i2016

Comment From Larry: Any changes in licensing?

Carl Dubler: You can run with a cloud subscription model now. Also, we have recently announced changes to the indirect licensing model. S/4HANA is a new product and is licensed separately from older versions of ERP. If you want to know more about what that means for you, your SAP account representative can provide the most relevant information.

Comment From Darrel: Is there a license fee for Subsequent Implementation of a Further Accounting Principle and Subsequent Implementation of Document Splitting? Previously in the SAP GL, the migration cockpit service had fees.

Daniel Boehm: No, these are part of the SAP S/4HANA license and there is no additional fee.

Comment From Francois B.: Which tool does SAP recommend to migrate data from a legacy system to S/4HANA?

Van Vi: We recommend using the S/4HANA Migration Cockpit, which is built inside the NetWeaver stack of the S/4HANA system. In addition, Data Services can be used for more complex scenarios with data migration.

Comment From Sridhar G: Does S/4HANA today include all the modules that we have in ECC 6?

Carl Dubler: More than two-thirds of live S/4HANA deployments today are running the entire business, not just Finance. But for your specific requirements, I recommend running Readiness Check and Innovation Discovery Tool.

Comment From Dinesh Kumar: Does S/4HANA replace SAP CRM?

Carl Dubler: No. We have a separate roadmap for SAP CRM.

Comment From Darrel: For Subsequent Implementation of a Further Accounting Principle, why is there the following constraint: “It is not possible to implement an additional ledger in the same fiscal year as the fiscal year of migration to SAP S/4HANA Finance.”

Daniel Boehm: The only restriction is that the additional ledger must be done at period end. It can be implemented in the same fiscal period as the migration. In S/4HANA Finance, this is available as of 1605 Support Package Stack 5 or in S/4HANA, this is available as of version 1610.

Comment From FemiA: What key features are supported in S/4HANA for energy or utilities verticals, especially around SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Predictive Maintenance, and Asset Health dashboards? What EAM features in ECC 6 are missing in S/4HANA? How many hours, days, or weeks are required to migrate data from ECC 6 to S/4HANA, including custom data elements?

Jose Marquez: In this SAP roadmap link, you can find the current and future innovations for utilities.

Please check this SAP Note (login required) to find the restrictions by industry. Also, you can use the simplification item catalog to identify the main differences compared with SAP ECC. You can filter by product version — for example, version 1709, and type “utilities” in the application area.

Comment From Krishna: What percentage of the customers with an SAP installed base is currently on  S/4HANA, as opposed to Suite on HANA?

Carl Dubler: Check out my previous replies to this question. About two-thirds of the active S/4HANA projects are system conversions. There is no technical requirement to go to Suite on HANA first, so you can go directly to S/4HANA from ECC (any enhancement package) with SUM.

Comment From Rajsam: When we move from ECC 6.08 to Suite on HANA or S/4HANA, do we need to take care of anything on the hardware part?

Van Vi: There are several tools that can be used to check the prerequisites for moving to Suite on HANA or S/4HANA from ECC 6 AnyDB. The tools you should check are the Product Availability Matrix for the target release to which you want to move and the latest version of the Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM note (e.g., 2532577 – Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM 2.0 SP01). These two tools will tell you if you have to upgrade the existing OS and source database before you can migrate to Suite on HANA or convert to S/4HANA.

Comment From Ellyn: Can users still use SAP GUI with S/4HANA, or is it a requirement to use Fiori? I like the new Fiori interface, but it seems as if it will require a lot of retraining for my existing users if we upgrade rather than migrating smaller groups or functions.

Daniel Boehm: It is not mandatory to use Fiori, but it is highly recommended. All the innovations in S/4HANA will be on Fiori and not downported to transaction codes. So to take advantage of the new features, you will need Fiori. Some customers choose to add Fiori after the initial go-live.

Comment From Krishnan: What is the average timeline for converting ECC 6 to S/4HANA for an organization that has high custom requirements? Also, what are the prerequisites that we can do to minimize that timeline?

