How to migrate from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA?

DXaaS Aug 29, 2020

Table of contents


Today, the digital economy makes it necessary for enterprises to persistently and periodically engage with their global customers. Digitized Enterprise environment results in organizational impact mainly in terms of a Business model or the way an organization does business.

This means that enterprise victory depends on two prime elements,

  1. The competence of an organization to flawlessly connect with its customers
  2. The competence of the organization to manage changes in its business models as quickly as they come along

This is where SAP S/4HANA comes into the picture. The Digital Core of SAP S/4HANA empowers the organization to carry out its business processes aligned with the new Digital economy by using a barrage of simplifications in User Interface, Data models, and Applications. Also, SAP S/4HANA empowers the enterprise to connect to the outside world at an accelerated pace, in this context machines and customers.

Enterprises can migrate to SAP S/4HANA making use of the standard migration process. And, if these businesses have previously been running on SAP ERP 6.0, the correct method is system conversion. SAP S/4HANA is the next generation of business suite enterprise software from the house of SAP. SAP developers have painstakingly customized the solution to meet the challenges and requirements of the digital economy, especially with the help of the SAP HANA, the in-memory platform. Organizations can enhance the current processes along with realizing brand new processes to benefit from the edge against their opponents in the digital economy.

SAP S/4HANA serves as the digital code of enterprise, which enables the enterprises to emphasize on digital processes. This is where enterprise situations are implemented efficiently and promoted with equal competence. SAP S/4HANA does not just serve as the next version of the SAP Business Suite but it also stands for a brand-new product line. Thus, the migration to SAP S/4HANA is not a unique task like database migration or upgrade. Conversely, it includes the complete system landscape, and therefore companies should plan such a transformation by measuring their optimal future SAP architecture. This will make the user’s life much easier. Considering the transformation is comprehensive in nature, it enables heterogeneous and complex IT system landscapes to be taken out of the picture. This will lay the foundation for processes which are more streamlined and simpler.

While evaluating the best path from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, the target architecture under consideration is crucial. As discussed before, enterprises that are already using SAP ERP 6.0 with an improved package or higher, can directly migrate to SAP S/4HANA using a system conversion.

Options for SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration

Going by the reasons and context stated above, the SAP S/4HANA adoption for enterprise processes is desirable, to say the least. In the future, it may very well be inevitable. Businesses new to SAP can go straight ahead with the implementation of SAP S/4HANA. But the enterprises already powered by previous versions or products of SAP will need to get some queries out of the way first.

It is essential that a prospective customer should analyze all options regarding key parameters and decision factors when it comes to adopting SAP S/4HANA effectively.

Brownfield or System Conversion Approach

Enterprises already operating on SAP (ECC) will find that adopting SAP S/4HANA is simple by using the system conversion method. A pre-existing SAP ECC instance can be transformed into an SAP S/4HANA instance with all the historical data when supported by efficiently documented processes going hand in hand with system conversion tools. This migration scenario is standard and established, and has detailed protocols for execution, including numerous technical steps to reach SAP S/4HANA and steps for code optimization for the Custom code created in the pre-existing system.

System conversions to SAP S/4HANA will hold the actual system ID for customization, interface, authorizations, data, and development. This is otherwise called an in-place migration. Systems which are powered by SAP ERP 6.0 using enhancement package 0 or higher can undergo migration to SAP S/4HANA directly, if the system is previously a Unicode system. After the release of SAP NetWeaver 7.5, SAP is set to support only Unicode systems. If an enterprise system is not Unicode, it must be converted into Unicode prior to the conversion. The system conversion to SAP S/4HANA is aided by SUM-DMO, the software update manager with the data migration option. This will support enterprises in upgrading and migrating database in a single step, eliminating massive amounts of downtime.

KTern is an All-in-One Digital Workplace for SAP Projects with 12 inbuilt modules designed to automate and manage SAP S/4HANA Migrations from start to finish.

Before Conversion

To evaluate the readiness for migration, enterprises are required to adjust their IT systems to match the Framework needs of SAP S/4HANA. A reliable method to carry out such analysis should be executed as soon as possible to get a bird’s eye view of SAP S/4HANA Conversion, the business, technical, and functional impact of conversion, and the adjustments to be made. Furthermore, the measures which are preparatory in nature must be assessed before planning the migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.

