SAP S/4HANA Migration Challenges… And Solutions

Migration speed bumps

With 65% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies having migrated to SAP S/4HANA, the new platform is clearly delivering increased efficiencies and improved processes.

However, organizations are still encountering common migration challenges, as shown by recent research from PwC and LeanIX on the state of SAP S/4HANA transformation. This study suggests that migration is often slowed down by three major speed bumps:

  • Complex legacy landscapes,
  • The need for a high degree of customization,
  • Unclear master data.

Thankfully, tools are available to ease the process. Two of the foremost technologies used by companies during migration are robotic process automation (RPA) and user experience management (UEM) software.

UiPath is an example of an RPA vendor that helps companies automate key steps involved in the migration to SAP S/4HANA, such as the entire testing and validation process, as well as analysis and adaptation of custom codes. Then, following migration, UiPath enables the ongoing automation of critical business processes. By employing RPA, companies can significantly reduce their errors, effort and cost related to the migration process, while ensuring security and compliance.

UEM software provided by companies like Knoa complements standard migration tools provided by SAP and other vendors by bringing complete visibility into employees’ interactions with their SAP software, both legacy and new S/4HANA solutions. These unprecedented insights facilitate cost reduction and risk mitigation during the entire SAP S/4HANA migration process.

Before Migration

Preparation is crucial for ensuring a successful SAP S/4HANA migration, and understanding how employees use their SAP software suites is a key ingredient. When organizations migrate their environment to SAP S/4HANA, they can deploy analysis tools to uncover usage patterns and customizations in their legacy system environments. This data helps them to prioritize which transactions are most important to migrate and which are not mission-critical and can be left behind.

User analytics tools have helped many companies carve out entire sections of their landscape that they don’t need to migrate, because the level of usage is below the economically justified level of ongoing support. This drastically reduces the risk and cost of the overall project. Additionally, UEM provides a very clear picture of how processes have been working to date, and highlights their level of complexity and whether they are automation-ready.

SAP S/4HANA Migration Challenges… And Solutions : Problem - Analysis - Solution
Problem – Analysis – Solution

After Migration

Post-migration, organizations need to accurately measure adoption to ensure that users are successfully leveraging the new processes and solutions. Data on software usage at both the application and screen levels provides the visibility that companies require in order to pinpoint where adoption is lagging or where employees are experiencing performance bottlenecks.

Even if the organization has already begun using SAP S/4HANA, there remains much work to be done in order to identify ongoing challenges and realize the full benefits of migration.

These challenges include:

  • Is your company experiencing any loss in productivity as a result of migration? Where are you losing money?
  • Have employees been slower to adopt some new processes than others? If so, which ones?
  • Are transactions being processed at the expected speed?
  • Has performance changed significantly for any business units, business processes or functional roles?
  • Could performance or workflow be improved further? If so, how?
  • Are your employees encountering any new errors? If so, what specific steps or transactions caused them?

You can’t answer these questions unless you have access to the right information. User analytics tools provide that access, enabling enterprises to reduce employee service costs and further improve user experience and productivity.

Specifically, these tools enable:

  • Monitoring of employees’ interactions with SAP software suites for rapid identification of usability issues,
  • Measurement of software response times for visibility into system issues and their impact on users,
  • Identification of actual training needs through a comprehensive view of errors by business process,
  • Analysis on application adoption, usage, and policy compliance for presentation to executives,
  • Reducing time to resolution for support tickets through real-time access to diagnostic information.

According to IDC, organizations that analyze all relevant data and deliver actionable information will achieve productivity gains equaling $430 billion more than their peers. Collecting detailed user analytics is increasingly critical in the enterprise, not only to ensure a better user experience, but also to mitigate the risks associated with large and complex implementation projects.

Migration UEM solutions

By using genuine user data to address the concerns that follow an SAP S/4HANA implementation, organizations can alleviate one of the top worries of business and IT stakeholders: Did this initiative positively impact our employees’ experience?

When an organization understands its users’ behaviors and frustrations with SAP S/4HANA, it can more effectively address adoption challenges. User analytics tools can help companies identify the most appropriate solution, be it the development of customized training, removal of redundant steps, improvement of application usability, changes to process design, robot productivity, or simply better communication with the employees.

Remember: When user adoption is maximized, so is ROI.

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SAP S/4HANA Migration Challenges… And Solutions : Problem solved
Problem solved
Brian Berns is CEO of Knoa Software
Brian Berns, Knoa Software, CEO
Brian Berns is CEO of Knoa Software. He is a successful software industry veteran with over 20 years of executive experience, including as president at Ericom Software. Brian also held the position of Division VP at FICO and SVP of North America at Brio Software (acquired by Oracle). Additionally, Brian has been the founding member of several successful software start-ups including Certona and Proginet. Brian has a BA from Yeshiva University, an MS from NYU, including studies at the NYU Stern School of Business MBA program, and computer science at the graduate school of the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.