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ASAP Methodology vs. SAP Activate: Understanding the Differences


SAP Activate is a complete methodology, more comprehensive than any system SAP has built before. SAP customers have a vast range of landscapes, with an almost unlimited array of tech stacks, configurations and destinations. SAP has managed to create a system to upgrade, migrate or transform nearly any conceivable SAP landscape, enabling companies to modernize their software stack and meet the SAP 2025 deadline.

But Activate is only the latest iteration of SAP methodology. It builds on the foundations of ASAP methodology in SAP, incorporating new use cases, project management approaches and advances in best practices. Here’s how the two differ.

Differences Between ASAP Methodology and SAP Activate

SAP Activate is more up to date than ASAP

Like the rest of the tech industry, SAP is constantly evolving. But with new features, products and upgrades constantly coming out, charting an upgrade strategy can be a challenge for SAP users, which could some upgrades difficult under ASAP.

SAP Activate is much more comprehensive. It covers the overwhelming majority of use cases, including areas where there was once uncertainty. Users of products like SAP BW, BPC and companies with extremely complex landscapes while find a much clearer path forward thorough SAP Activate. And all users will benefit from its up-to-date selection of resources and tools to guide them through their migration path.

Activate adds waterfall and agile support to ASAP 

SAP ASAP methodology was a generic tool. It could guide your team through the steps required in your SAP project, but it would still be up to you to apply them to your project management approach. SAP Activate simplifies the process of tailoring your project to your organization, with explicit support for both waterfall and agile method. 


Activate improves on ASAP with Fit-to-Standard analysis

In SAP ASAP methodology, planning proceeds from requirements to design. In other words, you decide what you need the software to do, then you plan a system that can do it. In ASAP, this is known as blueprinting.

Although blueprinting was a fine approach for the time, it really isn’t sufficient for a modern SAP system. There are usually built-in ways to solve business problems in SAP HANA, but businesses might not be familiar with them at the start of the project. SAP Activate Fit-to-Standard analysis reduces the need for costly and time-consuming customization by starting with the functionality SAP already has.

In a Fit-to-Standard workshop, you start by exploring how a standard design and process could fit your business. Then, you look for gaps — areas where standard solutions don’t meet your needs. Often, these gaps have straightforward fixes, and can be handled without the need for extensive customization. You only resort to custom solutions when there’s not an easier (and less expensive) way to do things. 

SAP Activate combines ASAP and Launch into one methodology

SAP Activate is a complete methodology for on-premise, cloud and hybrid landscapes. By contrast, ASAP was only designed for on-premise implementations. For cloud landscapes, SAP had a separate methodology called Launch. 

Until relatively recently, most SAP users operated on-premise, which is why ASAP is so much better known than Launch. But with so many SAP users undergoing cloud migrations or opting for a hybrid strategy, SAP needed a system that could work across platforms. Activate does the job admirably.

It’s Time to Start Your SAP Journey

If you’re just learning the basics of SAP Activate now, you’re probably just getting started planning your journey to HANA. We’d love to be of assistance.