The Emergence of SAP S/4HANA
SAP S/4HANA has been dubbed the successor to SAP R/3 and SAP ERP 6.0 by taking full advantage of the advanced capabilities SAP HANA offers and truly positioning itself as the next generation ERP business suite. SAP S/4HANA makes running live business possible with its in-memory architecture capable of acting as the digital core for an entire enterprise. With real-time insights, businesses are empowered with the information to take actions immediately, thus improving the operational efficiencies and resource utilization that lead to an improved bottom line. Apart from being faster (i.e. real-time with its in-memory processing capabilities), S/4HANA has the ability to provide predictive suggestions and can be integrated across various departments and Lines of Businesses.
While all this goes on in the back-end, the front-end experiences a significant upgrade by capitalizing on the SAP Fiori UX, which presents all the data the user needs in an intuitive, elegant, and easy to use fashion. By combining SAP Fiori, the future of SAP’s UX strategy, with the next generation business suite, SAP S/4HANA, customers can expect a drastic improvement in both the look & feel and the operational effectiveness of their ERP system.
It’s no wonder why most companies are now looking on to SAP S/4 HANA; it has the capabilities to extract unprecedented business and IT value. When companies think of leveraging such powerful Business suites, implementing it should also be an easy, cost effective and less time consuming.
This is where SAP Activate comes out as a solution to implement SAP S/4 HANA. SAP Activate has been designed to help business to get SAP S/4 HANA up and running, quick.
What is SAP Activate?
SAP Activate is a framework that applies to almost all the S/4 HANA implementations, irrespective of the Line of Business the customer is interested in. SAP Activate does this by combining I.) SAP Best Practices packages, II.) Guided Configurations, and III.) Optimized Methodologies.
I. SAP Best Practices for Implementing S/4HANA
The SAP Best Practices package is the starting point in SAP Activate for any kind of implementation and follows the same methodology for all deployment modes – whether it be cloud, hybrid, on premise, or mobile. This not only ensures simplification of the respective SAP S/4 HANA implementation, but also streamlines the enterprise operations within SAP S/4 HANA.
In addition to covering the fundamentals of integration and migration for SAP S/4HANA, the SAP Best Practices package also includes a reference solution in the cloud. Customers can get information on extensibility that details how to enhance SAP software for their own needs and integrate functionality with other cloud solutions. SAP Best Practices enables you to take advantage of all the power and potential available with SAP S/4HANA, and yet, tailor it to fit within your circumstances and business needs. SAP Best Practices comprises of a wide range of industries, lines of business, and functionality, to choose from for your implementation.
– It is again noteworthy to point out that there are different set of Best Practices for both On-Premise and Cloud edition of S/4 HANA –
Best Practices for S/4 HANA On-Premise
Best Practices for S/4 HANA Cloud Edition
II. Guided Configuration
Guided configuration is a tool provided for content lifecycle management. This tool aids you as a customer to configure, test, and receive support in the data migration processes that are needed for your selected best practices. You also have the option to add or update your preferred best practices later. Automated updates and intuitive configuration changes support the initial implementation and help you adopt ongoing innovation more quickly with minimal disruption while tracking your configuration history. As a result, your business users can customize preconfigured business processes – from charts of accounts to approval thresholds – without IT involvement.
The guided configuration tools provides an overview of available best practices. This helps you perform the ongoing content management while adding innovations to SAP S/4HANA, from initial setup through launch. You can use self-service configuration to adapt business processes as well.
As your configuration keeps evolving, you may use your configuration history to help ensure that delta implementation activities don’t conflict with previous configurations. Configuration records also help ensure compatibility with any future innovations in SAP S/4HANA.
