Digital model of a tool

The best preparation for SAP S/4HANA

How a preliminary study is helping automation specialist Murrelektronik to optimally prepare for the SAP transformation

September 27 2022Thomas Giedeck

One plan for ERP modernization

Plugs, cables, or signal lights: At Murrelektronik GmbH, the business revolves around technology that industry customers can use to optimize their machine and system installations. The electronics specialist is counting on automation and standards not only for its own products, but also for the new ERP system. Thanks to a preliminary study from T-Systems, Murrelektronik knows exactly what will be important during the switch and what advantages the SAP S/4HANA migration promises.

SAP transformation: Finding the right path

A woman inspects a light bulb

The reasons why companies choose to rely on SAP S/4HANA are versatile. They want to improve their processes and push their digital transformation forward. Or consolidate sprawling, complex ERP landscapes and, in turn, save on operating costs. In addition, they are under time pressure, since support for the predecessor systems SAP ERP and SAP Business Suite is expiring in 2027.

At Murrelektronik too, SAP S/4HANA is well equipped for the future. In order to integrate the new ERP system seamlessly and push forward the digital transformation, the migration should be planned in good time and illustrated in a roadmap. This is where the transformation methodology from T-Systems comes into play. Crucial element: a preliminary study, which investigates individual SAP systems or the entire SAP system landscape. The results of the study outline a suitable migration roadmap and ensure that the modernization of the IT landscape is kept on the right track.

Putting technical parameters to the test

The starting point of the preliminary study is the evaluation of the SAP landscape: which business processes are connected to SAP? Are there interfaces to other applications such as an archive system or web shop? How many in-house developments or add-ons are in active use?

Alongside an analysis of the status quo, T-Systems also carries out a number of technical workshops. Here, together with SAP customers, the T-Systems experts examine the business processes and technical parameters, and design the future vision for SAP S/4HANA. Through this process it quickly becomes clear which migration approach – greenfield, brownfield, or selective data transition – is best suited to the company.

30 Workshops for the optimal roadmap

A total of 30 workshops were held for the benefit of Murrelektronik and its specialist divisions, such as the Finance and Logistics team. As the project began in October 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, all workshops took place remotely. The result: Decision makers opted for a selective data migration, which only partially reproduces the old ERP system in SAP S/4HANA and supplements it with optimized digital processes. This migration approach combines the advantages of a new implementation with the technical stability of a conversion. In comparison to a completely new installation, a selective transition can reduce the project risks and accelerate the switch to SAP S/4HANA.

Answering important questions about modernization

Depending on the size of the ERP landscape, T-Systems can carry out a preliminary study within 40-70 days. This forms the foundation for a roadmap, with which the company can simply and quickly migrate to SAP 4/HANA. The preliminary study can answer the following questions:

  • Which digital operations model is most suitable for the customer? Where is the use of cloud technologies sensible?
  • How should the implementation take place: "Big Bang" or gradual commissioning of SAP S/4HANA in individual companies or departments?
  • Which SAP systems, add-ons, or data can be harmonized and consolidated?
  • How much time and expense must be invested in the project internally and externally? How can resources be optimally used?
  • What benefits do IT and the specialist departments of the customer receive from the introduction of new technologies and optimized processes?

More efficient, better value, more sustainable

The goal of the ERP modernization at Murrelektronik is to configure the new SAP S/4HANA landscape in a transparent and uniform way. Consequently, T-Systems initiates a system clean to sort and remove redundant data and programs, to ensure that the target architecture incurs fewer operational and license costs. In addition, the leaner system architecture is easier to manage, giving the IT team more time for strategic topics. Additional bonus: the fewer interfaces and add-ons integrated into SAP S/4HANA, the less effort is needed for the transformation.

In addition, it is logical for Murrelektronik to shift previously independent systems into the core of SAP S/4HANA. In warehouse management, for example, the previously used software is being replaced by the Embedded Enterprise Warehouse Management (EWM) in the SAP core.

Using the preliminary study, Murrelektronik can precisely quantify the time, resources, and benefits associated with the ERP modernization. Following an estimate from the T-System's experts, it will be possible for the electronics specialist to migrate to SAP S/4HANA within 15 months and to benefit from numerous additional benefits such as quicker processes and lower costs.

About the author

Thomas Giedeck

Senior SAP Value Consultant, T-Systems International GmbH

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