Helpful Tools for your SAP S/4HANA Implementation
Welcome to the sixth blog in our series covering the 10 most important things you should know before implementing S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition. In this series you will learn about important practical considerations which should be evaluated prior to purchasing or implementing S/4HANA Cloud. If you have not read our first blogs in the series, you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Also included in our first blog is a description of S/4HANA Cloud Essential Edition and an explanation of the different terms used to describe the S/4HANA Cloud Multi-Tenant edition. For those of you that do not want to go back to the first blog, I will briefly summarize here. S/4HANA Cloud Essential Edition is a version of S/4HANA in which customers share both the database and the codebase of an S/4HANA instance. This puts severe restrictions on not only the ability to customize the system, but also the implementation methodology. This blog series will explain some of the more impactful restrictions.
The items in this blog series have been compiled through real work experience and interviews with customers, consultants, and end users of S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition. If you plan on purchasing or implementing S/4HANA Cloud ES, this is what you need to know.
Item # 6 – Helpful Tools for implementing SAP S/4HANA
SAP has built a whole host of tools for you to use during your S/4HANA implementation. The biggest problem seems to be making sense of all of them and understanding which are truly useful. In this article we will recommend several tools which our customers or employees have found particularly useful that we wished we had known about earlier.
SAP Activate Methodology
All of the tools we mention here in this article can also be found in the SAP Activate methodology. That is part of the problem. While the methodology is quite comprehensive, it’s also huge and finding anything specific in the explorer can be a struggle. There will be times when you will need to look into the Roadmap Viewer to try to hunt for something but we don’t recommend it as a primary method of locating anything. As a general reference in case you need it, you can find the Roadmap Viewer of SAP Activate methodology here: https://go.support.sap.com/roadmapviewer/
SAP also offers a certification course on SAP Activate Methodology. Don’t be fooled by anyone claiming certification. It’s a very short, very simple overview and the certification is no substitute for actual experience. It’s definitely worth reviewing the course for your project team. SAP Activate is nothing revolutionary but it can’t hurt for the team to understand the terminology, etc. But, your Systems Integrator or Implementation partner will need solid experience with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials and not just an SAP Activate certification.
SAP Fiori Apps Reference Library
While there are Fiori Apps for almost every necessary business activity, SAP has in some cases changed the names of some of your favorite transactions. In other cases, the business process has changed so that your favorite transaction no longer exists or has been combined into another. Searching for apps in S4HC can be a struggle. The search feature is improving but it is slow and does not currently allow searching by legacy SAP transaction code. Below is a link to a handy search tool that will allow you to search for Fiori Apps in several ways including by SAP ECC transaction code. I was both thrilled and extremely frustrated when I finally found this. Thrilled for the time I was about to save searching and frustrated for the time I had wasted up to that point.
SAP Best Practice Explorer
The SAP Best Practice Explorer is really the gem in the SAP Activate Methodology crown. This tool is incredibly helpful and packed with tons of information but also some really great project accelerators. You will need to select your solution meaning choose SAP S/4 HANA Cloud or On-Premise or even specific industry solutions. Here is the link to the general best practice explorer – https://rapid.sap.com/bp/. And here is the link to the specific Best Practice Explorer for S/4 Hana Cloud – https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/BP_CLD_ENTPR
Although this tool has a lot of great information, it can be overwhelming at first because there is so much information to sort through. In general, SAP Best Practices are organized by what SAP calls scope items. These are 3 digit IDs and they cover an end-to-end business process. One example is J62- Asset Accounting. The reason I use this example is to make a point about finding the best practice you want. This example happens to match up nicely with grouping by function module which would be a more traditional way of organizing SAP processes.
A second example is 1BM – Make to Order Production Semi-finished Goods Planning and Assembly. This Scope Item includes what SAP Consultants would traditionally call SD, PP, MM-PUR, and MM-IM. So, at times it can be difficult to determine where to look to find a specific process.
SAP has over 700 scope items. There are also presentations, overview documents, process flows, and most importantly TEST SCRIPTS! That’s right. Each Scope Item contains a test script document that has step by step instructions for executing each process according to SAP Best Practices. These also include test data – as long as you are using an SAP Provided demo system. The Test script documents even include instructions for how to configure the system to support the process. These can save your team hours of time since you can modify these test scripts based on your customization and process rather than starting from scratch.
S/4HANA Implementation Considerations
These are just a few of the most useful tools we have found working with SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Essentials. Hopefully, this will save you and your team some valuable time and money. Have you found any tools extremely useful that are not listed here? Please share in the comments section and we can add them to our list! And stay tuned for the next blog in the series.
OnScreen is a Digital Adoption Platform optimized for SAP with over 600 templates based on fit to standard best practices. It allows subject matter experts (SMEs) to create in-application walkthroughs within minutes. OnScreen guides act as a personal digital assistant; they provide in-application help only when users need it to help with onboarding and user adoption of S4HANA or any other business application. OnScreen gives users the confidence and ability to use software they have little to no experience with, hence ideal for S/4HANA implementation. For more info see how OnScreen works.