Deadline 2027: best practices for migrating to SAP S/4HANA with Google Cloud Platform

Posted on 6 Mar 2020 by The Manufacturer

With SAP ending its support for legacy software in 2027, the question for most customers is not if, but when, they will adopt S/4HANA, the software firm's next-generation ERP system.

Indeed, companies running old SAP systems should start planning now to best manage migrating to SAP S/4HANA. 

Making the move to S/4HANA can deliver robust application performance, help control management complexity and present tremendous opportunities for accelerating an organization’s digital transformation.

However, the migration presents some challenges for customers at the business-process level, at the user-experience level and at the infrastructure level. At the infrastructure level, by choosing to implement SAP S/4HANA in a public cloud, your organization gains the flexibility and scalability that clouds deliver plus access to microservices that help drive innovation.

But which cloud is right for you?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers unique capabilities to simplify implementation and ongoing operation while enabling you to tap into advanced technologies. Working with Atos—a global leader in digital transformation—you can maximize the benefits of GCP for S/4HANA. Atos designed its ADOPT S/4HANA program to help organizations Assess, Deploy, Optimize, Protect and Transform their SAP S/4HANA implementation.

ADOPT S/4HANA helps you determine the right deployment approach, enhance operational efficiency and achieve your digital transformation goals.

The 2027 deadline for migrating to SAP S/4HANA is quickly approaching. Atos and Google Cloud can help you get there faster with proven methodologies and services. Learn how >

Select S/4HANA

S/4HANA offers important and immediate benefits whether you are upgrading from legacy SAP applications or just beginning your SAP journey. For example, the SAP HANA in-memory, columnar data base architecture can provide stronger performance compared with other database architectures. That performance enables you to accelerate analytics and reporting to support real-time decision-making.

At the same time, S/4HANA simplifies IT by using a single data model beneath your key applications. A simplified data model not only reduces database size but also decreases management burdens and enables you to avoid many of the complex customizations that were required in the past with legacy SAP systems. Adding new applications is faster and easier than before.

Move to the public cloud

Atos can help you maximize the benefits of Google Cloud Platform for S4HANA - image courtesy of AS
Atos can help you maximize the benefits of Google Cloud Platform for S4HANA – image courtesy of AS.

Implementing S/4HANA on the public cloud provides additional technology and business benefits. You gain the scalability of a cloud architecture and the flexibility to add or remove services as your needs change. Many public cloud environments also provide stronger security, data protection and availability options than you might be able to access with on-premises environments.

Public cloud implementations also help control the total cost of ownership. You avoid the capital expenses of purchasing new infrastructure and reduce operating expenses compared with managing an on-premises environment.

Enhance cloud benefits with Google Cloud Platform

Not all cloud platforms are equal.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has several distinctive capabilities that multiply the advantages of running SAP S/4 HANA in the cloud, including:

  • Automated provisioning: Implement SAP HANA infrastructure on GCP in a matter of minutes. Complete the application deployment—including high availability and disaster recovery capabilities—in less than one day.
  • End-to-end monitoring: Gain clear visibility into your entire environment, from the infrastructure up through the application, so you can identify potential issues and optimize performance.
  • Live migration: Increase uptime and maintain high availability, minimizing downtime for planned maintenance and unplanned outages, using live migration capabilities.
  • Flexible commercial models: Control costs by taking advantage of a number of pricing innovations, including sustained-use and committed-use discounts, preemptible virtual machine instance options, per-second billing, custom machine type options and more.
  • Unique microservices: Access GCP’s powerful advanced technologies and microservices to drive innovation.

GCP offers several microservices that enable you to extend SAP S/4HANA capabilities. For example, you can connect with Google BigQuery, the serverless data warehouse technology that provides low-cost, high-performance analytics at petabyte scale. BigQuery allows you to access valuable data from a variety of other sources—including experience data, unstructured data, IoT data, cloud native-generated data or third-party data. 

By tying your SAP operational data into these sources, you can run sentiment analysis, cognitive analytics, predictive analytics and more. A retailer, for example, could use data from Google queries or even YouTube to better understand its customers and generate insights about how to develop more targeted promotions.

GCP also gives you the flexibility to run some functionalities outside of the HANA core. You could use the SAP Cloud and GCP as part of a hybrid environment that allows you to offload some data to less-expensive storage while still enabling users to work with familiar SAP solutions.

Make the most of GCP with Atos ADOPT S/4HANA

Even with the tools and capabilities that SAP and Google Cloud Platform offer, deploying and operating an S/4HANA environment in the cloud can be a complex undertaking. Whether you are employing a brownfield approach (migrating from an existing SAP system) or a greenfield approach (starting from scratch with SAP), Atos ADOPT S/4HANA services help streamline the process and increase your return on investment. Drawing from strong partnerships with SAP and Google, and deep expertise gained from successful implementations, the Atos ADOPT S/4HANA team helps ensure you are making the most of S/4HANA on GCP.

Atos ADOPT S4/HANA services help streamline the process and increase your return on investment.

Assess: The Atos team begins with a thorough assessment of your current state and your goals for your SAP journey. The team then provides a range of deployment options. For example, you might create a distinct, greenfield environment and then gradually bring in services; convert everything to S/4HANA at once; or install a fresh environment and select the capabilities you want to implement. The Atos team helps you determine whether your database size and current use of Google applications make you the right fit for GCP.

Deploy: The Atos team helps you provision the platform, giving you simple self-service options. During the end-to-end deployment process, the Atos team migrates and updates databases, such as from DB2 to HANA, and converts any interfaces used for business partners. Finally, the team conducts all technical and functional testing before handing over the environment.

Operate and Protect: Once the S/4HANA environment is fully deployed on GCP, the Atos team helps streamline ongoing monitoring and management. By automating a range of operational tasks— such as restarting bad jobs or correcting stuck sales orders—the Atos team helps you enhance efficiency and improve the quality of operations. Atos can also provide digital assistants and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions that eliminate time-consuming, error-prone manual tasks. Implementing a DevSecOps methodology that integrates security into software development, plus capitalizing on security and profile capabilities help ensure your environment is protected from the beginning and remains protected over the long term.

Transform: The Atos team helps make sure you continue to advance along your SAP journey. Monitoring and analysis tools determine whether your current customization is delivering the full benefits you envisioned. With help from the Atos team, you can then remediate code, optimize your existing environment and conduct any additional migrations or upgrades—such as transitioning from a standard HANA database to S/4HANA.

Move forward with Google and Atos

Start your move to S/4HANA now. The longer the wait, the greater competition there will be for resources that can help you overcome challenges and complexities. Working with Atos to implement S/4HANA on GCP enables you to maximize the benefits of your move. The experienced Atos team will help you accelerate the process, reduce your total cost of ownership and ultimately deliver better service to your SAP users. 

Click here for more information on how Atos can help your company increase productivity by helping you to migrate to SAP S/4HANA on Google Cloud Platform. Or, if you have any questions or want to know more, please email Robert Kramer – [email protected].

Further Reading: Good migrations, part 1 – SAP S/4HANA adoption