Metaphorically speaking, if digital core of S/4HANA is the nerve center
of the enterprise then what is data?
Answer-Nerve. Nerve needed to keep business process
running in the enterprise within and across its organs (within digital core and
across applications involved in the solution).
Good quality master data gives a solid foundation to a successful
S/4HANA implementation. Further to propel enterprise throughout the lifetime it
is critical to ensure consistent, current and relevant data supply and usage.
Ensuring good quality master data can prove to be a keystone habit that can
initiate a chain of positive outcomes for years to come.
If we analyze business processes running in today's enterprise (ECC) we
will find these biggest challenges among other
inaccurate or inconsistent data (example - inaccurate supplier master
data in case of Procurement and Sourcing)
Lack of Data ownership and process governance - questions such as who
will manage, what data, and when
Absence of data trace-ability and analytics
Data not harmonized / information stored in multiple information systems
SAP MDG can help you overcome these data challenge associated with Business
Partner, Supplier, Customer, Material and other domain specific solutions.
Examples in Financials are CoA, G/L Account, Profit center, Cost Center etc.
and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Via MDG Solution extension from Utopia
along with SAP MDG's extensible application framework. SAP MDG act as
"Single Source of Truth" for Master Data which provides centralized
governance to keep one version of data flowing across the enterprise.
Capabilities in these data domains to author, collaborate between data owners
and achieve highest data quality by using cleansing of data are important ones.
You can take advantage of master data consolidation framework from MDG which
provides an ability to identify, match and merge records and to create best
record. Mass processing functionality helps you in handling bulk changes in
much simpler and efficient way.
Inbuilt Data Replication framework (DRF) help you replicate data from
MDG to other downstream SAP or Non SAP applications. Standard out of the box
rule based workflow templates are available. Also ready to use integration with
Business rule Framework (BRF+) helps setting up varied validation and
SAP NW MDM is on its way to sun set as per SAP's roadmap. NW MDM is a
java based tool and SAP MDG is a business suit component of SAP S/4HANA which
is on ABAP stack. We have observed that customers are moving from NW MDM to MDG
as a preferred master data governance solution.There is no direct migration from SAP NW MDM to SAP MDG. The framework
is completely different and there are no re-usable components between the two
Standard data Migration approaches to be used to migrate data from NW MDM to MDG.
Depending upon complexity, volume, target system etc. considerations ETL tool
can be decided. What is important here is to identify which of these
applications are playing source system role for initial data load to MDG in
your target system landscape.
There can be different starting points for Customers who wish to use SAP MDG
in their target S/4HANA system landscape. Some of these are mentioned in
With S/4HANA, customers use Standalone Deployment or Co-deployed on S/4HANA
deployment options for SAP MDG. Each deployment option has its own advantages.
A careful evaluation need to be done prior to deciding on strategy.
MDG Hub deployment:
In this deployment, the standalone S/4HANA (or Suit on HANA system) is used
for the activation of business suite component - MDG. This refers to the
centralized HUB mode for the master data creation. This deployment is usually
preferred option in case of heterogeneous environment where there is no single
global system which can be representative of the entire set of systems.
The MDG hub will be the central system as "Single Source of
Truth" where organization will have the Cleansed, harmonized and consolidated
reference data and master data from the system landscape. Pros and cons of MDG
Hub deployment are summarized as follows
MDG upgrade is not dependent on Global ERP upgrade
A separate HANA database and system for MDG is required
Decoupled from Global ERP system maintenance cycles
Data migration to MDG hub from source systems is required (Initial data
load at the time of implementation)
Allows fresh start with cleansed data (No prerequisite to cleanse data
in downstream application first before implementing MDG)
Configurations needs to be migrated from Global ERP. Further, it is
required to be maintained in sync (ongoing Customizing Synchronization)
In co-deployed mode, MDG is activated on S/4HANA system itself. This
option is well suited in simple system landscape involving an S/4HANA system
and few downstream applications which receive their data from the former.
S/4HANA system will have the global set of the reference data for the entire
landscape receiving data.
