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Selective Data Transition – an all-inclusive guide for beginners

Moving an intelligent and effective enterprise from a rather “bland” organization can be quite a complicated venture. However, think of the possibilities and opportunities you can get once you’re done with it. For example –

  • It can improve the way you work or operate in the world of business.
  • The core business processing of your organization will move much faster.
  • You’ll be able to quickly complete projects, thanks to innovative additions.

But, how do you get started, really?

Well, usually, all of these will start from a single point – by establishing an enterprise resource planning or ERP system. However, for a company, especially an SME, it’s much easier said than done. And that’s due to the lack of technological knowledge and expertise.

After all, migrating to a system isn’t really a simple upgrade from your existing system.

That’s why when it comes to migrating their data from one place to another, most people tend to opt for selective data transition. Please keep reading to learn more.


Selective Data Transition – An Introduction

Selective data transition, is an alternative data movement procedure to the System Conversion (brownfield) and New Implementation (greenfield) approach when it comes to moving to SAP S/4HANA.

But how does it work?

Well, as the name suggests this type of transition allows you to slice your data in a variety of different ways: by company code, time slice criteria, or any other type of organizational element. Generally, the data you can transport from your core legacy system to the aforesaid platform are –

  • Master data.
  • ABAP repository of developments and objects.
  • Transaction data (historically closed and open items).
  • Customized configuration data.

Usually, there are two different approaches that you can use to move your data to S/4HANA through this method. But, more on that later. For now, let us tell you another interesting part.

With selective data transition, you’ll be able to selectively reuse your existing ERP solution. And typically, this is done by application area .

For example, if you want, you can reuse logistics elements from your ECC environment in S/4HANA. But, focus your efforts on redesigning the financial solution you’re currently working with.


Selective Data Transition – The Approaches

The selective data transition method generally utilizes the Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) services to move the required data. Usually, the transition process is done through four different approaches , including –

Approach – 1: client transfer.

In this approach, you’ll be required to select a client, the underlying master data, and the data you want to transport to S/4HANA. Once you have completed this step, you’ll be able to start the procedure of transitioning through SAP. And you can select your existing data as well.

Approach – 2: Shell Conversion.

In the coveted shell conversion approach, your team will need to create a shell copy of the PROD environment. Note that this shell will not contain any master or transactional data, only the ABAP Repository or the configuration will be maintained here.

This is key, as having data in the system will prevent from executing the SUM-DMO upgrade from ECC to S/4HANA. It is key to engage knowledgeable partners to help here.

Approach – 3: Company Code Transfer.

The company code transfer procedure allows you to select a company code from your existing environment with all underlying master and transactional data including configuration, and transition to S/4HANA.

It can be done by either using the master information or transitional data while proceeding with the procedure. However, if you don’t want to go through all that hassle, you may also choose the configuration with or without the master data. It might make the process a little easier.

Approach – 4: System Merge.

If you are going through the system merge approach, you’ll have to integrate the data offered from two or more clients. It will help you create an empty instance within S/4HANA.

Remember, the clients you are thinking about using can be from a different or a similar SAP ERP system.

Now, let’s talk about creating a target system . It’s the place where you’ll move your data as a whole. So, it’s best if you complete the proceeding through the following approaches –

Approach – 1: The Mix And Match Technique.

In this case, you’ll need to create a new SAP S/4HANA system. Once you’re done, you can start transferring both ABAP repositories and configurations accordingly. The process must be done manually.

Approach – 2: Shell Conversion.

In this case, the shell conversion procedure will begin through the creation of a shell copy of the PROD environment available within it. That might include –

  • The ABAP repository, and
  • Theconfiguration.

There is no need to use any kind of transactional or master data here. Once you are done, you’ll need to transfer the ABAP repository and the configuration simultaneously. As it doesn’t have to take care of a load of transactional data, it’ll get completed quickly.


How Does It Differ from System Conversion?

The difference between system conversion and selective data transition isn’t necessarily massive, but can have huge benefits in risk mitigation and flexibility. However, there are still a few things that you need to know in this aspect.

Keep reading to learn more about it, then.

criteria Selective data transition system conversion
Data cleansing You can select active data here. So, it’ll be possible to make changes on the fly. To cleanse data, you’ll need to do optional archiving before you start with the project. Besides, a few inconsistencies need to be fixed.
Process Reengineering In this case, you’ll be able to process changes in some segments. And, it’ll also be possible for you to alter your organizational structure. Simplification items, or SI, can be adopted during an ongoing project. However, you can only make an innovation after the conversion process is completed.
Phased Go Live It’s fully supported throughout this technique. In this case, you won’t be able to perform any phased approach at all. Big-bang is the only way to go.
Data transformation. You can make field and structural mappings properly. It’ll only be possible to make a few mandatory changes.