Carl Dubler: It is difficult to predict what the timeline will be for you because each project can be different. And much of the work is not technical, but about business processes. With that disclaimer, our biggest and most complex S/4HANA projects have ranged from 10 to 36 months, with an average of 18. The best thing to do right now is to run Readiness Check. Start looking at reducing unused custom code and then planning for any custom code adaptation. Also, getting the user community involved at the beginning is very important.

Comment From Perry B. Koob: HANA servers have to consume a lot of RAM and CPU resources. What is the recommendation for using or migrating to multi-tenancy on HANA if you have different instances of SAP ECC?

Van Vi: With HANA 2.0 Support Package 1 or higher, multi-tenancy is the deployment option. I assume you are asking about stacking multiple ECC databases on different tenant databases. We recommend that you conduct additive sizing. Basically, size each tenant separately and add it together to get the HANA instance size. This will give you the memory requirement, and the memory-to-CPU ratio will drive the CPU count.

Comment From Sam: We use position-based security roles now. How will roles be assigned in S/4HANA?

Carl Dubler: You won’t have any major changes here. I’d suggest taking a look at the security guide (PDF).

Comment From Laun Adams: We are on ECC 6.04 for fixed assets. Are there any additional steps related to fixed assets prior to migrating to S/4HANA?

Daniel Boehm: Classic Asset Accounting (AA) has been replaced by new AA. The following SAP Notes outline the changes regarding AA: 2270388, 2270387, 2270392, 2257555.

Comment From Rukmambarababu: What’s the approximate time frame for migration to S/4HANA for small companies with a small database?

Carl Dubler: Keeping in mind that every project can be different for small or uncomplicated projects (especially in the cloud), I’ve seen as short as six weeks. The average, though, is around seven months.

Comment From Ed Pearce: How does our SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and SAP Materials Management (MM) work moving into S/4HANA, or do we need to also transition to SAP Ariba?

Jose Marquez: You still can integrate SRM with S/4HANA. However, there are some customizing changes required for integration of SRM with the S/4HANA system. Refer to these SAP Notes:

  • 2611066 – SRM and S/4HANA
  • 2229738 – Interface note1: S4H Adaption in SRM – Configuration Changes

Comment From Darrel: Regarding Subsequent Implementation of a Further Accounting Principle, clarify something for me. In 1709 help SAP documentation, it states that “The fiscal year corresponds with the calendar year in your system. You migrated your system to S/4HANA in March 2016 (period 03). You cannot implement a new accounting principle in fiscal year 2016. At the earliest, you can do this in fiscal year 2017.”

Daniel Boehm: The only technical requirement is to go through a period close. It can be in the same fiscal year. There may be practical reasons to choose a clean cut-off of the fiscal year for reporting reasons.

Comment From Domaica: One of my customers told me the following: “We do not care about Unicode because we are not going to migrate. We are going to install a greenfield S/4HANA and just use programs to fill the new master record databases from an old SAP R/3 system to a new target S/4HANA system.” So their idea is just to get a new S/4HANA, installed either on premise or in a cloud, and keep alive both systems — the old for audit reasons and the new to work with it. I did not know if this is possible, but I talked with an experienced consultant, and he told me that what the customer proposes is not possible for two reasons:

1. If we do not do a Unicode upgrade, a master records database is impossible to migrate because Unicode makes character storage that can be parallel and symmetric, and programs will not “understand” information for conversion.

2. We have to do Unicode migration because ABAP customized Z programs have also to be migrated to a new system, or at least a portion of them. To do it, it will be only possible if we do the Unicode migration. I just want to confirm with you if a Unicode update of an old system is mandatory or optional. Is there is any shortcut or alternative solution to that?

Carl Dubler: The target system (S/4HANA) is Unicode, and that is required. However, if you are doing a migration (as opposed to a system conversion), you could start with a non-Unicode source and use the ETL process to convert the data to Unicode along the way. I want to emphasize that this method is for the situation you describe with a new implementation of S/4HANA with a data migration. Other methods will require Unicode first — for example, a system conversion from SAP ECC.