Co-deployment option will bring benefits of out of box reports and
analytics capabilities. The upgrade will happen hand-in-hand with S/4HANA
system but customer can take advantages of integrated data models. Below table
gives Pros and Cons of this mode.
No separate System (Hardware) for SAP MDG required.
MDG upgrade will be dependent on S/4HANA system
No replication of master data to S/4HANA (No cost of implementation and monitoring of replication interfaces)
Additional efforts needed to cleanse and consolidate existing data
No separate HANA DB required for search & Duplicate check
No additional Data migration to MDG, since it gets data from S/4HANA
Lastly, these three important aspects you need to consider as well -
SAP MDG product versions and availability: SAP MDG is a business suite application and can
be activated on SAP S/4HANA or SAP ECC. There is a product availability matrix
provided by SAP to decide applicable version as per the current version of SAP
ECC or S/4HANA.
Reporting or analytics for MDG: SAP MDG in any deployment option has 2 types of
reporting associated with
In-built standard MDG Change Request based Analytics- This requires the
standard BI content activation within MDG system which would enable
MDG Change request based analytics activated. Out of the box MDG analytics
offer reporting based on time and status of Change Requests
Reporting capability based on HANA analytics - MDG reports can be
designed and modeled using HANA Analytics. HANA Analytics requires
additional software component.
Integration scenarios for MDG:MDG as a business suit component offers Web
Services which can be consumed by the inbound interfacing system to trigger
change request in MDG. Outbound system integration - MDG offers services in
form of Data Replication Framework (DRF) which uses the
standard ALE functionality of S/4HANA. It also offers outbound web
services. When MDG is on S/4HANA system it can replicate all the data to the
active table in S/4HANA system. Thereafter, the standard integration methods
of S/4HANA can be leveraged (Point-to-Point
or Middleware based).
Once again in May 2019, SAP has
made it to the top-tier quadrant of leaders offering WMS product in Gartner's
2019 Magic Quadrant of Warehouse Management Systems. This endeavor to become
top-tier supplier of WMS product by SAP has long evolution story of about 2.5
Circa 1993, SAP R/2 had first
introduced the warehouse logistics functions in its ERP and since then there is
no look-back for SAP in the warehouse management solution space. While
establishing today itself as one of the top contender in WMS market, SAP's
journey is looking ever exciting and promising towards achieving the ultimate
objective to become number one product in this space.
Even though a little late entrant
in WMS product market arena, SAP has continuously kept ramping up its
warehousing solutions. Be it SAP WMS which was evolved from ERP suite products
of the nascent SAP R/3 versions 2.0 to 4.7 and now today offering the most
advanced next gen warehousing solution SAP EWM 9.5.
In 1995 with the SAP R/3 release
3.0, its primal warehouse solution was mainly inward-looking when it had introduced
the material supply to production via Production Supply Area (PSA) concept and thereby
providing integration of raw material storage with production planning (PP).
With such a lean version of production material supply concept in the beginning
years, today SAP EWM can handle the most complex production shop floor
integration with manual as well as automated storages.
First time when WM truly came out
of the egg shell was with introduction of SAP Release 4.5, when separate module
of Logistics Execution was born having three distinct components of warehouse
management (WM), shipping (SHP) and transportation (TRA). Slowly SAP introduced
the radio frequency functions in 2000 during release 4.6, integration of
handheld scanner was now possible via SAP console.
In 4.7 release, more ammunition
was added with addition of Task & Resource Management (TRM) in EE1 and
ERP-EWM with cross-docking, yard management and value added services in release
4.7, EE2. This happened in year 2004. And by then, SAP has realized the
potential of WMS market and gained full confidence to provide the best-in-class
WMS product to the world. It was also the time to have a birth of new WMS solution
altogether and break-away from the limited walls of traditional ERP system, EWM
5.0 was born on SAP SCM server at around 2006. The word "Extended" in EWM stood
for the boundaries beyond four walls of physical warehouse premises. With this
the intention of SAP was very clear that it wants to offer the independent
best-in-class warehouse management product which will house the complete
universe of warehousing business operations.
