Data Migration Methods – S/4HANA Conversion

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Moving from SAP ECC to S/4HANA involves a lot of steps with Data Migration being a crucial step to the difference in the Database between ECC and S/4HANA. While S/4HANA runs on SAP HANA in-memory database, SAP ECC runs on Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2.

Data Migration

SAP ECC to HANA Migration

Since the complete S/4HANA conversion involves a lot of processes, as an initial step customer can choose to convert only their database. This means an existing ECC customer can convert only the database from Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2 to SAP HANA database. This conversion is called “Suit on HANA” (SoH) which means ECC runs on SAP HANA database.

SAP HANA can also be used as second copy of database for ECC.

Data Migration Methods using SAP S4HANA

Advantages of ECC to HANA Database Migration

  • The SoH approach of conversion is focused on one area of migration which helps in a smoother conversion.
  • Helps the customers get familiar with the HANA architecture as it is different from the traditional RDMS database.
  • You can comfortably run using the ECC when you follow the SoH approach.
  • Conversion to S/4HANA on-premise or S/4HANA cloud is easier in the future.

Migration Strategies followed in SAP S/4HANA Data Migration

Based on different scenarios SAP recommends three basic data migration strategy. Each of the three strategies have their own data migration requirements. The three Strategies are:

  • New implementation or re-implementation
  • System conversion
  • Landscape transformation


New Implementation or re-implementation

  • This method involves the standization and simplification of the existing system landscape by implementing a new SAP S/4HANA.
  • In this method when the new system is implemented the old legacy SAP system is retired.


System Conversion

  • This method involves the conversion of the entire existing SAP ERP system to a SAP S/4HANA business.
  • Landscape Transformation
  • This method involves the consolidation of the various business units or multiple instances of SAP ERP system into one single SAP S/4HANA cloud instance.
  • This method is highly recommended by the existing SAP ERP system runs on different instances across various geographical locations.
  • This is a valuable method as it eliminates the aggregation and batch processing since S/4HANA cloud is a more efficient database with high performance on the cloud.
Data Migration Methods in S/4HANA Conversion


As SAP support for ECC is coming to an end, the time is right for the existing customers to transform towards HANA in-memory database with a simplified version of the SAP system for a better business growth. This can be achieved by following any one of the three mentioned data conversion methods mentioned above.

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