Comment From Ed Pearce: I have heard the largest resource impact is the migration to business partners (BPs) from vendor and customer numbers. Is this correct?

Daniel Boehm: It is time-consuming if the BPs are not clean. The data cleanup is the longest part. The good news is that this activity can be done before the conversion as a “pre-project.”

Comment From Rajsampath: If we decide to migrate to Suite on HANA to start with, will it work out of the box? Should this need any code adjustments? Can it be touted as a soft landing prior to migrating to S/4HANA?

Van Vi: Moving to Suite on HANA is not a prerequisite to convert to S/4HANA. If you want to migrate to Suite on HANA first, however, an upgrade may be necessary depending on your source ERP and enhancement package release. For example, if your ERP system is lower than enhancement package 7 or 8, you will need to do an upgrade migration to HANA. This move is widely known as a technical lift and shift of the database only. Custom code remediation does have to be checked and remediated due to the database change anyway, so you might as well take the time to consider S/4HANA at this point. Additionally, you can be on any ECC enhancement pack and go directly to S/4HANA, saving even more technical work.

Comment From Shilpin: We are currently on ECC 6 enhancement package 7. Our design is one Controlling (CO) area per company code, and we have about 40 CO areas. Is it a prerequisite to consolidate all the CO areas into one, and if the answer is yes, do you have any SAP tools that would guide us in the process?

Daniel Boehm: It is not a prerequisite to consolidate CO areas.

Comment From Shilpin: Interesting. I was always told that to move to S/4HANA, we will need to move to a one CO area design. Could you confirm again if this is not a requirement? This will save us a lot of work.

Daniel Boehm: One CO area is not a requirement. You may need to look into why that was suggested. Perhaps there were currency impacts, but consolidation of CO areas is not a prerequisite.

Comment From allan: I’m following up on the multi-tenancy question from Van Vi. Does that imply that a single instance of SAP ECC is implemented as a single tenant in HANA multi-tenancy?

Van Vi: In the example, yes. However before you consider stacking SAP ECC on each tenant within one HANA instance, you will need to weigh the pros and cons per customer requirements.

Comment From Tamas: In your experience what are the fundamental reasons for companies moving from SAP ECC to S/4HANA?

Carl Dubler: They are expecting new capabilities and improved efficiencies from both the line of business and IT. The most successful projects I’ve seen are not simply IT projects—they are tied to strategic initiatives of the business. You can see what customers have to say for themselves with our customer story flip book.

Comment From J Shelton: We are migrating from ECC 6 enhancement package 8 and HANA. What reporting tool outside of ECC 6 can we use with the HANA database?

Carl Dubler: I’m not sure here what kind of reporting tool you are referring to. If it has to do with reporting about HANA itself (sizing, etc.), I’d recommend starting with Readiness check.

Comment From Sridhar G: With S/4HANA, do we still need to keep the SAP BW system for analytical reporting? Can S/4HANA be made the one system for transaction recording (as in ECC) and also reporting (as in BW)?

Daniel Boehm: S/4HANA is built on a virtual data model containing CDS views (Core Data Services). These views can be used instead of SAP BW for real-time reporting without the need for extraction. A standalone SAP BW still has a purpose going forward for enterprise reporting—for example, BI that needs to be done on more than just the ERP data.

Comment From Guest: How many customers have installed S/4HANA 1709 feature pack stack 01? What route do you recommend to find out the latest status of issues and estimated fix dates? For the business partner conversion of customers and vendors, when we are exploring the best approach for a production implementation, what lessons learned and best practices are available as sharing collateral?

Van Vi: We have seen many S/4HANA 1709 adoptions since the release of 1709 with new installations and system conversions. The best places to check are the release note and restrictions for each S/4HANA release (e.g., 2482453 – S/4HANA 1709: Release Information Note and 2491467 – S/4HANA 1709: Restriction Note). For business partner information Business Partner Approach in S/4HANA and Business Partner – Customer-Vendor Integration S/4 HANA. For a lot of lessons learned in the various areas of  S/4HANA projects, refer to the S/4HANA RIG blog tags.

