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A Quick Guide to SAP S/4HANA: Greenfield Implementation  

With only three years until the deadline, the decision to embark on a Greenfield transformation to SAP S/4HANA is a pivotal one.  

It is arguably the biggest transformation journey to go on but can set you up for success from day one if your business is in the right position for an S/4HANA Greenfield implementation. In this blog post, we’ll provide a short guide to best practices, facilitating a fast, affordable, and safe migration journey.  

If you would prefer to take a deep dive into this subject, read our latest eBook.

What is an SAP ‘Greenfield’ implementation?

The Greenfield approach to SAP S/4HANA involves building a new system from scratch and leaving behind any existing customizations. This poses its challenges but the potential rewards of innovation and agility are substantial.  

Greenfield is different from a brownfield approach, otherwise known as system conversion or selective data transition, which involves migrating existing customizations on your SAP ECC system to your new SAP S/4HANA system.

Through a greenfield approach, enterprises can address deep-rooted problems and adopt new best practices, setting the stage for a truly transformative journey with the existing infrastructure. 

When a Greenfield approach is right for your Business

There are some clear circumstances in which an S/4HANA Greenfield approach or implementation is the best option for your organization or business processes. Most notably, those are:  

  • You’re a net new SAP customer transferring over from another platform
  • You have chosen to leave behind old custom development and technical debt 
  • You have an ECC system with certain add-ons (like an industry solution) that are not compatible with SAP S/4HANA, making a Brownfield approach impossible  
  • You’re planning to use SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud Edition

S/4HANA Greenfield Implementation challenges  and insights

There’s a whole new set of benefits, costs, and integration challenges with SAP Greenfield implementations, compared to SAP Brownfield projects and Hybrid SAP transformations.

Firstly, you have to deal with new forms of data migration. Unlike Brownfield, you have to extract existing data from the existing legacy systems, transform it, and then upload it into SAP S/4HANA.  

Secondly, there’s the potential need to upskill developers since all custom code in your old system will be left behind; teams need resources to redesign code to make it compatible with the new system.

Finally, companies need to handle all inflight transport while the new system is being built. If you’re migrating in waves, this is exacerbated; each move will result in a change in both systems and operations that must be managed appropriately.

What your Business can expect from the implementation 

According to our research, the biggest business benefit post-SAP S/4HANA migration is simplified business processes (73%), which is a significant driver of SAP Greenfield migrations.  

The SAP leaders we polled also achieved:  

  • Improved compliance (62%)  
  • New functionality offering a competitive advantage (49%)  
  • Simplified landscape architecture and operational costs for the organization (49%)  
  • Real-time analytics and reporting powering business decisions(49%)  
  • Avoidance of tech obsolescence risk (38%)

Unlocking the full potential of a Greenfield transformation for your Business 

Change is inevitable. Basis Technologies offers automation solutions and business processes to accelerate and de-risk the SAP greenfield implementation. Organizations utilizing Basis Technologies’ automation report significant reductions in the cost of delivering changes, error-prone manual efforts, and production system downtime.  

Navigating the SAP S/4HANA Greenfield implementation requires careful consideration of challenges and the adoption of best practices. Basis Technologies, with its automation technology and expertise, stands ready to support organizations at every stage of their SAP S/4HANA Greenfield journey.  

For a more detailed brief on a Greenfield implementation, read this eBook.

S/4HANA Greenfield Implementation eBook cover

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