24th May 2024 - 22nd September 2024

21st May 2024

SAP‘s New Business Solution SAP S/4HANA – Part 5

erp logo_200pxHow to switch to S/4HANA

SAP’s framework Activate assists customers throughout the installation of S/4HANA. It is a combination of SAP Best Practices, a methodology, and a guided configuration. SAP Activate is available for On-Premise and cloud editions of S/4HANA. It uses a common methodology for both editions. This framework supports following methods for the switch to S/4HANA:

  1. New installation
  2. Conversion of the system or
  3. Transformation of the landscape

During new installation, customers switch from their old system to a new one. This concerns customers of SAP Business S/4HANA Suite who have decided to install the On-Premise edition completely anew. There are also customers who would like to switch to the cloud version instead of converting their current system. Following steps for the On-Premise installation are of importance:

  • Installation of SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP 7.5 based on SAP HANA
  • Installation of SAP S/4HANA
  • Installation of SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA
  • Activation of required business processes
  • Migration of business data from the old system into the new one

Moreover, following steps should be paid attention to:

  • Installation of S/4HANA software is not necessary
  • Only business processes need to be activated
  • Business data from old systems need to be migrated into the new one

The installation of the system does not start from the very beginning. The initial configuration of S/4HANA is based on a preconfigured system that provides instant business process with example data. That status is the starting point.

While converting, customers of Business Suite can switch their current system to an On-Premise system of S/4HANA. Here, following steps are of importance:

  • Update of current system to SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP 7.5
  • Migration of the database to SAP HANA (only if the SAP Business Suite system does not run on SAP HANA)
  • Installation of S/4HANA and Fiori for SAP S/4HANA
  • Migration of data of data formats into new and simplified data formats

The advantage of this option is that customers can change their system without re-implementation. Existing business processes can continue to run and gradually transformed to simplified and innovative processes. Moreover, it is also possible to convert already implemented adjustments. Note that the option of system conversion is not equivalent to an upgrade. An upgrade is a switch to a newer version of an already running product whereas the conversion converts existing files into another file format.

Finally, the transformation of the landscape is an option for customers who would like to realign their current system landscape. This is the case, for example, if several legacy systems are consolidated in an S/4HANA target system or if a legacy system is split into several S/4HANA target systems. This can be useful to separate different companies. The transformation into the On-Premise edition of SAP S/4HANA requires following steps:
  • A possible new installation of S/4HANA or a conversion of ERP into S/4HANA
  • Additional steps in the migration process that are based on the SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server (SLT) to move or replicate data

The concept of landscape transformation includes the implementation of a central component in accounting. The advantage of this concept is that existing source systems (of SAP or of third-party vendors) can start posting their financial data gradually to a central S/4HANA system (in the cloud or in the On-Premise edition). This way customers can start with the use of S/4HANA Finance but to run their old applications on the existing systems until they are ready for a complete conversion.

It remains to be seen the development of S/4HANA and which future reforms SAP has for it. We will surely keep you up-to-date!

                                                                                       Translation by Gohar Zatrjan


  • Schulungsunterlagen (training documents of) SAP SE (in German)
  • sap.de

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