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How to Achieve a 100% Successful SAP HANA Migration to the Public Cloud


A HANA public cloud migration isn’t just a lateral move to new hosting — it’s a major change that should yield business, performance and budget benefits for your organization. Here’s how to ensure a 100% successful SAP HANA migration to the public cloud.

Understand Your Migration Requirements

Companies often misunderstand the requirements of their HANA migration. Organizations performing a Suite on HANA migration reasonably assume that their landscape won’t require much work before they move. But the reality is, HANA doesn’t work with every version of SAP ERP. You need to upgrade at least to R/3 4.6C before they can adopt HANA. Depending on the state of your landscape, you may also need to undergo a unicode conversion, upgrade the OS, remove custom code, upgrade third-party software and perform other tweaks.

The same goes for SAP S/4HANA migration. SAP has moved to smaller, more frequent updates, which means shorter support windows. You can’t move to S/4HANA in 2019 or 2020 and sit there until 2025 or 2026 — you’ll have to upgrade you application, and move to SAP HANA 2.0 before then.

That’s not as big a deal as it might sound. Once you’re on S/4HANA, future upgrades will be quick, with minimal cost and disruption. But it’s still crucial to stay on top of ongoing support requirements once you’re there.

Getting to HANA Isn’t Always the First Task

The quickest path to HANA isn’t always the best. It’s possible to move your landscape to HANA without sanitizing your data, or in some cases, without replacing custom code. However, this can make your landscape and migration less efficient. The old data will bloat your HANA data footprint, costing more to to transfer and host. And the custom code can prevent you from harnessing the full benefits of HANA, and cause a bottleneck down the road when you’re trying to move to S/4HANA.

The goal shouldn’t be to get to HANA as quickly as possible — it should be to get to HANA quickly, while showing value and preparing for S/4HANA.

Don’t Put Off S/4HANA Unnecessarily

Many companies on SAP ERP and other legacy software see migrations as costly and disruptive, because historically, that’s what they’ve been. This can make them want to put off the S/4HANA migration until closer to 2025, so they can avoid the need for additional upgrade projects, post-migration.

However, this approach actually harms businesses. Companies who put off the move to S/4HANA are depriving themselves of the performance and functionality benefits of the software, as well as the ability to use new third-party software. They’re also giving themselves a smaller window, which makes it harder to upgrade strategically.As we mentioned before, database and application upgrades within S/4HANA are be simple and cost effective. In the vast majority of cases, they shouldn’t discourage you from completing your upgrade.

Automate, Automate, Automate

SAP projects use the SAP Activate methodology, a complete system for executing your SAP migration. However, Activate leaves a lot up to the vendors, such as what tools to use, and how they organize and track the project. Technologically, not all vendors are at the same point, and that can make a difference in achieving a 100% successful SAP migration.

Choosing a vendor who has automated as much as possible accelerates the process, greatly reduces the risk of human error and cuts cost. Automations have enabled some of our clients to complete 100% successful S/4HANA migrations in as little as three months.


Contact us to learn how Protera can help.