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How does SAP Activate ensure agile implementation of SAP S/4HANA?

SAP Activate reduces the SAP S/4HANA implementation timeline and saves costs. Here's a look at the four stages of the framework and how they can help.

For some time, CIOs and SAP project managers implementing SAP systems have had to use Accelerated SAP implementation...

methodology. ASAP includes five phases -- project preparation, business blueprint, realization, final preparation, and go-live and support -- and using this process is not as fast as its name would suggest. Indeed, mapping a company's existing business processes, known as the business blueprint phase in ASAP, to assess a fit-gap analysis takes anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Implementing SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, however, can be a faster, more agile process thanks to the SAP Activate adoption framework, which replaces ASAP. SAP Activate leverages the SAP best practices to explore a company's specific business scenarios and propose the most relevant solutions. Instead of preparing a business blueprint document to cover every business scenario, SAP Activate gets straight to conducting a fit-gap analysis and leverages SAP best practices as well as a rapid deployment framework to see how best the system addresses the features and functionality gaps. SAP Activate also reduces the S/4HANA implementation timeline and costs by eliminating the ASAP-driven five phases to the following four phases:

Prepare. In this phase, the business users explore the SAP best practices and standard business processes such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay or hire-to-retire that are mapped for S/4HANA enterprise management. Sample data of a fictitious company is also available to enable business users to run the end-to-end processes to evaluate how closely a standard system meets the company's business needs.

Explore. Here, the business users and the SAP system integrator agree on the configurable objects required for the company. Configurable objects can be a company code responsible for all legal and financial reporting; a plant that can also be a manufacturing unit or a head office; or a warehouse or sales organizations such as one responsible for local sales while the other handles export sales. A complete fit-gap exercise ensures greater visibility of the gaps that the standard SAP system is unable to offer. In such cases, a fit-gap strategy decides if a system's enhancement, a customized application or activating business add-in will address the gaps.

Realize. Through the guided configuration tool, the system integrator not only arranges the configurable objects agreed on in the explore phase, but also creates a company-specific data for testing and validating business processes. All custom-developed objects are also tested in the realize phase. SAP provides its partners with additional assets methodology to equip them on new features of SAP S/4HANA enterprise management.

Deploy. In this phase, the business users and SAP consultants of system integrators delve deep into end-to-end integration testing pertaining to different SAP components and users involved in processing relevant business transactions to see if the data and information flow is complete and correct. This stage also includes conducting training followed by cutover activities in which the company transitions from legacy system to SAP S/4HANA enterprise management.

As part of your migration, be sure to create change management initiatives to help transition from the five-phase ASAP to the four-phase SAP Activate implementation approach.

Next Steps

The benefits of S/4HANA Enterprise Management

Tips on a strategic HANA cloud migration

The best path to a HANA cloud implementation

A Q&A with SAP COO

This was last published in October 2016

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What has been your experience with SAP Activate, and how do you think it compares with ASAP?
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The way that Activate adress the management is similar with what we see with RDS, and seems like a project more close with the company and users needs. But  is possible to use more Agile inside the project, is possible use KANBAN to manage the ABAP needs, for example. 
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