New innovative functionalities
were added like internal routing, slotting & rearrangement and warehouse
monitoring. EWM 5.1 came with the fully integrated new Material Flow System
(MFS) and with this addition, SAP EWM stood class apart in comparison to its old
With the further expansion of
cross-docking processes like merchandise and opportunistic ones as part of EWM
7.0, SAP brought-in more enhanced functions like production supply area in EWM
integrated with ERP production planning, further improvements in MFS. In 7.01,
new features now also covered the integration aspects related to controlling
the conveyor equipment. SAP gave a boost to RDS (Rapid Deployment Solutions)
for EWM implementation by bringing in migration tools which facilitated faster
master data and process migration from legacy SAP WM to new EWM 7.02.
The huge leapfrog over other WMS
players came after the introduction of EWM 9.0 in 2013 when SAP had built a common
system platform of Supply Chain Execution (SCE) housing Extended Warehouse
Management (EWM), Transportation Management (TM) and Event Management (EM),
thereby offering holistic supply chain functions by covering the upstream and
downstream processes in warehousing and transportation. In EWM 9.0, it has
brought newer features like dock appointment scheduling and stock-specific
units of measure that makes it possible to handle the product which is stored
in different packaging units like in large distribution centers.
Today SAP EWM offers various flexible
deployment options like the most recent being decentralized EWM on
S/4HANA since SAP S/4HANA 1809 FPS02 in addition to the earlier options available
since release 9.0, wherein EWM can be deployed as Add-On to SAP NetWeaver
and as an Add-On to SAP SCM 7.0 EHP2 and higher. EWM is provided as being part
of SAP S/4HANA since version 1610 as embedded EWM which can integrate to local
ERP storage locations in the same system & client.
From EWM 9.0 the pace of
innovation increased further, EWM 9.1 introduced the shipping cockpit, direct
TM-EWM Integration and many retail industry specific enhancements in it. The
whole new features of Advanced Production Integration came into being from version
9.2 wherein SAP further optimized the production integration and streamlined
related warehouse processes.
While EWM 9.3 has brought in more
functionalities in Supply Chain Execution Platform, EWM 9.4 ushered the true
revolution in SAP's flagship WMS product when the direct integration with PLC
layer of warehouse automated equipment like ASRS, AGVs and Automated conveyors
etc. was possible using Material Flow System (MFS) without the involvement of
The most recent version of EWM
9.5 continues bringing the strings of innovations like newer features in the
labor management, new capabilities in the retail & e-commerce and also the package
building as part of Cartonization planning process.
In all these newer versions of
EWM since EWM 7.0, SAP kept on adding multitudes of warehousing innovations
like for example Pick by Voice configurability in 9.4, various transactional Fiori
apps with EWM as back-end for warehouse clerks and operators, direct
integration with automated material handling equipment etc.
Thus SAP's penchant to
continuously evolve EWM with promising innovation roadmap is going to catapult
itself as a top leader in WMS space and I believe those years are not far away
in their digital journey with S/4HANA are often perplexed on various questions
pertaining to historic data. Such as how much history data is needed in future
system? History data required at all in future system or only open
transaction data will suffice? What are different ways to carry historic data from
legacy system to future system? etc.
In S/4HANA there are
various opportunities to elevate current processes to next-generation
processes. As we can imagine with popular examples of next-generation processes
in front of us such as automatic invoice matching, predictive maintenance,
managing stock in transit historic data is very essential. In this example of
automatic invoice matching process utilizes artificial intelligence to automate
the invoice to payment matching. AI uses matching criteria by learning from the
historical financial clearing information. If sufficient history is not
available, automation will not work as expected. Therefore, you need to
transition history data to your new system to take full benefit from day 1 of
operation in new system or wait for couple of years till sufficient history
builds up in the new system.
processes in new system after transformation may need historic data, too. This
can be further supported by process or compliance constraints. Service history,
Spare Part consumption, and historic consumption data for forecast are few examples
of processes which require history data.
