Best practices in SAP S/4 Hana integration

With competition pouring into market every day, maintaining desired profit levels have become an uphill task for the supply chain managers. Now without the support of an adequate technology platform, the task of monitoring and execution of business activities can be a daunting one. It is of utmost importance for the organizations to have technologies like SAP S/4 HANA, to execute business functions with ease. SAP S/4 HANA is the most advanced transactional ERP system, which also has got the best analytical capabilities. Organizations opting for HANA can get advanced departmental analytical reports, for spot decision making. However, migrating or integration of one system platform to other can be a tricky affair. It should be kept in mind that “ZERO”, business data loss should take place. Most of the time it is very difficult for the technology partner to work with a live database of an organization. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right methodology for integration of SAP S/4 HANA with other systems.

There are various threats facing organizations, the most common amongst them is inaccurate reporting of business transactional data. Therefore, businesses need to have a transformative IT landscape for better agility, which can only be bought by database consolidation through SAP S/4 HANA. This form of consolidation reduces cost to the tune of 30% and shortens reaction time.

A systematic approach is necessary to avoid unsuccessful project delivery, which includes the following best practices:

Leadership Commitment:

Top management commitment is crucial for the success of the project because it is up to them to choose the right technology partner. More than a technology, SAP S/4 HANA is a culture, which needs to be imbibed through all verticals in the organization. Management along with the technology partner must inform the departmental heads about the costs & benefits of having SAP S/4 HANA.  Apart from database consolidation, SAP S/4 HANA also has in-memory database, which is crucial in handling huge volumes of live data.

Defining the roadmap through SRS sessions:

This is the foundation block of the project, which needs to be addressed very carefully. The implementation team, headed by a project leader, should have exclusive personnel, to monitor daily progress of the project. The project leader should be having multitasking capabilities along with experience of handling inter-departmental technical teams. It is the responsibility of the project manager to work in tandem with the technical and functional consultant of the technology partner. Stage wise progress presentations should be systematically presented to the top management. The core of the SRS session is to define departmental process map, which would be coded through SAP S/4 HANA. User rights and authorizations are defined along with the required module license. Standard Procedures (SP), and locks are defined to insulate the process from any errors. SAP has also provided the data transfer workbench, through which huge amount of legacy data can be uploaded in the server. Special care should be taken in this regard, as the starting data should be cleansed and authentic. The process of feeding legacy data is quite simple. Data can be put into excel sheet and required item codes are created before the actual feeding of the sheet in the system.

Enabling a seamless integration process:

SAP S/4 HANA integration provides both the options of “on premise” and “cloud based” installation process, which the organizations may choose, as per their choice. The integration process is carried out in two steps, first is the system preparation for the integration and second is the actual integration process. HANA straight away saves cost to the tune of 20%, with its reduced storage cost through a consolidated IT environment. Another cost saving feature of SAP S/4 HANA is the omission of unnecessary IT layer and reduced uploading & testing downtimes, which increases the “Business Intelligence“, of the platform and saves cost up to 40% from the legacy systems. Integration is carried out by locking the source database, to prevent any possible data leak. It is advisable to use R3 load command mechanism to data exchange to be smoother. There has to be a segregation of functional and application data, which would facilitate a hassle free integration process. If used with system configuration of 1.0 SP9 & DMO (Database migration option), integration and system up gradation could be achieved simultaneously, saving time and cost.

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