One of the biggest challenges of planning an SAP S/4HANA migration project is to gather a highly skilled team of SAP experts, including both internal and external resources. The crux of the matter is that the technologies involved change so rapidly that most organizations running on legacy SAP systems have never experienced a modern SAP transformation.
Apart from the SAP S/4HANA subscription, an enterprise should consider the cost of hiring a highly expert SAP S/4HANA migration team. Here’s our list of all the necessary resources that an organization planning to migrate to S/4HANA would require to succeed with their project.
Project Team Composition
Project Stakeholders – Project Stakeholders are persons who are directly affected by the outcome of the SAP S/4HANA upgrade project and can influence the execution of the project either positively or negatively. The success of an SAP S/4HANA migration project hinges on the right combination of tech expertise and stakeholders. A typical S/4HANA implementation project team requires both internal and external stakeholders.
Internal stakeholders include:
- Executive Stakeholder: An executive stakeholder is a key decision-maker who sponsors the project. Although the executive stakeholder keeps a close track of all significant migration activities, he does not get involved in the implementation’s nitty-gritty.
- Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator handles the customer-owned parts of the project. The Project Coordinator is deeply involved in activities like scoping the project, ensuring project readiness, and verifying that the migration meets all the objectives and necessary benchmarks at each stage.
- Functional Team: The Functional Team is responsible for assessing what tools and functionality the client requires. The team is also responsible for building a solution that can be implemented by the technical team. In addition to functional experts (mostly from an outside SAP partner), the team requires internal stakeholders at multiple company levels. These internal stakeholders work with the functional SME to ensure the solution covers all the tasks the employees need to accomplish.
External stakeholders include:
- Project Manager: A person who owns overall responsibility for the delivery of the project. A project manager is responsible for working with the clients and managing established ERP project goals and objectives. The role includes implementing project management guidelines, managing project standards, timeline, scope, risk identification, quality management, project budget, ensuring documentation, and reporting throughout the project lifecycle. The S/4HANA Project Manager leads teams that deliver ECC to S/4HANA upgrade, integrating other applications into S/4HANA, helps define technology roadmaps and solutions, and taking a leading role in SAP-enabled analysis and design of business processes. Most companies lack the internal expertise and experience to fill this role, and hence this resource is provided by the SAP partner organization.
- Migration Architect: The role of the Migration Architect is to assess the current system and plan and oversee the architecture to support the functional solution along with supervising the actual SAP transformation process.
- Project Infrastructure Build Team: It is a team of people in charge of building the scaffolding system and assembling the tools required to construct your IT landscape. A typical SAP migration project requires provisioning environments at various stages, assembling and testing system components, and refining them until the system is fully customized.
- Migration Engineer: From a single to few migration engineers, depending on the need, perform the actual migration. The migration engineer works closely with the migration architect throughout the project and is responsible for executing the go-live.
SAP Basis Administrators – A large organization can have multiple SAP servers across the globe, running disparate versions, systems, and SAP modules. Such a scenario demands an SAP Basis Administrator’s role, a resource responsible for executing the SAP S/4HANA upgrade project and configuring the SAP Solution Manager. Various responsibilities of an SAP Basis Administrator include:
- System installation and configuration
- Load balancing on servers
- Performance management of different components
- Managing interfaces and integration with servers
- Managing servers and different services
- Architecting the SAP environment
- Implementing Best SAP Basis Practices
- User administration
- Managing SAP transports
- Scheduling background jobs
- SAP tuning
- Disaster recovery
The skills of an SAP Basis Administrator include:
- SAP Basis
- Software troubleshooting
- Database administration
- Technical documentation
- End-user focused approach during process improvement implementations
- Aiding new SAP upgrades, installations, and maintenance
- Experience with SAP tools such as SAP NetWeaver, SAP Solution Manager 7.2 or higher, and ABAP programming.
