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SAP S/4HANA Migration For Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Opportunities And Considerations

90% coverage of the business environment worldwide, more than 50% rate of overall employment, and more than 50% of GDP – small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the pillars of global and local economies and the backbone for the progressions and development of the worldwide market.

SMEs have always fueled the industrial revolution, yet nowadays, with all the digital inventions and tools, the opportunities for growth and market extension are infinite. 

One of the best ways to establish a long-term market presence and stable growth is the implementation of ERP systems, like SAP S/4HANA, which enable a highly structured and ‘intelligent’ business environment for every company involved. 

What is SAP S/4HANA, and what are the benefits of its implementation? Let’s delve into the details.

Key Takeaways:

  • SAP S/4HANA migration is crucial for businesses aiming to leverage real-time analytics and automation in their operations, thereby enhancing efficiency and decision-making processes.
  • The seamless migration to SAP S/4HANA demands a comprehensive strategy, starting with an in-depth assessment of the current business processes and the specific needs the new system should cater to.
  • Businesses should consider partnering with experienced SAP consultants to ensure a smooth transition without disrupting daily operations and maximize the new system's potential benefits.
  • The decision to migrate should be informed by understanding the potential ROI, considering factors such as increased productivity, improved customer service, and reduced operational costs.
  • Post-migration support is essential for promptly addressing any issues that arise and ensuring that the new system is fully integrated into the business operations for optimal performance.

What Is SAP S/4HANA? 

SAP S/4HANA is an all-encompassing software meant to bring efficiency and transparency to all daily operations of a company related to human resource management, financial planning and transactions, corporate services, etc. Since SAP S/4HANA uses AI and machine learning, its efficiency correlates with the market's current demands. 

There are two significant reasons for considering SAP S/4HANA implementation:

  • ERP ‘revolution’

Any startup aims to reach the global market and provide services globally. Such an ambitious goal can only be reached if the business keeps up with ever-increasing competition and uses all the available tools to streamline its performance.

Apart from that, there are countless add-ons and applications to integrate with, which makes the ERP system adoption rather a necessity than a simple commodity. In fact, the implementation of an ERP system can become a turning point for a tech transformation of the whole company.

SAP S/4HANA and all the embedded SAP modules will create a chain of control for all the company’s activities. For instance, transportation and logistics companies will benefit from the usage of SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM), SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), SAP YL SAP Yard logistics for the logistics industry (SAP YL), SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM), etc.

Every form and type of business activity can be regulated and streamlined using SAP modules connected to the central ERP system. Therefore, SAP S/4HANA will make a tech core of any company, helping it to reach its full potential, increase the ROI, and make a sustainable profit.

  • Business ‘claudication’

As a rule, the extension of every enterprise would rely significantly on the on-premise facilities, which involve significant financial investments. However, with the introduction of cloud services, companies can add the required number of memory clusters and extend their on-demand infrastructure by ‘renting’ cloud space. 

SAP S/4HANA offers a cloud environment for its clients, allowing them to scale up and down their business according to the changeable needs of the market without investing in new hardware. 

SAP S/4HANA Migration Considerations:

1. Strategies

The first step for SAP integration is to define the direction of migration. It can be performed in a few ways:

  • Greenfield approach – SAP S/4HANA implementation from scratch, completely reinstalling the whole system or simply creating a new one based on the SAP ecosystem. This is a valid solution for SMEs, tiny ones, who can successfully start in a highly functional environment. 

A Greenfield approach may be more expensive, yet it reduces the time for ‘renovations’ and app testing. 

  • Brownfield approach – more of an upgrade of the system software with SAP S/4HANA and an appropriate conversion of applications. A brownfield approach is perfect for middle-sized companies with well-established data management yet require a more innovative approach to data processing.
  • Colorful (selective, hybrid) approach – the mid-course, after brownfield and greenfield. 

The most suitable type of migration can be discussed with experts in SAP S/4HANA Services, who will analyze the current structure and data and help to decide on further steps.

2. Careful planning

The migration process requires careful planning, as reducing or avoiding downtime is essential. The teams should adequately consider every step, defining all the project milestones. 

3. Data quality

When migrating to SAP S/4HANA, sorting all the available data with further cleansing and extraction is essential. It is necessary to check all the data, as it is required to be error-free to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of the new system. 

4. Data security

The data is the company's most valuable asset; thus, its secure migration should be the primary concern. Make sure everything is encrypted to prevent data breaches and leaks. It can be performed manually or automatically. 

5. Data validation

The data validation check is performed throughout the whole migration process. All the data should be complete and accurate to ensure seamless migration and successful further performance. 

6. Back up

The last, yet not the least – the backup. Even with careful and thorough planning, some data can be lost. Therefore, performing the data backup at the beginning of the migration procedure is essential. 

How to Migrate to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is an essential step towards the extension of SMEs, yet its efficiency entirely depends on the level of expertise of the developer’s team. Contact professionals, like SAP implementation partner LeverX, whose expertise level is beyond reproach. 

LeverX has been a global leader in delivering SAP implementation services for over 20+ years. It helps companies to elevate their market performance and, thus, increase their profitability and promote innovative approaches.

The Bottom Line

After being almost fully digitalized, the business landscape has experienced an unseen level of competition. Every company entering a particular business niche must implement advanced tools to provide intelligence and seamless management of all the inbound and outbound interactions. One such tool is a part of the SAP ecosystem – SAP S/4HANA, whose opportunities will maximize the output of every business, elevating its performance among the competitors.

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