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The color of success: innovative BLUEFIELD™ approach fast-tracks Nordic shift to S/4HANA

Tieto and SNP Group launch dynamic “one-stop-shop” service for Nordic companies in race to introduce SAP S/4HANA by 2025.

Tiia Kokko / June 17, 2019

The clock is ticking. Mapping the route to S/4HANA and renewing processes before SAP begins to phase out support for old ERP systems in just six years’ time, is no easy task for CIOs. But a new, flexible solution available in the Nordics makes the journey both carefree and infinitely faster.

Building digital core for tomorrow's intelligent enterprise is not as simple as moving from A to B. If this were true, CIOs would have much less to worry about these days. Instead, adopting the next generation ERP systems – specifically the market-leading SAP S/4HANA – requires careful assessment of business risks and balancing between business value and potential pitfalls.

With the current timetable for implementing S/4HANA before 2025, when SAP has announced it will phase out support for old systems, you would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. But with an estimated 50,000 SAP systems worldwide that will need to be updated, you are not alone.

Fortunately, there is now good news for companies that want to make the transition to S/4HANA in a safe, adaptable and cost-effective way.

Green, brown or blue? The three colors of S/4HANA renewal

How long will an S/4HANA implementation project take and what are the benefits of change? What happens to historical data – will a massive archiving exercise be needed? Can information from newly acquired or divested companies be incorporated or skipped entirely? And what about downtime during the critical launch period – how will business continuity be ensured?

My recent visit to SAP's annual conference SAPPHIRE in Orlando, Florida, in May confirmed the sheer number of legitimate concerns that decision makers grapple with on a daily basis. No matter how great the benefits are of adopting smart solutions on top of digital core (advanced analytics, machine learning, IoT, AI), without clear answers to the above questions progress will be hampered. There are just too many layers of complexity – unless helping hands are available.

Here is a brief look at the two traditional approaches to implementing SAP S/4HANA:

  • The Greenfield approach: this method of implementing S/4HANA implies complete re-engineering, starting from scratch with new design processes and configurations. This choice could make sense if you want a "clean slate" type of transformation and you cannot find any advantages of keeping parts of your current system.
  • The Brownfield approach: this method involves converting your existing system with a technical upgrade and data migration to S/4HANA technology, keeping current process flows in place without unlocking any new features and functions available in S/4HANA.

What are the drawbacks of these two alternatives? The Greenfield option will most likely not appeal to companies already using SAP systems. At the same time, the Brownfield route is a highly complex undertaking for large organizations without any visible business benefits, and it requires massive archiving over months, even years.

What's more, there is no guarantee that the Brownfield upgrade option is even technically possible when systems contain large amounts of data. At the very least it would require days of downtime during go-live.

The German software provider and consulting firm SNP Group offers a third way called BLUEFIELD™ – combining the best of green and brown – which is now available to Nordic companies thanks to a partnership with Tieto.

New horizon: Tieto and SNP Group join forces to accelerate S/4HANA

Following twelve months of joint preparations, I am proud to be a part of presenting the next phase of Tieto's already long-standing partnership with SNP Group.

By combining the software automation and data migration expertise of SNP with Tieto's industry and process knowledge, as well SAP S/4HANA implementation experience, Nordic companies can embark on the journey to S/4HANA with complete confidence and cutting-edge efficiency.

Manuel Kutscher of SNP outlined the benefits of the collaboration during the partnership launch at Tieto's headquarters: "Whether customers are in forestry, manufacturing or retail, this BLUEFIELD™ option means they can pick and choose data flexibly based on individual needs and achieve in days and weeks what previously has taken months and years."

Why choosing Tieto-SNP BLUEFIELD™ is the smart way to go

By contrast to the Greenfield and Brownfield approaches, the BLUEFIELD™ option is suitable for both large and mid-size enterprises that run their businesses in SAP, hence relying on complex data flows for operational excellence.

SNP's proven set of tools provide companies with the ability to renew data structures such as legal structures and cost centers, and to retrospectively migrate data to S/4HANA. In addition, they can choose to only migrate selected data that is still valid to their business. This enables massive savings in terms of time, effort and money for companies with obsolete data in their current systems.

From the point of view of business processes, companies often share a similar story – they all want to make the most of new systems. Tieto's SAP expertise and experience can put you on the right track to successful business renewal and, without hassle, help you to leverage innovative solutions on top of digital core.

But that's not all. "Going blue" also means you can combine several projects in one single step, which dramatically cuts project time and overall cost.

Introducing new GL (General Ledger) to finance is a good example of how S/4HANA can be implemented in one single step go-live throughout the year, independently of fiscal year end. Another example – being one of the hot topics when planning S/4HANA move – is the platform transition to public cloud (e.g. AWS, Azure). This can be done at the same time, too.

The 6 key drivers for BLUEFIELD™ accelerated S/4HANA journey

The ways in which Bluefield brings business value are simply too good to pass up. Here are the six key business situations where the Bluefield™ approach brings the most value:

Business continuity – near zero downtime
Large enterprises considering brownfield approach, but thinking that big bang with brownfield is too risky.

Selective processes reengineering
Enterprises who want to combine both approaches: reuse current investments with selected existing processes and reengineer certain selected processes on the fly.

Data headache
Enterprises with large amount of data who want to benefit from a selective migration approach, and who are willing to skip the painful archiving exercise in the current system.

Structural changes
Enterprises wanting to harmonize or simplify existing structural elements such as company code, controlling area, profit centers etc in a single step, with retrospective data build-up for historical data.

Landscape restructuring
Enterprises running several SAP or non-SAP systems looking to simplify and consolidate systems on their journey to S/4HANA.

Organizational restructuring
Enterprises undergoing mergers and acquisitions or carve outs who want to go for a combination approach on their journey to S/4HANA.

All in all, BLUEFIELD™ means that introducing S/4HANA can be a journey fully tailored to your company's needs, maximizing business value with minimal disruption to operations regardless of different time zones for go-live.

Together with SNP Group, which already looks back on a long list of successful implementations where the power of S/4HANA has been unlocked in as little as eight months, we look forward to helping Nordic companies secure a position at the forefront of SAP innovation.

Read more about how to jumpstart S/4HANA and accelerate the transition with an automated System Scan, in my next blog post coming soon. Stay tuned.

Tiia Kokko
SAP Sales and Innovation

Tiia helps customers to become intelligent enterprises using real-time data and insights across operations. Tiia is passionate about business driven transformations where customers simplify their business processes and modernize their IT architectures to better serve customers and operations. Tiia has extensive experience both in management consulting and implementation businesses. She leads Tieto’s SAP sales for strategic customers and SAP offering & innovation portfolio.

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Tiia Kokko

SAP Sales and Innovation

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