The S/4HANA migration is imminent. What needs to be considered?

With the discontinuation of the SAP R/3 support, all SAP customers are forced to migrate their systems to SAP S/4HANA. This change is a monumental task for many companies and must be planned well in advance, as it takes place on different levels and involves significant process and infrastructure changes. The best is for companies deploying SAP to rethink some aspects of their SAP landscape.

The infrastructure

SAP only supports Linux for its HANA database, which presents a challenge for many SAP customers, as they also need to change the underlying operating system. Installing and migrating SAP systems under Linux with HANA require new skills not all organizations have in-house. Because of these challenges, it is advisable to take the opportunity to introduce a higher degree of automation. Unwanted differences in configuration between development, integration and production systems will then be a thing of the past. The application of SAP best practices and guidelines can be an implicit part of such automation.

Taking advantages of cloud services is increasingly a topic linked to the S/4HANA migration. Many SAP customers want to combine the transition to S/4 with a transformation to the cloud in order to gain more flexibility and optimize costs at the same time. Also for this purpose the automation of infrastructure, deployment and configuration is an essential aspect for successful transition and continued operation.

The processes

SAP S/4HANA is more than just the successor to the SAP Business Suite. As the digital core of the IT architecture, S/4HANA has an impact on existing business processes, as the new generation of SAP brings many new functions. The use of S/4HANA can make business processes leaner or even superfluous – the introduction therefore offers an opportunity for innovation and optimization, which should be used by SAP users to question existing processes in the company.

With proper documentation and mapping of business processes, the effects of S/4 on the company can be understood and decisions can be made about the appropriate implementation strategy for the new software. Should S/4HANA be newly implemented and should the processes be redesigned (greenfield approach) or can they be transferred and adapted to the new SAP system (brownfield migration)? Both variants have advantages and disadvantages that should be thoroughly compared and individually evaluated.

The applications and integrations

The integration of SAP data in peripheral systems is a central requirement for many SAP customers. The switch to S/4HANA forces customers to recreate these solutions, which were often implemented using proprietary SAP tools. A good opportunity to look around and consider alternative approaches, such as open source or cloud solutions.

The new ERP solution brings with it new technologies and functions, so the S/4HANA implementation is far more complex than a pure software upgrade. SAP users should use this innovation potential to simplify business processes, introduce new technologies and prepare for current and future digital market requirements. To do this, organizations facing SAP transformation need a trusted partner with expertise in all required areas and the ability to independently and thoroughly evaluate all options so that planning decisions can be made.

Read the original press release here: https://www.netzwoche.ch/news/2020-05-20/die-s4-hana-migration-steht-an-was-es-zu-beachten-gibt

More on our S/4HANA transformation services can be found here: https://www.itpcgroup.com/services/s-4hana-transformation/

ITPC Group takes SAP customers to the cloud— and the future—with Microsoft Azure

The launch of its SAP on Azure offering in 2015 not only marked the inauguration of ITPC Group as a Microsoft Partner, but as a pioneer in SAP on Azure throughout Europe. Combining its expertise in SAP technologies with the world’s leading cloud solution, ITPC Group has completed over 36 SAP on Azure projects in different markets and industries over the last five years, delivering greater flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings than an on-premises infrastructure. With a team of more than 50 highly experienced consultants, multiple HANA-certified engineers, status as a SAP partner, and as a Microsoft Gold Partner with Gold Cloud Platform Competency, ITPC Group is an ideal partner for migrating SAP landscapes to Azure cloud and propelling modern businesses into the future.

The only constant is change

SAP has demonstrated its commitment to customers by consistently delivering new features and enhancement packages to previous SAP solutions, and by extending mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 core applications. However, to harness the full innovative potential of SAP and to benefit from new technologies that enable an intelligent ERP, SAP will phase out support for previous solutions by 2027, making migration to S/4HANA inevitable.

