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A Quick Guide to SAP S/4HANA Transformation: Brownfield Implementation

In the dynamic world of SAP, enterprises are presented with an opportunity to enhance their performance and stay competitive by transitioning from SAP ECC to S/4HANA.  

This transformation is a significant milestone, and it is crucial to approach it with confidence and careful planning. In this blog post, we’ll provide a concise overview of a Brownfield implementation and migration to S/4HANA. 

If you’d rather take a deep dive into this subject, read our latest eBook.

What do we mean by ‘Brownfield’ implementation? 

Migrating a ‘Brownfield’ estate involves transitioning existing systems, typically SAP ECC, onto the S/4HANA platform while preserving pre-existing data, processes, and customizations.  

For organizations with large and complex SAP landscapes, this transformation can be a lengthy journey.  

Unlike ‘Greenfield’ or ‘Hybrid’ approaches, Brownfield transformations involve technical conversions, custom code reviews, data cleanup, and a “Big Bang” cutover. These complexities therefore necessitate thorough planning and execution. 

The challenges slowing progress 

A Brownfield implementation demands meticulous preparation. For example, dual maintenance must be managed precisely to avoid unpleasant surprises during the transition phase.  

The “Big Bang” switchover approach, common in Brownfield transformations, carries significant business risks. Any missteps can lead to operational collapse, extensive costs, and resource allocation issues. 

All of these challenges result in delays. In our research – featured in this eBook – we found that the top three reasons for delay were:  

  • Not having carried out the necessary preparations (75%) 
  • Not having the right internal skills or resources (50%) 
  • Not feeling the urgency due to the length of time until the S/4HANA deadline (50%) 

The main considerations for a Brownfield implementation 

Upgrading existing systems is a critical step in the journey to S/4HANA. However, for organizations taking the Brownfield approach, upgrading current SAP systems can be challenging, especially if they are far from the latest ECC version.  

Automation plays a crucial role in managing the complexities of this process, enabling teams to handle changes effectively and ensure that upgrades are executed smoothly. 

A Brownfield implementation essential: automation 

Migrating to S/4HANA presents opportunities for innovation and development, but it’s a massive undertaking. Manual, spreadsheet-based approaches can slow down the transition and introduce unnecessary risks.  

Automation technology is the key to a smooth Brownfield S/4HANA transformation, offering faster delivery, reduced costs, and minimal errors.  

Basis Technologies offers automation solutions that have resulted in a 50% reduction in change delivery costs, a 95% reduction in manual effort, 50 times faster delivery of new features, and a 70% reduction in downtime. 

Transitioning to S/4HANA is a critical business move. With careful planning and the right automation tools, organizations can navigate this transformation successfully, unlocking improved compliance, simplified processes, and a competitive edge while minimizing risks and costs.  

If you’re considering this transformation, Basis Technologies can provide the support you need at every stage of your S/4HANA journey. 

But if you’d like to continue your research on the Brownfield implementation, check out our new eBook:

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