With the 2027 end-of-maintenance deadline of SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) approaching, SAP users must do something to stay compliant. Survey results from SAPinsider show that the majority of SAP-run enterprises (a.k.a. your peers and competitors) are already making their move to S/4HANA. SAP is also shifting to a cloud-exclusive model for S/4HANA, limiting the available deployment options for those who have waited until now to move and causing many firms to look for solutions that could fast-track their migration.
SAP Central Finance is the KEY S/4HANA Deployment Option
Are you still undecided on your path to move to S/4HANA? If you are like most companies, your landscape of legacy systems may be diverse and complex, with SAP and non-SAP ERPs alike. And you may have some hesitation or confusion about how to complete the project, especially before the 2027 deadline. If so, consider this question:
Why not use SAP Central Finance to start your move, and leverage prebuilt integration products from insightsoftware to simplify and accelerate your journey?
SAP Central Finance and related Solution Extensions from insightsoftware are key options and provide a low-risk, non-disruptive, powerful platform to support your move.
SAP Central Finance and Solution Extensions from insightsoftware
SAP Central Finance
SAP Central Finance is a deployment option of S/4HANA that allows you to begin your move in a non-disruptive way, focusing on finance first. Stand up a Central Finance-enabled S/4HANA instance, configured with your desired future-state financial model, and enable replication from your legacy systems to provide real-time financial visibility across your enterprise.
From there, you can move many financial processes from source systems into the Central Finance instance. Processes include central payments, treasury, intercompany, closing processes, and dozens more.
Finally, you can complete your migration of the non-financial applications and processes and shut down the legacy source. Alternatively, you may wish to keep some sources for business reasons and simply upgrade them to S/4HANA – more of a brownfield approach for the source system with the benefit of centralized processing with Central Finance.
Solution Extensions from insightsoftware
To facilitate the source integrations to Central Finance, SAP chose insightsoftware (formerly Magnitude) as a strategic software partner. SAP provides Solution Extensions from insightsoftware that simplify and accelerate the connections between Central Finance and source systems, with a focus on:
- Legacy SAP systems like SAP R/3 or earlier ECC versions or EHP levels
- Non-SAP ERPs like Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, and others
insightsoftware can help you reach your Central Finance go-live faster, with lower risk, and at a lower total cost of ownership vs. trying to custom-build your integrations.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here are some often-asked questions with answers and clarifications that may help you decide if Central Finance and insightsoftware are right for your move to S/4HANA:
Are you risk-averse? With Central Finance, create your future state ERP now, running side-by-side with your legacy landscape. This gives you the ability to compare financials between each system and provides the “steppingstone” approach to migration. insightsoftware’s integration software includes prebuilt connectors to resolve the complexity between systems.
Do you resist change, or are you constantly dealing with change? Central Finance allows you to start your move in a non-disruptive way that simultaneously delivers early business value. Finance processes can be incrementally migrated into Central Finance vs. a typical big bang migration approach. And if you are dealing with acquisition overload, your Central Finance environment (which could eventually be your full future S/4HANA) will be a powerful merger and acquisition platform, with insightsoftware simplifying the ERP integration aspects.
Are you unsure about your path to the cloud? Central Finance gives you immediate cloud presence when deployed as a part of RISE with SAP, regardless of your legacy ERP landscape. With your sources connected to Central Finance (e.g., via insightsoftware), you can plan your source ERP cloud migration in a practical manner, whether it is a lift-and-shift or a finance-first migration with eventual retirement of the source.
Do you think your legacy SAP systems are too old or customized to work with Central Finance? It is certainly the preferred path to apply SAP notes to enable standard replication from SAP ECC systems into Central Finance. But if your SAP systems are in the “dated” category – R/3 or ECC prior to EHP 7 – or if they are so highly customized that the SAP-based replication cannot work, then insightsoftware can often be used to replicate these legacy SAP systems into Central Finance without applying the standard replication notes. There are some differences to consider, but can be a valuable option to save time, resources and cost.
Are you ready to fully transform finance? Central Finance has grown into a fully mature platform with broad and deep capabilities to help you achieve your desired business outcomes. The integrations by insightsoftware help you replicate detailed financial transactions essential to optimizing or centralizing many business processes. This includes bidirectional synchronization from Central Finance back to source systems in the case of Central Payments.
Are you budget-constrained or struggling with competing priorities? Research shows companies are looking for smaller projects and phased approaches. Greenfield is likely not an option, and brownfield doesn’t give you much business value. The happy medium is Central Finance, where you can spread out the project into bite-size chunks, each of which can deliver a return on your investment.
Think you missed your window for Central Finance as a move path? For most companies, this is not true. The Central Finance ecosystem has matured, with very competent system integrators who can help you design an optimal migration path using Central Finance. insightsoftware will accelerate the onboarding and integration of your diverse ERP landscape. Many companies reach a first phase go-live in under 12 months.
SAP Central Finance, together with insightsoftware integrations, is feasible, pragmatic, practical, doable… choose your own synonym. It fits well within current budget and resource constraints, helps you achieve your 2027 deadline, gets you to the cloud, and lays a solid future foundation in a methodical manner that you can then build upon at your own pace. Some of your competitors have likely reached their future state already with the help of Central Finance and insightsoftware, and are already innovating on the platform. Others are evaluating and will make their move soon.
Instead of asking skeptically, “Why take this approach?,” challenge yourself and ask, “Why not take this approach?”