Data Migration Methods – S/4HANA Conversion

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Moving from SAP ECC to SAP 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 SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA 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 with respect to SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.

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SAP ECC to S/4HANA conversion

Lift & Shift your SAP ECC system to the new Digital Core - SAP S/4HANA

Gain the greatest value from the latest SAP innovations

Digital age user experience

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New business models

End-to-end analytics & real-time steering

Gone are those days where enterprises relied on just collecting information!

The new need for enterprises is to experience intelligence through their systems. For this reason, SAP has innovated a worthy successor to the SAP ECC in the form of the new digital core – SAP S/4HANA. All of SAP’s innovations are centered around SAP S/4HANA, and many enterprises running on SAP ECC are missing out on a lot of what SAP has to offer right now and in the years to come. In addition to that, Enterprises running on SAP ECC know that they will have to convert to SAP S/4HANA at the earliest to keep up to beat with the latest technologies, SAP has to offer.

We work with organizations to help them understand the changes they need to make to successfully convert to SAP S/4HANA. Equally, we help them to identify existing system elements that do not need to change, helping save time and money.

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SAP Implementation phases

Some organizations – for example those running earlier versions of SAP software that have few elements that can be reused in an SAP S/4HANA environment, may elect not to convert, but instead to opt for a “greenfield” installation that requires data migration from the old system into a completely new SAP S/4HANA environment. However, for many others, a “brownfield” conversion is a likely path.


Upgrading live systems and reusing existing system elements selectively.

Smart Brownfield

Creating a shell copy of the leading system with existing implemented processes and perform SAP System Landscape Optimization (SLO) tool-based migration of a selected or the full data scope.

SAP has developed on-premise and cloud editions of SAP S/4HANA and multiple routes to conversion are feasible. Experience gleaned from hundreds of SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA projects equips us to support clients in choosing
the right option for them. When opting for SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition, the client maintains the software on their own infrastructure. Alternatively, they can host SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition on a public, hybrid or private managed cloud.

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