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NTT Data’s S/4HANA Assessment Accelerator to identify effort, challenges and risks down the migration roadmap


The most basic fact to put on the table when embarking upon an S/4HANA conversion is that chances are we won’t be facing a simple lift and shift but more of a technology reimplementation project.

Considering that S/4HANA is a different technology from ECC altogether and is not backed up by decades of R&D as the later is, an important aspect of due diligence is to assess if the migration itself is the best fit for your organisation. Most customers decide to go this way, though considering the large amount of other available solutions; it doesn´t come a surprise that some decide sticking to SAP is no longer the alternative that proposes the strongest advantage.

This article describes the steps to be taken once the above due diligence has been conducted arriving to the decision to migrate to S/4HANA.

NTT data’s S/4HANA assessment framework has been designed upon the basis of proprietary methodology and resources, such as predefined templates, working documents and deliverables, built with the objective of accelerating the evaluation of the effort, risk and challenges the migration project will bring about.  

We will take you through the main aspects of the framework which has four phases as per the graph below. Each of them has a list of predefined activities that while accelerating the process also allow for customer flavour adding and to pick and choose from a pull of readily available resources.

S/4 HANA Assessment Phases:


Preparation phase

In this phase the project is planned in detail to ensure strategic alignment with the client long term goals. Housekeeping is sorted out as well, granting application, processes, and information access.

One of the most valuable deliverables of this phase is the project management rules definition and agreeing upon by all team members.

Exploration phase

This phase is meant to provide a full understanding of the customer starting point in each of the following aspects: processes, organisation, management priorities, systems, pain points, needs and opportunities.

Some of the activities performed are to do with processes workshops as well as the running of SAP reports such as the ABAP test cockpit and readiness reports that will allow us to identify the full AS-IS picture.

Definition phase

Through this phase, NTT Data’s methodology helps customers to envision a TO-BE model that covers both, functional and technical aspects and it is fully aligned with the organization strategy as well as within present and future constrains.

S/4HANA will be mapped to the organisational needs and gaps will be identified. The tools needed for the implementation of S/4HANA will also be identified together with specific risk mitigation strategies that will be handful down the road.


Roadmap phase

In this phase, NTT DATA will produce a sensible roadmap for the S/4HANA migration by selecting a scenario and a strategy that best suits the customer’s needs and goals. 

Upon the basis on the activities performed during previous phases, at this moment it is possible to accurately estimate the effort that will be required by the business and the implementation teams, to prioritise the initiatives that will be convenient to tackle before or during the migration and to provide an estimate of their value conversion.

Although not compulsory, customers will be better off if they decide to address this phase in a holistic way by integrating aspects such as their change management, process improvement and data migration strategies.

Final word of advice: Go as early as humanly possible as you most like won’t find yourself on a lift and shift scenario.

On the one hand, SAP has established the deadline for S/4HANA conversion for the end of 2027, with extended maintenance support until 2030 with the compromise being that customers will have to pay for it from 2027 to 2030. On the other, the project is not as straight forward as it appears to be mainly due to S/4HANA being a new technology that requires to be addressed as a full implementation project.  

Whether your organisation decides to address the project immediately after the assessment exercise or to push it back for a while; it needs to have a clear picture of the roadmap that lies ahead, with all possible specifics of the effort and resources to be required and the risks and challenges to be faced.

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Voice of Finance

Gerhard Luebke CFO at NTT DATA EMEAL

Cláudio Marta Mendes, CFO at Correos Express

Voice of finance 
A series of conversations with CFOs and finance leaders. These talks are focused on how the Finance area can add value in the digital area.