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Three reasons a global partner is key to success in S/4HANA transformation

Kirsi Parviainen
18 Apr 2022

SAP’s customers have known for a while that they will need to embrace the S/4 HANA transformation sooner or later. But many organizations are still in limbo with the transformation process. Implementing this new version in good time means having a future-proof ERP system that provides an excellent basis for business and process innovation to rely on sooner.

We will see a huge wave of SAP S/4HANA projects in the coming years. SAP’s customers have known for a while this transformation is inevitable — with a looming deadline.

An S/4HANA transformation project requires a large amount of time and investment. There is no doubt you will want to lean towards the comfort of choosing a local partner that you have worked with in the past to run the transformation.

However, I would like to challenge you to rethink the reasons this model may not be the best solution for your S/4HANA implementations. Let’s take a look at the three main reasons why choosing a global partner like Capgemini is the key to success in your S/4HANA transformation.

#1 Will there be enough SAP consultants in the market to serve the booming demand?

The S/4HANA market is currently hot and booming as companies make the transition over to S/4HANA, with many more to follow in the coming two to three years.

It also means that there has been a sharp increase in the global demand for SAP consultants over the years along with this transformation. As the deadline to kickstart your transformation project draws closer, this demand will continue to grow rapidly in the next few years.

This prompts the following questions:

  • Are there enough SAP experts in the market to serve this huge demand?
  • How can a company be sure they’ll get skilled SAP consultants to work on their transformation program?

Unfortunately, the demand for SAP experts is also met with a lack of workforce in the market. It means that many organizations are now facing delays with their S/4HANA transformation project delivery — a hinder to scaling economic growth at the moment.

The answer to overcoming the above challenge is simple: select a global partner with a large enough pool of workforce.

In order to meet the demands of the market, we’ve built a talent pipeline strategy to ensure continuity in our pool of consultants. To date, we have more than 38,000 experienced SAP consultants globally with deep expert knowledge to help our customers transform their business with S/4HANA.

#2 Would you rather use a local reference or the best benchmarks from the world’s leading enterprises in your sector?

The upgrade to S/4HANA is a large-scale business transformation process that is complex and requires a high level of dedication from the consultants. However, once successfully implemented, it allows organizations to start delivering business value, navigate the rapidly changing consumer landscape, and grow faster.

Capgemini has successfully implemented over 450 S/4HANA projects in various industries in Europe. It means that organizations seeking to make S/4HANA transformation now have access to our leading practices from various industries globally.

S/4HANA programs are by no means solely IT programs. They are transformation programs that require not only SAP technical skills but also skills to deliver business transformation. Thus, when selecting a partner, focus on evaluating the delivery methods, tools and enablers that the partner can offer.

Furthermore, utmost importance should also be given to industry-specific process knowledge and best practices. Relying only on local resources and references means you miss out on the best-of-breed industry knowledge and expertise that a global partner can provide.

Transformations like S/4HANA programs are not projects you run every year. They are large-scale projects you run once in every 10 to 20 years, at most. Why not opt for the best global expertise and practices to help you scale?

#3 Are you agile enough to react to the changes in your business environment?

An ERP migration will always impact business operations and requires a fair amount of financial investment. On top of that, among the things the last two years has taught us is that changes in business environment and market behavior can happen overnight.

Organizations can no longer wait five years to complete a transformation. They need to be able to adapt to the moving pieces in the market within a heartbeat. Having rapid implementation means you can start scaling your business and react to your business landscape faster.

For example, the rise of servitization. If an organization’s current ERP does not support this business model, it means it will soon fall behind in the competition. The faster an organization can implement an intuitive system, the sooner it can drive innovation and run the business in a more profitable manner.

This is where the importance of methods, tools, and accelerators comes into the picture. Capgemini invests heavily in developing delivery methods to enable smooth, fast, and value driven transformation programs. While not every partner can provide you with an agile implementation, it’s a guarantee we promise our customers.

Capgemini’s extensive experience in S/4HANA implementations has long prepared our SAP consultants for the reactivity needed to accelerate transformation projects with the existing workforce, knowledge, framework, tools, and processes to help organizations achieve success.


S/4HANA transformation is about doing things better and in good time with the chances of delivering business value faster. In order to make it work, you need good consultants with shared global expertise. Choosing a global partner is the key to success in your S4/HANA transformation — the earlier, the better.

Author Details:

Kirsi Parviainen 
(Head of SAP/Capgemini Finland), leads the Package Based Solutions Unit at Capgemini Finland. Packaged Based Solutions Unit consists of our SAP consultants and architects.