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Modern ERP systems such as SAP S/4 Hana not only combine smart software solutions for a wide range of business areas, but are also the technological basis for a successful transformation to an intelligent company.
Lorenz Beckmann, NTT Data Business Solutions
October 1, 2021
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

There are basically three methods to choose from when switching to S/4 - in addition to the familiar brownfield and greenfield options, NTT Data Business Solutions (formerly Itelligence) also offers the so-called allfield approach together with Natuvion.

S/4 is SAP's modern business platform and offers its users many advantages over its predecessors: For example, it ensures real-time data access, which enables powerful analytics, better decisions, and innovative business models. Disruptive technologies such as machine learning can also be easily integrated into processes with S/4.

Anyone who wants to stay ahead of the global competition should therefore switch to the modern SAP ERP in the next few years - especially since SAP will only maintain its older systems such as R/3 until 2027 at the latest, but four out of five customers must have technically completed the S/4 Hana transition by 2024.

But how do we make the move to the smart ERP of the future? The best-known approaches are Greenfield and Brownfield. While in the greenfield approach the move is carried out as a re-implementation "on the greenfield" and the new S/4 system is implemented in parallel with the legacy ERP that is initially continuing to run, in the brownfield approach an existing ERP system is converted into an S/4 system in the course of a system conversion. Brownfield is therefore particularly suitable for companies that want to maintain proven processes or cannot do without historical data. Greenfield, on the other hand, is an option for anyone who wants to use the S/4 transfer to restart old processes and discard historical data that has become ballast.

The smart alternative

But what if neither the ERP fresh start nor the conversion is an option? An intelligent middle ground between the two options is the Allfield approach, a variant of the so-called Selective Data Transition. The goal of this approach is to enable a balance between keeping and cleaning up existing data, processes and structures. This works with two main steps.

The first step in the Allfield approach is shell creation: An initially empty system shell is created, which only contains the customizing and the relevant customer-specific programming from the running old SAP system. Master data and transaction data, on the other hand, are not yet stored. The background to this approach is that migration to S/4 and adjustments to the customizing of processes or organizational structures are easier to carry out without master and transaction data.

Moving selective data

The second step is the data migration to the new system running on S/4. The special feature here is that the customer can decide which data should be transferred from the legacy system. It is also possible to complete the data transition in several stages, to merge data from different ERP systems in the new system, or to clean up and harmonize data during the transfer. The Allfield approach is offered by NTT Data in cooperation with Natuvion.

Those who opt for this happy medium between greenfield and brownfield benefit not only from a cost-efficient and largely uninterrupted ERP system conversion. The project also remains transparently in view from the outset, because the data conversion software provided by Natuvion outlines an intelligent path to S/4 for each transition. A special cutover app also makes it possible to keep an eye on the workflows during the project as well as the project status and progress in real time at all times.

This is combined with NTT Data's many years of SAP expertise and experience with well over 100 projects, in which the changeover to SAP S/4 Hana is planned and, for example, the appropriate transition path, a transition project plan and budget and milestone planning are derived. Thus, nothing stands in the way of the start into the new S/4 system.

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Lorenz Beckmann, NTT Data Business Solutions

Lorenz Beckmann is Principal Solution Expert and Advisor for SAP S/4 Hana, Installed Base S4Move and Solution Design at NTT Data Business Solutions.

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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.