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How to plan an SAP S/4HANA brownfield migration

SAP S/4HANA brownfield migrations aim to convert existing SAP environments without reimplementation. Find out how to prepare for this type of conversion.

Editor's Note: In part two of our five-part series on SAP S/4HANA conversions, we'll examine considerations for planning a brownfield approach to migration. To read part one, "3 Strategies for SAP ECC to S/4HANA Conversion Projects," click here.

The brownfield approach to digital transformation is perfect for companies that are satisfied with their business processes and data management but need to enable faster adoption and development of new innovations. Using this method, an organization can migrate from SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) to S/4HANA simply by converting their existing SAP environment without reimplementation or disruption to existing business processes.

Preparing S/4HANA brownfield migrations

Several elements must be considered when preparing for an SAP S/4HANA brownfield migration, starting with the SAP Transformation Navigator and Readiness Check 2.0.

The SAP Transformation Navigator is a free, self-service tool available to all existing SAP customers. The tool generates customized guidance for organizations on selecting SAP products that support their digital transformation roadmaps.

SAP's Readiness Check 2.0, meanwhile, is a toolset designed to analyze various attributes of your current ECC Production environment. The check includes analysis of simplification items, compatibility of business functions and custom code, as well as SAP Fiori recommendations. SAP advises performing the check by using the production system, or at least a copy of the production system.

SAP S/4HANA migration challenges chart

If you are planning an SAP S/4HANA conversion project, please refer to SAP Note #2758146 for Readiness Check 2.0. SAP highly recommends using this option to benefit from new and improved functionalities. The current release, SAP S/4HANA 1909, is available in the Readiness Check 2.0 report under "RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA".

Simplification Item Check Framework report

Readiness Check 2.0 uses the Simplification Item Check Framework report (/SDF/RC_START_CHECK). To access, you will need to download the latest simplification item catalog and select "SAP S/4HANA 1909."

The simplification list is available in PDF and XSL formats, highlighting deltas between SAP ECC and S/4HANA. Specifically, the list describes incompatible changes that occur between S/4HANA and ECC (or previous versions of SAP S/4HANA).

Available in an online tool maintained by the SAP S/4HANA team, the item catalog serves as the central location for simplification items, with the latest for SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA available for download.

The foundation is set

Once you've collected and analyzed all the information from the readiness check, you can start planning the SAP ECC to S/4HANA brownfield migration in earnest.

Other elements to consider during the planning stage include the following:

  • Current SAP version: You must be on an ECC 6.0 version to make a successful single-step jump to SAP S/4HANA.
  • Unicode: The system must be Unicode compliant. If not, a Unicode conversion will need to take place as part of the conversion process.
  • Current Operating System version/patch level
  • Current Database version/patch level
  • Current SAP Kernel version/patch level

In part three of our series, we'll look at the steps toward project execution using the brownfield method.

Next Steps

SAP greenfield vs. brownfield approach: Which to use for S/4HANA

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