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Preparing for an SAP S/4HANA Transformation

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  • Part 3: Mapping the S/4HANA Implementation to Your Business Scenarios  

    SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud delivers standardization with a focus on keeping the core clean while integrating and extending functionality with SAP’s Business Technology Platform (BTP). SAP’s Fit to Standard is all about adopting industry best-practices, avoiding customization wherever possible, and building an implementation with minimum update and maintenance costs.  

    At the same time, every SAP implementation has to fit the business. You’ll have to choose relevant SAP products, business process improvements, and IT optimization opportunities for your core system, based on how your business actually runs.  

    Going Hands-On with S/4HANA  

    Often, the only real way to assess business fit, to answer questions relating to scope, and to see how your core processes run under S/4HANA is to trial S/4HANA. Cognitus’ Gallop Discovery is a pilot and trial of SAP S/4HANA using your existing business data, with support from SAP S/4HANA experts on the Cognitus team. At the end of the pilot, we use that data to create custom business scenario recommendations based on existing processes, gaps, optimization opportunities, and SAP technology recommendations for your implementation. 

    That hands-on experience can do a lot to familiarize internal teams with S/4HANA and how it works, thereby allaying concerns and driving buy-in. However, it also creates room to ask questions, to better understand the scope and actual impact, and to internalize S/4HANA skills before they become necessary to the organization.  

    A pilot of S/4 helps your teams to: 

    • Explore and understand FIORI apps and offerings  
    • Understand S/4HANA capabilities 
    • Understand changes between ECC and S/4HANA  
    • Create insight into workflows and processes in S/4HANA cloud  
    • See Best Practices and how they map to the business 
    • Get first-hand experience in re-mapping tables and the extent of necessary changes there  

    Having that hands-on experience allows you to manage sandboxing, proof-of-concept, scoping, and a fit-gap analysis – while preparing teams for eventually working with the technology. In addition, Cognitus can offer expert advice on:  

    • SAP S/4HANA essentials and applications  
    • Initial landscape scoping  
    • Your S/4HANA implementation roadmap  
    • Project scoping, cost analysis, and resourcing  
    • SAP S/4HANA Readiness Checks 
    • Assessing and choosing deployment options and transition paths 
    • Business Change Management strategy and your Business Change Roadmap  

    If you’d like to see more about the Gallop Discovery and its deliverables, you can download our brochure here.  

    Deep Dive into Follow-Up Questions  

    In most cases, you’ll have questions that arise throughout the Discovery phase. These should be brought up with your Cognitus team or answered by deeper dives into specific technology or implementation. Collecting these questions and ensuring they are answered, whether they are procedural, process-related, responsibility related, etc., ensures they can be used to further define and refine the scope and roadmap of the eventual transition.  

    Considering Business Process Improvements 

    Any transformation should include a thorough analysis of existing business processes and potential improvements. That’s especially critical if you’re moving to the S/4HANA cloud, where SAP Activate is mandatory. The Best Practice Explorer will help your team to familiarize themselves with available pre-defined scripts, to see what’s available, and to start to map your existing processes and offerings to those scripts.  

    “Many SAP systems have custom code, which has to be standardized to move to the cloud. Here, it’s important for organizations to take time to review whether that custom code is necessary for the business. For example, if you can replace custom code with a standard process, that could save considerable maintenance, extra costs during upgrades, and ongoing costs for development.” – Kjell Norstein, Cognitus S/4HANA Delivery Manager in the Nordics. 

    With Cognitus’ Gallop Discovery, our team will walk you through options and create an implementation roadmap and recommendations document, sharing scenarios and scripts in-line with your business needs. This may be paired with a FIT/Gap workshop, hands-on implementation in your S/4HANA trial, or a simple case recommendation from your Cognitus team.  

    Closing Gaps  

    With ECC, when you discovered functional gaps, it was normally up to the organization to develop its own solutions. With SAP S/4HANA, the recommendation is to review the Standard Improvements and solutions first, select from those improvements, and move forward with a Standard approach. Of course, you can get started with SAP’s Roadmap finder and Improvement finder to begin exploring those solutions on your own.  

    In addition, it may be important to assess whether non-standard extensions can be avoided by looking into partner solutions. Mapping your full technology and solutions needs to what’s already available on the market can save significant custom development – while reducing long-term maintenance costs. 

    Getting Started  

    Your organization should take the time to collect the knowledge, internally or externally, to make data-driven decisions relating to S/4HANA needs, timelines, roadmaps, and SAP solutions chosen for the transition. That should include planning business scenarios, introducing teams to software and SAP products (Ariba, EWM, etc.), and considering license and digital rights management for the long-term.  

    If you’d like to know more about preparing for the S/4HANA transformation or you’d like to learn more about Gallop Discovery, get in touch, we’re happy to help.  

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