KTern provides a comprehensive SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment within a week to understand the business, functional, and technical impact of converting the existing SAP ECC system to SAP S/4HANA. The SAP S/4HANA Fitness Report generated at the end of the assessment helps define the adjustments to be made for SAP S/4HANA Migration through the system conversion path and draft the L1 plan for conversion with the right effort, timeline, and total cost of conversion.

During Conversion

Driven by SAP Activate and the 893+ tasks defined by it, KTern is the perfect toolkit during SAP S/4HANA Conversion. A comprehensive project management kernel, a futuristic custom code management module, and an RPA powered Test Suite are just some of the features inbuilt in KTern for SAP S/4HANA Conversion.

After Conversion

Unlike most tools in the market, KTern is a highly intelligent product which continues to provide value even after the migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA. Landscape & System Management, Business Process Optimization, and License Auditing & Optimization are just some of the modules which support organizations live on SAP S/4HANA.

Schedule a guided demo for an express session on the role and value of KTern for SAP S/4HANA Conversion and a demo of the All-in-One SAP S/4HANA Conversion Accelerator.

New implementation of SAP S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA Conversion is an idealistic path. But it is not applicable for some enterprises. Some enterprises do not have optimal SAP deployment, and this leads to the collection of massive amounts of data. In this scenario, it is best to drop efforts which are too cumbersome and resort to a brand-new SAP S/4HANA implementation.

Migration to SAP S/4HANA can be performed through an intermediate step to SAP S/4HANA Finance. Furthermore, this is an add-on that is made available for enhancement package 7 for the 1503 version or even as an add-on for enhancement package 8 for the 1605 version. To reiterate, such migration is made possible in a single step and for this, the system must be Unicode. In addition, SAP offers ABAP reports to check the need for this type of migration. This report must be executed in the local SAP ERP system.


Enterprises have multiple options to adopt SAP S/4HANA. Businesses that are not on SAP ECC will require a fresh implementation of SAP S/4HANA System. Businesses which are running SAP ECC currently will need a thorough assessment of the existing setup and the utilization of SAP, which is a prerequisite to decide which path of adoption to take on. System conversion is the best method for the most optimal setup. However, there may be scenarios in which a system conversion is not optimal. In such situations, it is best to go ahead with brand new implementation of SAP S/4HANA while taking on standard best practices.

How KTern can help?

KTern and it’s partner ecosystem can help you during each phase of your SAP S/4HANA Conversion Project from start to finish.

In the discovery stages, KTern can help assess the 14 mandatory parameters to be analyzed before you even consider the system conversion project and define if you ready to make the move to SAP S/4HANA based on your business requirements and current landscape. This will be useful to build the business use case for SAP S/4HANA tailor made for your IT strategy. Once you have the business case for the SAP S/4HANA project, you can then define the project effort and timeline to ensure that the SAP S/4HANA migration project is completed with the most optimum total cost of conversion.

During the project stages, KTern provides a comprehensive project management kernel to automate and manage the 893 tasks defined by SAP Activate, the only SAP Approved methodology for SAP S/4HANA Conversion. KTern also provides 2 solutions built based on RPA to help with your SAP S/4HANA Conversion Project:

  1. Custom Code Management to auto-remediate the incompatible custom code based on pre-defined scenarios. In addition, custom code management also allows you to manually correct your custom code through KTern’s inbuilt custom code corrector platform.
  2. Intelligent test suite to leverage rigorous testing, manage issues and defects, and resolve them with automated recommendations with the help of intelligent test scripts and test scenarios.

In addition to all these features, KTern provides a unique feature that is not yet available anywhere else as on this date of May 20, 2019. It resolves one of the most effort-intensive tasks during data migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA – Data Validation. KTern automates data validation for master data and transaction data. What would normally take weeks of man effort and excel sheets has now been reduced to mere days with KTern’s futuristic data validation suite.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us and we’ll get started with automating your path to SAP S/4HANA.



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