SAP ECC and BW migration to S/4HANA can now be automated with AI

SAP ECC and BW migration to S/4HANA can now be automated with AI

The miracle is here; SAP has succeeded in developing AI technology to help customers automate their migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA. The application logic in SAP ECC and all the data and metadata hidden in SAP BW can be indexed, visualized and migrated if needed. The costly migration process, or processes in some organizations, can be much simpler and faster.

SAP announced at Sapphire that a solution has been developed within SAP DataSphere that makes it easier to migrate from SAP ECC and SAP BW to SAP S/4HANA. To do this, SAP uses advanced AI models that can provide visibility into legacy environments and customizations.

A roadmap that allows customers to migrate from legacy SAP ECC and BW to S/4HANA much faster is now available. SAP ECC is the legacy ERP system that contains all the application logic and SAP BW is the data warehouse that ECC uses and where all the data and metadata is stored. A SAP ECC migration is known to be incredibly complex, time-consuming and costly. SAP now thinks it has solved the migration problem.

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Free SAP ECC and SAP BW assessment

The roadmap starts the same for every customer, with an assessment that SAP or an SAP partner can perform for customers free of charge. Such an assessment produces a comprehensive report describing in detail which functions, reports, and data are still being actively used in the old ERP environment. There are customers who have been working with ECC for decades, but their environments still contain legacy methods and very old data that is obsolete.

Based on the assessment, a customer can indicate which functions, reports, and data are essential for their organization. That makes it possible to get a clear picture of what the migration should look like. For example, some organizations choose to modernize not just the functions but also the business processes. Or this has already been done when they set up a new modern S/4HANA environment. In such a case, only the data needs to be migrated.

If everything has to be migrated, SAP can use new AI models to analyze all the custom functions and then generate them again in modern ABAP code. The modern ABAP functions are then added to SAP S/4HANA, after which exporting and importing can begin.

SAP ECC Migration

An automatic migration of SAP ECC can be performed in two ways. The new environment can fire queries at the old environment to retrieve only the data that needs to be migrated. For example, perhaps the customer does not want to migrate all data prior to 2010. Or data from an old business unit that has been sold years ago but is still stored in the old environment. The queries can be customized so that only relevant data is migrated. The other way is to migrate the full SAP ECC environment, including the BW database, completely to SAP S/4HANA. Which in some cases involves petabytes of data.

The latter is a stumbling block for some organizations. Most organizations would like to move towards the cloud with their SAP environment but running that much data in the memory of the SAP S/4HANA instance is very costly. SAP is therefore coming out with an archive function later this year, where certain data can be archived, which means it is no longer loaded into the memory, but can head toward cold storage.

Data enrichment with Datasphere

Some SAP customers have known for years that they would eventually have to get rid of SAP ECC and have, therefore, already frozen the investment budget in ECC. As a result, they now have environments with incomplete product information. The products are listed, but half of the specifications are missing. The required fields were no longer added. With the transition to SAP S/4HANA, they want to make all the data available again.

It basically comes down to enriching already existing information. For this, SAP has also developed AI tooling. For example, many organizations have product information stored somewhere else, such as PDFs with product brochures or product information where all the specifications are listed. This unstructured data can be mapped by DataSphere with Vector Search and then used to enrich the product information in SAP S/4HANA. That’s a lot more attractive than putting a dozen data entry workers to work.

Faster and better migration with AI

According to SAP, it is now much easier to migrate from the old SAP ECC and BW to SAP S/4HANA, especially since almost the entire process is automated. This automation will save organizations time and money. It can also generate a lot more revenue. If they can get rid of their legacy IT faster and work with modern, full-featured systems, revenue will likely increase faster.

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