When looking for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for your business process, SAP has captured a noticeable amount of ERP market share and placed itself as a leading expert among other competition. SAP S/4HANA is one of the well-adopted ERP solutions for organizations to embrace innovation and an evolution-friendly environment.
Implementing S/4HANA has the ability to transform company operations and influence future software releases significantly. The implementation team’s decisions during the project have a direct impact on the total cost of ownership. Thus, it’s essential to follow the correct approach for SAP implementation and lay a solid foundation for future projects.
To resolve your implementation fears, I have consolidated the process into 5 easy tips/rules to get the best out of your SAP S/4HANA implementation. Continue reading the full article to uncover these five golden rules, a complete guide for successful S/4HANA adoption.
Golden Rules to Extract the Best Out of Your SAP S/4HANA Implementation
In the current business landscape, intricate processes influence enterprises for personalized solutions. However, it is crucial to maintain a clean core to leverage the potential of SAP HANA. SAP practitioners frequently describe this concept as having a cloud-centric mindset or ensuring core integrity. To aid organizations in effectively embracing this strategy, SAP Activate encompasses comprehensive guidance and robust governance mechanisms for meticulously applying the renowned principles that underpin successful SAP S/4HANA implementation.
Here are the following rules for a seamless SAP HANA implementation journey:
Rule 1 – Embrace the Cloud Capabilities
The greatest way to get the most out of your SAP cloud solutions is to foster a cloud-centric mindset. By embracing the conventional capabilities of SAP software and deploying it using agile techniques, enterprises can clearly prioritize valuable capabilities first and deliver the software to the business in smaller, manageable pieces over the course of time rather than all at once. This approach allows for continuous improvements and adjustments as needed, maximizing the value and effectiveness of the solution.
SAP recommends its customers stick with standard software competence and either avoid or restrict software customization to the least. Thus, it helps you better understand SAP software functionality with pre-delivered processes and define requirements that are needed to configure during the SAP S/4HANA implementation.
Rule 2 – Use Preconfigured Solutions and Leverage Other SAP Products
Here’s the idea: embrace preconfigured, off-the-shelf SAP standard business processes that align well with your current business. SAP loves to be the way it is, which means less to no customization. Thus emphasizing stock functionality and staying way further from tailoring the pre-existing processes.
For some circumstances, this could mean fostering considerable management change and placing your trust in SAP’s excellence in delivering innovative solutions for those non-differentiating processes that are crucial for your organization’s operations. Adopting SAP standard functionality into business processes can enable organizations to harness innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and more.
To achieve the optimal result from SAP standard capabilities, try incorporating SAP Fiori (one of SAP’s array of solutions) and leverage its UX proficiency. This fresh UX approach enhances business transaction processing by presenting information in novel ways, fostering more efficient processes.
SAP Fiori even offers a unified view of analytical and transactional data on a single screen, empowering users to analyze and act seamlessly.
Rule 3 – Stay Away from Legacy Integration Technologies
SAP S/4HANA is a well-known integrated ERP solution for its extensive competence in performing business processes worldwide. The integration process is indispensable for getting the best possible performance out of your S/4HANA solutions in your tech landscape. Whether you are going with third-party systems or SAP in-house systems, it’s recommended to use modern integration technology with SAP Cloud integration proficiency.
Even for integration scenarios that involve cloud to on-premise or cloud to cloud, things will stay unchanged. To simplify things, SAP provides its user-predefined integrations for SAP-to-SAP scenarios, which are the recommended methods to connect your SAP S/4HANA solution with other SAP software in your setup. Here is where SAP Activate comes into the picture.
SAP Activate was first introduced at SAPPHIRE in 2015. A methodology used by businesses and recommended by SAP for S/4HANA implementations. Offers clear steps to project teams for quicker system deployment and employs principles that enable enterprises to acquire new forte.
Rule 4 – Use Modern Scalable Technologies
SAP S/4HANA offers a versatile array of extensibility options, allowing businesses to tailor solutions to their unique needs. Among these options, here are some options:
1. Key User Extensibility
This empowers users to modify standard functionality without external tools. It caters to minor adjustments, like concealing fields for specific user groups or introducing additional business logic. SAP S/4HANA Cloud presents tools catering to diverse extensibility needs. In-app extensibility actions encompass adapting UI, crafting custom UIs, generating custom fields, business objects, forms, email templates, and CDS views, and enhancing existing processes through custom logic.
2. Developer Extensibility
This form of extensibility taps into integrated development tools within SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA. This includes the entire ABAP development environment in SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s private edition or the ABAP environment for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. (Please note that, as of writing, this capability was in an early adopter stage with select users.)
These extensibility pathways offer robust customization and development potential for a seamless fit with your business requirements and objectives.
Rule 5 – Maintain Visibility on Deviations
Measuring your efforts is a crucial element in ensuring a successful SAP S/4HANA implementation process. This last but not least step emphasizes clearly documenting any deviations that occurred by following the previous four rules. Providing organizations an upper hand in making the correct approach while future solution upgrades or periodic system patches by the service center.
Documenting process deviations can serve multiple purposes, but one that stands out the most is the ability to understand past design decisions made during the implementation process. Thus, it holds particular significance during upgrades, where the introduction of fresh capabilities might necessitate adapting the current features for seamless integration with the new software.
It is recommended to use Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) technologies such as SAP homegrown Cloud ALM or SAP Solution Manager to track and record deviations easily. ALM tools offer the ability to document process flow decisions, design rationale, and critical design choices for future reference. It’s crucial to consistently update this documentation during release upgrades when the system gains new functionalities and design enhancements.
Planning to implement SAP S/4HANA in your current business process? Stick to the basics and keep the core clean. Utilize cloud capabilities for shorter release & sprint cycles, embrace preconfigured solutions to reduce complexity, stay updated with modern integration technologies, and incorporate scalable solutions to bring the best out of your SAP HANA implementation. Additionally, remember to document all the deviations that occur in previous processes to make a strategic decision during future system updates.
SAP advises project teams to stick to standard functionality as much as possible and to limit the usage of extensibility and custom coding approaches to absolutely crucial circumstances when the solution must be customized to suit business objectives.
Are you contemplating the integration of SAP HANA capabilities into your business? Reach out to ImpactQA to unlock the complete potential of SAP S/4HANA’s flexibility and extensibility features. Our expertise ensures a seamless journey towards enhanced efficiency and innovation.