While data is
important and its importance is growing in digital world where this enterprise
asset is often regarded as 'new gold' or 'new oil', it is also important to
know what are the options available. Here are the options -
Open/Current Transaction Data in S/4HANA and keep legacy ERP on in read-only mode: In this option
only open and current transaction data is migrated to Target system. Often
we have history data belonging to these open transactions which we still
need to be migrate. Example invoices already posted, partial good receipt
against a Purchase order, delivery already made for an open Sales order.
Data migration to S/4HANA can be handled using data migration tools which
work in S/4HANA. Normally there is no impact on project timeline with this
approach. This process has basic requirement on data reconciliation.
can be granted a read-only only access to refer any historic data they may
need. Legacy system can be re-platformed to cheaper hardware to save cost.
Open/Current Transaction Data and entire History Data in S/4HANA :
In a Hybrid or new implementation project, where open and current
transaction data plus entire transaction data history migration to
target system is required, customer need to get specialized Service for
required tool and knowledge to achieve this. The historical data for
entire duration (all fiscal years) belonging to the considered business
can be part of scope. (E.g. - All closed Sales Orders, 5-10 years old Projects/Sales Contracts etc.).
Complexity in migration and data reconciliation will grow with differences
in process design (process dissimilarity) in source and target system.
Testing scope will be higher in this case.
In case of System Conversion, Software Update Manager tool takes care to
convert the legacy data in place during S/4HANA conversion.
Open/Current Transaction Data and Selective History Data in S/4HANA: Open and current transaction data plus selective data such as time sliced History (for example 2 or 3
fiscal years of data). The historical data for desired duration belonging
to the considered Business is migrated. (e.g. open sales orders plus all
closed Sales Orders within last 2-3 fiscal years.). Such project require
deep knowledge of data models of source and target system, relationship
and dependencies between different business objects in the scope. This
scenario requires high level of alignment between various domains
(finance, logistics) to give business rules for selection of data to
minimize risk of data inconsistencies in migrated data. It will add to
data reconciliation effort mainly.
Open/Current Data in
transaction system and History Data in data retention solutions: Open
and current transaction data is migrated to target system. Whereas, the
historical data (complete or selective) belonging to the considered
Business is migrated to inexpensive data retention platform. Example -
Open sales orders in this example will be migrated to S/4HANA and all
closed sales orders will be accessible from data retention platform).
Archive technologies such as system decommissioning solution can be used
on current ERP to make a snapshot available to access history data from an
inexpensive platform. Alternatively, Business Data Warehouse can be
leveraged. This reduces data foot print in target system and at the same time makes history
data available to users on a data retention Platform.
every enterprise wants to become more intelligent through digital
transformation. Infosys, along with partners Microsoft and SAP, has built a
composite technology stack for enabling this objective.
upon our collective knowledge and experience, we thoroughly analyze an
organization, bearing in mind its size, industry, future imperatives and
challenges to evolve a suitable business model and technology stack that will
make it more intelligent. The end-to-end solution and services stack is developed
on Azure infrastructure, and is built using the SAP S/4 Hana application and
Infosys implementation methodology. The Infosys methodology covers the creation
of an innovation environment, designing an appropriate business model, defining
next-generation processes, implementing the ERP solution, and understanding how
intelligent applications may be built on top of the ERP stack to deliver the
standout feature is that unlike in most transformations, where there are huge
expenses in the initial years, here the cost is almost flat lined. This means
client enterprises incur more or less similar expenditure throughout the
duration of the project. What's more, the implementation partners share the
client's risk by providing outcome-based services. All this lowers the entry
barriers to transformation.
the speaker session on May 7 at 4:00pm at Microsoft booth 729, Shyam Vijayan
and I will explain the solution in detail and showcase its impact on a
multibillion dollar life sciences company with 4 to 6 TB of data. We look
forward to seeing you there.
For the past several years, SAP has been hosting regional "mini
SAPPHIRES" called SAP NOW in various countries. Their aim is to create
awareness among customers and prospects about the latest innovations and
provide a platform for interactions amongst customers as well as a forum for
discussions between customers and partners.
