SAP ECC support from the leaders at SAP is going to bid adieu in 2027, and the mammoth task at hand, migrating to a new cloud ready system with SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the necessity for the hour.

SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration is a more complex and meticulous task than what may appear. However, if you are supported by experienced and expert SAP Gold Partners such as those at VC ERP, who have been in the field since 21 years now, there is only gain.

Therefore, we must plan ahead while there is still time because it appears that the deadline on stopping the support for SAP ECC still holds.

Let’s take a quick deep dive and understand SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration in this quick little guide curated by ECC to S/4HANA experts at VC ERP Consulting.

A  Quick Overview of SAP ECC

SAP ECC (Enterprise Central Component) is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developed by the ERP pioneers at SAP SE. In fact, SAP ECC is designed to facilitate the efficient management and coordination of end-to-end business’ resources, processes, and data.

If you’re using SAP ECC and considering migration, you know the utility of the business management ecosystem where SAP ECC stands at the center – integrating every other business system around it.

The biggest challenge with SAP ECC is that it is not cloud ready. It does not have the power of a database that can handle queries and loads optimized for speed and performance, like SAP’s very own HANA database.

Additionally, when it comes to AI capabilities such as Predictive Analytics or Realtime Insights, and of course, the magnificent user experience that SAP Fiori brings is still missing.Therefore, SAP has decided to give time to those using SAP ECC to the ultimate End Game of all ERP systems – SAP S/4HANA.

A Quick Snapshot of SAP S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA ERP solution is available in three deployment models as of 2023, which is On-Premise, Public Cloud and Private Cloud. It has all the capabilities of SAP ECC but better – it is Cloud Ready and most importantly incredibly quick.

The incredible power of processing and fast-paced transactions of SAP S/4HANA when compared to its predecessor lies in the HANA database – which relies on in-memory computing technology surpassing any other database model out there. Not to forget, the underlying technology that makes SAP S/4HANA AI ready!

However, the migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA as discussed earlier must be meticulous and carefully executed – while preserving work continuity. How can this be done?

Let’s take a deep dive into the workings of a successful SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration.

The Inner Workings of an SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration

When migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, it’s crucial to understand the different approaches available and their implications. These approaches can be broadly categorized into Greenfield, Brownfield and Bluefield, each with its unique characteristics and best-fit scenarios.

Each approach has its strengths and is suited for different organizational contexts and goals. The choice largely depends on the existing system’s state, desired future state, and the organization’s readiness for change.

Greenfield Implementation Approach

This is executed as a fresh implementation of SAP S/4HANA and migrates data from your legacy ERP deployments. It is best for organizations looking to take advantage of SAP S/4HANA to re-engineer their processes and return to standard functionality and industry best practices.


A fresh implementation of SAP S/4HANA


Suitable for customers moving from non-SAP systems or from SAP ERP, requiring a new system setup with initial data load


Involves setting up a new SAP S/4HANA system and migrating master and transactional data from the legacy system.


SAP’s standard data migration tools and content are utilized


Ideal for organizations aiming to re-engineer processes, align with standard functionality, and adhere to industry best practices.

Brownfield Implementation Approach

This approach allows a rapid technical conversion, adding innovations gradually for users.Typically the fastest option, a brownfield approach converts any SAP ECC 6.x system running on any database to SAP S/4HANA, preserving your existing configuration, customizations and historical data.


A technical conversion approach with gradual innovation addition.


Maintaining existing configurations, customizations, and historical data, instead of starting from scratch and gradually converting components of SAP ECC 6.x system on any database to SAP S/4HANA on HANA database


Prioritizes rapid technical conversion.


Typically the fastest option, preserving much of the existing system setup.

Bluefield Implementation Approach (Selective Data Transition)

This approach allows a tailored scope between system conversion and new implementation with the flexibility to adapt data and processes in one step. It supports big bang approaches, as well as rollouts, and can be also used to modernize landscape and architecture (e.g. ERP consolidations or move to cloud applications).


A hybrid approach combining system conversion and new implementation.


Allows tailored scope, flexibility in data and process adaptation.


Supports various strategies, including big bang approaches, rollouts, ERP consolidations, or cloud migrations.


Offers a balance between maintaining some existing structures while introducing new elements.

The Lift & Shift Approach 

Lift & Shift in the specific context of SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration is moving or “lifting” the existing SAP ECC processes and data with minimal changes. This straightforward approach is quite often chosen for its relative simplicity and speed compared to more complex migration strategies that involve significant re-engineering or process changes.

However, Lift & Shift may not always be the best migration approach, and here’s why.

Potential Limitations

While lift and shift is less disruptive in the short term, it may not fully leverage the new capabilities of SAP S/4HANA. Organizations might not benefit from the improved processes and efficiencies that a more comprehensive migration could offer. It calls for an expert SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA migration services provider like VC ERP to suggest the best practices in this scenario to preserve the high return on investment on this migration exercise.

Lifting & Shifting is not always Sufficient

“Lift & Shift” is not one size fits all approach. However, it gains ample brownie points because it is often suitable for organizations that have a well-functioning SAP ECC system and are looking for a straightforward path to upgrade to SAP S/4HANA – everything without overhauling their existing processes.


Merely transferring all existing models, data, and processes might not be optimal.


Migration projects present a chance to cleanse and streamline existing processes and models.


Assessing the current SAP ECC version is crucial for a clean SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution.

VC ERP Pro Tip

Manual in-depth analysis can be cumbersome. Utilize process mining & system assessment tools for efficiency.

As we saw, each approach comes packed with its unique set of pros and cons.

While SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA migration is highly complex, it is still rewarding if you have a migration partner that has a strategic inclination of how to extract the maximum value – and which approach gets the most advantages.

