Best-in-Practice Transformation Model
In 2025, SAP’s Business Suite Software, on the market since 2004, will recede in importance for SAP customers for the benefit of SAP S/4HANA. More and more existing SAP customers are looking for and planning the path towards S/4HANA, but so far only a few companies have reached this objective.
There is a consensus that the transformation to S/4HANA is not just a technical release change. Rather, it offers the opportunity to (re-)consider fundamental questions about strategic guard rails and to-be capabilities, about the mapping of processes, the application architecture, and also the infrastructure – and to consider the answers in the future S/4HANA roadmap.
In particular, the transformation target picture and the associated question "How do we get from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA?" come to the fore.
Based on our many years of experience in implementing ERP systems and the insights gained from current projects on SAP S/4HANA transformation, we at consenso have developed our best-in-practice transformation model S/4HANA@consenso.
With to-be capabilities, a best practice process model, a prototype-based approach and a benefits analysis, we take into account the essential elements of a successful transformation and document this in our S/4HANA value proposition.
Our S/4HANA references
Our S/4HANA value proposition is more than just a promise! This is proven by our projects, in which we have been able to demonstrate the success and efficiency of our S/4HANA digitisation framework and our transformation methodology. Learn more in our project stories (excerpt):
The challenges of the S/4HANA transformation are very different in the companies. Our experience shows topics/areas that we encounter in all implementation/transformation projects, and which are therefore taken into account in our digitisation framework S/4HANA@consenso:
- Complexity - Clear definition of the target picture via strategic guidelines, business process model and the capability map incl. prioritisation of topics
- "Moving Target" - Rapid identification of the essential scope through best practice process model and capability map; parallelisation of project activities in order to flexibly integrate new requirements
- Standardisation - Identification of standardisation potentials by use of best practices; usage of standard processes in all workshops
- Coexistence management - Overview of target components to identify necessary parallel operation; detection of the coexistence concept in the context of decision-making
- Change management - Cross-functional workshops with business and IT to involve all participants and affected parties from the beginning; accompanying change management, integrated in all work packages
- Integration - Integration management as a central function at program level
We make digital transformation projects manageable, controllable and faster to implement. Our approach links the strategic guard rails with the processes, the applications and the infrastructure. And the documentation is also highly relevant in order to make the activities traceable at all times.
Our added value:
- We use our proven implementation method
- Our approach is based on deep knowledge of the addressed industries (especially retail)
- Our employees have a high level of process and SAP expertise
The key to this is our transformation methodology. In three phases, we assess your transformability, we design your transformation target picture and we carry out your transformation - with the support of our tried-and-tested prototypical approach for implementation projects.
Are your ready for SAP S/4HANA?
We check your individual S/4HANA readiness! With consenso’s ReadinessCheck. Easy to apply, highly efficient, pragmatic. And free of charge for you in phase 1. Together we will find answers to the following questions:
- What are the effects of S/4HANA on your customer-specific program coding?
- How will functional changes and simplifications affect data model and processes?
- What are the optimisation potentials resulting from S/4HANA?
- How will your add-ons and business functions act under S/4HANA?
- What does S/4HANA mean for your user interface on SAP Fiori and SAP GUI?
- What are the effects on system sizing resulting from S/4HANA?
- Which approach is reasonable for the system transformation (green field vs. brown field)?
- What can the start of a real transformation project look like?
We review and analyse your SAP ERP system and transparently present the measures required to make your change from ERP to SAP S/4HANA a success.
To-be capabilities map
Defining the to-be capabilities and mapping them in the form of a to-be capabilities map is an essential step in the S/4HANA transformation. This is based on your strategic guard rails.
These in turn require concrete capabilities. Capabilities define what a company is able to do or would like to be able to do in order to meet current and future challenges. To make these capabilities a reality, we need to design and set up the processes and IT systems accordingly.
Capabilities thus describe the WHAT, processes the HOW and IT systems the WITH WHAT.
