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Mastering the Transition: What to Expect from Your AMS Provider Post S/4HANA Migration

Published on 26 June 2024
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Gopal Raman
Gopal Raman
Vice President – AMS

Gopal Chittur Raman, Vice President – AMS at Applexus Technologies, brings over 30 years of distinguished experience in Delivery Management. His expertise spans IT operations, Program Management, SAP Consultancy, and Global Delivery, with exceptional skills in Resource Management, Client Relationship Management, and Risk Management. Renowned for his capabilities in Communication Management, Stakeholder Management, People Management, and P&L Management, Gopal is a significant asset to Applexus. His extensive knowledge and leadership qualities drive strategic initiatives and operational excellence.

As businesses worldwide undergo digital transformations, SAP S/4HANA is a key enabler that offers the promise of streamlined operations and enhanced performance. For Application Management Services (AMS) providers, this evolution necessitates adaptation and innovation to leverage the full potential of S/4HANA. From a business perspective, what should you expect from your AMS providers to ensure an efficient post-migration performance?

S/4HANA Migration: An Overview

S/4HANA introduces a simplified IT landscape, reducing the complexity traditionally associated with SAP environments. According to SAP, it’s simplified data model can reduce the data footprint by up to 10 times compared to traditional ERP systems. This enables easier maintenance and faster deployment of new functionalities. The HANA database in S/4HANA achieves significantly faster processing speeds compared to traditional disk-based databases by leveraging in-memory computing. Storing data in memory allows HANA to process data up to 10,000 times faster, facilitating real-time data processing and analytics capabilities. This significantly improves decision-making and operational efficiency.

Moreover, S/4HANA's advanced features such as real-time data processing, predictive analytics, and machine learning capabilities allow businesses to innovate and stay competitive. Moving to S/4HANA enhances decision-making, boosts operational efficiency, and increases productivity. It also future-proofs businesses by integrating advanced technologies like AI/ML and IoT.

However, the migration process is complex and requires meticulous planning. A PwC survey found that 67% of companies faced significant challenges during their S/4HANA migration, citing complexity and lack of expertise. Transitioning to S/4HANA requires deep expertise in its architecture and functionalities. Adapting to new processes while ensuring user adoption demands effective change management strategies. This is where Applexus’s CeleRITE, our AI-powered platform for faster S/4HANA migrations can help.

What to Expect from Your AMS Provider After Moving to S/4HANA

The migration from SAP ECC to S/4HANA is a monumental step towards modernizing your business operations, but the journey does not end once the migration is complete. In fact, the post-migration phase is crucial for realizing the full potential of S/4HANA.
Right after migration, your AMS provider should provide intensive 24/7 support to stabilize the new environment, swiftly addressing any issues. They are also responsible for continuous performance monitoring to ensure system stability and efficiency and help your team adjust to the new system smoothly. Other than proactive monitoring, here are some pointers on what you can expect from your AMS provider after moving to S/4HANA:

What to Expect from Your AMS Provider After Moving to S/4HANA

Resource flexibility

Resource flexibility from your AMS provider post migration to S/4HANA is crucial for adapting to changing business demands and technological advancements. It involves scalable services that adjust to workload fluctuations, and alignment of skill sets to support advanced features with tailored SLAs. Critical to handling demand fluctuations is the ability to ramp up or down from a flexible pool of resources. This enables an agile response to demand variations and effectively responds to business demand fluctuations at minimal cost, supporting ad-hoc business volume spikes and optimizing costs during reduced business periods. Included in or process is:

  • Proactive adoption of new SAP releases and innovations,
  • Efficient resource deployment for optimal performance, and
  • Cross-functional expertise to ensure comprehensive support and strategic alignment

 This flexibility enables your organization to maximize the benefits of S/4HANA while maintaining agility and cost efficiency in managing your IT operations.

Advantages of this approach include lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and optimized resource utilization. It ensures knowledge retention and the retention of key resources, which is essential for managing spikes in demand and achieving faster issue resolution. By leveraging resource flexibility, your organization can maintain a robust and responsive IT environment, capable of meeting dynamic business needs.

Continuous improvement

To fully capitalize on S/4HANA’s capabilities, continuous improvement is essential. You should expect your AMS provider to conduct regular system and process audits to identify areas for enhancement. Optimization workshops can help explore new features and functionalities that benefit your business. Since your AMS provider knows your system well, they should be able to identify the right features and functionalities your system requires.

Moreover, S/4HANA provides immense scope for automation across business processes, configuration management, reporting and user provisioning or access control. Your AMS provider, with deep expertise in S/4HANA, can help identify the most suitable opportunities for automation and execute them. They can also develop extensions and custom applications using SAP Fiori and other tools to meet specific business needs. The integration of automation, AI, and machine learning can significantly enhance workflows and drive innovation.

User adoption & Strategic advisory services

User adoption and proficiency are critical for maximizing the benefits of S/4HANA. Your AMS provider should prioritize continuous training programs to keep users updated on new features and best practices. These programs ensure that your team stays proficient and can effectively utilize the latest capabilities of S/4HANA. Integrating these advancements through workshops and customized training should be easy for your AMS providers as they know your organization’s data landscape and S4/HANA capabilities.

Beyond technical support, your AMS provider should act as a strategic partner, helping you align IT with business goals. This involves developing a roadmap for future upgrades, integrations, and innovations. Strategic advisory services can guide you in leveraging new technologies such as AI, machine learning, and IoT within your S/4HANA ecosystem.

Security & Performance reviews

Ensuring your S/4HANA system remains secure and compliant is crucial. Your AMS provider should be conducting regular security audits. They must also ensure your system complies with relevant regulations and standards, implementing robust data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information. This proactive approach to security helps mitigate risks and ensures your business remains protected in a dynamic digital landscape.

Regular performance reviews are essential to ensure your system continues to meet business needs and expectations. Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) helps assess system health and user satisfaction. Establishing feedback loops with end-users allows for continuous improvement as well as incorporates valuable insights into system optimization efforts. Benchmarking against industry standards identifies opportunities for further enhancement, ensuring your S/4HANA environment remains competitive and efficient.

Transparency & Cost optimization

Finally, an often-overlooked advantage of S/4HANA is cost optimization. By reducing complexity and maintenance, S/4HANA can significantly lower your total cost of ownership (TCO). Your AMS provider should help identify and implement cost-saving opportunities, optimizing resources and streamlining operations. This focus on cost efficiency ensures that you not only benefit from the advanced capabilities of S/4HANA but also achieve substantial financial savings.

Transparency is essential for effective AMS services. A transparent cost structure with detailed breakdowns of expenses and savings from your AMS provider can help you handle your finances efficiently. Transparency is not just restricted to the financials, it’s also relevant to the processes following the migration. Your AMS provider should be transparent about the established governance models which oversee the management of services, ensuring alignment with business goals. This way you will be aware of the changes and keep yourself updated about the processes without your AMS provider's intervention.

Conclusion

Post-migration, the right AMS provider can make a significant difference in how effectively your business leverages S/4HANA’s capabilities. From proactive monitoring and continuous optimization to strategic advisory and comprehensive user support, your AMS partner should be committed to your long-term success.

By partnering with an AMS provider that delivers on these fronts, you can ensure your S/4HANA environment remains robust, stable, efficient, and aligned with your business goals, paving the way for sustained growth and innovation.

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