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Roadmap for the S/4 HANA migration

New PAC study published

(PresseBox) (Gütersloh, )
  • arvato Systems already begun first projects for S/4 HANA with customers
  • HANA roadmap shows the way forward for change to S/4 HANA
New challenges such as Big Data, Industry 4.0 or increasing industrialization require new technical answers. A recent study by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) shows that most SAP users are aware of the pressure to migrate to the new system. Nevertheless, the changeover to the in-memory database and the newly available applications for use with "S/4 HANA" has been rather sluggish. With the "Roadmap to HANA", SAP partner arvato Systems has prepared a consultancy package that is ready to lead its customers forward into the next generation of IT.

Continuing trends such as internationalization and Industry 4.0 present companies with major challenges. With such a wide variety of purchasing and distribution channels as well as growing automation, the complexity of processes and organizations is also growing – and this includes the volumes of data to be processed. The effects of these developments can be felt, for example, in areas such as finance and controlling, where Chief financial officers (CFO) are now expected to deliver increasingly more extensive analyses and figures for the individual sub-segments of international markets. In doing this, problems arise in just trying to consolidate information that is often distributed all across a company, let alone trying to analyze this information in real time.

Similar challenges exist in trade, where the intersection of various customer activities across various channels must blend and coalesce to create a well-harmonized architecture. This is where HANA technology can leverage the power of Big Data so that it can be generated into high-performance "Smart Data" – in real time.

SAP users expecting better performance

The vast majority of SAP users are, therefore, aware that their existing systems will hardly be able to cope with future challenges. These were the findings of the market research institute Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) in the current study, "S/4 HANA - Relevance for SAP Customers, Expectations And Obstacles". Among the sponsors of this study is the long-standing SAP Gold Partner, arvato Systems. As part of the study, around 100 SAP managers from companies with 1,000 employees or more were surveyed about the challenges and opportunities around "S/4 HANA".

The result: Only a few companies have converted their existing databases to the S/4 HANA in-memory platform. The overwhelming majority currently continue to rely on relational database technologies. 62 percent of those surveyed are, however, convinced that sooner or later, they will make the change to S/4 HANA. Above all, they see advantages with regard to increased performance and in preparing for new challenges such as Big Data and Industry 4.0. S/4 HANA also scores extra points when it comes to analytics and usability.

Timetable required for changeover to HANA

Around one third of the companies surveyed have the changeover to S/4 HANA already on the cards with another third discussing this option. The highest initial priority is, of course, the change in database. 62 percent of companies have signaled a desire to pursue a gradual shift with the rest preferring a complete restart of their systems. However, even a casual look at the planned investments reveals the complexity of such a project: Many managers expect they will have to cope with a great deal of effort and expense in making the changeover – not least of all because they don't have the relevant business cases.

It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the majority of the proposed budgets for external services in areas such as consulting, migration and optimization are only estimates. "SAP users should be fully aware of how they will benefit from S/4 HANA. Of equal importance is the development of an individual roadmap that takes into account the current situation, digital agenda, and financial and human resource capacities", stresses Frank Niermann, Vice President – Software & SaaS Markets at PAC.

How changing over to S/4 HANA works

It is exactly here where arvato Systems steps in: This IT system integrator assists companies with "S/4 HANA" projects and has developed a detailed roadmap for just this purpose. And it all stars with an analysis of the current initial situation. Common goals are subsequently agreed so that, for example, competitiveness or the ability to deal with new challenges such as Big Data are improved. Prototypes also help to more quickly realize certain scenarios such as order processing. "Every company has different strategic priorities. This is why there are no blueprints. With our roadmap, we can concentrate on a given company's individual operational requirements. It is particularly important to achieve rapid successes in subsectors to advance the project and increase competitiveness", emphasizes Axel Sacher, Head of Trade at arvato Systems. Help is provided in the form of various showcases that make these new solutions more concrete. Examples here include Simple Finance, BI or SAP CAR. The target audience for S/4 HANA is predominantly medium and large-scale SAP users and newcomers. Arvato Systems also sets sector-specific priorities in areas such as retail, consumer goods, logistics and healthcare.

For more information on the S/4 Roadmap and assessment as well as an opportunity to receive a free download of the complete study, see below. www.it.arvato.com/...

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