Although many SAP customers view this as an opportunity for a system conversion and EHP upgrade in anticipation of the 2027 change, few are aware of the potential pitfalls should their journey start off on the wrong foot. Any missteps in the beginning of the journey could result in an inflexible architecture with limited scalability or an improperly sized SAP HANA landscape with potentially degraded performance, as well as incur unnecessary conversions and migrations further downstream—all of which can rapidly and significantly escalate costs.

Since no SAP customer can accurately predict how these impending changes over the next five years might affect their business and the existing structure of their SAP system, it’s to their distinct advantage to adopt a flexible architecture today that can accommodate new technologies and enable future innovation. Microsoft Azure, as the foundation for SAP on Azure from ITPC Group, provides just such flexibility.

“An S/4HANA transformation can be very complex, which many customers are not aware of. Moving their SAP landscape to the cloud now, allows SAP customers to prepare for this migration by gaining infrastructure flexibility that’s simply nonexistent on-premises.”

Vincenzo Boesch, Director & CEO, ITPC AG

Fast, flexible, future-proof

SAP customers who are weighing migrating to the cloud must consider three things: will the new cloud-based infrastructure deliver the flexibility they need to accommodate current and future workloads? Can additional systems be deployed quickly to meet sudden and fluctuating needs? And, of course, can it deliver these things economically?

For SAP customers who have entrusted their cloud migration to ITPC Group, the answer to all three is a resounding yes.

ITPC Group’s SAP on Azure solution allows customers to quickly and flexibly deploy additional systems on demand, increasing their ability to adopt new technologies and ensuring ample room for innovation. With SAP on Azure, customers need only decide on the size, performance, and capacity of the additional virtual machines to be deployed, and they can be up and running in a matter of minutes. By contrast, a typical hardware-based infrastructure can take weeks or even months to accomplish the same.

SAP on Azure also creates a highly dynamic SAP environment that enables customers to continuously transform and adapt their SAP systems without the same restrictions as a physical infrastructure. Free from dependencies on hardware lifecycles, Azure not only delivers the robust adaptability that a customer’s current ERP system requires, but also opens the door to future innovations, such as the upcoming S/4HANA transformation.

In addition to greater flexibility, ITPC Group customers running SAP on Azure also benefit from significantly lower infrastructure-related costs as compared to their on-premises equivalent. It’s easy to understand how; no physical hardware means no maintenance and replacement costs, while consumption-based pricing means customers only pay for what they use, which translates into lower operating expenses. A traditional on-premises infrastructure simply lacks this level of flexibility and cost efficiency.

For SAP customers who have already decided on a definitive path toward S/4HANA or want to accelerate their journey, ITPC Group and its partner Adfinis SyGroup, which specializes in open-source technologies, offer a custom solution called SOLHANA. Shorthand for “Solutions for HANA,” SOLHANA continues a customer’s SAP transformation with ongoing services for planning, implementing, and operating SAP S/4HANA within the customer’s environment. Since every migration path is unique, SOLHANA is individually tailored to each customer’s needs, enabling them to make the move to S/4HANA per a timetable of their own specific resourcing and scheduling requirements.

Ready for tomorrow – realizing benefits today

ProNovia AG is an ITPC Group customer that is constantly exploring ways to increase its adaptability to new SAP applications and technology platforms, as well as improve the overall flexibility of its infrastructure. Following several consultations with ITPC Group—including several performance, stability, and reliability tests conducted by ITPC Group—the company made the strategic decision to migrate its SAP infrastructure to Microsoft Azure. By moving to Azure, ProNovia was able to deploy additional systems in a fast and flexible manner, which increased its ability to adopt new technologies. Thanks to SAP on Azure from ITPC Group, the company not only created room for future innovation, but was also ready to begin its journey to S/4HANA, a transformation that was completed in the following months. In addition, as a result of migrating to Azure, ProNovia lowered its SAP hosting costs by 35 percent.

Read the original success story here: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/case-studies/itpc-group

Download the success story here.