Comment From Sridhar G: Do we need to change the SAP User License model when moving from ECC 6 to S/4HANA?

Carl Dubler: S/4HANA and ECC 6 have different licenses. The best thing to do is to talk to your SAP account representative to see how your organization can license it the best way possible.

Comment From Darrel: Is there a separate license fee for Subsequent Implementation of a Further Accounting Principle and Subsequent Implementation of Document Splitting? Previously, the SAP GL Migration Cockpit had fees.

 Daniel Boehm: In S/4HANA, Subsequent Implementation of a Further Accounting Principle and Subsequent Implementation of Document Splitting are parts of the S/4HANA license. There is no additional fee.

Comment From Chandra: With SAP Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) becoming part of the S/4HANA core, is the migration of SAP APO PP/DS going to be seamless for customers who are using it, or is any additional development required, especially if there is customization in their current PP/DS systems?

Jose Marquez: PP/DS for S/4HANA is not a legal successor of the PP/DS component from the SCM server. Data migration and customer code migration from the PP/DS component from the SCM server is not supported by the standard solution. For more information, please check the SAP Notes 2496856 – Restrictions and Implementation Recommendations for Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling for S/4HANA 1709 and 2496628 – Release Information Note: Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling for S/4HANA 1709.

Comment From Ken K: What type of hardware considerations are needed if we are running S/4HANA on premise.

Carl Dubler: I suggest starting with the Readiness Check tool. Keep in mind you can run the on-premise product in a private cloud (like SAP Enterprise Cloud) or even on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure. This could really accelerate your move to S/4HANA.

Comment From Dinesh Kumar: What is the suggested downtime for migrating data from a legacy database to S/4HANA?

Carl Dubler: WalMart made the switch in finance over a weekend. But it will vary depending on your requirements and complexity. There are many options. I recommend looking at this presentation for near-zero downtime and this one for a more general approach to migration.

Comment From Francois B.: If we have a front-end application as we have now in ECC 6, do we need to rebuild those interfaces or should we use Fiori tiles? Where can I find the list of existing tiles?

Van Vi: I assume your question is about how to handle an existing front-end server using Fiori versus using the front-end server in ECC 6. You can use your existing front-end server for S/4HANA by upgrading it to the version of the front-end server required for the target S/4HANA release (e.g., 1709 – Frontend server 4.0 and NetWeaver 7.52 and deploying the UI apps for S/4HANA 1709). If your front-end server database is not on an SAP database, you will also need to migrate it to HANA, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), or MaxDB. You can find the list of apps on the Fiori apps library

Comment From Ed Pearce: How are the SAP Treasury and Risk Management modules impacted by S/4HANA?

Daniel Boehm: There are many SAP Treasury and Risk Management changes. The simplification catalog (login required) is a good place to see the impacts when you filter on TR. You could also look at the Innovation Discovery Tool. It isn’t as detailed but is easier to use.

Comment From Guest: We have SRM connected with ECC and the full HCM suite (including Payroll) running in ECC. How are these functions supported in S/4HANA?

Jose Marquez: For HCM, the strategic direction for HR is SuccessFactors. However, if you are converting from ECC 6 to S/4HANA, HR can be run in S/4HANA in the compatibility pack. Most of the functionality in ECC 6 SAP-HR and EA-HR is in the compatibility pack. For more details and restrictions please refer to the following SAP Notes:

  • 2273108 – S4TWL – General HCM Approach within S/4HANA
  • 2383837 – S4TWL – SAP Learning Solution not available in Compatibility Mode
  • 2383888 – S4TWL – SAP E-Recruiting not available in Compatibility Mode
  • 2383879 – S4TWL – Java-based ESS and MSS not available in Compatibility Mode

For SRM, you still can integrate with S/4HANA. However, there are some customizing changes required for integration of SRM with the S/4HANA system. Refer to SAP Notes 2611066 – SAP SRM and S/4HANA and 2229738 – Interface note1: S4H Adaption in SRM – Configuration Changes.

