The global and independent platform for the SAP community.

The business partner

S/4 not only reduces and simplifies the Abap tables of an ERP/ECC 6.0, but also brings the innovation "business partner". An important reason to deal with the topic of Master Data Management.
E-3 Magazine
February 14, 2022
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

E-3: Does a migration to S/4 automatically solve the MDM challenge?

Andreas Stock, ZetVisions: No, definitely not. The conversion to an S/4 is not a replacement for a master data management system. Sustainability cannot be achieved with harmonization and consolidation of ERP systems alone. Especially when the data is located in a heterogeneous system landscape.

E-3: To what extent can an MDM solution support the S/4 conversion?

Andreas StockThis can be illustrated using the example of customer and vendor master data for the SAP business partner. In the previous ERP system, customers and suppliers are created as debtors and creditors - in other words, twice. In S/4, it is mandatory to map both as business partners - business partners. For the new SAP business partner, a conversion must be made in the data model. So it's not just a matter of migrating the data, but also changing the way data is managed.

E-3: Based on your experience, do you consolidate the data first and then do the S/4 release switch or vice versa?

Jan Richter, KPMGFirst the data is consolidated, then the release upgrade. As described above, you should start with clarified responsibilities and role concepts, cleansed data, and defined processes on the new system.

Andreas Stock (l.), Head of Marketing and Presales at ZetVisions, and Jan Richter, Partner Consulting at KPMG
Andreas Stock (l.), Head of Marketing and Presales at ZetVisions, and Jan Richter, Partner Consulting at KPMG

E-3: Are there specific challenges from the MDM perspective for the S/4 transformation?

Jan judgeThe key is that suppliers and customers become business partners. This influences master data management to a very large extent. The remaining influence is more of an organizational nature. The transformation can generally be perceived as an opportunity to start fresh, but as soon as you touch old data, you will encounter massive resistance within the company. Convincing employees and their departments to part with data garbage is difficult.

E-3: Should a specific sequence for MDM be considered for a planned conversion to S/4?

Jan judge: In principle, there is no mandatory order. However, the task is very time-consuming, which is why an MDM project is recommended in any case before the migration. The general rule is: better sooner than later. The high level of effort is due to fundamental issues, whereby the required level of detail is the decisive factor in addition to general governance structures. In addition, there is the organizational anchoring of the affected processes, such as ongoing data maintenance and mandatory cleansing prior to data migration.

E-3: ZetVisions has a partnership with KPMG: What is the goal?

Andreas StockOur partnership was born out of the shared perception that, in view of the requirements of digital transformation, data and its quality are increasingly becoming the focus of corporate interest. In many companies, however, most data does not meet the requirements for meeting the challenges of digital transformation. The starting point of our groundbreaking collaboration is to offer tailored tools and solutions for this.

E-3: What added value does the partnership generate for existing SAP customers?

Jan judgeThe added value for our customers comes from the fact that we cover the entire spectrum of master data excellence. We offer the right support and the necessary expertise for each phase, so that a company does not have to operate with a large number of service providers. This means that companies can benefit from the broad experience gained from a large number of projects and enjoy best practices. Our offer is particularly interesting for existing SAP customers who are dealing with the migration to S/4.

Andreas StockWith the help of the software tools we use, companies can already carry out the data conversion for customers and suppliers that is absolutely necessary for S/4. They can therefore already use the new data model for master data maintenance, but at the same time still retain the old one in the operational system for as long as it is needed.

E-3: Thank you for the interview.

E-3 Magazine

Information and educational outreach by and for the SAP community.

Write a comment

Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.