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Redundant dyads and SAP S/4HANA

David Lowson
November 17, 2020

I’ve stressed on the need for speed in the move to SAP S/4HANA multiple times. I synthesized my various CxO discussions into 2 elements that although appear separate in fact unites and returns to the ultimate objective of business.

  1. Long programs are difficult to sustain in these changing times.
  2. The need to accelerate the delivery of benefits.

Several SAP ECC clients are still struggling to get a business case for the move to SAP S/4HANA, and those who have are wary of the long-drawn costs and timelines set. Would it be easier if the cost was a fraction of a greenfield build and the benefits started to arrive in months rather than years?

I usually ask the CxOs, “Why not use selective data transition?” If your ECC is in alignment with your business vision, why not a straight forward upgrade? Often the thought process behind a greenfield approach goes something like this (there are a lot more):

  • Chart of account changes
  • Cost Controlling area merge
  • Introductions of new currency
  • Merge vendor business partners
  • Merge customer–business partners
  • New GL
  • Closing inactive/obsolete CCs
  • Closing “corrupt” processes
  • New sales organizations
  • Moving average to standard cost.

And these are not highly complex tasks during an upgrade to SAP S/4HANA using selective data transition (SDT). You must have read Capgemini’s new partnership with CBS to provide an intelligent answer on our “rightfield” approach. It’s not a magic solution; it requires thought, planning, and hard work, but we have successfully used it as part of a programmatic move to SAP S/4HANA.

I do not expect any SDT project to take more than 15 months, and in most cases a lot less – six to nine months with a migrated sandbox available to explore the new S4 solution available after only four weeks or so. This is clearly a less expensive than a long greenfield roll out (expect proportionally so, with a heavily leveraged offshore team with a lot of industrialization in a  factory based approach). My main point is that any long program will be challenged sooner or later, and a six- to 15-month program is far less likely to be paused or stopped after six to nine months than a three- to five-year greenfield. It’s all about momentum.

The Renewable Enterprise might sound paradoxical, quite like the observed paradox about the dyad in network effects theory. A dyad innate to its nature appears to divide, but a dyad redundancy remembers the source and attracts to merge and return to the state of unity. Let’s talk about the migration approaches and our new strategy for faster, cost-effective, and value-based moves to SAP S/4HANA. Contact me directly to find out more.