ITPC reaches five-year milestone of enabling customers’ digital transformation with SAP on Microsoft Azure

Read the official press release here (German): https://www.netzwoche.ch/news/2020-03-02/sap-on-azure-in-der-schweiz-was-geschah-bisher-und-wie-geht-es-weiter

Swiss-based ITPC AG, a Microsoft Partner with Gold Cloud Platform Competency specializing in SAP basis consulting, this month announced that it has reached the important five-year milestone of enabling digital transformation for customers with SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure. The company helped pioneer SAP solutions running on Azure in Switzerland in 2015, and today is a leading provider of the solution throughout Europe. ITPC will commemorate this five-year achievement with an event on March 19, 2020 at Microsoft Switzerland in Wallisellen.

In the five years since ITPC first began working with Azure, the company has observed a pronounced change in the Swiss market’s view on cloud for SAP landscapes.

Cloud receptiveness in Switzerland has evolved dramatically in recent years. When we started working with Microsoft, many organizations did not know about the benefits of deploying their SAP landscape on Microsoft Azure and were skeptical about running productive workloads on a public cloud platform. Today, they’re following the global trend as everything, including business-critical applications such as SAP, moves to the cloud. We support our customers in their digital transformation, as they are able to quickly adapt their SAP infrastructure to new market demands and innovations thanks to SAP on Azure.

Vincenzo Boesch, Director and CEO of ITPC AG

With SAP becoming an increasingly integral part of a company’s business, having a dynamic SAP environment has likewise become a prerequisite for success. Cloud computing provides organizations with the agility to scale and adapt their business models to market opportunities, creating the foundation for a flexible infrastructure that fosters innovation and growth. By moving their SAP infrastructure to Azure, organizations free themselves from the restrictions of physical infrastructure, enabling them to continuously transform and adapt their SAP systems and ultimately push forward with their digital transformation. Azure also helps deliver the adaptability that current ERP systems require, creating room for innovation, such as the upcoming S/4HANA transformation. Additionally, from a financial perspective, because the cloud follows a consumption-based model, operating expenses are typically significantly lower than an equivalent on-premises infrastructure, while hardware investment and maintenance costs all but disappear—providing companies with a compelling economic incentive to move to the cloud on top of the performance reasons.

Since first introducing the solution in 2015, ITPC has completed over 35 SAP projects on Azure, installed over 250 SAP instances on Azure, and currently has 15 customers with production SAP workloads in the cloud. To commemorate its five years of success at helping customers digitally transform their business with SAP on Azure, ITPC is hosting a celebratory event with Microsoft on March 19, 2020 in Wallisellen. At this event, attendees will hear directly from organizations that have already completed their SAP on Azure transformation as they discuss their journey and the advantages of Azure. In addition, Microsoft will provide insights into its vision for Azure and the role of partners, while a special guest speaker will reveal how organizations should approach the next steps of their digital transformation.

We are pleased to have specialized partners such as ITPC on whom we can rely to accelerate digital transformation for SAP customers by helping them transition to the cloud. Thanks to ITPC’s deep knowledge and experience with SAP on Azure, our customers consistently and smoothly evolve their SAP experience to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Thomas Winter, OCP Lead at Microsoft Corp.

Register for the event here

SAP S/4HANA Deadline extended from 2025 to 2027

SAP has announced that it will provide mainstream maintenance for its core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 until the end of 2027, extending the previously set S/4HANA transformation-deadline of 2025 by two years.

It’s crucial to highlight that the mainstream maintenance has merely been extended and that the S/4HANA implementation still lies ahead of all organizations that have not yet migrated to the new generation of SAP Business Suite. If organizations that run SAP are not on S/4HANA by 2028, they need to pay extra fees for the mainstream maintenance from then onwards.

This extension does not mean it’s time to rest!

‘This announcement is not a signal to slow down. This is now the time to commence plans and move forward so that SAP customers can harness business value from what is the most significant technology change in SAP’s recent history.’

GEO Scott, CEO, Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG)

Implementing S/4HANA cannot be done in a day. It takes a lot of planning and involves numerous of different departments, as it concerns big topics such as licenses and the organization’s cloud strategy. Such a migration is complex and takes time – so you should start now.

