SAP has bet the farm on SAP S/4 HANA and is doing all it can to nudge, cajole, push, prod, encourage, persuade, and basically demand that their hundreds of thousands of clients migrate their ERP Central Component (ECC) implementations to S/4.
There is resistance
Migration is not cheap. Migration is disruptive. Migration is stressful to the organization as well as those who are responsible for doing the migration work.
User communities have already spent millions, and globally billions of dollars just consolidating legacy systems into ECC and are not in a hurry to start all over in a new platform after all the money they’ve already spent.
BUT HANA IS COMPELLING
It is a true paradigm shift with its “In Memory” technology. When processes can be sped up by a factor of 10, or 100, or 1000 or more, that requires companies to consider this new technology …. before the competition does!
IT organizations are facing an exponential explosion of data volumes, and it is becoming harder and harder to be able to process that data. Typically, most companies using SAP will run batch jobs after hours to process all the sales, finance, purchasing, shipping, inventory, manufacturing, human resources, business intelligence, and other data.
Every day the increase in data volumes cause those night time batch runs to take longer and longer. It’s not unusual for nightly processing to start at 8 pm and barely finish the next morning by 6 am when thousands of users expect to be able to sign on.
AND HANA REDUCES PROCESSING TIME
With HANA, that 10 (12, 15, 20?) hours of processing every night can be greatly reduced, in some cases down to 1-2 hours.
Not only does the ability to process huge data volumes in a drastically shorter time frame extend the current architecture, but it also enables a whole new field of Business Intelligence known as predictive analytics which provides greater insight to customer behavior, better purchasing prediction and more precise plant maintenance scheduling to name just three.
There’s a clear case to be made to change from disk drives to memory for storage. So, what is the hold-up?
Yet the S/4 platform is not mature
Besides the expense and disruption that a migration brings, the S/4 platform is not mature. Not everything can simply be migrated as some functionality is not available yet to S/4. Human Resources is not available, for example, in S/4.
One option is to keep your ECC HR/HCM modules after you migrate to S/4, and have a hybrid platform. Hybrid platforms have their place, but as the name implies, the client would have more than one platform to support which is inherently more expensive and higher risk factors than having only one platform.
Another option would be to do a functional migration of ECC HR to S/4 Success Factors, which is the only S/4 HR module. Doing a functional migration is much more expensive than a straight technical migration, so adding a functional migration of HR to Success Factors on top of the overall ECC to S/4 technical migration becomes a much bigger project.
In some cases, the modules in S/4 that you can migrate lack certain functionalities that are in ECC, and the client may be forced to wait until future S/4 upgrades are available.
Until S/4 IS READY …. Migrate to business suite on hana
Is there another alternative to S/4? Yes, there is, and this is a migration to Business Suite on HANA.
What is Business Suite on SAP'S HANA? Simply stated, Business Suite on HANA is virtually the same suite of products and functionalities that come with ECC except it runs on top of the HANA platform and database instead of a third party database. It is functionally identical to ECC, but technically, it’s HANA.
5 Reasons To Migrate to Business Suite on HANA
- The entire ECC suite can be moved over to HANA in a technical migration.
- It’s much quicker than migrating to S/4 which will require functional upgrades, custom code migrations, and extensive testing.
- The migration is less disruptive to the organization and will complete more quickly.
- Because the user-facing part of the system is virtually identical to ECC, no training is necessary for the user community. With an S/4 migration, extensive user training is going to be required.
- Clients will still get the benefit of ‘in memory’ processing which provides the speed that allows for shrinkage of the nightly batch processing time, speeds up reports, and allows cheaper and faster scaling of the system.
- There is a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) since scaling memory is cheaper than scaling disk.
The one disadvantage to Business Suite on HANA vs. S/4 is that SAP is making S/4 the standard future product and eventually most companies will need to take the final step and go to S/4. But, that might not be necessary for another couple of years.
Our Recommendation: Defer migration to S/4
At Day & Zimmermann (Yoh's parent company), we chose to migrate to Business Suite on HANA and defer the migration to S/4 to a future date.
No matter what you and your company have decided to do, we have services and tools at Yoh's SAP practice to assist clients in making assessments and proofs of concept to help the decision-making process for their next move with their SAP ECC. We also have partners to help us migrate clients to the cloud, either public or private. Whatever you determine, whether to go to either Business Suite or S/4, we stand ready to help staff those efforts.