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S/4HANA migration (SURFtoS/4)

SAP Business Suite 4 HANA (more simply called SAP S/4HANA) is the latest version of SAP's ERP. Available since 2015, S/4HANA replaces SAP ECC6 and brings many functional evolutions and technical innovations to increase the productivity of companies and simplify the work of users. As a reminder, the end of maintenance for SAP ECC6 is set for December 31, 2027 (2030 in the context of extended maintenance with an increased cost) and companies using this version must include the conversion/migration to SAP S/4HANA in their roadmap before this deadline in order to guarantee continuous maintenance of their system.

The latest version of SAP S/4HANA is 2021, available since October 2021.

Companies are facing cross-functional challenges in their business functions. They must now also manage the accelerated pace of adoption of solutions and therefore of their ERP. This trend has its origins in the finance, HR, purchasing and CRM functions, which have reclaimed their information systems and wish to rely on more flexible, simpler and more user-friendly solutions.

SAP S/4HANA responds to these wishes by offering a redesigned ergonomics, decision support functions integrated into the transactional processes and better collaboration between partners and customers. Data is used more dynamically and is accessible in real time, allowing companies to respond more quickly to their needs. The user experience is significantly improved.
The integration in S/4HANA of many functionalities previously offered in complementary SAP solutions (SRM, SCM, CRM...) allows to rationalise and simplify the SAP landscapes of the customers.

SURFtoS/4 offer, to accompany you smoothly towards S/4HANA

Applium's SURFtoS/4 offer brings together methodology, tools and expertise to support SAP ECC6 customers in their S/4HANA migration. It relies on experts covering all the functional and technical areas required for the project, under the responsibility of project managers dedicated to S/4HANA migration projects.

It covers the following 4 major phases:

  • The scoping phase
  • The realization of a Proof of Concept (POC)
  • The conversion project
  • Deployment of new features and innovations

1 - Scoping phase

The first phase proposed in the SURFtoS4 offer is the scoping phase. It is not mandatory, but strongly recommended. Indeed, SAP customers do not always know how to move forward and prepare their migration to S/4HANA and ask themselves many questions:

  • What are the functional and technical benefits of S/4HANA in my company?
  • What is the excpected workload for my key users and IT team?
  • What is the impact on my technical infrastructure or my outsourcing contract?
  • How will my SAP licence contract evolve and will there be a licence cost?
  • Should I consider a Greenfield or Brownfield migration?
  • Should I prepare my SAP ECC6 environments for the migration to S/4HANA?
  • Can I keep the specific solutions I have developed over the last 15 years?
  • How much will the project cost and what schedule should I expect?

You can obtain the answers to all these questions by entrusting our experts with an S/4HANA scoping exercise. The SURFtoS4 framework consists of a packaged and fixed price offer:

  • Realization over 4 to 6 weeks
  • 4 areas studied: technical, functional/business, infrastructure and licences
  • Use of standard SAP tools and Applium complementary tools

The SURFtoS4 scoping deliverables will give you a clear vision of your S/4HANA roadmap to present to your management and your teams. They are mainly composed of :

  • Summary document of the results of the technical validation of the conversion
  • List of necessary adjustments (data/parameterisation/technical elements)
  • Project plan: document describing a schedule, a RACI and an estimate of workloads (MOE & MOA) and costs
  • Proposal for the conversion of ECC6 licences to S/4HANA (carried out in collaboration with SAP France)
  • Depending on the existing SAP ECC6 scope (number of instances, ECC modules, SAP engines and complementary solutions, etc.) and the desired level of depth, the cost of the SURFtoS4 framework most often varies between €12,000 and €25,000 excluding tax.


2 - Making a Proof Of Concept (POC)

The POC consists of the provision of an S/4HANA instance, a copy of your SAP ECC6 instance, on Microsoft Azure or on your infrastructure. The objective of the POC is to allow your users and your IT teams to become familiar with and discover S/4HANA at their own pace before carrying out the migration. It's possible to evaluate technological innovation, new functionalities and the Fiori interface of SAP S/4HANA. The POC (Proof Of Concept) matches to a blank run on your SAP system. It runs on a copy of your SAP Production instance and allows you to:

  • Experiment, test and plan
  • Consolidate the migration strategy
  • Identify technical & functional impacts
  • Validate the business and financial effort to be made

This export can be hosted on site. If there is no infrastructure that meets the recommended requirements, Applium recommends using a Microsoft Azure virtual machine. In both cases, costs are to be expected and will be added to the cost of the POC.
The method is to perform an import on a clone machine in order to prepare the ECC6 version for its conversion.
Depending on the effort agreed to allocate to the POC, adjustments to make this environment more relevant can be made.
The completion of the POC can take place over a period of 2 to 4 months depending on the options chosen.
At the end of the conversion and technical adjustments, APPLIUM undertakes to leave free access to this environment for the duration desired by the customer.

