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5 reasons why Selective S/4HANA Transition is suitable for your S/4HANA migration

What is Selective Data Transition?

Selective Data Transition is a different strategy than New Implementation (also known as greenfield) or System Conversion (also called brownfield). Customers migrating from a current SAP ERP solution to SAP S/4HANA on-premise or SAP S/4HANA Cloud extended edition will find it useful. This strategy entails transferring data from one or more existing ERP solutions to a new S/4HANA solution, as the name implies. SAP or partners who provide specific tools and services handle the transfer. ABAP repository of objects and developments, Master data, Transaction data (historical closed items and open items), and Configuration (customizing) data are examples of data that can be selectively transmitted.

Shell Conversion and Mix and Match are two common methods for creating a target system with Selective Data Transition. Shell Conversion creates a shell copy of a production system that is converted to SAP S/4HANA without the master and transaction data. Mix and Match creates a new S/4HANA installation and then transports or manually transfers elements of the old configuration and ABAP repository. Data migration is required in both circumstances, including master data, balances, and open items.

SAP Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) software and related services are used to migrate the data. SAP DMLT has been providing well-established solutions for organizational transformations, acquisitions, divestitures, and SAP landscape harmonization for over ten years. The program facilitates the rapid transfer of enormous amounts of data between SAP instances using highly automated processes. cbs Corporate Business Solutions offer similar software and services for S/4HANA on-premise. Later, I’ll go into more detail on these. SAP DMLT is required for S/4HANA Cloud extended edition.


Selective Data Transition have five advantages for businesses:

  1. Near-Zero Downtime approach provides the ability to restrict the technical downtime to a couple of hours only.
  2. Existing SAP ERP instances can be split or merged
  3. Reduce the likelihood of a big bang launch
  4. Reusing aspects of the solution while revamping others reduces re-implementation effort
  5. Leave huge volumes of old data behind, for example, to speed up system conversions and cutovers

Splitting and combining ERP instances is a significant topic in and of itself, and it is not addressed in depth here. Instead, I’ll talk you how to use Selective Data Transition to phase go-lives. This may be necessary in ERP systems with big data volumes or several users in different countries. As previously indicated, the first step is to set up a parallel S/4HANA sandbox or development system.

SAP S/4HANA can be installed from scratch (Mix and Match approach). In cbs, we recommend creating the shell copy using the SAP standard client copy function (without master/transactional data) and modify the configuration from there. The ABAP repository and configuration data are contained in the shell, but there is no master data or transaction data. To convert this to a S/4HANA instance, a system conversion is performed. Without the master and transaction data, the conversion procedure is simpler and faster, and certain S/4HANA Simplification Items can be applied more quickly.


An approach example can be as follows:

In addition to the technological conversion, the first go-live could incorporate business transformation. Instead of using the old ERP solution, S/4HANA preparation tasks could be done in the sandbox. Configuration and ABAP code adaptation could be done in the sandbox system during the technical transition, and then moved to the development system. This can shorten the production support track’s runtime. Multiple go-lives could take place in a row, with master and transaction data transferred as needed, such as by country and company code. Transfer business and master data from several ERP systems selectively.

Working with various source systems necessitates compatibility between the source systems’ ABAP repository and configuration. The next phase would be on harmonization. For data migration, cbs proprietary tool, cbs Enterprise Transformer offers using batch input if there are many harmonization topics in the project (e.g. migration balance at profit center level, complete data of open items). compared to the technical migration needed with DMLT services, cbs provides a more application-focused approach. To access historic and archival data, the previous production system may be decommissioned to a dormant mode.

Global expert for Selective Data Transition

Software, tools, and services for selective data transition are provided by partners such as cbs Corporate Business Solutions. For SAP S/4HANA on-premise projects, these are alternatives to SAP DMLT. cbs Corporate Business Solutions is a member of a global community of experts.

The quality of tests and the test landscape are another critical success factor in Selective Data Transition initiatives that is frequently overlooked by customers. The test environment must be set up and sized similarly to the production environment. A parallel system landscape idea as well as a maintenance plan must be ready for the duration of the project. In-depth functional testing (both technical and business-related) is critical to ensuring a smooth transition to SAP S/4HANA with no major issues once the system is online.

Ready to make the move to SAP S/4HANA? Download our brochure to know why selective data transition is the way to go, and don’t forget to watch our on-demand webinar about the different transition paths to S/4HANA too!

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