Comment From Srinu Pedaredla: What is the implementation cost of S/4HANA?

Carl Dubler: The cost will depend on the requirements and complexity and if you are going to use cloud or on-premise, and so on. One way to reduce the cost is to consider using cloud. S/4HANA can run in a public cloud, a private cloud, AWS, and Azure.

Comment From allan: With S/4HANA, is transaction code BDLS still required to convert copies of production data for non-production consumption?

Van Vi: In S/4HANA we still have clients and the logical system assigned to a client. If you are using the standard SIDCLNT### as your logical system name for your landscape, BDLS will still be relevant in S/4HANA.

Comment From Anton Farenyk: We extensively use the deferred revenue feature in ECC 6 (SD-BIL-RR). In S/4HANA it is replaced by the new solution, SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting. Is this the only possible option?

Daniel Boehm: Revenue Recognition in Sales and Distribution (SD-RR) has been replaced free of charge in the SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting add-on. See the simplification catalog.

Comment From Abdus: Is SAP IBP (Integrated Business Planning) mandatory for sales inventory and operations planning functions for S/HANA compatibility, or can SAP APO be continually used as a planning tool?

Carl Dubler: IBP is the future, for sure. I recommend that you visit the IBP community to learn more about the transition from SAP APO.

Comment From Charles Wilson: What happens to the standard SAP BW extractors when we move to S/4HANA? What if there are user exits?

Daniel Boehm: Before the downtime during a conversion, perform delta uploads to SAP BW. Refer to SAP Note 2289424, which lists extractors that are deprecated.

User exits will need to be analyzed as a part of the custom code migration.

Comment From Rajsam: Do we need to take care anything specific when migrating to S4HANA with reference to BW on HANA (which is expected to be in-place by that time)

Daniel Boehm: Before the downtime during a conversion, perform delta uploads to SAP BW. SAP Note 2289424 lists extractors that are deprecated.

Comment From Ed Pearce: Do you know of a good resource to help us determine how our move to S4 and using BP’s- Business Partners from our existing Vendors, and Customers can be planned effectively.

Daniel Boehm: For details see SAP Note 2214213 chapter Business Partner and BP attachments

Comment From Rajsam: When moving ERP6.0-Ehp8 to S4/HANA, will it cause any interface requirements on BWonHANA?

Daniel Boehm: Before the downtime during a conversion, perform delta uploads to SAP BW. SAP Note 2289424 lists extractors that are deprecated.

Comment From Morten: What is your recommended guidelines for using embedded functionality in S4 vs. stand-alone system e.g. EWM? Are there any limitations to volume, advantages in uptime etc. to be aware of?

Carl Dubler: As described in the note 1606493 – SAP EWM Deployment Options Best Practices , it is not possible to give a generic guidance, e.g. based on a decision tree, because there are several assessment criteria and their pro/con impact for a specific deployment option has to be judged per individual EWM implementation project. General recommendation is that EWM embedded shall be considered in case of small and midsize warehouses (non-high throughput warehouses) within a geographical region which is near to the data center where the S/4HANA system is hosted.

The note 2494704 – SAP S/4HANA 1709: Release information and restrictions for EWM in SAP S/4HANA describes the main differences between embedded EWM in SAP S/4HANA 1709 and de-central SAP EWM 9.5, as well the functions not available in embedded the EWM.

Comment From Guest: What does S/4 HANA offer Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) module? Or does it only affect PS?

Carl Dubler:  S/4HANA does offer SAP Portfolio and Project Management, and now PPM is technically a part of SAP S/4HANA 1709 (embedded in the product).   Separate license is still required.

Changed Delivery Model

The note below compiles most of the information about PPM in S/4HANA 1709:

2496974 – FAQs – SAP Portfolio and Project Management in SAP S/4HANA 1709

Matthew Shea: Thank you, everyone, for joining us today and thank you, Carl, Dan, Jose, and Van, for all your insightful answers.

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