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Thursday, 20 June 2019 09:42

Historic Data - Carry what you need in S/4HANA

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Customersin their digital journey with S/4HANA are often perplexed on various questionspertaining to historic data. Such as

how much history data is needed in futuresystem? History data required at all in future system or only opentransaction data will suffice? What are different ways to carry historic data fromlegacy system to future system? etc.

In S/4HANA there arevarious opportunities to elevate current processes to next-generationprocesses. As we can imagine with popular examples of next-generation processesin front of us such as automatic invoice matching, predictive maintenance,managing stock in transit historic data is very essential. In this example ofautomatic invoice matching process utilizes artificial intelligence to automatethe invoice to payment matching. AI uses matching criteria by learning from thehistorical financial clearing information. If sufficient history is notavailable, automation will not work as expected. Therefore, you need totransition history data to your new system to take full benefit from day 1 ofoperation in new system or wait for couple of years till sufficient historybuilds up in the new system.

Running currentprocesses in new system after transformation may need historic data, too. Thiscan be further supported by process or compliance constraints. Service history,Spare Part consumption, and historic consumption data for forecast are few examplesof processes which require history data.


While data isimportant and its importance is growing in digital world where this enterpriseasset is often regarded as 'new gold' or 'new oil', it is also important toknow what are the options available. Here are the options -


  1. Open/Current Transaction Data in S/4HANA and keep legacy ERP on in read-only mode: In this option only open and current transaction data is migrated to Target system. Often we have history data belonging to these open transactions which we still need to be migrate. Example invoices already posted, partial good receipt against a Purchase order, delivery already made for an open Sales order. Data migration to S/4HANA can be handled using data migration tools which work in S/4HANA. Normally there is no impact on project timeline with this approach. This process has basic requirement on data reconciliation.

Userscan be granted a read-only only access to refer any historic data they mayneed. Legacy system can be re-platformed to cheaper hardware to save cost.

  1. Open/Current Transaction Data and entire History Data in S/4HANA : In a Hybrid or new implementation project, where open and current transaction data plus entire transaction data history migration to target system is required, customer need to get specialized Service for required tool and knowledge to achieve this. The historical data for entire duration (all fiscal years) belonging to the considered business can be part of scope. (E.g. - All closed Sales Orders, 5-10 years oldProjects/Sales Contracts etc.). Complexity in migration and data reconciliation will grow with differences in process design (process dissimilarity) in source and target system. Testing scope will be higher in this case.

Note:In case of System Conversion, Software Update Manager tool takes care toconvert the legacy data in place during S/4HANA conversion.

  1. Open/Current Transaction Data and Selective History Data in S/4HANA: Open and current transaction data plus selective data such as time sliced History (for example 2 or 3 fiscal years of data). The historical data for desired duration belonging to the considered Business is migrated. (e.g. open sales orders plus all closed Sales Orders within last 2-3 fiscal years.). Such project require deep knowledge of data models of source and target system, relationship and dependencies between different business objects in the scope. This scenario requires high level of alignment between various domains (finance, logistics) to give business rules for selection of data to minimize risk of data inconsistencies in migrated data. It will add to data reconciliation effort mainly.
  2. Open/Current Data in transaction system and History Data in data retention solutions: Open and current transaction data is migrated to target system. Whereas, the historical data (complete or selective) belonging to the considered Business is migrated to inexpensive data retention platform. Example - Open sales orders in this example will be migrated to S/4HANA and all closed sales orders will be accessible from data retention platform). Archive technologies such as system decommissioning solution can be used on current ERP to make a snapshot available to access history data from an inexpensive platform. Alternatively, Business Data Warehouse can be leveraged. This reduces data foot print in target system and at the same time makes history data available to users on a data retention Platform.

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