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What is different SAP Implementation and Migration approach?

Updated: Mar 9

SAP implementation and migration are two different processes, but they can be closely related, especially when moving from an older SAP system (e.g., SAP ECC) to SAP S/4HANA. Here are different approaches for both SAP implementation and migration:


SAP Implementation Approaches:


Greenfield – It is building the entire S/4HANA system from scratch without bringing over anything from ECC. Greenfield is only approach for new SAP ERP customers, but existing customers should carry out study to opt for it. It is a relatively simple option for the S/4HANA transition. It reduces Time-to-Value and Total-Cost-of-Ownership through the fast adoption of predefine migration objects and by omitting highly customize codes and complicated workflows. It may omit SAP migration challenges and open a option to re-engineer, redesign the existing process. But it takes time to build new system. Also, the cost of greenfield is higher in comparison to brownfield because it involves a complete assessment, planning, and redesign of business processes.


There are multiple advantages of SAP Greenfield deployment. E.g.


• New beginning of new implementation

• Provide opportunity to omit existing challenges.

• A good chance to re-engineer existing processes, and enhanced SAP- system capabilities.

• Best practices adoption.

• Multiple Landscape merger.

• The firm will lose historical data as well as the extensive testing of new procedures that are necessary.

• Automation and innovation with business continuity


Brownfield – It is a system conversion from ECC system to S/4HANA. It supports AS-IS. No need to re-design your existing system. It is built on top of an existing foundation. It is suitable where lot of customization and interfaces exist. The existing configuration, customizations, and data are adapted to work with the new system. This approach is less disruptive as it retains the core system processes and data. This approach is suitable for organizations with significant investments in their current SAP landscape and a need to retain existing data and processes.


Brownfield Deployment advantage is:


• Faster deployments with shorter duration

• Minimal business impact and process disruption

• Can selectively pick components during migration to SAP S/4 HANA platform.


The fundamental problem with a brownfield migration is that it must be completed fully at once. This generally has long-term consequences for firms with heterogeneous and complex IT system landscapes, because the complexity cannot be addressed within the scope of such a project.


Hybrid (Bluefield) or Selective Data Migration– The hybrid approach is a combination of greenfield and brownfield implementations. This approach involves creating a new SAP S/4HANA system while preserving the existing SAP system. or it involves setting up a new SAP S/4HANA system while selectively migrating certain data and functionalities from the existing system. The new system is configured and customized based on the existing system, with only critical data and processes migrated to the new system. This approach provides the flexibility to adopt new processes and technologies while preserving critical legacy data and configurations.


In this approach, only selected data or specific business units are migrated from the legacy system to SAP S/4HANA. It is useful when organizations want to avoid carrying over redundant or outdated data to the new system.


The Blue Field Implementation provides several benefits, including faster implementation, less business disruption, improved data quality, and better performance. This approach also enables organizations to adopt new features and functionality of the SAP S/4HANA platform gradually.


Benefits of Blue Field Implementation:


• Minimum Business Disruption: Since the existing system is preserved, there is no downtime, and Business can continue to use the system as usual. The new system is tested and validated before the migration, ensuring a seamless transition.

• Faster Implementation: Since only critical data and processes are migrated to the new system, the migration process is faster and more efficient.

• Data Quality: With Selective Data Transition approach enables organizations to clean and improve the data quality before migration. This approach ensures that the data in the new system is accurate and up to date, enabling organizations to make informed decisions based on real-time data.


Challenges of Blue Field Implementation:


• Data Compatibility: The new system must be compatible with the existing system, and data must be transferred seamlessly. Organizations need to ensure that the data is correctly mapped and validated before the migration.

• Customization. Replication of existing customization in new system can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring a team of experts with deep knowledge of SAP systems and customization.


SAP Migration Approaches:

  1. System Conversion: As mentioned earlier, a system conversion, or brownfield migration, involves upgrading an existing SAP system to SAP S/4HANA. This approach is suitable for organizations with significant investments in their current SAP landscape and a need to retain existing data and processes.

  2. Selective Data Migration: In this approach, only selected data or specific business units are migrated from the legacy system to SAP S/4HANA. It is useful when organizations want to avoid carrying over redundant or outdated data to the new system.

  3. Phased Migration: In a phased migration, the transition to SAP S/4HANA is done in stages or phases. Different modules or business units are migrated gradually, allowing the organization to focus on each area individually and ensuring a smoother transition.

  4. Big Bang Migration: In contrast to the phased approach, a big bang migration involves migrating all data and functionalities from the legacy system to SAP S/4HANA in one go. This approach requires careful planning and extensive testing to mitigate risks associated with a large-scale migration.

  5. Landscape Transformation: Landscape transformation involves reorganizing and restructuring the SAP landscape during migration. It may include consolidating multiple systems, harmonizing data, and redefining business processes.

Each organization's SAP implementation and migration approach will depend on its specific needs, resources, timeline, and business goals. A successful implementation or migration requires a well-defined strategy, thorough planning, skilled resources, and collaboration between business and IT teams. For SAP Training Contact us at: Training@sgrcs.co.in

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