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SAP S/4HANA migration fears are overblown - Approyo CEO Chris Carter interviewed by Tech Target


Approyo CEO Chris Carter was recently interviewed by Jim O'Donnell for Tech Target. Below is an excerpt from the interview, to read the full interview, please visit https://searchsap.techtarget.com/news/252467155/S-4HANA-migration-fears-are-overblown.

Most SAP customers will eventually have to face the inevitable S/4HANA migration.

SAP has stated it will end support for the legacy SAP ECC platform by 2025. Although migration is a daunting prospect, the fear factor may be overblown, and customers could be missing out on the benefits of going to S/4HANA.

In this Q&A, Chris Carter, founder and CEO of Approyo LLC in Brookfield, Wis., comes at an SAP S/4HANA migration from a more hopeful place: The leap from ECC to S/4HANA may be inevitable, but it's also manageable.

Carter has been around since the SAP R/2 days, SAP's ERP software in the 90s and the predecessor of SAP HANA. Approyo, an SAP partner, provides managed services, hosting, migration and implementation services for more than 300 SAP cloud environments for customers around the world, according to Carter. It has also done just over 100 SAP migrations.

Where are SAP customers in their plans for S/4HANA migration with the 2025 deadline in mind?

Chris Carter: We've been working with SAP hand-in-hand on some of the migrations, but customers are very slow to migrate -- and understandably so. They're fed one line and then there's another real world thing that happens, but it's not as bleak as people think. You've got to work with a lot of Z data codes [non-standard data] and change activities, but there are so many tools that we can use that we can understand what is going on with their current environment in order to move into the new environment. You get a lot of integrators out there trying to get people scared, but it's really not that scary. This is a lot easier than what it was when it was R/2 to R/3, that's for sure.

What's the biggest fear SAP customers have about an S/4HANA migration?

Carter: Cost is No. 1, and change is No. 2. Everybody is worried about change -- is this going to change my job? Is it going to change what we do in FICO with the new [S/4HANA] finance tools? Every new SAP system has changes -- it's been that way since the R/2 days -- so they just have to understand that going in. You have to literally walk them through what those changes are and how they're going to benefit from them. You need strong change management and you've got to be very cognizant of what activities are going to happen.

What are the first things organizations need to do when starting a migration?

Carter: The first thing is always the plan. What is your plan and what's the plan for your SAP system, because they may not go hand in hand. An SAP system typically has had so many changes to it over the years that the individuals who are working on it today, and who may work on it tomorrow, may not know everything that has changed within that environment and what's going to happen starting tomorrow when the new system kicks in.

Read the full interview: https://searchsap.techtarget.com/news/252467155/S-4HANA-migration-fears-are-overblown

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