The Big Leap – Key Learnings from ECC to SAP/S4 Migration
Enterprises with a progressive IT roadmap are on the constant lookout for powering their IT organizations with the best of breed technologies. Today digital transformation is seen as a pivot to operational efficiency and success in the marketplace. This is what is nudging enterprises across industries to embrace SAP S/4 HANA. It’s the next-generation intelligent suite, enabling the move to a digital intelligent enterprise based on next-generation best practices and Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled automation. At the same time, it is paving the way to the cloud and hybrid architectures, driving a substantial level of landscape simplification and TCO reduction.
In this issue, we look at how a leading manufacturer of Polyester Films, which is into the business for the last 6 decades migrated to the latest SAP offering and how it achieved greater technology fitment with business. The company manufactures Polyester Film and, in the thickness, ranging from 10 microns to 350 microns across its four manufacturing plants and makes revenues over INR 8 billion and growing year on year.
THE KEY DRIVERS FOR S/4 HANA ADOPTION
The company was using SAP ECC ERP 6.0 – EHP 7 DB2 Database since the year 2010 (Modules MM/FI/PP/QM/SD/HCM). SAP ECC was implemented in 7 plants at 2 different physical locations. With aggressive growth and expansion plans, the company’s top management wanted to migrate to the latest SAP version – S/4HANA to reap benefits of the digitization and mobility. In addition to the other key drivers that triggered the move to S/4 HANA, there were also aspects like SAP’s decision to sunset ECC support in the future acted as a tipping point. Moreover, the company’s IT infrastructure was also due for an upgrade and the company has an in-house IT team that gave the leverage to go forward with the migration.
THE MIGRATION STRATEGY
Nihilent’s ERP team along with the company’s in-house IT chalked out a staged migration strategy, cutting across two phases. The project was divided across two phases. In phase one, the team rolled out the technical migration from SAP ECC ERP 6.0 – EHP 7 to S/4HANA 1909 Kernel. The conversion was carried out in three-iterations to eradicate all the technical/functional issues with the help of UAT session after each conversion.
The final UAT and conversion were planned on site but due to COVID-19 pandemic situation; the project was executed from nearshore/offshore. The go-live was completed successfully in July 2020.
With the successful completion of phase one, the team has set future milestones to be achieved at the end of this year. The team has identified 15 improvement areas for business benefits have been identified. We have also partnered with the company to provide solutioning for them. The requirements include implementation of:
- PM/PS modules of SAP, COPA implementation
- Building dashboards in SAC
- FIORI implementation
- Vendor Portal, and Customer Portal, Payment Release Tool etc.
According to the project team, all these sub-projects are moving forward in parallel as per the plan. They are at different phases and getting closely monitored
HARVESTING THE BENEFITS OF S/4 HANA
After achieving a seamless ECC to S/4 HANA migration, it’s time to look at the multipronged benefits the company derived. The significant one being the speed in the application due to SAP-optimized in-memory database model offered by S/4HANA and improved user experience. Besides, it accrued the following benefits:
- Simplified Data Model of S/4HANA
- Implementation of new SAP modules and mobility solutions
- Digitization of the system with the help of many features like SAP HANA, FIORI, SAC
- Tight integration between Vendor Portal / Customer Portal and SAP to provide better collaboration with Vendors and Customers respectively
- The building of insightful real-time analytics
- A better approach to Disaster Recovery and Backups
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