SAP makes extraordinary promises that few other ERP vendors make. By choosing a future-proof and flexible ERP system, you as an organization get the tools to respond to the market. Choosing SAP S/4HANA means that you can count on one fixed value for the next 20 years: a reliable, versatile ERP system. But does the shift from 2025 to 2027 mean we can take it easy? We don't think so. We do believe that the delay of 2 years offers organizations time and peace of mind (as the VNSG calls it) to see this migration as a business transformation and not as a pure technological 'upgrade'. The migration process may become more extensive. On the other hand, you also have more time to think about aspects that reduce the impact of the entire migration. An example of this is customization.
Pre-sort by migration
We see 4 important advantages of transferring the SAP customization to the low code platform Mendix in the pre-S/4HANA migration phase.
- Less business disruption during the S/4 HANA migration;
- Reducing the risk of higher costs/longer lead time of the S/4HANA migration;
- Cost reduction of SAP management and development of SAP customization;
- You start today on the future of tomorrow.
Check how much customization you have. The philosophy of SAP has been: 'Keep the core clean' from the start of SAP S/4HANA. By using the Best Practices in standard SAP as much as possible, you avoid building mountains of custom work. In fact, when you start using S/4 HANA in the Cloud, you no longer have options for customization. But companies with customization in their current SAP ECC/Business Suite are already often encountering challenges. Some of these are:
- Customization that was once developed, but has not been used for a long time;
- Customization that we have to check and adjust with every upgrade;
- Customization that does not work completely and therefore a huge amount of time and money is lost to keep it up and running.
All of this is nicely illustrated in the image above, taken from a McKinsey study. Although this image is from 2013, this is still the reality of today. You want to spend your money on progress and innovation and not on 'keeping the lights on'.
Unique organisation, unique processes
We all know that 'no customization at all' is actually a utopia; almost every organization is unique and this includes unique processes. Moreover, everything around you changes at lightning speed, including the wishes of your customers and your internal business. There is a solution: Mendix
or SAP RAD (Rapid Application Development). With this you meet the customers and the business in meeting their demands and you keep the SAP S/4HANA system as 'clean' as possible. Mendix is the only low-code platform that runs on the S/4 HANA Cloud platform.
The pre-migration phase
The choice to switch to S/4 HANA has been made, you know that you want to keep the core clean and have to do 'something' with your customization in Mendix. But when is the right time to do that? Before, after or during the HANA migration? All 3 are of course an option, but we believe in pre-migrating your customization. Because it provides you with a number of important advantages if you do not have to migrate the customization. This is only possible after you determine in advance what you will do with it. Do you throw it away, does it go to standard SAP or do you transfer it to Mendix? Below is the elaboration of the aforementioned benefits:
- 1. Less business disruption during the S/4 HANA migration. You have already looked extensively at all your customization on your current system; you will not be faced with any surprises. All the unnecessary customization is already gone. Everything that is standard is available in your S/4 HANA environment and the rest is in Mendix. So your business can continue as it did before. Users will hardly notice the entire migration, because 'nothing' has changed for them. Your business never stands still and can continue to innovate.
2. Reducing the risk of higher costs/longer lead time of the S/4HANA migration. If you wait to analyze your customization until during the migration and then have to rebuild it, the risk of higher costs increases. In addition, this can have a negative influence on the lead time of your migration project. Because during the migration you do not want to find out that some essential applications in your processes do not work, so that you subsequently have to convert your customization to Mendix ad hoc.
3. Cost reduction of SAP management and of developing SAP customization. You can save considerably on your SAP management and development of any new customization because: with Mendix you can develop up to 10 times faster; Business and IT can build applications together with Mendix in an agile way; Mendix is fully integrated with the SAP HANA Cloud platform.
4. You start tomorrow's future today. You have just chosen a state-of-the-art SAP system surrounded by a low-code platform that never stands still and continues to develop. Your business and IT work together seamlessly. You do not stand still, because you can continue to innovate due to the development speed you achieve. You have money and time left to keep the promises, because everything that is standard and remains standard. So you need to invest less in maintenance (keep the lights on)!
In short: you get your most important customization from your SAP system before you start with the HANA migration. So you don't have to migrate this customization. You can start with new developments directly in Mendix and take advantage of this…. Go make the Core Clean!