S/4 HANA Transformation

SAP’s S/4HANA solution on the basis of the in-memory HANA database offers a real-time ERP Suite for the digital business. The user surface is role-based and personalized and thus meets the latest standard. Media and system discontinuities are avoided, and it will be possible again to make complex analyses in the ERP as the separation of OLTP and OLAP has been eliminated.

Such complex changes generate many questions:

  • How can the transition be done?
  • When is the right time for us?
  • Why can’t I keep using R/3 ERP?
  • What does the transformation cost?
  • What benefits can I expect?

Our procedural approach and the technical modules set the optimal stage for a secure and efficient transformation to S/4 HANA.

S/4HANA Value Check

DATAGROUP’s Value Check offers an approach aimed at developing an S/4HANA roadmap but, more importantly, pointing out the possible benefits on the basis of the corporate and IT goals. Experienced process consultants examine the main processes and the technical environment using a three-phase model (SCAN-FOCUS-ACT), discuss the goals and their attainability and compare alternatives on the way to an individual roadmap.

S/4HANA Introduction

The Value Check provides a recommendation for your individual S/4HANA implementation strategy. In principle, we decide between two alternatives: greenfield and brownfield.

Greenfield stands for breaking with the past and reflecting smart processes in the standard. The redesign phase is process-oriented, and we deliberately refrain from creating a blueprint document. The entire implementation process is accompanied by a prototype script, which grows along with the project phases. This is a pragmatic alternative to the process documentation in the SAP Solution Manager. The system is designed and accepted in prototype cycles (optionally on the basis of the SAP Model Company).
We generally recommend the brownfield approach when the system landscape is mainly based on the standard with few modifications and legacies and when the company wants to adopt its processes without any changes. The system and the customizing are adopted with the entire data, and all your Z-programs are adjusted to fit the new technology.

Selected References

Balcke-Dürr: Introduction of SAP S/4HANA

Balcke-Dürr GmbH is a German Mittelstand company with some 400 employees and locations in Germany, Italy, Poland, China and India. The SAP system landscape of the project developer for power plant components, filter systems and services, which was taken over as part of the outsourcing process, had a sub-optimal degree of utilization:

  • The standard had been strongly modified
  • Weak degree of automation and low efficiency in the processes
  • Numbers originated from different sources
  • Management reporting was not based on SAP figures

The outcome of the DATAGROUP Value Check method including a ROI approach was a S/4HANA introduction project according to the greenfield approach. Redesign workshops were performed to optimize the company’s entire core processes according to the SAP standard. This served as a basis to set up new processes for commercial functions (FI, CO, PS), procurement and inventory management (MM), customer order processing (SD) with the integration in project management and personnel deployment (PS and MRS) in the form of rapid prototyping. In addition to reflecting the processes in the S/4HANA standard, it was our aim to simplify and digitize the company’s business processes. It took 8 months to implement the project in Germany, while the roll-out in Italy in phase 2 was finalized within three months.

Granovit AG: Introduction of SAP S/4HANA

Granovit AG is a feed producer with some 200 employees and three locations in Switzerland. The dry food is mainly produced for production animals, but also for zoo animals and pets in private homes and shelters. Raw materials are predominantly purchased in Switzerland, while the finished products are predominantly sold in Switzerland as well. When DATAGROUP took over operations, the existing SAP system had only been introduced recently by the US-American parent company, so Granovit’s processes and tools were not optimally integrated. To reflect the SAP processes in the standard, to consolidate the complex interface landscape and to reduce third-party systems where appropriate as well as reducing the complexity and IT costs DATAGROUP implemented a new SAP S/4HANA project as part of the carve-out with a term of 9 months.

To optimize the company’s entire core processes according to SAP standard redesign workshops were performed for sales, quality management, logistics, production planning as well as finance and controlling. From this basis, the new processes were implemented, including the interface landscape in the form of rapid prototyping. Following successful tests and training, the new S/4HANA system landscape was put into operation for three production sites. Thanks to the project, the company met its pre-defined objectives, e.g. the MII separation (production integration) as well as a higher cost transparency with monthly preliminary and post calculations of the production costs.

Transformation Modules

The transformation to S/4 HANA involves many tasks in application and technology. Our modules create the essential requirements on this way. From the reduction of your stored data with SAP data archiving and the creation of the technical requirements to the SAP business client migration and the introduction of the new general ledger, we offer tailor-made and calculable solutions for the S/4 HANA transformation.

Our solutions are completed by services around the SAP Fiori implementation to seize the advantages of the modern user surface in the wake of the S/4 HANA transformation.

SAP Data Archiving

In general, SAP data archiving has two main targets: the reduction of the data volume and the compliance with the legal requirements regarding data retention.

To have the systems costs under control in the long term while optimizing the response time in the SAP system it is decisive to keep the database volume low and to archive as many data objects as possible. Conversely, the departments rather must ensure to have the highest availability of data.

The data archiving process mainly deals with the aspect of finding a compromise between these two requirements which is reasonable for both parties.

EHP Upgrade

An upgrade of the SAP enhancement packages (EHP) updates and broadens the range of functions. Following an EHP upgrade you have the option to activate new functions in the form of business functions.

Unicode Conversion

System landscapes which have been existing for a longer time were installed with fixed code pages prior to the introduction of the unicode standard. These code pages only allow the display of certain characters. As SAP will exclusively support unicode going forward, the conversion of existing landscapes to this character set is indispensable.

SAP Business Partner Migration

S/4 HANA provides for the use of business partners, who can assume different roles depending on the business process – e.g. debtors or creditors. This functionality offers advantages helping to exploit optimization potential in the SAP Business Suite already now – irrespective of whether or not you wish to change to SAP S/4 HANA in the short to medium term. The necessary customer/vendor alignment better integrates the information in the SAP system.

New General Ledger Implementation

It is mandatory in S/4 HANA to use a new general ledger. However, the new general ledger offers many functional advantages helping to exploit optimization potential in the SAP business suite already now – independent of a changeover to SAP S/4 HANA – as the new general ledger integrates external and internal accounting in a much more consistent way.

SAP Fiori Implementation

The introduction of SAP R/3 and its successor versions such as mySAP, SAP Enterprise and SAP Business Suite set the SAP GUI as a standard user interface (UI). With the rapid increase of mobile end devices (tablets, smartphones) and the introduction of SAP HANA it was necessary to fundamentally revise the SAP front-end technology. The result is the SAP Fiori technology based on SAP UI5 (HTML5 and JavaScript). The desktops and mobile devices are supported by Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

S/4HANA Transformation – Your Advantages at a Glance

  • Easy and scalable, customer-specific, user-based and demand-oriented project approach
  • Process-driven technology
  • Verifiable ROI invoice as an option
  • Geared to Mittelstand companies – no “never ending story”
  • Modular setup enables transparent and individual approach
  • Technological advantages can be seized even without or with a later transformation to S/4 HANA


Brigitte Wallesch
T +49 89 996 872 255
M +49 173 3458285