Our added value:
- We use a structured approach to develop a to-be capabilities map based on the needs of the stakeholders in the company.
- We have extensive experience in to-be capabilities (best practices) for your industry.
When creating the business process model, we always consider end-to-end process chains. These integrated process chains represent the future flow in the SAP system and take into account all essential integration aspects right from the start. The business process model supports the defined to-be capabilities and is the basis for the future IT architecture.
Our added value:
- Through numerous projects, we know your industry and the prevailing (digital) trends and business models
- We know your processes and bring with us a proven process model (consenso Best Practice); this gives you proven content – both technical and IT-related – that we can quickly build on
- We provide internal systems for mapping the processes under S/4HANA
The idea of harmonisation and standardisation
The long-term benefits of your S/4HANA transformation project are closely linked to the idea of harmonisation and standardisation.
Consistently standardised processes based on a harmonised SAP landscape, of course without losing sight of your customer-specific features – and thus your strengths and competitive advantages – requires consistent communication and requirements management.
The success factors:
- Management commitment - In order to make the transformation successful, there must be openness for change and a clear commitment to the transformation project at management level
- Business in the lead - In order to sustainably anchor the changes in the company, the business units must take the lead from the very beginning
- Efficient program management - The transformation must be managed and "reported" on the basis of suitable organisational and project structures and using the appropriate tools
- Integration/change - Continuous integration and change management on the business and IT side must be ensured during the transformation
We drive the idea of harmonisation and standardisation - on the basis of accompanying change management measures, e.g. setting up a communication platform, requirements workshops, joint discussion and evaluation of prototypes, training and education, team building workshops.
Together, we derive your future S/4HANA architecture from your process model, based on your strategic guard rails and the resulting to-be capabilities.
Here, too, we follow the idea of harmonisation and standardisation and are guided by the reference architecture for your industry.
Together we find answers to "classic" (e.g. systems, modules, sizing, data management, interfaces, ...), but also to new questions (e.g. OnPremise vs. Cloud) about your future SAP architecture.
Our added value:
To define the IT architecture, we use the SAP standard process (Business Process Model) in the workshops.
- The presented to-be process is based on SAP best practices as well as on the experience of the consenso.
consenso takes on the role of "guardian of the standard" – the guiding principle for the general approach is the question (repeated if necessary) "Why can't your company work with the best practice process?"
Internal SAP systems
For the implementation of your transformation project, we need a project system. We are happy to make this project system available internally at our company and thus save your ressources initially needed for the continued operation of your current development, test and productive systems in your day-to-day business.
We recommend setting up the project system as a copy of your productive system and operating it as a parallel track. Because even though our transformation methodology promotes a rapid project approach - no SAP project can be implemented "from one moment to the next". In day-to-day business, your productive system is constantly changing due to bug fixes, further developments... At regular intervals, we transfer the transports from your productive to the parallel system - manually or automatically on the basis of Retrofit (SAP Solution Manager). And thus keep both systems functionally the same.
This provides us with a stable project system for your SAP S/4HANA transformation.
Change impact analysis
We use the change impact analysis (analysis of the implication of change) in the course of the change management activities in our projects to analyse how stakeholders will be affected by the change and what specific impact the change will have on people, processes, tools, organisational structure, roles and technology. The change impact analysis includes the questions::
- What information needs to be collected?
- How will the information be used?
- How are the change impacts assessed in terms of risk?
- With whom will the information be shared in the organisation?
- How and how often should the information be collected?
- How will the information be formatted and reported?
On this basis, we identify the change impacts and finalise the data collection as well as the change impact risk assessment with the risk mitigation plan.
Change management is an essential success factor in transformation, especially to align and verify the expectations of the different stakeholders with the planned changes.
Our added value:
We provide a powerful approach to change management covering the following measures/tasks:
- Key stakeholder analysis
- Change impact analysis
- Transparent communication within the program and the company
- Formulation of the vision
- Team building
- Coaching sessions
- Management of the changes to the program structures / collaboration model