The Tried-and-Tested ECC to S/4HANA Conversion Framework We Use

In the process of migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, a structured framework is crucial to ensure a seamless transition. This framework can typically be divided into three main phases:
  • Pre Conversion (Blueprinting Phase),
  • Conversion (Customization Phase), and
  • Post Conversion (Final Phase).
Each phase consists of specific steps and activities that are pivotal for a successful migration.

Pre Conversion – The Blueprinting Phase

The “Pre-Conversion Phase” is a crucial preparatory stage that occurs before the actual conversion or migration of the system. This phase involves several important steps and checks to ensure that the existing SAP ECC system is ready for the transition to SAP S/4HANA.

Assessment & Planning

This initial step involves a comprehensive review of the current SAP system. It includes understanding the business processes, system landscape, and identifying areas that may need adjustments in the new environment.

Analyzing the existing SAP ECC environment, identifying customizations, integrations, and data that need to be migrated and creating a detailed migration plan.

Custom Code Analysis

Evaluating and analyzing existing custom code to determine what can be retained, modified, or discarded in the S/4HANA environment.

Data Cleansing

This process involves cleaning up redundant or obsolete data, which is crucial for a smooth transition and efficient system performance in S/4HANA.

Simplification Item Check

Checking for any simplification items required for S/4HANA and addressing them before migration.

Technical and Functional Prerequisites

Ensuring all technical and functional prerequisites are met for the migration, such as hardware, software, and system compatibility.

Conversion – The Customization Phase

The “Conversion Phase” in the context of migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is the core stage where the actual transformation of the system occurs. This phase follows the pre-conversion phase and involves the technical process of converting the existing SAP ECC environment into an SAP S/4HANA system.

Installation & System Copy

Setting up the S/4HANA environment and creating a system copy for the conversion process.

SUM with DMO for Database Conversion

Using Software Update Manager (SUM) with Database Migration Option (DMO) for efficient database conversion to SAP HANA, the underlying database for S/4HANA.

Custom Code Adaptation

Adapting and optimizing custom code for compatibility and performance in the S/4HANA environment.

Functional and Configuration Adjustments

Making necessary adjustments in functional modules and system configuration to align with the new capabilities and features of S/4HANA.

Post Conversion – The Final Phase

The “Post-Conversion Phase” in an SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA migration is the final stage that follows the actual conversion of the system. This phase is crucial for ensuring the stability, performance, and effective utilization of the new SAP S/4HANA system.


Conducting thorough testing of the new system to ensure all processes and functions work as intended.

Training & Change Management

Providing training to the users and managing change to ensure smooth adaptation to the new system.

Go-Live & Post Go-Live Support

Transitioning to the new system and providing support to address any issues that arise after the go-live.

Continuous Improvement & Optimization

Regularly assessing system performance and making improvements to optimize processes and leverage new features in S/4HANA.

Each of these phases and their respective steps are critical in ensuring that the transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is effective, efficient, and minimizes disruption to the business. Proper execution of these steps ensures a smooth transition and maximizes the benefits of moving to a more advanced ERP system like SAP S/4HANA.

What are the steps to SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration at VC ERP?

For the migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, VC ERP Consulting follows a comprehensive and structured approach. This migration process is meticulous and involves several critical steps to ensure a seamless and effective transition to the new system. Here’s a detailed look at each step:

  1. Assessment and Planning

Analyze the current SAP ECC environment.


Identifying customizations, integrations, and essential data for migration. Creating a detailed and robust migration plan considering all critical aspects of the existing system.

  1. System Landscape Design

Design the target SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud landscape.


Developing the system architecture, including sizing and capacity planning to ensure the new environment is optimized for performance and scalability.

  1. Infrastructure Setup
ObjectiveConfigure the necessary infrastructure for SAP S/4HANA.ActivitiesSetting up virtual machines, storage, and networking components in a private cloud environment, tailored to support SAP S/4HANA’s requirements.
  1. Data Migration

Migrate data from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.


Employing Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes for data migration, ensuring data quality and integrity throughout the transition.

  1. Customization and Integration

Adapt and reimplement custom solutions for S/4HANA.


Updating custom code, third-party add-ons, and integrations to ensure compatibility and smooth functioning within the SAP S/4HANA platform.

  1. Testing

Ensure the functionality and security of the migrated system.


Conducting comprehensive functional, performance, and security testing to validate the system’s readiness for live operation and to minimize business disruption.

  1. Training and Change Management

Equip users for the new system and manage organizational change.


Providing extensive end-user training and support, facilitating a smooth transition to the SAP S/4HANA system, and managing the organizational changes required for successful migration.

  1. Go-Live Support

Support the transition to the new system.


Assisting in the cutover process, closely monitoring the system during the initial phase, and offering post-go-live support to address any emerging issues.

Each of these steps is critical in the migration process, ensuring that the transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is not only smooth but also adds value to the organization by enhancing efficiency, scalability, and future-readiness.

A Word to the Wise about Industry Specific Sensibilities to Migration Approaches

Each industry is unlike the other, while each business or vertical within that industry has its own fair share of industry and business-specific processes.

This is precisely why it is critical to have an SAP Partner like VC ERP with diverse experience. There is also much at stake, and so you would want to ensure your Migration Partner is open to feedback and ensuring what you need is done.

Most importantly, regardless of which system is in place, your team must get used to using the new system – this is where Change Management comes in.

Finally, it is crucial to have unique knowledge of how SAP Fiori Apps and SAP Fiori as the design language can come to your aid helping you interconnect several niche use cases unique to your business.

All of this in its entirety can be accommodated when you decide to utilize RISE with SAP offerings for your migration needs.

At VC ERP, we do this and so much more. Get in touch with us on +91 9978960138 today or simply book a free consultation with us now.