After months of planning and project delivery, the first phase of the SAP S/4HANA migration is in sight, and the focus now shifts to what happens next. It’s essential to remember that business operations must continue uninterrupted, even as you migrate to SAP S/4HANA.  

Yet, a migration to the new environment is not a simple locate as-is. It’s a significant project that can strain your resources, time budget, and even disrupt ongoing business operations. Leveraging automated change management is critical to navigating these challenges effectively.  

In this blog, the final one of the series, “A seamless SAP S/4HANA journey – navigating the necessary changes”, you will learn:  

  • Why adopt an automated tool for change management 
  • What role change automation plays in SAP projects 
  • Why automating SAP change is critical to keeping dual SAP environments in sync 
  • How Rev-Trac Platinum can simplify your SAP S/4HANA migration 

Relying primarily on manual change management processes to facilitate the management of parallel SAP environments can result in accidental shutdowns and overblown project budgets

Chris Drake – CTO Rev-Trac

Automated change management provides the structure to manage SAP change across multiple SAP environments and systems.   

Automated change management for your SAP S/4HANA migration  

Whether you launch SAP S/4HANA in a phased approach or go for a big bang approach, the process will likely consist of migrating thousands of transports into a productive system. It’s a daunting thought, considering the time investment and the risk when undertaking such a massive change.  

Automated change management mitigates these risks and significantly reduces the time and effort involved in the process.  

Sailing to SAP S/4HANA success – automated change management steers the way

There are several things to consider when looking at an automated change management tool to accelerate and minimize the risk of your SAP S/4HANA migration, including:  

  • Does it simplify the building of a release with easy-to-use functionality?  
  • Are safety checks and risk management functions built-in to manage individual changes and deploy releases?  
  • Can you pre-define enforced workflows to ensure the quality of transports ready for production?  

How can Rev-Trac Platinum help? 

Rev-Trac Platinum, the SAP DevOps Platform, enables you to deploy faster and more frequent SAP applications and updates, accelerating your S/4HANA migration and reducing the risk of unforeseen downtime.  

The automated solution does this in four ways: 

  1. Control SAP change 

You can pre-define change management workflows, which Rev-Trac automatically enforces. This guarantees that SAP change processes are followed, enabling you to quickly move large volumes of change.  

  1. Automate transports 

Rev-Trac eliminates the headaches of manual transport management by automating the movement of transports across your SAP landscape, improving efficiencies and slashing costs. 

  1. Deploy releases 

Rev-Trac’s release management capabilities simplify the collation, categorization, and management of SAP change. So, you can easily make changes to the content of a release and have flexibility in scheduling releases for rollout, ensuring safe and controlled deployments.  

  1. Error detection 

Safety checks and risk management functionalities are essential components of a successful deployment. Rev-Trac combines critical safety checks to minimize the risk of sequencing and dependency errors, overtakes and overwrites, and alerts developers to potential issues. This “look before you leap” approach to deploying a release minimizes the risk of runtime errors and system downgrades, ensuring the production system will work as expected.  

SAP S/4HANA Migration: A phased approach  

Go-lives don’t always happen with a big-bang approach. This is crucial to acknowledge when considering an SAP S/4HANA migration.  

Legacy systems can be productively used for months or even years before they are shut off. Dual maintenance of your ECC and SAP S/4HANA systems must become a business-as-usual practice to avoid system downgrades or costly outages that impact business continuity.  

Automation allows you to run your legacy and SAP S/4HANA systems in sync until the final cutover is complete. With the appropriate automated change management tool, support for dual maintenance is more efficient, minimalizing interruptions to business during a phased approach.  

For example, Rev-Trac Platinum allows you to set up a predefined workflow to clone all changes into legacy systems and send them to the SAP S/4HANA team for consideration, accelerating reapplication into the new environment. An automatic retrofit approach becomes an unconscious practice, allowing the two systems to work harmoniously until the final cutover is complete. 

A phased approach: the challenges  

Organizations that adopt a phased approach to go-live must manage multiple releases and phases concurrently. Dependencies between phases can cause problems.

What you don’t want to happen is changes deployed in one phase, which are dependent on changes in the following phase. Or unintended parallel development on common objects.  

