SAP Activate: Support for Your Agile Road to SAP S/4HANA
SAP S/4HANA is a new ERP software launched by SAP that was designed to replace all current ERP releases completely by the year 2025. With this step, SAP has also accomplished the transformation required to offer more cloud-based services in the future, with S/4HANA as the digital core for all users. SAP S/4HANA will soon become reality for all SAP customers.
One of the biggest questions faced by these customers concerns the best way to transition to SAP S/4HANA. SAP’s answer to the procedural implementation is “SAP Activate” – an implementation framework that uses new generation agile methodology.
As an approach to solution implementation, SAP Activate is the successor to both the ASAP methodology for on-premise implementation and the SAP Launch methodology for cloud implementation. It provides a technological framework for implementing transformation processes such as configuration, migration, integration, and extension in the SAP S4/HANA environment.
SAP Activate provides customers with a unique combination of preconfigured, ready-to-use digital business and technological processes, tools, and agile project methodology to help them speed up their SAP S/4HANA deployment tremendously. The agile SAP Activate framework not only supports customers in implementing SAP S4/HANA, but also helps them to integrate innovations and custom enhancements.
SAP Best Practices
The first element of SAP Activate is SAP Best Practices, of which “Baseline” packages are an essential component. Baseline packages provide preconfigured, ready-to-use business processes that have been optimized for SAP S/4HANA. These preconfigured business processes include, for example, financial statements in accordance with IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), HGB (German Commercial Code), or US GAAP (United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). However, SAP Best Practices also includes process diagrams to illustrate, for example, how the ordering process is represented in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Besides ready-to-use business processes, the proven SAP Model Company concept is also used to generate value faster and minimize risk. SAP Model Company reference architectures are already available for ten lines of business and industries, including retail and the oil and gas industry. The overall aim is to steadily increase the number of industries for which SAP Model Company solutions are available.
Guided configurations are the second element of SAP Activate. On one hand, they comprise technical tools for implementing the transformation process. SAP Activate and SAP Solution Manager combine to create a monitoring, support, and execution platform and implementation guidelines are provided. This platform makes it much easier to implement new features. On the other hand, the guided configurations replace the Implementation Guide (IMG) on the SAP user interface. The new structure is based on business processes, which enables users to process their tasks more efficiently and in a more focused manner.
The third component of the SAP Activate framework is the new agile SAP implementation methodology. This innovative methodology comprises a phase model that can be used for any type of SAP S/4HANA implementation, whether cloud, hybrid, or on premise. To make it easier for customers to implement the software, SAP Activate provides accelerators for each phase. These accelerators significantly speed up the implementation or upgrade and include templates, questionnaires, instructions, and tools.
The phase model consists of four phases: prepare, explore, realize, and deploy.
Project planning takes place in the first phase (“Prepare”). During this phase, quality gates and a risk plan are defined and new parameters such as the system landscape and the use of predefined business processes are specified. In the “Explore” phase, customer requirements are aligned with existing SAP S4/HANA solutions to create the best possible combination of features. The “Realize” phase comprises SAP system configuration and migration activities as well as testing and validation. The fourth phase (“Deploy”) includes the cutover plan and go-live in the new SAP S4/HANA system.