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Rick Porter

S/4HANA transition – the first steps!

Rick Porter | October 22, 2019

Recently, the Rev-Trac sales team descended upon SAP TechEd in Las Vegas. Before leaving we checked out the conference sessions. It was obvious if an SAP S/4HANA transition isn’t top of mind or Cloud solutions are not on the radar, then there wasn’t much on offer.

And if it wasn’t clear before we arrived, it was certainly obvious by the time we had attended a session or two. S/4HANA was the topic of the day. It even dominated the Cloud sessions.

Yet, while S/4HANA was a hot topic of conversation, according to numerous recent surveys, up to 50% of SAP customers are still considering migration plans and timelines. So, many were at TechEd to confirm their S/4HANA strategies or get information to begin making transition plans.

Path to transition

We know there are three main transition options – Greenfield, Brownfield and Bluefield. Based on feedback from Rev-Trac customers, it seems most medium to large-sized customers are opting for Brownfield or Bluefield.

For Brownfield or Bluefield, the transition process (abbreviated) includes the following steps:

  • Scope the transition effort
  • Remove code that won’t be transitioned
  • Check transitioning code for compatibility
  • Fix incompatible custom code
  • Tune compatible code performance

You may have also seen a version of the SAP two-phase, multi-step process slide that incorporates the actions.

Start with the code

SAP recommends at least 12 months of tracking of custom code and SAP standard code using either SCMON/SUSG or UPL. So, even if you or your SAP IT team are not sure of your transition plan, you can do something right now to prepare for the journey.

Regardless of the approach to your S/4HANA migration, you are going to need to cull your code at some point. Knowing what to keep and what to discard is critical.

Next steps on the path

Deciding what code needs to be transitioned and what doesn’t is only the beginning. With the process clear, it’s time to head down the removal and compatibility path.

Among the things we did hear at TechEd is that SAP tools to assist in the process have improved. So, if you are lagging a little in your S/4HANA transition this might be for the best in the long run.

For example, Android Development Tools (ADT) for Eclipse now includes semi-automated fixes for code compatibility. SAP’s goal is for this to be suitable for up to 80% of incompatible code which will save significant time and costs.

Additionally, many system integrators (SI) have developed their own tools. As a result, we expect the process to be further simplified as time goes on.

Managing the change

Although this transition process seems simple enough, there is an enormous amount of code that needs to be managed simultaneously. Some will iterate at the compatibility fixing stage, and more during the tuning phase. Keeping track and managing the sequences can be a challenge for SAP IT teams.

Also, in the shift to S/4HANA managing functionalities as single units of code will become increasingly complex. A better process is to manage the code groups by WRICEF or overall functionality. Managing the transition here at the requirement level – where all dependent objects linked are tested before deployment – accelerates your S/4 journey.

We have several customers who have simplified this process using Rev-Trac Platinum. To simplify its S/4HANA migration, AGL, for example, quantified all the custom requirements for the applications to be adopted and then created a Rev-Trac request for each one. With each request transparent, AGL can easily track the history and reason for every object modification in the creation of the new system

For more information on how Rev-Trac can help you to accelerate your S/4HANA transition, visit or request a demo with one of our change management experts.

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Rick Porter

Rick joined Rev-Trac in 2001 – as employee number one – when it was still in a start-up phase. Rick leads the efforts to establish the Rev-Trac solutions as the market leading automated SAP change management technology. He’s overseen an innovative channel and partner strategy which has expanded into Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, South America and South Africa. As VP of business development, Rick is responsible for leading Rev-Trac into a new era.
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