Artificial intelligence might be the hero SAP customers deserve - but not the one they need right now. [shutterstock: 103769108, Malchev]
Hana and S/4 have been much discussed topics in the last few months. However, it is still important to talk about them - as SAP customers might fail miserably trying to implement them.
SAP has made up its mind: Until 2025, every customer with AnyDB has to switch to Hana. After this deadline, whoever still manages his data with Microsoft SQL, Oracle or IBM DB2 has to deal with an old ERP/ECC 6.0, because then, it will be impossible to migrate to S/4 Hana.
There is, of course, the ongoing search for a roadmap, but the more interesting question is how to avoid this transformation disaster and the resulting chaos in the first place. That’s because time and resources are rare, and might not be available to everyone.
Mid-sized SAP customers have to start the operation with Hana and S/4 in the beginning of 2023 at the latest to have enough time afterwards for training courses, troubleshooting and testing, testing, testing. And this only if they already have enough Hana know-how in the company or a competent, available SAP partner.
Easier said than done, as all major global consultancies are booked until 2025. International SAP customers have snatched up all the resources and man-days. Here, only an economic crisis could help smaller customers. Not a great testimony to SAP’s new software generation if migrating to S/4 Hana can only be achieved through market chaos.
AI saves the day! … Or does it?
One way out of this bleak situation could be artificial intelligence. Algorithms, intelligent machines and programs could handle rule-based expert systems, transformation, evaluation and testing, testing, testing. Moreover, there are already SAP partners out there trying to combat the suffering of customers with AI tools that help with the migration to S/4 Hana – or can support companies in avoiding it all together.
This means that AI saves the S/4 roadmap for 2025, right? Well, not quite. Until there is a company that offers a viable way out, without having to deal with consequences and ostracism, SAP customers will have to abide to SAP’s ERP firewall and start migrating the traditional way nonetheless.