Since SAP declared that it will no longer support SAP ECCs beyond 2027, the necessity to shift to the SAP S/4HANA platform has become even more compelling. Businesses all around the world are already on their SAP S/4HANA journeys, which range from real-time deployment to generating proofs of concept, in order to draft the basic planning. But one thing is certain for all businesses: no two migrations will be the same. Every company’s journey to SAP S/4HANA is unique, necessitating a strategy adapted to its specific goals and circumstances.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to SAP S/4HANA migration, there will be some boxes to check regardless.

  • Is it a good investment? 
  • Is there a low risk?
  • Is it capable of moving the required systems and data sets in a timely and secure manner?
  • What influence will it have on long-term digital transformation strategy planning?

And much more questions will be running in the business minds.

Hence, finding an answer that solves all the above questions and satisfies your needs is crucial because SAP S/4HANA plays a significant role in transforming an organization’s business systems and procedures.

As a result, companies tend to gravitate toward one of three migration strategies: Brownfield, Greenfield, or Bluefield.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages, in this writing, we’ll be elaborating on how businesses might be able to negotiate an approach that achieves “the best of both worlds” when transitioning to SAP S/4HANA.

Discovering Selective Data Transition

The phrase “selective” is frequently used to indicate a data transfer that is limited in scopes, such as master data, open items, and balances. In terms of methodology breadth, and business interruption, this is not what the SAP S/4HANA Selective Data Transition strategy is about.

In order to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, the SAP S/4HANA Selective Data Transition provides an alternative to a System Conversion and New Implementation strategies.

This strategy combines the benefits of both approaches without their drawbacks: take use of S/4HANA’s advancements while judiciously leveraging/repurposing your existing investment. Selective Data Transition allows you to change your SAP S/4HANA system’s customizations, data, and procedures.

Well since it combines the approaches, Greenfield and Brownfield, it’s also commonly known as Bluefield Approach.

When to choose Selective Data Transition?

If you’re highly inquisitive about your organization’s transformation path, then let’s find the answer to, the when-to-choose question stated above.

An organization can choose Selective Data Transition as their approach for migrating to SAP S/4HANA when they have the following requirements:

  • Go live in phases (e.g. by country or business unit).
  • Reduce re-implementation effort by re-using some application areas e.g. logistics while re-designing others e.g. finance.
  • Reduce the risk of a big bang going live.
  • Split or merge existing SAP ERP instances.
  • Leave behind large amounts of old data e.g. to reduce the duration of conversions and cutovers.

Role of SAP Landscape Transformation in Selective Data Transformation

Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) services are used in a selective data transfer to migrate “selected” data from the current SAP ERP system to the new SAP S/4HANA environment.

A query may arise concerning the tool you can use in the selected data transformation process. Well, the answer is, for any target system, you can utilize Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT)—popularly known as SAP Landscape Transformation.

SAP Data Management and Landscape Transformation (DMLT) software and services related to it are utilized to migrate the data. SAP DMLT was previously known as SAP System Landscape Optimization (SLO). SAP DMLT has been providing well-established solutions and services for organizational transformations, acquisitions, divestitures, and SAP landscape harmonization for over 15 years.

The tool facilitates the rapid transfer of enormous volumes of data across SAP instances using highly automated processes. The SAP DMLT services team works on projects all across the world.

Select your path to Selective Data Transition/Bluefield Approach

There are two approaches for the target system creation:

Mix-and-Match Approach

In this approach, the project team creates a new SAP S/4HANA installation and then transports or manually transfers the ABAP Repository and configurations (Customizing) to the target environment.

It is used to personalize a redesign, where we’ll have to start the journey from scratch in terms of required configurations. The consultants working on the project will specify the target system setup and repository manually. Transport Management System allows you to develop processes and parameters from scratch or import them from the underlying ERP system.

Data migration (master data and transactional data) from the SAP ECC source system to the S/4 production system is handled by consultants. Only open processes or the entire history can be picked from the data. It is feasible to migrate in stages (phased go-lives). In this scenario, selective data transfer for specific years and business codes is achievable.

Shell Conversion

The team uses this method to generate a shell copy of the existing PROD environment, which contains the ABAP Repository and configuration (Customizing) but doesn’t contain any master or transactional data. This shell copy is converted to an SAP S/4HANA instance by the project team via system conversion. The conversion procedure is easier and faster in the absence of master and transactional data. The steps involved in this approach are:

  1. Without transaction data, a duplicate of the system is created (System copy without data)
  2. Execute all preparatory and implementation tasks. (Pre-checks, simplification checks, maintenance planner, cross-application checks, CVI, and any other tasks comparable to a previous Conversion project)
  3. Convert to SAP S/4HANA system
  4. Perform selective data transition depending on customer needs (Selective data transfer – certain business codes and years)

Your gains from the Selective Data Transition/Bluefield Approach


  • Customers can consolidate multiple SAP ERP systems into one SAP S/4HANA system.
  • Applications can be reused and redesigned.
  • Phased go-live lowers the risks of the big-bang approach.
  • When migrating to SAP S/4HANA, avoid causing business interruption and go live in a way that meets your needs.
  • Provides a single go-live, the migration of a large variety of organizational units, or a phased roll-out.
  • Maintain a consistent process chain/document flow by only migrating pertinent previous data. Obsolete data, such as corporate codes, can be left behind.
  • Add new business processes and adjust your historical data while maintaining good practices and prior investments when you migrate to SAP S/4HANA. The Near-Zero Downtime technique limits technical downtime to be limited to a few hours at the most.

Final Thoughts

The data and operations in your present system are mapped to a new arrangement using this transition approach. All relationships and interdependencies between the various objects are preserved. It also enables immediate processing of partially delivered sales orders moved from ECC in SAP S/4HANA without any cutover effort.

SAP has also established partners for the SAP S/4HANA Selective Data Transition Engagement, which provides a trustworthy and proven migration method in their migration to SAP S/4HANA. Through effective standardization, SAP thrives to achieve excellent quality, decreased risk, faster time to value, and lower costs as they migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

Do get in touch with us to explore more on the selective data transition approach to SAP S/4HANA!


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