Many companies are faced with the challenge of switching from an older IT system to SAP S/4 HANA. Since the software company SAP wants to discontinue support for the older versions by 2025, this change is not only recommended, but also a necessity. This is often associated with immense effort. Process Mining supports you both with the status quo and with the process implementation in the new system and thus enables your successful migration to S/4 HANA. In this blog article you can learn how a process mining tool like LANA can do this.
What is SAP S/4 and how is it different to other SAP versions?
With S/4 HANA, SAP has launched a new version of its Enterprise Resource Planning solution in 2015. But customers have reacted cautiously. For many, the effort and risk involved in a migration is still too big.
The biggest difference between the previous versions and S/4 HANA is the used database, SAP HANA. The data is no longer stored on hard disks, but in the RAM. This significantly increases the performance of the ERP solution. In addition, the storage sequence of the HANA database differs from the databases previously used by SAP. Here, the data is not stored line-oriented but column-oriented. An example and further differences can be found here . This “change of direction” allows companies to perform aggregations and calculations much faster. In addition, SAP S/4 is the first EPR application by SAP to be offered entirely as a cloud solution. This also changes the pricing of the product. It is moving away from user-based prices to costs based on the amount of resources used.
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How does Process Mining support system migration?
Once you have decided on an IT system such as SAP S/4 HANA and a migration strategy, you can begin with the preparation and then the actual migration.
1. Evaluation of the actual state and optimization of the as-is processes
To correctly map the mechanisms and processes of the legacy system in S/4, you must first examine the current status of your system and its processes. This also includes evaluation of the relevant data and user rights. Process Mining helps you identify the real and relevant processes based on the legacy system’s log files. In addition, the processes can be analyzed on the basis of this data, and optimization potentials can be identified. This ensures best possible process flows in SAP S/4. This is particularly useful before a migration, as the processes in the new system must be adapted anyway and irrelevant processes may not even be transferred. Ideally, you can optimize the relevant processes so that they can be migrated to SAP standard processes. This reduces the configuration and migration effort while increasing the benefits of the new system. In addition, a process mining analysis with LANA Process Mining shows you processes that already have a high degree of standardization and are therefore suitable for automation in S/4.
At the same time, you should extract a first sample data set, such as the data for a process or a department. This data is relevant for the next phase of the migration.
2. Checking the process implementation in the test system
Before the actual migration is performed, you should first set up an SAP S/4 test system. The extracted sample data set is uploaded into this test system. The advantage of the test system is that the architecture and standard process flows correspond with those of the future production system. ou can therefore test configurations and adjustments before they are actually implemented and possibly affect day-to-day business. This also reduces the error rate during the actual migration. With Process Mining, you can check and analyze the process implementation in detail. This allows you to find faulty configurations and adjust? them. Furthermore, LANA Process Mining enables you to compare the new key figures with those from the legacy system, so the added value of a migration to SAP S/4 HANA becomes visible and can be used as a migration argument for other company areas.
3. Performing integration and interface tests in the test system
When the data is loaded into the test system, an integration test will be performed. It is therefore checked whether the current data and processes can be integrated into the “new” system. In addition, it is advised to carry out tests for the various interfaces to other systems. LANA Process Mining helps you to find and analyze process interfaces with log files from SAP S/4. On the basis of the test and analysis results, you can make adjustments to the processes, data and interfaces without hampering day-to-day business.
4. Execution of user tests
Once all data and processes have been implemented as they will be in the production system, future users can start testing the system. This way, the implementation is checked again from a different perspective. LANA Process Mining also helps you analyze and improve the executed processes with regard to possible optimization and error potentials. The user test phase should last about one month.
5. Go Live
After all tests have been successfully completed, you start putting the new SAP System into operation. There are different strategies for this process. The two best-known strategies are “Big Bang” and the temporary “parallel operation” of the old and the new system.
6. Final examination of the implementation in productive operation
Even in the productive system, you should always check whether the processes are running as planned and whether the system is functioning as required. With solutions such as LANA Process Mining, you can monitor your processes holistically. LANA enables you to find further optimization potentials and alternative process variants. On the basis of these findings, you can continuously adapt your processes and further strengthen your day-to-day business.
The features and options of Process Mining support you during the entire migration process to SAP S/4 HANA. Solutions such as LANA Process Mining enable you to implement optimal, efficient and effective processes directly with the introduction of the system. Automation and standardization options are also uncovered and can be implemented directly. After successful migration, LANA supports you in establishing a continuous improvement process and thus helps you achieve the best outcome with your processes at any time.
Talk to our experts to learn how LANA Process Mining can help you migrate to SAP S/4.