SOLHANA – Solutions for HANA

‘S/4HANA is the architecture and platform of the future for our customers.’

Thomas Saueressig, Member of the Executive Board, SAP Product Engineering, SAP SE

Start benefiting from the full innovation potential from SAP by starting your S/4HANA transformation with SOLHANA – Solutions for HANA. We are a single point of contact that accompany you in your transformation journey, covering expertise in both SAP and Linux.

Contact us now to begin the evaluation of your optimal pathway to S/4HANA.

Read the official news here: https://news.sap.com/2020/02/sap-s4hana-maintenance-2040-clarity-choice-sap-business-suite-7/

The Microsoft Cloud is live in Switzerland

Read the official news here: https://news.microsoft.com/de-ch/2019/08/28/the-microsoft-cloud-switzerland-is-up-and-running/

The two Microsoft cloud datacenters in the regions Zurich (Switzerland North) and Geneva (Switzerland West) are up and running! As of now, Microsoft offers data residency for security and control along with redundancy across the Zurich and Geneva areas. While Azure and Office 365 are anticipated to be available in Switzerland in the coming months, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are expected to come in 2020.

‘For us, the Microsoft Cloud Data Centers are an investment in Switzerland – for Switzerland. In conversations with our customers, it became very clear that local data storage is extremely important for them. We are very proud that we are now able to guarantee that.’

Marianne Janik, General Manager of Microsoft Switzerland

The demand for the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland has been proven high, coming from all sizes of organizations and across all industries. The new Swiss datacenters help organizations comply with regulatory requirements, as it achieves in-country disaster recovery with geo-redundancy.

The Swiss Microsoft Cloud Early Adopters

Microsoft Azure services are now available for a selection of Early Adopters, which comprises more than 30 customers and partner organizations. Why are they deploying the Swiss Microsoft Cloud?

  • UBS Group: The world’s largest wealth manager is using the cloud to modernize some core business applications, leverage digital channels on a global level and enable their digital transformation.
  • Swiss Re Group: The Swiss reinsurance organization uses the cloud to deploy innovative solutions, to process data and to operate critical applications.
  • Die Mobiliar: The Swiss oldest private insurance company deploys the Microsoft cloud to increase scalability, security, performance and stability of its IT systems and applications.
  • BKW Group, the international energy and infrastructure sets on technologies such as Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Blockchain to overcome the challenges of the energy sector, such as energy efficiency in buildings. The new datacenters enable them to stay compliant and store the data securely in Switzerland.
  • Skyguide: with the Cloud, the Swiss air navigation service provider is able to scale air traffic control to millions of drones and support the growth of the ecosystem through its integration with other applications.
  • City of Zug: as the city administration requires data to be stored within the Swiss national borders, deploying Office 365 in the cloud now became possible.

How can you move to the Swiss datacenters?

Was data residency keeping you from deploying your SAP landscape in the cloud? Now this is not an issue anymore! Start planning your SAP on Azure migration now with us.

We want to calculate your individual SAP on Azure business case for you – all we need for that is the details of your SAP landscape, by filling in the following excel template: http://www.saponazure.cloud/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/SAP_System_Questionnaire_v1.4.xlsx with this information, we are able to tell you how much it will cost.

For more information on our SAP on Azure services, visit https://saponazure.cloud or SAP on Cloud!

Source: https://news.microsoft.com/de-ch/2019/08/28/the-microsoft-cloud-switzerland-is-up-and-running/

Interview with IT Markt

Want to get to know our CEO, Vincenzo Boesch a bit better?

Then read the short interview he did with IT Markt (in German):


The interview is published here:
https://www.it-markt.ch/news/2019-03-17/sieben-fragen-an-vincenzo-boesch-gruender-und-ceo-von-itpc

For more information on our team, visit https://www.itpcgroup.com/about-itpc/our-team/.

