As organizations start to consider what is beyond SAP ECC6, it’s become evident to me that many are navigating this path without a comprehensive understanding of their options and approaches. Decisions are being made on the destination of the journey from ECC6 without fully recognizing the starting point or why they are making the journey in the first place. This can lead to both selecting an end state that conflicts with your objectives for moving from ECC6, that may have longer term implications.

So, what important factors should you think about to help you make the right decisions? 


The ‘why’ becomes critical in the destination you may select. Are you planning to move because you have hardware coming to end of life, or are you hoping to make the most of new functionality available in S/4HANA? Do you want to simplify your business processes to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO)? Or are you simply concerned about the impending end to mainstream support offered by SAP.  

All of the above drive the destination and therefore the possible journey. For example, some of the new capabilities become available first in cloud, or due to their architecture can only be delivered through the cloud. Considering this, it would be unwise to remain on premise if your driver for change is to make the most of those innovations.


Technically, the question should be ‘where from’ referring to your current ECC6 solution’s starting position. This encompasses not only your hardware and hosting situation, but also your underlying database and patch levels. There are many starting points…  

From an on-premise solution on a legacy database that has never been patched through to a hyperscaler hosted, HANA deployed ECC6 instance, the starting point may help determine your destination. 

You must decide if it’s worthwhile to bring across years of development which has not been properly documented and nobody is sure what they were really designed to do? Or should you use this opportunity to remove technical debt and do  you consider starting afresh? Or is it these customisations that truly transform your business processes are vital and need to be included in the target solution? 


So you understand the reason for the upgrade and the starting position, but does your timeline impact your approach? If time is of the essence, this may have to be considered when looking at the options. It’s certainly worth noting that SAP provides many accelerators to ease a move from ECC6 but these are for predefined destinations. For example, standard business process flows and automated test scripts work in a new deployment but, if you are still planning to migrate customisations, they are unlikely to be usable straight out of the box and any changes would take time.  

WHAT and HOW? 

With a clear understanding of why, where from, and when you want to move from ECC6, you’re better equipped to choose the most appropriate destination based on your business needs.

When defining the “what” you must also consider how it aligns with the “how.”

For example, if your driver for change has been mainstream support concerns then  you may opt for a ‘lift and shift’ or brownfield approach. If so, this may rule out S/4HANA Cloud depending on  your starting position. Conversely, if  you want to leverage new innovations which may only be available in cloud this then may rule out S/4HANA on-premise. All the while  your current datacentre hardware is end of life, do you have time to complete a greenfield implementation?  

So the starting point and the destination may drive the ‘how’ but the ‘how’ shouldn’t drive the destination. 

So how do I navigate my journey? 

excelerateds2p can provide the thinking behind the strategic journey from ECC6, weighing up the best solution as your destination, considering all your constraints and providing the appropriate approach on the journey to S/4HANA. In a relatively short period, usually a matter of days, we can help you establish the Why, Where, When, What and How giving you the confidence to embark on the move from ECC6, knowing that your destination supports the reasoning

Download your ‘Ultimate guide to digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA’ or request a free Digital Discovery Assessment here