Greenfield Approach for Seamless SAP S/4HANA Implementations

Greenfield Approach for Seamless SAP S/4HANA Implementations

In today’s digitalized business world, where data traffic and processing are increasing continuously, having a slim, well-structured, and productive ERP platform is crucial for companies aiming to remain competitive. However, many corporations still use older ERPs that lack the efficiency to cope with modern business requirements. Additionally, their ERP storage is filled with outdated data sets that bloat their IT landscapes.

To overcome this shortcoming, the SAP S/4HANA Greenfield Approach has proven nothing less than exceptional. With this approach, organizations can leverage a high-performance SAP S/4HANA system that can enhance company-wide productivity and allow for a fresh restart of their IT ecosystems. This is done by removing unused data and setting up system processes in the most efficient way.

In other words, SAP Greenfield implementation of SAP S/4HANA builds a completely new system that does not take over any existing system structures. This approach poses risks, but it also provides opportunities for improvement.

Let’s explore the Greenfield approach in further depth!

Migration to S/4HANA Inducing Greenfield Approach

Before we delve deeper into where companies stand with the Greenfield SAP implementations, let us break down a more fundamental question –

Why S/4HANA over other SAP solutions?

Three primary reasons have enabled a widespread migration to SAP’s S/4HANA, which are:

SAP ECC Deadline: Many companies are moving to S/4HANA due to the deadline set by SAP. By 2027, SAP will end mainstream maintenance for current SAP ERP systems. This means that enterprises will have to upgrade to S/4HANA if they want to receive regular ERP updates and services.

S/4HANA’s Advanced Analytics: Apart from the deadline, S/4HANA’s technical innovations are another reason why companies are migrating, especially the embedded analytics feature. In a recent SAPinsider survey, 58% of respondents named this feature as a primary driver in their business case for a S/4HANA migration.

Digital Transformation: While the above factors for SAP migrations are equally crucial, reaping the real benefits of S/4HANA requires merging ERP systems and collecting your data into a single SAP database. S/4HANA is not just a technical upgrade; it’s a business transformation that can change the way teams operate and carry out their day-to-day jobs. This change can push organizations towards a holistic digital transformation.

Greenfield SAP migration will enable organizations dependent on legacy systems with complex customizations to overhaul the use of SAP and translate their efforts into a completely new system that is easier to handle. This will eventually result in lower costs of ownership and faster implementation times. This approach will prove ideal for a variety of businesses (regardless of size, industry, complexity of operations, and customizations).

Advantages of S/4HANA Implementation with Greenfield

Here are some benefits of moving towards a S/4HANA implementation with the Greenfield approach:

1. No Downtime During the Migration

The greenfield approach aims to build an SAP ecosystem independent of single systems. Companies can build a multi-system landscape through the greenfield approach, ensuring no unwanted interruptions or downtime hinders your daily routines throughout the migration process.

2. Improved Business Processes

Beginning anew is the key highlight of the Greenfield approach. While it might seem convenient to keep on building new functions on top of your old ERP structures, it also complicates your business processes more than necessary. Greenfield offers a chance for organizations to define new operational structures with simplified processes for the smooth functioning of internal functionalities.

3. Improved ROI

The Greenfield approach proves more cost- and time-effective since building the new ERP while leveraging best industry practices reduces the need for regular maintenance. This frees up your IT teams to resolve more critical issues while reducing the overhead maintenance costs. So, while building this system from scratch may add on costs, the return on this investment greatly outweighs the development costs.

4. Improved Data Quality

It is no secret that companies relying on the same ERP systems for decades often end up with outdated data libraries. Building a new ERP allows you to feed current and accurate data into the system while removing old, outdated information. This helps keep your system up to date with the new, rapid changes in the business environment.

S/4HANA Testing Best Practices

1. Plan in Advance

SAP is amongst one of the few tech providers that facilitate advanced planning of changes within your SAP systems. You can utilize the Solution Manager to strategize for S/4HANA implementation well in advance, leading to a 40% reduction in planning costs.

2. Do Not Wait for the Deadline to Approach

The deadline for retiring SAP ECC might seem like a thing of the future but rest assured it is closer than you think. Once the deadline is upon us, all companies will be looking to migrate, at all once. Well, what does that have to do with adopting the new SAP solution early? Once the deadline approaches, there will be an influx of companies seeking expert SAP services providers leading to a shortage of skilled professionals available to focus on an individual organization’s migration. So, adopt early migration and allow the process to be executed exhaustively.

3. Focused Testing through Change Impact Analysis

Change Impact Analysis is crucial after the implementation of any new feature or change within the daily organizational functionalities. Greenfield S/4HANA aims to build a completely new company-wide system, initiating a series of huge enterprise-level changes. Hence, it becomes even more important to monitor (based on historic defects analysis, usage frequency, criticality, and so on) how this system might impact your organization. Ensure that your testing strategy follows an impact-based testing approach so no change element can affect your systems negatively.

Suggested Read

Transforming the SAP Landscape: Unveiling the Power of Change and Impact Analysis in Testing


4. Intelligent Automation

It is quite evident that the age of intelligent technology is upon us. S/4HANA seamlessly integrates many intelligent AI capabilities with your company’s operational functionalities – intelligent automation, smart insights, intelligent process automation, and many more. Ensure that your testing strategy comprises leveraging these inbuilt capabilities to enforce a holistic S/4HANA implementation cycle.

Final Say…

S/4HANA has emergingly become a crucial part of how organizations, regardless of their sizes and industries, leverage new-age technologies to ignite growth and innovation. It is crucial to understand how the Greenfield S/4HANA implementation approach varies from a systems migration and how it influences the way companies set up their testing environment.

With the right professional expertise, you can overcome all the roadblocks in your S/4HANA testing strategy and ensure a seamless SAP implementation and other applications integration. Contact our SAP/ERP specialists for a quick discussion about your system challenges.


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