The introduction of Hana and S/4 Hana is a big challenge for many companies. The project promises success if a road map with clearly defined steps points the way to the goal. What could that look like? What do companies have to consider during the implementation process?
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Society, the economy and industry are undergoing a transformation. The digital transformation not only changes processes within companies at a rapid speed – sometimes with an as of yet uncertain outcome – but also entire business models. This also has the effect of changing the requirements for the organization of the IT architecture, creating a need for solutions that can be flexibly and quickly adapted to changing conditions. Hana and S/4 Hana address exactly these challenges and pave the way towards successful value-added processes in the digital economy.
Rapid database technologies and the consolidation of data and processes on one platform considerably simplify business processes and depict them across systems. This provides companies with a new “look” at their data and processes. According to a study conducted by analyst firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) in 2015, 62 percent of companies surveyed are convinced that every SAP customer will have to implement S/4 Hana sooner or later.
Forty-three percent believe that the solution provides concrete benefits over the current SAP applications. Ninety percent are observing improved performance in data analysis and SAP-supported processes.
Fifty-five percent confirm the improved user friendliness of the SAP applications, and half of those surveyed confirm that back end processes are more efficient. The results of the PAC study show: The majority of those surveyed confirm the strategic importance of Hana and S/4 Hana against the background of the digital transformation.
Clearing up reservations
Many companies have already put the introduction of such systems on their agenda. Nevertheless, IT managers and decision-makers still have concerns regarding the implementation of Hana or S/4. They include the expenses for the conversion, which are difficult to estimate, and the high costs for new software licenses. How can companies do away with these concerns and benefit from the solutions without limitations?
First of all, they must consider whether a complete migration to Hana or S/4 Hana is even required at this time. It is possible that it would make more sense, given the current conditions, to gradually get the departments involved ready for the digital transformation, for example by outsourcing certain processes or migrating an existing business management system to Hana.
This can be followed by additional measures in the direction of digital process optimization.
It is only at the next step that companies must ask themselves how the systems can be introduced professionally, with a high probability of success and reasonable requirements, as well as reasonable costs. Those in charge of the IT systems are well advised to use an approach consisting of careful planning, well thought-out strategies and gradual implementation.
A sound analysis of the existing business processes at the company should be the starting point of any Hana or S/4 Hana implementation project. Therefore the status quo must be determined. It is important that the stock-taking process is honest and comprehensive, for example in the form of audits with managing employees and affected users and supported by process mining tools.
In this way, the status quo can not only be analyzed but also visualized.
Improvement potential and objectives
The second step defines the destination of the journey: Based on the problems that have been identified, this step is about investigating where the potential for improvement lies and the ideal target state that is to be achieved with the introduction of Hana or S/4.
Which key performance indicators can be used in this context, according to which the desired successful outcomes can be measured? The definition of targets also requires precise information regarding dates: By what date should the introduction of Hana or S/4 be completed?
And by when should the corresponding process improvements take effect? Once the objectives are clear, the company must develop a strategy that can be used to realize the intended outcomes. To this end, it is important to discuss how Hana or S/4 Hana can contribute to improving processes and consistently aligning them to the defined objectives.
This must include an investigation as to the concrete integration and optimum use of the software solutions and the required preparations.
Once the strategic preliminary deliberations have been completed, it is possible to develop a concrete road map that describes the various implementation steps.
This requires the definition of clear deadlines, hence a chronology of the intended progress of the project, such as specific information as to when e.g. the analysis phase must be completed, which preparatory activities are required, for example data migrations, when the implementation can begin and by what date the improved processes are supposed to take effect.
Consulting professional partners
Many companies are not able to implement the recommended project steps on their own. They do not have the internal resources that are required for a successful implementation process. Frequently they also lack the know-how or the time – or both.
And often it is not worth acquiring the complete know-how for a one-time conversion. Therefore companies are well advised to consult a professional external partner when implementing Hana or S/4 Hana.
With Process/4, Fujitsu offers valuable support in this area. In line with a consistent all-in-one package, the IT partner supplies all services required for a successful project from one source. This process begins with a fact-based process analysis, the so-called process mining, and ends with the hardware. Fujitsu offers end-to-end services from one hand, made in Germany.
The most important criteria for a successful implementation process are developed together with the customer in several analysis workshops on the issues “Added value of S/4 Hana”, existing processes and code assessment. The experts from Fujitsu also provide advice for the conceptualization of a high-end IT architecture as the basis for the stable operation of Hana or S/4 Hana and neighboring systems.
Important: Not just SAP processes but also processes outside of SAP are captured and evaluated. In addition, Fujitsu provides support services for preparatory activities, for example with Unicode migration and customer-specific adjustments.
The implementation of Fiori apps provides user-friendly and flexible customization and mobile, browser-based access to all applications in S/4 Hana. Finally, Fujitsu also supports the entire change management process with intensive coaching.
Fujitsu has the experience of several hundred successful Hana projects. During the implementation of Hana or S/4 Hana, the service provider displays flexibility when it comes to assisting companies with the services that they actually need. This means that solutions are always tailored to the company‘s individual starting situation.
A distinction is made whether the company has never operated a SAP solution before, uses a traditional SAP ERP system without Hana technology or already has some experience with Hana, e.g. because it already migrated its SAP business management system to Hana.
With Process/4, Fujitsu has added valuable functions for process analysis to SAP Activate, the project acceleration tool for implementing S/4 Hana, with a focus on the entire system environment.