SAP ABAP Developer – ABAP is a programming language used for developing business applications within SAP landscapes. An SAP ABAP Developer is a resource that serves as a connection between a business and software development. He or she is also responsible for SPAU/SPDD activities along with custom code remediation. The various tasks of an SAP ABAP Developer include:
- Development of additional applications to map custom processes inside the SAP system
- Developing interfaces that connect external functions with the ABAP stack
- Development of migration programs for the transfer of data from legacy systems to the new SAP environment
SAP Security Administrator – Builds updated security roles for S/4HANA Administration, Development, Security, defect support, etc. The key roles and responsibilities of an SAP Security Administrator include:
- Fostering strong client relationships through interactions with client personnel
- In-depth knowledge in SAP Application Security
- Communicating clients’ expectations to the engagement team
- Complete understanding of role-based access controls and different application threats
- Supporting compliance and audit activities
- User Administration using SAP Standard tcodes, CUA, CUP, ARM, or IDM
- Implementing updates related to bug fixes, role creation, and design
- Performing L1 to L3 for SAP Application Security, GRC AC, PC, RM, and IDM
- Ability to handle major incidents and provide resolutions within SLA
- Identifying and communicating issues and risks to the team lead or end-user for timely resolution
SAP Fiori Developer – An SAP Fiori Developer is the resource responsible for activating and enhancing SAP Fiori applications for SoH or S/4HANA. Other than that, an SAP Fiori Developer must be capable of:
- Greenfield S/4HANA implementation
- SAP UI5 Fiori Development
- Must have a good understanding of front-end development along with working knowledge of SAP systems
- Must actively participate in UI/UX development process
- Should closely communicate with UI/UX consultants and solutions designers
SAP Gateway Consultant - An SAP Gateway Consultant is a subordinate role under an SAP Fiori Developer/Consultant. The role of an SAP Gateway Consultant is to provide support to the SAP Fiori Developer and includes skills such as:
- To analyze, code, write, enhance, and implement SAP applications and modules using SAP UI5/Web IDE, SAP Fiori/Gateway.
- Should be experienced in SAP ABAP.
- Should know OData service development and SAP Gateway.
SAP Process Integration (PI) / Process Orchestration (PO) Consultant
An SAP PI/PO Consultant’s job is to ensure seamless integration of SAP and non-SAP systems. The skills required for an SAP PI/PO consultant include:
- Knowledge of PI/PO development for both part design as well as configuration.
- Knowledge of Java is an added advantage.
- Basic ABAP knowledge is a must.
- SLD knowledge is another added plus.
Clent-Side SAP Resources:
Organization Change Management Consultant
An Organization Change Management Consultant’s core responsibility is to implement new concepts within an organization and transform its operations. The resource identifies the areas that require change inside an organization related to the employees, business systems, or processes.
SAP Training Manager
An SAP Training Manager is primarily responsible for training in-house resources within the organization in various SAP domains through the complete life cycle. The multiple roles of the resource include:
- Executing training development programs.
- Training resources on support tools and system resources.
- Deploying training strategies, standards, and tools.
Although testing is a crucial part of the S/4HANA project, typically performed by both Technical and Functional Consultants, the basis team also has its share of challenges, where they have to do the install, and run SUM and DMO, and prepare systems, that’s complex.
But the most complex part is number one; the functional analysts running their fit-gap workshops and understanding the change to the business processes. They are essential because they know the configuration today, and they need to understand how the business process works in the future. Number two, the testing team, being able to test efficiently, being able to test quickly.
Of course, security is essential here because the security administrator’s role is also changing when you move to SAP S/4HANA. Today at the database layer, we have a situation, nobody has a database user ID. The basis team might have a user ID of the database, but virtually no one signs into the database directly.
This changes in the S/4HANA world because some analytical Fiori tiles provided by SAP require a S/4HANA user ID. The security team needs to take on application security within S/4HANA, Fiori security, securing tiles, and securing the Launchpad.
They will also need to take on S/4HANA security and provide user IDs at the S/4HANA database layer for specific Fiori tiles because some Fiori tiles use S/4HANA Live, and those tiles require a S/4HANA user ID. So, the security role changes a lot, obviously also with the tester, developer, and S/4HANA modeler.
Partner with an SAP expert
Businesses are increasingly choosing managed and professional services from certified SAP partners for critical SAP S/4HANA migrations, rather than building in-house expertise, driven by the sheer pace, complexity, and urgency of technology change. Certified SAP partner companies offer a wide range of services, including but not limited to retooling, workload assessment, migration, and business process management.
Apart from the core SAP resources discussed above, specific use cases also mandate hiring industry-specific resources such as supply chain, manufacturing, or generic resources such as SAP PI/PO (Process Integration/Process Orchestration).
An SAP PI/PO resource comes into play when the need is to integrate solutions and synchronize data between different systems seamlessly. For example, if you are using SAP ERP and want to integrate with the CRM system, a PI resource enables you to achieve it with standard tools.
All these resources are essential in an SAP S/4HANA migration project to ensure that we meet our 20-week timeline or 24-week timeline, whatever it is for your organization. The bottom line is that the entire team’s active involvement couped with timely decision-making is mandatory to expedite a seamless implementation of an SAP S/4HANA migration project.