smartShift supports SAP S/4 HANA upgrade at Döhler GmbH from 1610 to release 1709

smartShift delivers quality results in custom code remediation with reduced cost and risk for S/4HANA upgrade project to 1709

Darmstadt/Mannheim, Germany:

After a successful Business Suite on HANA project in 2016 and a successful conversion to S/4HANA 1610 in 2017, smartShift has now successfully supported Döhler’s digital transformation to SAP S/4HANA 1709.

Döhler, a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the food and beverage industry, is following a stringent SAP S/4HANA strategy. The S/4HANA 1709 upgrade project was mainly driven by a business need to implement the newly introduced SAP Transportation Management in the central S/4HANA system.

During the project smartShift focused on the technical requirements of the new S/4HANA release in custom code adaptation. Moreover, issues which had already been identified as false positives in the 1610 conversion project could now be marked with a newly introduced pseudo comment to suppress them in the SAP ATC results. This allowed Döhler to start with a clean baseline using an integrated ATC in their ongoing development process. Hence the project consisted of two transformation runs with different focus areas:

  1. Automatically mark false positives (identified in the 1610 upgrade project) to suppress them from SAP Code Inspector / ATC results
  2. Prepare custom code for 1709, including clean-up of newly introduced HANA code compliance issues that had occurred after the 1610 upgrade project

The two runs were completed within 1 week during the downtime of the system upgrade. In addition, all new 1709 simplification items of the custom code migration worklist were reviewed to identify issues where functional expertise was required. All other issues were transformed by smartShift automatically, followed by a thorough QA performed by the smartShift Service Team, in parallel to the ongoing development in the upgraded system. The result was no code freeze for Döhler’s inhouse development during the upgrade.

In total, more than 10.000 changes across more than 3.400 objects were applied. The project went live with zero errors reported.

Thanks to smartShift’s contribution on the automated and technical conversion aspects, the Döhler project team could focus on the challenges of their first S/4HANA-to-S/4HANA upgrade project and only assessing potential functional issues.

Döhler stated: “Once again we could rely on smartShift as our trusted partner for the custom code conversion, and this time as well for optimization concerning false positives. Because of the fast conversion with very high quality, we could also eliminate the need for a frozen zone for development.”


Further upgrade projects at Döhler are already on the horizon (e.g. S/4HANA 1809). smartShift has proven to deliver substantial benefits to conversion or upgrade projects in Döhler’s S/4HANA environment. The stability of transformed custom code delivered by smartShift is an important cornerstone for subsequent projects, especially considering no manual process would be able to adapt custom coding at the same level of accuracy and in that short time-frame.

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