What companies need in order to start their ‘HANA on Azure’ journey

On our event ‘HANA on Azure’, in Zurich, manufacturers and service providers showed what companies need to consider when switching to HANA: New skills, Linux, cloud readiness and good planning are needed.

Did you miss the event? Don’t worry, you can read about the topics covered in this article from Netzwoche! (in German)

‘The effort for the migration to S/4HANA should not be underestimated. The company’s central IT systems have to be migrated during ongoing operations, new skills, new hardware, a new operating system and good planning are required, as Nicolas Christener, CEO of Adfinis SyGroup, said in his presentation. Together with ITPC, Adfinis SyGroup founded the joint venture “SOLHANA” (Solutions for HANA). Solhana is designed to help companies make the transition.

Adfinis SyGroup brings its experience in the Linux world to the partnership, ITPC contributes its expertise as an SAP technology consultant, as ITPC CEO Vincenzo Boesch said. Together, the two IT service providers put together a package that ranges from an assessment of the necessary technical and functional measures to the actual migration of the workloads to S/4HANA to the operation and support of the new ERP landscape. ITPC also offers various cloud services for SAP HANA on Azure – from archiving subsystems to complete operation in the cloud.’

Vincenzo Boesch at the HANA on Azure event
Vincenzo Boesch advises companies on the use of SAP solutions in the cloud. (Source: Netzwoche)

Read the published press release on IT Reseller here:

https://www.netzwoche.ch/news/2019-01-16/wie-unternehmen-den-sprung-in-die-neue-sap-welt-schaffen

Visit https://www.itpcgroup.com/services/s-4hana-transformation/ for more information on how we can assist you on your S/4HANA transformation.

Partnership with license advisor Crayon

SAP is a very complex topic, which is only tackled by a few consultants in Switzerland. This makes it even more important to find the right partners for the various aspects of SAP. For this purpose, Crayon and ITPC have decided to start a partnership which optimally complements each other, covering all the customer’s SAP needs.

In this collaboration, Crayon will focus on the long-term optimization of SAP software licenses, so that customers only license what they need, while guaranteeing that compliance is consistently covered. On the other hand, ITPC ensures that customer SAP platforms are solidly installed, supported, maintained and managed both on-premise and on the cloud.

With both parties at the customer’s side, SAP licenses and infrastructure is ideally covered, including topics such as cloud readiness, database migration and optimization services, contributing to customer profitability. Thus, it is safe to say that Crayon and ITPC start the new year with a win-win-win situation!

CEOs from ITPC and Crayon Vincenzo Boesch (left) and Rolf Stadler (right) announcing their partnership. (Source: Crayon)
Crayon Logo

Read the published press release on IT Reseller here: IT Reseller: Crayon und ITPC (DE)

Visit https://www.itpcgroup.com/about-itpc/partnerships/ for further partnerships.

Partnership with STS to push SAP on Azure in MENA region

It is a pleasure to announce our new partnership with STS – Specialized Technical Services!

Delivering the highest quality of SAP services and project management with local support, this new partnership is expected to spark innovation and expedite the Cloud revolution in the Middle East. Together, ITPC and STS offer a one-stop solution for companies looking for SAP and Azure experts.

ITPC, a Swiss consulting company specialized in SAP technology, and Specialized Technical Services (STS), a provider of comprehensive IT solutions in the MENA region, have announced the formation of a strategic partnership. With Microsoft’s assistance, this collaboration aims at pushing SAP on Microsoft Azure in the Middle East by providing local customer support and project management.

The relationship with STS represents a big opportunity for us to significantly grow its presence in the MENA region and extend it to other parts of the world over time.

We believe that STS is the right partner to expand our line of services in the Middle East region. Their in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Infrastructure Services and experience in this market was just what we were looking for. With STS we now have a local team to drive sales in the Arab countries, support customers and manage projects on-site

Vincenzo Boesch, director and CEO of ITPC
STS Logo

The full press release is published on Arab News: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1395511/corporate-news

Visit https://www.itpcgroup.com/about-itpc/partnerships/ for further partnerships.