SAP optimization tools are constantly evolving, and at this stage they seem to have no ceiling in terms of their potential to help optimize SAP systems for better performance.
The speed, accuracy, and efficiency of database migrations, especially, can benefit exponentially from next-generation SAP and partner toolsets with automation capabilities. These powerful automated tools can help you better prepare, implement, and succeed on your SAP S/4HANA migration journey.
Let’s look at some of our favorite SAP best practices and automated tools we frequently deploy to guide our clients through each stage of the migration journey.
1. Planning and preparation
Performing an honest, detailed assessment of your organization’s current landscape is crucial when defining migration requirements. This is the backbone of your digital transformation–the foundation upon which everything else is built—and leveraging the latest SAP and third-party tools can give you a significant edge.
SAP process discovery
SAP Process Discovery and similar tools can scale your migration preparation efforts through the discovery of source information across your current landscape. You can use Process Discovery to:
- Receive tailored insights on business process performance and functional usage.
- Benchmark your performance against similar organizations in your industry.
- Get recommendations on lines of business and end-to-end processes.
The information gleaned from Process Discovery can help build a business case and secure corporate and C-suite buy-in for your SAP S/4HANA migration.
HANA Enterprise Cockpit (eHEC)
This proprietary Pythian tool helps organizations automate the preparation and planning process by driving faster landscape discovery and assessment. The eHEC tool helps gather customer landscape information and streamline it into assessment data such as Sizing Reports for elements such as licensing, disk space, CPU cores, and network load; an SAP Readiness Check dashboard; and a Simplification Item Check.
Pythian’s eHEC tool helps automate these and other migration processes by validating any affected functionality, including user and customer exits, enhancements, substitutions, and any changes (such as the modification of standard objects) incorporated using the SAP Access Key.
This tool can also quickly evaluate any potential operational impacts from migration processes such as batch data conversions (BDCs) and direct transfers.
Another proprietary Pythian tool, FixMyCode, delivers custom code analysis and auto-remediation that can reduce testing time by as much as 85 percent and speed code release velocity by as much as 40 percent.
It achieves this by providing detailed information about any affected code combined with suggested fixes on the target HANA platform, along with effort and labor estimates. We’ve seen some clients cut their data analysis and reporting labor costs in half using this tool.
The success of your SAP S/4HANA migration largely depends on the planning and preparation stage I’ve just described. A well-designed migration plan and flow is vital to reducing risk and minimizing any potential catastrophic errors during the execution phase which, in turn, lowers your effort, time, cost, and stress.
But there are ways to speed up the execution phase as well.
Near Zero Downtime Technology (NZDT) and SAP DMO
When it comes to any cloud migration to any target platform, the move from on-premises to cloud is never easy. The threat of errors, delays, and added expense means it’s imperative you execute each conversion phase with the most optimized approach.
Take customer-facing systems, for example. They need to stay up and running as much as possible, even during a migration. That means optimizing several different areas, including network, infrastructure, database tier, SAP process tuning, and archiving, and SAP provides tools to help achieve this with its Near Zero Downtime Technology (NZDT) and Database Migration Option (DMO).
Think of these tools as ways to optimize your system for the least possible technical downtime during your migration. SAP DMO with System Move helps organizations migrate databases by combining the export, transfer, migration, and conversion processes into a simplified one-step procedure.
It’s also important to note that most organizations without a team of SAP experts typically need a trusted partner to help guide them through much of the migration process. But more on that later.
Wouldn’t it be great if every database migration ended as soon as the execution phase concluded? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. Standard post-migration steps and hypercare support are absolutely required to ensure a smooth and productive long-term transition to SAP S/4 HANA.
Indeed, the migration of each system in your current landscape requires close post-migration execution analysis to ensure the next run is even better optimized.
To this end, SAP’s Technical Downtime Optimization (TDO) application analyzes the runtime of each migration phase in close to real time, providing recommendations on optimization and process tuning to decrease conversion time as you go.
If your digital transformation journey includes migrating to S/4 HANA on cloud, you can also benefit from cloud-native tools such as SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). ALM is a next-generation tool that provides cloud-centric users a central view of their environment, along with simplified yet powerful implementation, testing, and deployment management tools.
Your S/4 HANA migration checklist: Best practices, automation tools, and Pythian
Migrating to SAP S/4 HANA can drive digital transformation in your business. But a smooth, error-free, and effective migration is not a given. There are important steps companies should take to optimize the migration process, improve performance, and reduce risk by combining SAP best practices and tools with third-party automation tools and consultative know-how.
Pythian’s in-house tools and deep bench of seasoned SAP experts have years of experience guiding customers through every step of the SAP S/4 HANA migration process – from planning, to execution, to post migration.
We’ve managed to reduce our clients’ overall migration costs and efforts by as much as 20 percent overall compared to similar approaches, including:
- Planning phase savings of approximately 40 percent through simplification, automation, and the use of Pythian’s in-house migration tools
- As much as 50 percent less technical downtime during the execution phase
Our experts never assume—all project plans are based on your company’s actual landscape after thorough research—and we always mitigate risk through next-generation impact analysis to maintain your security and compliance posture. We define project scope and execution parameters in detail early in the process, so there’s never any confusion.
No matter where you’re at in the migration process, Pythian can help accelerate your journey while improving accuracy and lowering your overall migration costs. Get in touch with us today to schedule a brief discovery call with one of our SAP experts.