Case Study – ECC to SAP S/4 HANA Migration for Water Treatment Company

SAP S/4 HANA Migration : Utilities Gain Flexibility And Optimization With Operational Excellence

Case Study – ECC to SAP S/4 HANA Migration for Water Treatment Company

Our client is a global water treatment and wastewater treatment solution provider. They are known for their innovation and collaboration with utilities to optimize and protect water resources. They also work extensively with industrial manufacturers, building operators, and communities, to enhance water management and sustainability practices.  


Our client leveraged their global reach and local expertise to drive innovation and collaboration in the water treatment industry. They were previously using the SAP ECC for their end-to-end financial and operation process.  

However, they faced several challenges in managing their data operations and interactions. With the need for a high-performance platform that could simplify their processes, improve overall performance, and leverage modern technologies, they decided to migrate to SAP S/4HANA. 

The following are some of the challenges the client faced with their previous ERP: 

  • End of ECC Support: SAP has announced the end of ECC support by the year 2030 and not providing any new patches or enhancements to the existing ECC system prompting the need for an upgrade. 
  • Not User-Friendly: The legacy system was outdated and did not utilize intelligent technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and the user-friendly GUI (Fiori). 
  • Redundant Code: The client had accumulated a lot of outdated code over more than 10 years with ECC, leading to low speed and performance. 
  • Lack of a Robust Database: ECC relied on traditional relational database systems, causing limitations in massive data management, and not meeting the potential of modern computing technologies. 
  • Slower Performance: The current system lacked the capability to support data-driven decision-making for critical business processes, resulting in overall slower performance.


We provided a comprehensive SAP S/4HANA migration service to the client, through the following approaches: 

  • Brownfield Approach: This approach was ideal for our client as they used a legacy ERP, they were happy with the SAP landscape but needed quicker adoption and innovation. We performed a database migration to SAP HANA and an application upgrade to S/4HANA without reimplementing or disrupting current business processes. This resulted in a shorter project runtime and minimized business disruption.
  • Data Transition Validation (DTV): To ensure a successful migration, we utilized the DTV tool. This tool allowed us to establish a project that spanned the entire conversion process, capturing key financial data before and after the system conversion. By comparing pre- and post-conversion data, we validated the success of the migration from a financial perspective.
  • SmartShift Integration: We leveraged SmartShift’s Intelligent Automation to address legacy code challenges. This eliminated thousands of hours of manual development work and reduced the risk of production complications, allowing the client’s team to focus on driving the business forward. 


With the new SAP S/4HANA ERP solution clients were able to leverage a significant range of benefits as follows: 

  • Real-Time Analytics: With the S/4HANA in-memory database, our client benefited from processing large volumes of data in real-time. This also facilitates faster reporting, analytics, and decision-making.
  • Enhanced User Experience: the modern and intuitive user interface Fiori UX, we have provided a better user experience and improved efficiency.
  • Significant reduction of code: Incorporating Smart Swift, we removed over 5000 unutilized programs out of 10000 programs for the client. 
  • Unified data model: With S/4HANA’s simplified data model, the client enhanced the integration capabilities with other systems i.e., CRM, SCM & third-party applications. This led to more efficient data flow and reduced data latency.
  • Robust Security: With S/4HANA embedded security capabilities, we offered a complete security approach consisting of data encryption and role-based management so the client can protect their data and prevent unauthorized access. 
  • Improved Scalability: The S/4HANA ERP provided a significant advantage for scaling the client’s business. It allows businesses to effortlessly scale based on concurrent users and data volumes without experiencing decreased performance. 

Overall Customer Value-Adds Delivered  

The migration from ECC to SAP S/4HANA brought about a multitude of value-added benefits, exemplified through concrete automation-led initiatives: 

1. Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings 

  • Automation of the user access review process reduced time, effort, and costs by 30%, eliminating manual data collection from systems like SAP ECC, SRM, and BPC. 

2. Streamlined Record to Report Processes 

  • Automated revenue plan updates, reducing labor intensity. 
  • Resource planning became 2500 times faster.  

3. Data Volume Reduction and Performance Enhancement

  • Reduced data volume by 70%, streamlining operations, improving performance, & lowering storage costs. 

4. Technical Debt Reduction and Data Archiving 

  • Eliminated over 4,000 obsolete programs and custom objects, simplifying the system & reducing maintenance. 
  • Archived eight years of financial data, reducing technical debt. 

Ending Notes

The successful migration of our client’s SAP ECC system to SAP S/4HANA not only addressed their immediate challenges but also positioned them for future success. By leveraging SAP’s advanced capabilities, our client can now operate with greater efficiency, streamlined processes, and enhanced reporting capabilities, ensuring they continue to lead in the water treatment technology sector. 


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