Smooth your migration with Rev-Trac

This is where Rev-Trac Platinum can add significant value. The SAP DevOps platform helps you maintain production system stability and avoid harming your business. It does this in numerous ways, including:  

  1. Incorporating release management capabilities so that SAP application owners can see and validate the entire content of a release  
  1. Making developers aware of cross-phase dependencies  
  1. Detecting when users are impacting common objects and alerts team leads or application owners so they can manage the parallel development across multiple phases, preventing accidental downgrading or out-of-sequence transports and migrations  

Automated change management after the cutover to SAP S/4HANA  

With the cutover a success, SAP S/4HANA is open for productive usage across your organization. Yet, you can’t take it easy now. Most of the heavy lifting is done, but the project isn’t over. Now, the hyper care phase of the transition begins.   

If there is one thing that is true in the SAP world, the only constant is change. You’ve got to optimize your system for current and future needs

Chris Drake – CTO Rev-Trac

As with any SAP system, business changes and maintenance work still need managing when SAP S/4HANA is up and running. Plenty of SAP changes and platform enhancements will also be implemented after your SAP S/4HANA migration. You’ll have to make these changes quickly and safely without interrupting project work or introducing new business functionality. 

Rev-Trac Platinum’s capability to enforce change control and transport management workflows can significantly accelerate upgrades, Business as Usual (BAU) changes or deployment of new projects while maintaining production systems stability.

  • Automating your SAP change processes eliminates risky manual practices and provides transparency into your workflow
  • Every change is tracked and documented, enabling you to deploy higher-quality updates and enhancements that don’t threaten production.  

Risk-free transports  

When users engage with SAP S/4HANA, bugs and feature gaps inevitably arise. It is crucial to deliver technical changes at the speed of business without sacrificing the safety of critical systems. At the same time, you’ll need to incorporate safety measures into your workflow processes to prevent the introduction of new bugs.   

Resolving issues require an SAP change, and automated change management is the foundation for simplifying the change process. You can use Rev-Trac Platinum, for example, to streamline the process, migrating the change from request to production with minimal risk of costly downtime. To ensure only safe, compatible changes are introduced, users configure automated workflows to enforce an optimal change process. All code automatically runs through SAP, or third-party analysis and testing tools, and only code that passes these tests will be allowed to progress. The result: verified risk-free transports ready for deployment into production. 

Integrated SAP DevOps toolchain 

If your change management workflow is like many organizations, then you will have many touchpoints involving numerous people and ABAP and non-ABAP technologies. With multiple team members working on the same object or transport, the potential for confusion or conflict is huge.  

Integrating all technologies into a unified SAP DevOps toolchain with one source of truth for all SAP technical changes is essential to overcome the challenge. 

Here’s how it can work with Rev-Trac Platinum 

Rev-Trac Platinum modernizes how SAP change is managed across SAP landscapes. The change and transport management workflow engine automates ABAP change control for all scenarios, including S4/HANA migration projects. It also integrates bi-directionally with top-tier ALM and DevOps solutions to create a fully automated toolchain. 

Rev-Trac is the centralized point of control for the unified SAP DevOps toolchain, automating and orchestrating a low-risk approach for frequent, rapid SAP deployments.

Chris Drake – CTO Rev-Trac

Adopting a unified SAP DevOps strategy to create an integrated toolchain is far simpler, safer, and supports the continuous delivery of change.  

Built-in safety checks for object dependencies or out-of-sequence transports minimize the chance of a change breaking in production by ensuring only the correct version of the object is applied. At the same time, an automated approval process that sends all changes to the appropriate people or teams for approval guarantees verified, risk-free transports ready for deployment into production.   

This is a win-win for organizations. The time for transports to migrate to production is substantially reduced, allowing you to divert resources and funds to support innovation for a competitive advantage and not just maintain your SAP S/4HANA system.   

Bottom Line: Automation drives your SAP S/4HANA migration  

An SAP S/4HANA migration doesn’t have to be complicated. Automating change management processes is the foundation for streamlining your SAP S/4HANA migration and keeping your systems operational post go-live. BAU changes are deployed faster and safer, allowing you to maintain your new environment with minimal risk of downtime until the cutover is complete.

The key to a smooth transition is an appropriate change management tool. Rev-Trac Platinum, the SAP DevOps Platinum, can help you to deploy releases faster. The change and transport management workflow engine enforces consistent processes, eliminates risky manual tasks, and accelerates your transition to S/4HANA.