You are currently viewing SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA – Aerial View of Migration

SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA – Aerial View of Migration


What you’ll learn

  • Will understand the difference between ECC and SAP S/4 HANA
  • Understand the need of conversion
  • Those who work in migration or conversion to know component of conversion
  • Understand pre-requisites of migration

Course content

35 total mins


  • Nothing as such


SAP S/4Hana migration is done with enterprise architecture tools using the Greenfield, Brownfield, or combination of both approaches. The Greenfield approach means that companies abandon their existing ERP system and build a completely new one through migration.

SAP S/4HANA Migration Options

Although experts at SAP and other tech leaders can reel off quite a few ways of handling a switch to SAP 4/HANA, three are more commonly recommended than the others.

1. Greenfield Approach

One option isn’t really a migration option. Instead, it’s an implementation of S/4HANA from the ground up.

“Greenfield” is a term adopted from architectural and environmental engineering that means starting fresh on land that has no previous construction. For S/4HANA specifically, it means either migrating data only or no migration at all. You retire legacy customizations and work to streamline processes.

2. Full Migration

A full migration approach is a complete conversion of an existing SAP system to SAP S/4HANA, a method often referred to as “lift-and-shift.”

This scenario involves using SAP Software Update Manager with a database migration option for any enterprise not using SAP HANA as their database. To address application customization, enterprises can use SAP cloud and SAP partner development tools.

3. Hybrid Migration

In a hybrid migration, organizations need to analyze the current SAP system and identify the customized applications, functionality, and interfaces that are not part of the core.

Before the migration, enterprises can use a low-code platform to develop the non-vanilla pieces and applications used by the system. By doing that work in advance, the SAP core is kept clean to make the migration easier.

Afterwards, your business is using S/4HANA for what SAP does best—enterprise resource planning—and other apps for what it doesn’t do best.

Which Option Is the Best?

The answer to this question is that each option is best for particular types of enterprises and their current SAP systems.

Enterprises With Decades-Old SAP Systems

Prior to the pandemic, if enterprises had SAP systems that were 20 years old or more, greenfield was likely to be the best option due to the complexity caused by age and years of customizing. They could use the shift to technology as a springboard for redefining their processes from scratch.

But due to the issue of remote work, very few have embarked in lift and shift due to the increased risk of not having all the players in the same room to handle issues as they arise.

In addition to that, this approach also involved major investment in a brand new implementation and a complete, usually waterfall, analysis of the existing system and the processes to be reworked. So, although the greenfield option offers the possibility of running the old system while installing the new, business disruption of some sort is likely.

One-Stop Shoppers

Full migration works best for “SAP houses” that invest in every SAP tool they can. These enterprises like having a full suite of SAP solutions for migration and partner solutions for creating modern applications at their disposal. Why go through the hassle of stitching together multiple vendor offerings and assuring data consistency if they don’t have to?

The downsides are vendor lock-in with no graceful way to exit if technology changes, last-mile UI customization, and narrow parametrization of workflow and data. Also, of the three options, this one has the greatest likelihood of business disruption.

Compose Your New Future

Gartner says the future of ERP is composable meaning, monolythic ERP systems can’t easily meet the agility requirements of our now “new” normal. Breaking an ERP into composable “parts” gives customers new options who want to integrate best-in-class functions, applications, and datasets unique to their business to create perfect-fit solutions and amazing customer experiences. In this case, hybrid migration is best for them because they:

  • Do not want to be locked into a single vendor;

  • Need to allot finite resources to innovation, not a major system implementation;

  • Want the agility to respond to future changes in technology and the market.

Who this course is for:

  • Those who are new to SAP
  • Those who are working in ECC
  • Those who work in migration or conversion
  • Those who are interested in switching work area to conversion

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