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Building the Path to a Successful S/4HANA Transformation  

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  • Building the Path to a Successful S/4HANA Transformation  

    with Gallop Discovery  

    An estimated 40,000 ECC organizations still have to make the switch to S/4HANA, and before the 2027 ECC 6.0 sunset date.  

    Once you make the decision to move to S/4HANA, everything changes. Even a simple scoping discussion with a consultant can lead to dozens of questions you can’t answer. Who’s doing the transformation? How much will it cost? What has to change?  

    Cognitus delivers answers and the ability to make data-driven decisions around your transformation with Gallop Discovery: our Assessment and Pilot of S/4HANA.  

    Transforming to S/4HANA Requires Data  

    “Organizations often move into ERP transformations with a significant amount of uncertainty,” says Dennis Onstenk, Business Development lead for Cognitus EMEA, “Once you decide to transform to S/4HANA, you have to start asking questions. These normally include ‘Who’s going to do this,’ ‘how much will it cost,’ and ‘how long will it take’.”  

    “These resourcing decisions are simple in organizations that have detailed information about their ERP systems. Can your own people do the work? Often, no. Normally, organizations have SAP teams in place which are good at keeping systems running, but not necessarily the best fit for guiding the organization through change to a new system. So, you look for SAP specialists and consultants who can help.”  

    “Immediately, you’ll find additional resourcing issues. E.g., your consultant wants to know how many instances you have, how big databases are, how many interconnections there are, how much customization you have, etc.”  

    Those questions are necessary to scope and price the transformation. But, for many organizations, those implementations were handled 10-15 years ago. You might have instances that handle a single process, which is linked to dozens of other processes. Understanding those processes and those interconnections is crucial to ensuring you can make the transformation without breaking your processes. Most importantly, you probably don’t know what you have.  

    “Some of those questions also can’t be answered without data extraction and analysis. For example, the assessment included in Gallop Discovery uses data extraction to assess how many implementations you have, how many customizations you have, and where you are now. Mapped to where you want to be, that data can turn into hard facts like a cost and time estimate for the full transformation project. “  

    Making Data-Driven Decisions  

    When you know what you have, you can make data-driven decisions regarding where you want to be. That might include mapping customization and figuring out which corrections are needed, it can include determining how many people you need for the transformation,  

    “Cognitus relies on best-in-class software partners to offer intelligent automation as part of the assessment and the eventual deployment. This includes scoping tooling to map old processes with new and suggest corrections – all of which are checked and confirmed manually in alignment with your team.” Says Dennis, “that cuts down time needed for conversion, but it also gives you the information to cost and time the project from a technical point of view.”  

    Introducing People to S/4HANA  

    Most organizations moving to S/4HANA quickly find that it is their people, not their technical processes, that present the most resistance to the transformation. That’s a normal part of change management. But, Gallop Discovery offers a transition period, with a hands-on trial of S/4, complete with technical expertise to help your people internalize the skills they need to make the shift.  

    “With three months to try, tweak, and use S/4 in a hands-on fashion, your people can see what needs to change to make the transformation, how things work, and how S/4 actually works. That can significantly reduce internal resistance, while giving your people the skills to maintain and use S/4 after the implementation.”  

    Here, the large focus is getting a hands-on look at SAP Fit-To-Standard processes. These follow SAPs new approach of using standardized processes and a clean core rather than customization, making future implementations easier and enabling the shift to the cloud. The Pilot gives your teams time to adjust to those processes, see how they walk, and to determine where tweaks or alternative approaches would add value.  

    “While people often walk into these sorts of business transformations with the mindset that they have been doing things a certain way for 10-15 years and therefore it’s for a reason, fit-to-standard processes can add significant value in terms of optimization, in cost-reduction, and in reducing the need to reinvent the wheel. Getting that hands-on experience in a trial environment allows those teams to change their minds based on how the software works. “  

    Creating Certainty with Gallop Discovery  

    “Cognitus has had the Gallop Pilot in the SAP store since 2018. In 2022, we re-launched as Gallop Discovery, adding a standard assessment to the package. This includes an assessment with a full extraction of data and a 3-month pilot of your ECC data, transformed and adjusted to run in S/4.”  

    “At the end of the Pilot, we deliver a transformation roadmap, business case, and cost plan, to allow you to make the right decisions for your transformation, with integration risks visible, and people on board. You get answers on how long the project should take, how much it will cost, and what resources you need to make it happen. And, if you’d like, you can then move seamlessly into Gallop Deployment, where our teams take that same data to begin your transformation.”  

    If you’d like to learn more about Gallop Discovery, download the brochure here 


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