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Transform! But where to?

With TIPS/4 we focus on IT and Business Transformation projects and want to serve as a journey guide to lead you along your path.

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With TIPS/4 we focus on IT and Business Transformation projects and want to serve as a journey guide to lead you along your path. Often times this includes delivering SAP, that’s why we think a lot about the best way to that.

If you are running an old SAP system, want to change your ERP, or consolidate a fractured IT-landscape, there are different ways to do this. 
You can find a lot of information about that online in various degrees of complexity. 
We try to make this as simple as possible and give insights on our initiatives in transformation projects.

Keeping the focus on SAP, let’s try to answer the most pressing question.

How do you actually transform? Are there different ways to do this?

Yes, there are. And which way to choose depends a lot on several factors. What systems do you currently have? Where is your data stored – centralized, distributed? Do you already have SAP? Do you want to keep your processes or improve them?

Ok, many questions, so let’s get some structure in there.

SAP mainly proposes three different transformation scenarios: System Conversion (or Brownfield), New Implementation (or Greenfield) and Landscape Transformation. These terms on their own don’t reveal very much, so let’s take a closer look.

What is a System Conversion?

This means to “upgrade” your old SAP system to S/4HANA. It sets you up for future developments, updates and better business. If your processes are OK and you don’t want to change a lot, you do a system conversion.

But there are possible downsides. If you don’t take the opportunity to improve your processes to get the best out of the new S/4HANA functionalities, this approach remains just a lot of work, without any business benefit.

New Implementation? Sounds like a lot of work.

If you don’t have SAP at all or a heavily customized SAP release, it makes sense to do a new implementation. Your processes may need rework anyway because they don’t perform optimally anymore. 

New Implementation means to extract the data, set up a new system and migrate over. However, this also includes a huge effort in developing and redesigning your current business processes, and retiring the old ones.

Landscape Transformation sounds like gardening.

And it kind of is. If you find yourself with overgrown and distributed SAP systems, you want to perform a landscape transformation to get your backyard pretty again. 

And you don’t do it all at once, you move piece by piece. You select data that matters most, prepare it and move it to the new system. Here, the new system works simultaneously and you gradually move your data and processes to S/4HANA. 

But consolidating different systems can be a challenge. Because different systems are often connected to different cultures and ways of working. The efforts for change management and training are easy to overlook.  

Which way to go?

As you can see, there is no perfect answer out of the box. No matter which way you go, you will face challenges. As journey guide we try to cut out the complexity and focus on what matters most - creating a clear understanding of the efforts and idividually optimizing your transformation path. 

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