Optimized data archiving with SAP S/4HANA®: EU-DSGVO-compliant & cost-saving implementation

S/4HANA offers SAP customers more benefits than any previous version of the ERP suite. In combination with the HANA database, SAP Fiori, and SAP NetWeaver technology, SAP has developed a promising complete offering. Assuming correct management, S/4HANA above all enables more efficient processes and a significant increase in productivity – but SAP® has switched to a volume-based licensing model with the introduction of S/4HANA. This results in avoidable costs. We will show you what you need to pay attention to before introducing S/4HANA.

The new S/4HANA is certainly not lacking when it comes to performance. However, there is a certain degree of complexity and effort required when getting started. Migrating from SAP R/3 to SAP S/4HANA is not a simple database migration, but rather a data structural change in the ERP system. Successful projects can take up to five years and become very costly.

There is no other way, however, as SAP will discontinue support for older versions, including SAP R/3, in 2025. Undertaking such a mammoth project will of course mean you want make sure you exploit the full potential of SAP S/4HANA. In this blog post, we explain how SAP customers, with the right preparation, can make optimal use of the new possibilities when it comes to performance, speed and analysis techniques – right from the very first day of implementation.

Preview: SAP S/4HANA Performance Increase

The Challenge: Too Many Documents Make S/4HANA Sluggish

The initial problem that many companies face has to do with existing ERP systems. Distributed systems and applications, a heterogeneous IT environment and various release statuses make the introduction of S/4HANA difficult. What’s more, there are countless data and document attachments that have often been maintained directly in the system since the go-live of the SAP system. The result: a rather large database.

Distributed systems and applications, a heterogeneous IT environment and various release statuses make the transition to S/4HANA difficult.

The abundance of files in the main memory is problematic in S/4HANA in so far as a full main memory less impairs the performance of the HANA database, but increases the project costs. With the introduction of S/4HANA, SAP is switching to a volume-based license model. This means that every gigabyte more data and documents in the HANA database counts and is calculated.

With this in mind, the handling of data and documents during day-to-day operations should be a topic of paramount importance. In the ideal case, however, you will have already dealt with the matter before migrating to S/4HANA. So what do you do with all the old data if you have opted for the new SAP S/4HANA and want to make the most of the full performance of the new SAP version?

Step One: Select the Data on S/4HANA That You Actually Need

Even before the switch, data migration to HANA requires a far-reaching transition – and this is costly. Nevertheless, it also offers an opportunity to clean up the system, streamline the data structure and thereby create the basis for a fast, user-friendly environment. The first step is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does access to the stored data and documents work?
  • What data must also be accessible in HANA in the future?
  • What data and documents can be stored more easily and effectively elsewhere?

Remember: The more data you transfer from the old system to the archive, the better the performance of your new S/4HANA will be! For this reason, think carefully about what really needs to be available in the new system.

Step Two: Store Data Externally, but Do it Properly

Some existing SAP landscapes have developed over decades and are therefore very complex and company-specific. To ensure you have an efficient data archiving process, therefore, you need to adopt a good strategy and have an external archiving system. The data you sorted out in the first step can be stored there securely and quickly and will remain accessible without taking up space in S/4HANA.

On the one hand, data and documents can be securely removed from the main memory before migration to S/4HANA thanks to the external memory. On the other hand, the data in the archive can be clearly structured, allowing you to carry out all processes relating to your data in a simple and GDPR-compliant way.

Are you interested in the GDPR-compliant storage and archiving of your data? Find out more!

How does data archiving on the external archive work?

Data archiving on the external archive happens via an interface. This creates a secure connection between the software and the external archiving system. This way, both data and retention rules can be transferred directly from the application. This ensures that the attributes assigned for blocking and deleting are also passed on to the archive.

Easy access to archived accounting records and documents is permanently guaranteed by the fact that the content is linked. The best bit? The amount of data on the external archive doesn’t pose any problems, since, unlike the HANA database, no special demands are placed on the performance levels.

Graphic: SAP S/4HANA Performance Increase

Archiving, but EASY

With the EASY WebDAV for SAP ILM® server, EASY provides the required interface to your current ERP system. Using this interface, data can be migrated quickly and directly to the external memory EASY Archive. Thanks to the SAP-certified extension module EASY WebDAV for SAP ILM®, storing data on EASY archives is incredibly simple and secure.

EASY Archive has long been used to successfully archive document types and data from SAP. EASY’s external archive is also certified for SAP ILM and stores data in accordance with GDPR. It is even possible to store data in the archive according to internal company compliance guidelines without any difficulties. The archived data remains easily accessible, frees up valuable space to ensure a top-performing S/4HANA, and is still available centrally for employees.

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