SAP NOW Moscow is the largest annual SAP business forum in the
CIS region. Over 6,000 professionals gather at SAP NOW Moscow to discuss
innovative technologies and solutions that can help enterprises get the
competitive edge and build smarter businesses for tomorrow.
SAP and its partners presented a large exposition with practical
examples of how big data, machine learning, blockchain, IoT, cloud
technologies, and SAP S/4HANA can enable greater efficiencies in business.
This year, the 1-day SAP NOW in Moscow (www.sapnow.ru) was
followed by a 2-day technology conference called SAP Digital Exchange (www.sapdx.ru).
I had the privilege to host the SAP S/4HANA break-out forum
on Day 2 and conduct 3 out of 6 sessions on that day. These included:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud - The Intelligent ERP
- SAP S/4HANA - What's New in 1809
- S/4HANA Migration Tools and Migration Best Practices
After 19 years as an SAP veteran, it was for the first time that
I was standing on stage wearing the Infosys "hat" and promoting S/4HANA from
the perspective of a premium SI and implementation partner.
The impact of such conferences can be huge, especially if one
delivers keynotes and speeches - and customers hear you talking. Customers are constantly
looking for best practices, examples and guidance for their transition to SAP
S/4HANA -- they are hungry for solid information that goes well beyond marketing
As an S/4HANA expert, I was able to give customers both guidance
and confidence for a successful transition. I also convinced many of them on
the various benefits and quick wins of SAP S/4HANA.
To achieve this, I used selective live demos on an S/4HANA
Public Cloud system (Advanced Financial Closing Cockpit; ML Cash Application;
Demand-Driven Replenishment) to highlight the power and potential of this
superior next-generation ERP. I follow the motto: "action speaks louder than
words"; so, it is my firm belief, if you can show it, don't use slides to
Several Russian prospects approached me after my presentation and wanted to know more about Infosys. They
sought to know how extensive was our presence in their market and the best
practices we offer. In addition to these queries, two
small local technology players approached me and asked whether they could do
business with Infosys for add-ons and migration services.
I think these "small" regional SAP conferences provide an excellent
platform for a direct and fast entry into new markets. While SAPPHIRE and
TechEd conferences are certainly important, these regional events offer
insights into the local customer base.
The CIS customers who
attended SAP NOW Moscow see Infosys as a powerful strategic implementation
partner for their digital journey . This was also endorsed by speakers from SAP
and Metalloinvest, both of whom referred to Infosys as a leading implementation
by Stefan Batzdorf, Senior Practice Engagement Manager, SAP Digital Sales, Europe
Infosys achieves successful conversion with smooth
functioning from Day 1
Migration or conversion from SAP ECC to S/4HANA is an
implementation method that it´s gaining increasing interest among SAP
customers. Up until this Brazilian pharmaceutical company's SAP S/4HANA went
live in Brazil and 12 other countries, there were doubts about the feasibility
of such a change. SAP S/4HANA has mostly been implemented from scratch
(greenfield), but rarely through a conversion process (brownfield). Despite of
the complexity of this kind of project, Infosys and SAP together scripted our
client's success story.
Of the few SAP S/4HANA conversion projects worldwide,
none had been carried out in Brazil before. While pioneers always face
challenges, client and Infosys made a clear commitment to innovation. On the
first day of system go-live, client carried out operations smoothly across 13
countries. And today, after two months, everything still works perfectly. The
client has already experienced performance benefits. A closing process that
used to stretch over 12 hours now takes only 2 hours.