When it comes to taking care of the historical data, you will have to convert the transactional history with a system conversion. However, the same can’t be said for selective data transition.

With it, you can utilize the data through three different aspects – per time slice, the functional area, and the org unit. Also, you can use it to perform system consolidation and split procedures. This is something that can’t be done in the case of system conversion.


Why Should You Choose Selective Data Transition?

So, at this point, we hope you have understood a little about selective data transition and how it works. But, now, a question might pop up in your mind –

“Why should you really use it?”

That’s precisely what we are going to answer in this section. So, keep on reading. And, if you have any queries about the same, please comment below.

Benefit – 1: It Values ​​Your Time.

Owing to the flexibility and efficacy it offers, most people generally go for SAP S/4HANA without giving it a second thought. However, the problem with it is that it can take quite a lot of time for you to complete the transitioning procedure.

Hence, if you want to quicken the process, it might be best to opt for the selective transition. This way, you’ll be able to specifically move your data from one place to another. So, you can always prioritize what you want to move first and then strategize accordingly.

Benefit – 2: It Supports Digitization.

Digitization, in essence, is a must-win thing that every organization needs to implement. And that’s where selective data transition can be of your help.

For example, selective data transition.is supported by software-driven and automated migration tools. This reduces the possibility of manual errors, as well and delivering fast results.

And once the procedure is completed, you can simply have a look and see if everything has been transitioned properly or not. These integration tests are critical in validating the data that was migrated.

Benefit – 3: It Doesn’t Disrupt Your Business.

With selective data transition, you can minimize the business disruption in a variety of ways:

  • No need for traditional cut-over ramp down of the business. With selective data transition you can move open orders as they are and continue working on them in S/4HANA.
  • Reduce effort in change management by keeping a similar, familiar solution in place for your end users.
  • Flexible go-live allows for better project planning, instead of having to wait for fiscal year end.

Benefit – 4: No More Obsolete Data.

Unlike the traditional approaches, with selective data transition you get to bring the data that you want. Anything that is deemed unnecessary can be left behind.

This will result in a cleaner, and leaner system. And the better your selection is, the easier it’ll be for you to avoid intaking all of the obsolete data available in your existing structure.

Benefit – 5: There’s No Need To Wait For Any Downtime.

With near-zero downtime you can vastly reduce your system downtime by executing pre-migration loads prior to go-live. Typically, we technical downtime windows of 6-18hrs. Meaning, any typical weekend could work for go-live activities during cutover.

Benefit-6: A Sense Of Freedom.

The selective data transition method is quite flexible in nearly every aspect. Therefore, it’ll be easier from a planning perspective to speed up or slow down and work at the pace of the business.

For example, with selective data transition, you can easily dissect a transition procedure into more manageable phases. Nevertheless, if you want, it’ll also be possible for you to make your move in a single step. And, you can do it fairly quickly as well.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’re going to discuss more on selective data transition, but in a bit simplistic question-answer format. So, please keep reading to know more about it.

What software is used for SAP migrations?

There are a wide variety of tools for SAP migration. SAP offers SAP DMLT services along with their SAP LT (Landscape Transformation) software to support these projects. There are, however, a few limitations.

The cbs ET tool can simplify a variety of project types and add various levels of flexibility to the execution of said project. For example, it can do carve-outs, make changes in the O/S DB, perform SAP S/4HANA upgrades, and much more. Near-zero downtime methodology is also supported to significantly reduce downtime impacts on the business.

What Is Selective Transition SAP?

A selective data transition, in essence, is a consumer-specific method or approach which can support various complex conversion scenarios. For example, it can help you move a specific part of your data at once to ensure that the process is being done quickly.

What is SAP DMLT?

SAP DMLT is SAP’s data management team. Through a combination of solution consultants, architects, and software, they can help SAP customers through complex migration scenarios. This comes at a cost. So, there are many 3rd party consulting service providers offering similar, yet more flexible, solutions to help customers at a more accessible pricetag .


The Bottom Line

So, here’s the moment of truth. Should you really opt for selective data transition?

Well, maybe. You should go for it, if you you’d like to take this project opportunity to reduce your data footprint. You can also opt for this if you are trying to significantly reduce the risk of a big-bang go-live. However, it’s your project, after all.

So, before you choose anything, you should always consider a few things first. For example, moving data from one place to another can take quite a bit of time.

Can your organization afford that?

In addition, we will also ask you to get detailed insights on – data quality status, SAP and data landscape, and custom code landscape. Or else you might add delays due to added complexity.

Once you have the proper background information, you can then talk to your developer team and come up with a decision. Good luck!

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