Companies in the digital age tend to face scenarios where they have to decide whether to replace old, on-premise business applications or ERPs, which are becoming increasingly difficult due to the increased intensity of integration, data quantities, modification requests, and workarounds. Simultaneously, business processes built around past technological limitations continue to obstruct the implementation of new digital technology.

As we all know, ERP digital transformation is costly, has a negative impact on the business, and requires lengthy implementation timetables, therefore the majority of clients are still developing the SAP S/4HANA business case and deciding on the SAP S/4HANA transition path.

There are three main SAP S/4HANA transition methods; however, in this blog, I’ll continue to elaborate on Selective Data Transition, which allows you to strike the right mix between process redesign, custom code, and selective historical data.

If you are new here and wish to have an overview on what’s Bluefield approach, kindly check out our previous blog- Selective Data Transition (Bluefield approach).

Now Let’s begin by understanding and aligning the project implementation methodology.

Aligning Selective Data Transition with the SAP Activate methodology

The entire process of aligning the SAP Activate methodology is divided into two stages. The first stage involves a technology shift, which is followed by a second stage in which business transformation innovations are deployed. The first technical transition step is summarized below:


  • Consult SAP DMLT or a partner on the approach. This may necessitate work on the existing ERP system.
  • Analyze DMLT source system capabilities, for example, within Solution Manager using Business Process Improvement.
  • Using SAP Readiness Check and SAP Business Scenario Recommendations, analyze the current landscape (BSR).
  • Carry out S/4HANA preparatory efforts in the current ERP system. This may include archiving data to decrease the data footprint, while data reduction may also be accomplished when data is migrated to S/4HANA using DMLT technologies.
  • Unwanted custom code and configuration can be removed. Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) can also be used to make business partners the lead object.


  • Make a fresh S/4HANA sandbox system. Make a shell clone of a production ERP instance using a recent copy.
  • Convert the shell system to a S/4HANA system.
  • Make the necessary configuration adjustments to carry out Fit-to-Standard workshops.
  • Analyze custom code and decide what to change during the Realize phase.
  • Perform a Fit-to-Standard analysis and design with an emphasis on necessary S/4HANA Simplification Items.


  • Configure the data migration tools and environment.
  • Make a shell copy of the sandbox system to create a new S/4HANA development system.
  • Create a production support track to handle continuous maintenance of the live solution.
  • Make the necessary configuration adjustments for SAP S/4HANA Simplification Items.
  • ABAP code must be adapted for SAP S/4HANA.
  • Make any necessary adjustments for integration and analytics solutions.
  • In the sandbox, run many data migration test cycles with SAP DMLT.
  • Create a quality assurance and production system using a replica of the S/4HANA development shell that is devoid of master and transaction data.
  • Perform the selective transfer of master and transaction data in the Quality Assurance system.
  • Deploy SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and a retention warehouse to migrate outdated data to a low-cost infrastructure.
  • Perform integration and user acceptance testing.


  • Rehearse the cutover.
  • Transfer master data and, if necessary, historical transaction data into the Production system.
  • Transition to the production. Transfer transaction items and master data that has changed since the last migration cycle.
  • After the technical transition step is completed, a second stage of the project can be launched to execute business transformation innovations, such as the adoption of SAP Fiori apps. A technical team leads the first stage, while the business leads the second.
  • In addition to the technical conversion, the initial go-live might contain business transformation scope.
  • During the preparation phase, S/4HANA preparation tasks are performed in the sandbox rather than the old ERP solution.
  • You can straightaway access the development system instead of using a Sandbox during the Explore phase.
  • Configuration and ABAP code adaptation might be done in the sandbox system and then migrated to a development system during the technical transition. This has the potential to shorten the time of the production support track.
  • Multiple successive go-lives are possible, with master and transaction data moved as needed, for example, by country and business code.
  • Transfer business and master data from different source ERP systems selectively. Since you will be working with various source systems the ABAP repository and source system settings should be compatible with each other.
  • For data migration, it’s recommended to utilize the S/4HANA Migration Cockpit (excluding historic transactions). When compared to the technical migration needed with DMLT services, this gives a more application-focused approach. Less harmonization work may be necessary.
  • To access past and archived data, the previous production system may be decommissioned and placed in a dormant state.

Automation Tools for Selective Data Migration 

To minimize expense, effort, and time on the project, the majority of SAP partners provide solutions for the following tasks of selective data migration. The technologies deliver a 60% decrease in overall migration time to SAP S/4HANA. The following are some of the tools:

  • Custom code
  • Automated custom code adaptation
  • Customization
  • Automated configuration check between SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA
  • Automated configuration adjustment and remediation between SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Fiori
  • Automated activation of the standard SAP Fiori applications
  • System creation and migration
  • Automation of shell creation from SAP ECC
  • Automation to check and pre-and post-conversion steps of SAP S/4HANA migration
  • Automated tools to compare and validate the migrated data
  • Automated migration from the old general ledger to the new general ledger

In short, Selective Data Transition is all about combining the benefits of both approaches without their limitations: use the innovations in S/4HANA, while selectively leveraging/re-using your investment.  The major challenge faced in selective data migration is the adjustment of the customizing and transfer of selective data to SAP S/4HANA.

The below points/lessons learned should be discussed in advance with the implementation partner to mitigate any risk in the digital transformation.

Analyze the below before choosing Selective Data Transition  

  • Learn how to develop or modify existing customizations and move to the new SAP S/4HANA system.
  • Discover how the current system add-ons will be moved to the new SAP S/4HANA system.
  • Gain knowledge on how to move chosen or adjusted data to the new SAP S/4HANA system.
  • Determine whether it is necessary to build up a parallel landscape to enable in-flight initiatives, etc.
  • Determine how much custom code will be transferred to the new SAP S/4HANA system.

Know the accelerators available from partners, such as automated code cleanup, automated configuration migration, or automated data migration, to decrease costs, efforts, and implementation deadlines.

Recognize that operations in the selective data migration can be carried out simultaneously to streamline the process.

SAP Selective Data Transition is not just an IT effort, but also significant business assistance. In the next stage, we recommend conducting an evaluation and having a deep discussion with SAP and partners to determine whether the selective data move method would benefit your firm. One of the most essential variables influencing digital transformation is the Selective Data Transition method.

As a result, do your research before making a decision!

Do contact us to learn more about how Selective Data Transition might help your business flourish!