III. Methodology for SAP S/4HANA Implementations
The SAP Activate methodology is an agile and modular framework for implementation or migration to SAP S/4HANA. It builds on its predecessors: ASAP methodology for implementations and SAP Launch methodology for cloud deployments. Companies may either use this methodology on their own, with SAP directly, or with an SAP partner. Since the methodology supports the use of add-ons and extensions developed by SAP partners, what you get is a coherent, integrated experience even if you are customizing SAP S/4HANA for specific business processes. This methodology allows you to take a disciplined project management approach to your implementation, migration, and change projects. SAP Activate’s methodology aligns with best practices recommended by the Project Management Institute (PMI), helping you in minimizing risk, streamline and accelerate your implementation project, and reduce the total cost standardized work breakdown structure helps project managers of implementation.
The methodology’s standardized work breakdown structure helps project managers define and manage project work and focus on deliverables and outcomes.
Phases in SAP Activate
Following its Agile and Modular framework, SAP Activate’s process is divided into four major phases that are iterative in nature:
- Prepare – In this phase the project is initiated, planning takes place. Plans are also made for Quality and Risks. The system environment is set-up, this also includes best practices for ready to run processes.
- Explore – The customer team explores SAP solution capabilities while the system integrator researches the customer’s business. Together, they use fit/gap workshops to identify the configuration and extensions that best meet customer requirements.
- Realize – The team configures and extends the system, based on prioritized the requirements captured in the Explore phase. Configuration and build are done in short cycles, ensuring regular validation and feedback from the business. Structured testing and data migration activities ensure quality.
- Deploy – Final preparations before cutover to production ensure that that the system, users, and data are ready for transition to productive use. The transition to operations includes setting up and launching support, then handing off operations to the organization managing the environment.
SAP Activate for different flavors of SAP S/4HANA
There are different ways in which a company may adopt SAP S/4HANA based on their requirements.
- SAP S/4HANA On-Premise
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition.
SAP Activate supports both implementations with customized Best Practices, Guided Configurations and Optimization methods that can be customized and tailored to fit each individual company’s process needs.
Based on the kind of setup, either on-premise or cloud edition, you can make any combination of the following to best suit your enterprise needs and run your business more effectively and efficiently.
Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA
Three Scenarios with SAP Activate
SAP Activate is here to reduce the hassles of transitioning your business process to S/4HANA. There are a variety of situations where the SAP Activate Methodology comes in handy, such as a 1.) Systems Conversion, 2.) Landscape Transformation, and 3.) a New Implementation.
1. System Conversion
Your company may have been relying on the legacy SAP ERP systems and Business Suite for years. In this case, a systems conversion to S/4HANA may be your chosen path. SAP Activate has set of Best Practice packages, Guided Configurations and Optimized methods that helps your enterprise transition to SAP S/4 HANA in a smooth, hassle free, quick and efficient manner.
2. Landscape Transformation
Whether your organization’s data is located in one place or spans multiple locations, the added complexity of managing multiple infrastructures increases costs and is time consuming to get the right data at the right time, while having your distributed organization and business work in sync.
With SAP Activate, the consolidation of all your existing SAP Business Suites into a single SAP S/4HANA system can become a reality in a matter of no time. And performed with a higher rate of efficiency and ease, the transition keeps your Total Cost of Owner to a bare minimum.
3. New Implementation
In this scenario, a new or existing SAP customer might want to leverage SAP S/4 HANA system with an initial data load. This would allow the company to have data from an ERP system as well as any Non-SAP System loaded onto S/4HANA
The new implementation option is best if you want to start fresh with an entirely new on-premise or cloud implementation of SAP S/4HANA, and then migrate your legacy transactional data.
The Bottom Line
As the adoption of SAP S/4HANA grows we must all be aware of the best way to make the change. SAP Activate has been developed with the same “running simple” mantra as other modern SAP software, and its combination of SAP Best Practices, guided configuration, and methodology will ensure a smooth transition into the next generation business suite. SAP Activate is a successor of the ASAP and SAP Launch methodology, and as such, is the one methodology for any deployment mode you choose to take with SAP S/4HANA.
Benefits of SAP Activate Methodology
- Accelerated Time to Value
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership
- Continuous Innovation and Improvement