3 - Project of Conversion/Migration

SAP ECC6 customers will need to migrate to SAP S/4HANA in the next few years and there are several approaches to perform this migration, addressing different objectives.
The choice will essentially be made between the following two scenarios:

  • Technical migration (Brownfield type project): use of migration tools provided by SAP to migrate SAP ECC6 objects to S/4HANA. The objective is to carry out a technical migration with a functional iso-perimeter.
  • New implementation (Greenfield-type project): installation of a new SAP S/4HANA instance, possibly with a recovery of existing elements in SAP ECC6 (configuration, specific programs, etc.).

There is not one and only method to migrate to S/4HANA. The methodology must fit all the particularities of the organization and it priorities. You can choose to set up S/4HANA on « Greenfield », meaning without any SAP conversion tool or scale up a migraition or selectively migrate certain or specific parameters from your old SAP ECC6 system. This is the preferred approach for customers whose ECC6 system is no longer in line with the management processes and rules. However, it is an approach that will turn out to be more expensive and put more strain on your business teams. It will also require more change management for users.

The Brownfield approach (technical migration) is a faster implementation and lower cost. The new S/4HANA functionalities may be deployed gradually over time, depending on the needs and availability of the IT teams. The scoping phase is essential to determine the best approach depending on the background.

4 - Deployment of new features and innovations

Once the migration has been completed and the first improvements adopted by users, the IT will have access to many features and innovations that couldnn't exist with SAP ECC6: Robot Process Automation, digital marketing, provision calculation proposals, predictive analysis, cash management, closing cockpit, 360° Customer, supplier evaluation, purchasing Workflow, item coverage, DDMRP, resource planning, advanced eWM functions, rescheduling of OFs...

Depending on the business priorities, Applium can help you deploy these new innovative features with peace of mind and continue to increase the efficiency and satisfaction of the users.

Our Beliefs

Applium recommend, whenever it's possible, a Brownfield migration, for several reasons :

  • SAP Migration tools are useful
  • The cost of a Brownfield project are lower
  • The duration of a Brownfield project is shorter
  • the need for business involvement is significantly lower
  • S/4HANA innovations are present from the start of operations
  • No need to create/use complex data recovery tools (PNS or other)

During a Brownfield project, the conversion method is similar to the POC : An import on a clone machine is carried out in order to prepare the ECC6 version for its conversion.

Working closely with your teams, Applium can support you and take responsibility for all aspects of the project:
During the technical migration phase itself:

  • Adaptation of the settings and specifics impacted
  • Implementation of Business Partners
  • Financial data consolidation and conversion
  • Implementation of some Fiori tiles
  • Migration to HANA database
  • Execution of the various data conversion tools

During the following optimization phases.
Once the migration is effective, you have an up-to-date technical base allowing you to seize the opportunity to enrich your solution with new functionalities and technologies, and to benefit from the power and intelligence of an ERP. " New generation " :

  • Deployment of the SAP Fiori interface
  • Using new Embedded Analytics functionnalities
  • Using the powerful HANA database with new reports
  • Deployment of new S/4HANA functionalities in the various logistics and finance areas (Cash Management, Credit Management, Contract Management, eWM, Demand Driven-MRP, MRP Live, etc.)
  • Deployment of complementary solutions such as SAP Enable Now or SAP Analytics Cloud

The transition to S/4HANA also requires taking into account the following 

  • Infrastructure: the use of the HANA database, the only database offered with S/4HANA, and its "In-memory" operation requires an evolution of the existing infrastructure, or even its replacement. Migration to S/4HANA is often an opportunity to switch to a Cloud hosting solution or the Cloud version of S/4HANA offered by SAP.
  • User interface: S/4HANA offers many improvements as of user interface with SAP Fiori. S/4HANA customers retain the ability to use historical SAP Gui transactions from ECC6, but this approach does not realize the full value of S/4HANA
  • Licences : la définition des licences utilisateurs S/4HANA évolue et se simplifie par rapport à ECC6. Il convient de définir les licences S/4HANA correspondant à l’utilisation réelle de chaque client et de calculer le montant du Credit Conversion qui va permettre de déterminer si le client va devoir payer quelque chose ou pas. Il peut y avoir des bonnes surprises!! Une autre approche consiste à utiliser S/4HANA tout en conservant le contrat de licences SAP ECC6 (le prérequis étant l’acquisition de la base de données SAP Hana et une licence additionnelle au prix tarif de 9K€)

How does a S/4HANA Migration costs ?

