The transition to SAP S/4HANA is one that any organization using SAP will eventually have to make, and the better prepared your business is, the more smoothly your migration will go. While the end of maintenance deadline for SAP ECC has been extended from its original 2025 deadline, SAP reports that more than 16,000 subscribers have already made the transition to SAP S/4HANA to take advantage of advanced analytics, lower ROI costs, better integration with other SAP products and improved end-user and business satisfaction.
But no major migration is simple, especially when it involves the complex packaged application that serves as the hub for so many mission-critical business processes. That’s why 87% of respondents for a recent SAP Insider benchmark study cited minimizing disruption to operations as the most important S/4HANA migration requirement.
Engaging automation that’s designed for ever-changing ERPs and beyond can minimize migration disruption and maximum efficiency for your S/4HANA journey.
DO Understand Your Current Processes
Packaged applications are littered with customizations, unique business process configurations and integrations that have evolved over time. When it comes to migrating to a new system, one of the biggest challenges is determining the actual flow and function of the business processes within and beyond SAP. Each of these processes will need to be identified before making the transition, and it can take countless man-hours to find each unique one. Using automated process capture to understand – and improve – cross-application business processes before a migration both saves time and reduces the potential for error.
Automated process discovery from Worksoft lets you quickly and easily identify “as is” business processes to support S/4HANA transition, without the need for costly, time-consuming time and most studies or lengthy interviews that distract from day-to-day responsibilities. With automated process capture, business users simply execute their normal business processes while the data is captured automatically with closed-loop automation, that discovery data can be easily used to build reusable test automation to support and streamline the transition to S/4HANA.
“We’re able to actually use the tool to capture the processes and then automate them as part of the next cycle.
And the real value of that is by actually shifting it to the left, we’re able to catch those issues at an earlier stage before they impact production.” –Shahed Bashir, ERP Project Delivery and Solution Governance Manager,
DON’T Take Inefficiency With You
When you make a physical move from one house to another, the least efficient method is to pack everything and unload it all at the shiny new house, only to discover that you’ve brought all of the old items you didn’t actually need and would have been better off giving away and discarding. Migrations are the same.
Now is the time to engage process mining and process intelligence capabilities to help you identify opportunities for process optimization. Look for ways to remove inefficiency, cleanse and harmonize operational data and improve process flows before you make the shift to SAP S/4HANA. It’s far better to gain a clear understanding of what is working and what’s not working before your move so that once your organization migrates, your business processes are running at maximum efficiency.
Process optimization unlocks value before, during, and after your S/4 move by giving you actionable insights for improvement. The Worksoft Process Intelligence dashboard uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to bring together data and provide organizations with a 360-degree view of end-to-end processes, exposing inefficiencies in advance.
“Process Intelligence gives me a one screen, easy-to-use view of what I’ve automated and where I need to focus across my landscape.” - Judy Zeman, QA Manager Carrier Global
DO Build Automated Test Scripts Ahead of Time
Testing is a critical component of any ERP migration. Leveraging automation can ease the burden. The good news is, reusable test automation can be built well before the migration takes place, saving time and streamlining preparation for large-scale transformations like the shift to SAP S/4HANA.
Worksoft’s codeless automation platform is easy to use and maintain, enabling teams to quickly build automation scripts without proprietary coding skills. Built with a patented object action framework, the Worksoft automation platform recognizes objects and attributes, making it easy to implement change anywhere an object is used without rewriting scripts. With this technology, enterprises can create scalable automation through reusable scripts, maximizing value, and speeding transitions. In some cases, you may even be able to go live ahead of schedule.
“Our last cycle of S/4HANA migration testing would normally take us two to three weeks. That's what was in the schedule. We were able to complete that in under a week. A big part of us getting the job done was capturing the test scripts early on in SAP ECC and then using that same automation to do the testing in S/4.” –Christopher Pete, Director of Computer Services for Ariel Corporation
DON’T Underestimate the Speed of Change
Testing packaged applications requires speed and agility to maintain business continuity. And this need intensifies when you make the move to SAP S/4HANA, which has quarterly releases that only offer a small window of time to test changes and ensure proper functionality before updates hit the system. Need more time to run manual testing? That’s not an option. Like it or not, the release is going live.
Setting up a testing and automation infrastructure with the long-term value of being able to keep pace with release cycles is the best way to maintain efficiency throughout inevitable release cycles. At some point, all organizations have to decide how to handle the speed of change and being able to identify defects and change in a short window reduces long-term cost and risk.
“We were able to do that whole automation with Worksoft, plugging into Salesforce as well as integrating to S/4 and doing the S/4 automation, back and forth. It's been incredibly useful. We saved something like 80 percent of the time it would have taken to manually test, using this tool.” – Judy Zeman, QA Manager, Carrier Global
DO Test the Right Things
Many traditional methods of testing include a tradeoff. When you test everything, you increase time and cost to wasteful levels, but when you test nothing, you accept an unnecessary level of risk. Combining change intelligence with automation can empower you to understand the areas of greatest potential impact so you know what to test. With Worksoft + Panaya, you can remove the guesswork from navigating change and lower your risk without adding time or costs. Reduce testing scope and futureproof against change by eliminating risk and generating a comprehensive project plan to fully prepare for your S/4HANA migration.
“With so many unknowns in today’s climate amid an increasing number of pivots and tightening IT budgets, ensuring zero defects during critical business process change while optimizing on cost and quality is a huge challenge for our SAP customers. With Worksoft, we’re giving strained IT teams the power to do more with less, reducing the time, cost, and risk of any S/4HANA system conversion, new implementation, or ECC optimization project by up to 50 percent.”- David Binny, Panaya CEO
DON’T Wait to Start Preparing
Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Major ERP upgrades are no exception. Large-scale migrations like S/4HANA take time and thoughtful planning.
And you don’t want to navigate this journey alone. Nearly 80% of SAP insider survey respondents said that partnering with a provider with a proven track record of implementing SAP S/4HANA is a key requirement for migration. Respondents also said they use or plan to use a wide range of tools and technologies to support their SAP S/4HANA move.
“We wanted to make the S/4 transition easier and to come out of the transition not just with an upgraded environment, but also with tools we could leverage long-term. With Worksoft, we could bring consistency and automation to our testing,” said Christopher Pete, Director of Computer Services for Ariel Corporation
The Worksoft Connective Automation Platform enables smoother SAP S/4HANA transformations through process understanding and automated testing. As a leader in SAP S/4HANA testing, Worksoft has supported migrating customers using deep packaged and closed-loop automation.
To learn more about how Worksoft automation can help can navigate your S/4HANA journey watch SAP S/4HANA Unlocked | Automation Drives Delivery Without Disruption.