Come 2027, SAP ECC 6.0 will no longer be supported by SAP and while that deadline seems a long way away, migrating to the newer, more intelligent SAP S/4HANA is a process and it might not be a smooth one.
We say this because software changes, no matter how small they may seem, can upend existing processes, change those processes or even require further upgrades and updates along the supply chain.
The benefits of SAP S/4HANA should be enough to inspire a migration to the newer software but that doesn’t exactly seem to be the case. SAP reports on its website that 8 700 customers are live on the system which is a rather low number when you consider SAP has 200 million subscribers in its cloud product user base for all of its products.
Locally, 30 000 SAP licenses are yet to be migrated and this presents a problem.
“A rough estimate with the figures we have on hand shows that over the next five years, for all enterprises in SA to be successfully migrated by the stipulated deadline, the industry will need to migrate at least one customer every day ten days,” explains country manager for GlassHouse Technology South Africa, Mike Styer.
And unfortunately, migration isn’t as easy as tapping “Upgrade”.
SAP requires that migration be done a person with specialised certifications of which there are few in South Africa. Add to that integrated services and platforms an enterprise might be running such as Azure Cloud and the migration process becomes more complex.
“With a little over 6 years until the deadline, it’s crucial that enterprises at least start their migration planning,” adds Styer.
To that end, SAP has a number of examples of how best to migrate to the S/4HANA system based on your goals and your business.
But you may also want to tap up a specialised partner such as GlassHouse Technology South Africa which can assist in migration while also acting as an external pair of eyes that could spot something you haven’t.
Whether you’re going at it alone with a partner however, the time to start planning your migration is running out.
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