SAP Software technologically has been changed over the years and currently it is available with version S/4 HANA 1909. Each version differs from the previous version in terms of big shift in the technology and functionality and user experience. There are majorly two different versions available for EHS. The modules like Incident Management, Risk Assessment, Environmental Management, Management of Change Products and Product Compliance modules comes under the SAP LoB or S/4 HANA Core modules. The other modules like SAP EHS Product Safety, GLM, SVT and Dangerous Goods Mgmt and Product Compliance – DI falls under the compatibility version of S/4 HANA 1909 Release. Compatibility versions are the ones which are continued to ensure business continuity and SAP will eventually may/ may not move the functionalities into core.
There are various options available when it comes to implementing the SAP EHS solution to S/4 HANA, that migrating the current ECC ERP version to S/4 HANA. Be it called side car scenario, System conversion, Landscape Transformation or even Green Field implementation. In this blog I would like to cover few basics around SAP S/4 HANA system conversion and how you can convert or implement EHS system for your client.
i understand you all know that SAP S/4 HANA reduces the database volume due to one or other capabilities like database compression, columnar storage, indexing modification and finally OLAP/ OLTP processing. With each version, SAP introduced a change in the data model covering table changes for sales, material quantities, finance and material values. Though the unnecessary fields from those tables are removed and aggregated tables are introduced, end user do not have any impact as he can check the data using table search the common way. SAP Uses the concept of CDS views which runs to retrieve the data using various calculations on the fly. Though there are corresponding changes in the VBUP which impacts the Substance Volume Tracking module.
There are various nomenclature available for SAP like i) SAP HANA – which is a database and in memory platform, ii) SAP BW Powered by SAP HANA is for real time analysis and real time processing, iii) SOH or SAP Business suite powered by SAP HANA is for real time processing, OLTP/OLAP processing, iv) S/4 HANA Simple finance is for finance insights and finally v) S/4HANA Logistics 1909 whcih is a next generation user experience, advanced processing system. SAP Digital Core / Intelligent Enterprise comes in three layers, first one is Digital Core with is S/4 HANA Enterprise Management and SAP Cloud Products requiring separate licence which can be integrated to S/4 HANA like SAP Concur, SAP Hybris etc.
SAP comes with various versions, like FPS which stands for Feature Package, SPs – which is Support packages and finally GA / RTC which stands for General Availability versions. Which depends on when the product functionality has been released and how it is integrated with the main release. Every 3rd quarter of the year SAP releases a new version and with the year if there are different features are added those named Feature Pack 1 or Feature Pack 2. When those are released during the Q4 are named those are called Support Packages. Which needed to be understood so that we can plan for proper software implementation for software release strategy.
In Side car scenario SAP ERP database is the primary database and is linked to secondary database which is HANA database in a separate system by means of SLT Tool and HANA is used for performing computation and other operational activities and can be used for reporting using HANA Live or Lumira tools. Here the limitation is data replication is the important step which happens from / to SLT to traditional database, which is connected to SAP HANA database, requirement of custom ABAP programs.
In case of Suit on HANA (SoH) which is nothing but availability of ECC system on HANA. In this case HANA database operates as the backend database system and business suite of the system which makes all transactions available and there would not be any data simplification. HANA live can be used for Fiori dashboards. In this case SAP introduced couple of Fiori apps for EHS around Incident reporting, Safety controls and Safety information retrieval.
In case of enterprise having systems across global one might choose to go for landscape consolidation which warrants enterprise system consolidations, like consolidation of business processes, optimize or consolidate the technology stacks. For Company code specific conversion type of conversion is complex thing and needs careful planning. There are various adoption paths when it comes to migrating to S/4 HANA system like first changing the database (Technical changes) to HANA which has less functionality impact and is more of technological changes. Based on client readiness simple finance can be implemented, followed by Logistic implementation, other option is to convert directly from SoH to S/4HANA directly without simple finance implementation. The other option is a single step migration directly from ECC to S/4HANA implementation.
The steps for successful migration depends on the following steps like checking the system requirements, maintenance planner, carrying out the prechecks like simplification check reports, simplification item catalogue, making necessary custom code changes like ABAP test cockpit and software update Manager or SUM followed by post conversion application activities.
Maintenance planner has landscape data, which is used to check the current landscape of the client landscape and it shows the compatibility of the system to the S/4 HANA implementation in terms of technical aspects like addons used, business functions activation used, NetWeaver version and check on industry specific checks like add on of SRM availability or not like that which can be referred in SAP documentation and activation of business functions can be checked in SAP Note 2240359.
In case of pre checks stage we check for business processes which are changed etc which are assessed, which shows the list of changes, business impact, pre checks and post actions needed to performed. The information is available as excel or SAP Notes. Simplification catalogue can be accessed to check for the impact which is a portal which lists out all the impacts in a easily searchable component which can be filtered to EHS or EHSM components with associated SAP note which recommends the nature of the action. Other tools include System Readiness check in Solman or running SCR (Simplification check report) in source system for identification of source program like SDF/RC_START_CHECK which requires a pre-requisite implementation of SAP notes two composite notes and also needs to choose the simplification item catalogue source. Once system shows the consistency check like relevancy line items and the associated traffic light status of whether it is impacted or not in terms of consistency like stop sign or okay. Details about the SAP Readiness Check can be found in SAP Note 2310438.
In case of post implementation checks one of the significant change needed to be implemented include the adaptation of business partner or Customer Vendor Integration. which is critical for use in terms of sending sds documents, creating incidents or safety observations etc which requires linking user to business partner.
Some of the simplification items for S/4HANA 1909 for EHS include, Deprecation functionality like EHS data Series and amounts, Inspect safety control fiori app, Retrieve safety information apps, simplification of authorization management in incident management where multiple authorization objects for Incident, Incident group and incident by location have become obsolete. Other relevant change in the change in the workflows in the incident management like fatality notification changes and inform involved person, removal of task tabs under each incident management sub tag which used to be the case previously, changed authorization concept around locations
Other simplification item includes specification workbench adjustments, data changes for listed substances, changed data model for occupational health exposure limits, changed risk identification where single application used to be applicable previously for example risk assessment and now it has been changed to three steps, similarly there has been a change in the data model for jobs steps, changes in the control master action templates, Renovation of task management. Details of each of the change and action that needed to be taken is explained in detail in SAP Market place SAP Simplification Item Catalogue under Logistics_PSS and other relevant logistics EHS component.
In case of Greenfield implementation, a new system for S/4 HANA system is set up and existing ERP system becomes the legacy system. In this case existing data is migrated using LSMW, Data migration tools or even BODS can also used. System configuration and customization and development are carried out in the new system. The details about how to set up new system and carrying out client comparison and completing the configuration and data loads is common for any green field implementation which has been witnessed previously and am not going to give more details on this approach. The advantage is the implementation is easy and risk is minimum with a caveat that there would not be any transaction data, historical data, customizations done previously or even Z developments which needed to be recreated.
Finally to determine whether to convert a system of implement a green filed implementation it depends on factors like system complexity, land scape complexity, how is the stability of the current system, if all the required business processes are covered in the system, need for business process changes or reengineering, add on availability to existing system, and effort or costing component. The major issue of existing enterprise structure and their change might impact a system conversion and needed a sophisticated system analysis for conversion management.
My previous blog already highlights system capabilities and implementation / configuration scenario for SAP S/4 HANA Product Compliance. In the upcoming blog I would like to cover business processes which are changed with the S/4 HANA system how they make the processes easier.