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S/4 entry without loss of revenue

More than 50,000 SAP installations are about to be migrated to S/4. Regardless of whether new processes or adapted legacy processes are involved, the migration must be carried out without interruption. Otherwise, there is a risk of a business impact with losses in the millions.
Benjamin Krischer, cbs
June 7, 2018
One Global Corporation
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Tuesday afternoon. On the way from Munich to our branch office in Zurich, we make a brief stopover. A well-known Swiss corporation wants to introduce S/4 Hana. A greenfield project.

The application template is as good as finished. Now everyone is ready for the first rollout. The overall program including timeline is fixed.

The plan is to gradually replace several SAP systems in more than 25 individual projects. The critical question: How will the data from the source systems get into the new target landscape?

Migration - a classic diligence task for the Indian colleagues, says IT. But then the CFO asks himself: Are we on the right track, is our transformation to S/4 sufficiently planned?

A u-shaped curve on the flipchart describes the business performance. The lower point is the go-live of the new system, at which point open orders have to be canceled, deliveries canceled, open items cleared - a massive impact for the business.

Later, all these activities have to be performed again in the new system in order to continue business. In the worst case, this means that they cannot deliver goods for a few days. A customer of similar size recently calculated that this standstill can mean a loss of sales of more than one million euros in central shipping alone!

The CFO nervously fiddles with his tie: "What does that mean for the entire company and the entire supply chain? We can't afford that!"


So a minimally invasive S/4 migration should be the goal: With the right migration approach, a strategy tailored to business processes and the special software cbs ET Enterprise Transformer, the switch to the new ERP platform can be realized in near-zero downtime, with virtually no downtime.

Documents are transferred in every status. When users log on to the new system, they can continue working on their documents exactly where they left off in the old system.

A crucial point in the migration strategy: the software!

SAP is discontinuing the long-standing LSMW migration. Its successor is called S/4 Migration Cockpit. The new tool certainly has potential, but it still lacks maturity.

Another alternative: SAP Data Services with Rapid Deployment Solutions - a purchased tool that masters the classic ETL functionalities (Extract - Transform - Load) in its sleep.

The crux: The well-known limits apply to all of the approaches mentioned: slow processing of the data with transactional methods (BAPI or IDOC) and a limitation to current data. History migration? No way!

Standard software has long been available that can be used to transfer any amount of data from SAP ERP systems of any release and from non-SAP systems to S/4. The ET also masters the functionalities required for history transfer for direct database updates.

New SAP template rolled out

Twelve months later, we are a big step further. Together with the customer, we have developed a suitable migration strategy. The new SAP template was rolled out in three countries in the first wave.

The project has shown: Migration to S/4 is not a classic IT task; most of the critical questions have to be decided by the business. Which data should be transferred from the legacy systems?

The team has been highly selective here. How much history is needed? We took documents and orders from the past two years. And: The consistency of all data is ensured.

Firstly, thanks to the process and object-oriented approach of the ET. Second, thanks to a variety of validations built into the software.

New core business processes in S/4, consolidated systems, immediate real-time analyses - the CFO is satisfied for now. But there is more to come. Now the project team is already working flat out on the second wave.

Benjamin Krischer, cbs

Benjamin Krischer is Consulting Director at cbs

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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.