Applium is used to 6 typical S/4HANA conversion project sizes to which are associated a price and a schedule:

The determination of the size corresponding to each customer is done through a questionnaire covering several criteria:

  • Technical criterias: Level of EHP, Add-On installed, Specific, Business Partner already implemented, ...
  • Scope of service: architecture management, SAP administration gestures (BC), technical corrections, S/4 functional corrections (Finance data, Business Partner), specific adaptations (Unicode, S/4HANA model), proper functioning tests , reintegration of standard process, ...

The concept of t-shirt size is a first pricing approach, the study of the situation of each customer makes it possible to define an appropriate response for each support proposal.

Télécharger la brochure Migration S/4HANA

Certification 10 Steps to S4 Conversion What are other SAP ECC6 customers planning? Applium experience in the context of SAP migrations

Organized by SAP and open to a few partners in each country, the 10 Steps to S4 Conversion program aims to certify SAP integrators as part of ECC6 customer conversion projects to S/4Hana. The program consists of providing partners with an ECC6 Ehp6 environment on Microsoft SQL Server for conversion and controlling each step of the conversion.

Applium obtained the 10S2S4 certification for the first time in October 2017, on version 1709 of S/4 Hana.

Applium renewed this certification on December 10, 2019, on the S/4HANA 1909 version.
Applium teams are fully operational to support SAP customers in their S4/Hana conversion projects.
Certification SAP 10Steps2S4 avec SAP S/4HANA2021

n April 2019, IDC carried out a study among 300 companies using SAP ECC6 (10 countries on 3 continents, companies with 1,000 to 25,000 employees, IT Director or business profiles).
The results are as follows:

  • 73% plan on migrating to S/4HANAa (54% to 3 years time)
  • 9% are already on S/4HANA
  • 18% are migrating sont en cours de migration vers S/4HANA
  • 72% plan to move to a Cloud solution. Of these 72%, 50% plan to migrate to S/4HANA Cloud and 50% to S/4HANA hosted by a Cloud provider (Azure, AWS, etc.)

The main reasons for switching to S/4HANA are:

  • in scope with the digitalization strategy
  • They expect more agility and responsiveness from their information system
  • They need innovation
  • They must be able to adapt quickly to changes brought about by their markets
  • They want to be in line with SAP's strategy
  • Reducing the number of instances and simplifying the infrastructure is a key element for 43% of those interviewed.

The businesses highlight the capabilities of S/4HANA in terms of reporting, analysis, predictions and simulations offered by the solution and the significant reduction in working time for users (for the transactional, as well as for the reports).
Regarding the process to switch to S/4HANA:

  • 33% plan a migration (Brownfield)
  • 23% think of favoring a new implementation (Greenfield)
  • 77% plan to call on an external partner to carry out the project

Applium has carried out dozens of SAP version upgrade projects (S/4HANA, Ehp, Hana, OS/DB, infrastructure change) over the past 15 years.

Applium has the experience makes it possible to adapt to all customer contexts and to understand all the risks inherent in this type of project

Here are some customers who have recently entrusted Applium with their SAP migration project:

  • Business France
  • Communication et Systèmes
  • Dassault Falcon Service
  • Elkem Silicones
  • Etanco
  • Euralis
  • Groupama
  • Institut Géographique National
  • KTK Seats
  • ...

We 're available for :

  • A framework offer
  • Feedbacks from our clients and consultants
  • Customized S/4HANA demos 

Contact us at

 SURFtoS/4 is certified by SAP

APPLIUM SAS: SURFtoS4 | Partner Packages | SAP

Focus on the conversion project to S/4HANA of ETANCO (BROWNFIELD)

Testimony of M. Miloud TANI CIO ENTACO

Move in motion on SAP S/4HANA

In November 2020, Applium, in partnership with SAP France, held two days of presentations and demonstrations of SAP S/4HANA. Recordings are available.

Novembre 2020 - S/4HANA - Move in Motion