Infosys has always believed that conversion of SAP ECC
to SAP S/4HANA was possible. The client's project has proved that conversion is
not only feasible, but it is also an important transition scenario. Moreover,
it could be a viable option for many enterprises. It can reduce cost and
implementation time, as well as the involvement of business areas and impact on
operations. With the expertise Infosys developed through this engagement, it is
possible to execute similar projects with significantly lower risk and effort
SAP has already
announced that the maintenance window for ECC will close by 2025 and this was
one of the decision drivers for the client. The S/4HANA conversion involved 1,500
global users from the areas of finance, controlling, human resources,
procurement, warehousing, production, maintenance, and quality. It required
migrating about 2,400 programs and more than 70,000 ECC tables to S/4HANA. The
change enabled, among other things, the use of in-memory computing for
analytics, IoT for predictive maintenance, and AI/ML for fiscal compliance.
To know more about
this journey, please attend my session on May 7 at SAPPHIRE NOW and meet our
experts at Infosys booth no. 632.
Our client is a global eye care leaderwith over 19,000
employees serving patients across more than 140 countries. Client offers a
complete line of ophthalmic surgical devices, differentiated contact
lens and lens care products to help patients with vision disorders.
The company was under pressure to reduce cost, replace
antiquated systems, streamline processes, drive revenue growth, and
recharge the customer experience. It was clear that merely a
change in business model would not be enough. There was a strong need for business
transformation to simplify and standardize business processes across all divisions and
Client decided to transform their global supply chain
planning processes by implementing SAP Integrated
Business Planning (IBP). This powerful cloud-based tool provides
capabilities for demand planning, network deployment and requirements planning,
constrained capacity planning, inventory optimization, and overall S&OP process
management. A modern, user-friendly Excel-based front-end tool, IBP integrates disparate
back-end systems and standardizes interface models to achieve end-to-end
visibility across the entire supply chain.
For the implementation of this transformation program, Infosys
was selected as their partner. We had a clear mandate to build templates and
roll out demand planning (DP) and supply planning (SP) across over 60
affiliates and 10 manufacturing sites. Our goal was to optimize, integrate and
standardize processes while reducing complexity and cost. By creating the right
template, we could enable Alcon to meet their objectives.
For this Global scope and scale of the Program, strong
Governance structure was essential. We achieved this by setting up work stream
wise Onsite, offshore teams (located in 15 countries across the globe). To
manage interface complexity (with localized and multiple JDE systems), Program
had to setup stronger integration team.
Post the successful completion of the program toward the end
of 2018, the client's supply chain was
transformed into a state-of-the-art planning platform. There were huge improvements in balancing
demand and supply, optimizing inventory, and proactively handling inefficiencies.
The biggest benefit achieved is that all entities (affiliates,
DC, S&OP, and plants) work with the same database and have visibility
across the entire supply chain. This in
turn has helped supply chain planning users to leverage IBP effectively for
better decisions that help patients in a timely manner.
I will present this success story at SAPPHIRE NOW along with client, this year
on May 8 at 12:00pm -12:20pm in room NE512 (Network and Spend Management).
To share our lessons and experiences, I look forward to
connecting with you at the Infosys booth 632
As businesses evolve, the IT landscape becomes
increasingly complex. Today, the IT landscape and all enterprise applications need
to provide greater agility and keep pace
with emerging technology trends and demands. SAP-based applications are no exception.
With many larger corporations running their core ERP on SAP, the associated
applications must be more intelligent, flexible, faster, and future-proof.
SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) is a
comprehensive technology platform from SAP. Built on the latest technologies
and an open source foundation, SCP provides enormous opportunities for
organizations to develop digital solutions faster and more cost-effectively.
SCP encompasses many technology components and services and provides support
for different application development scenarios. Some of these are:
innovative applications using the latest technologies like AI, blockchain, IOT,
mobile and portal applications that can connect seamlessly with on-premises and
cloud or on-premises applications
b/w cloud and on-premises applications
One of our clients, a large US-based retail
chain, wanted to implement a supplier self-service portal to streamline their supplier
collaboration. Following due diligence, the client chose SCP portal services. The
new supplier portal on SCP has resulted in over 90% effort saving on sharing of
reports and 100% reduction in information delays. It has also significantly improved
supplier collaboration and satisfaction.
To know more about this success story, please
join me at the Network and Spend Management NE512 on May 7 at 12:30 pm ET.