ETZ Global

Case Study for Huahai Pharmaceutical: SAP S/4 Upgrade

Case Study for Huahai Pharmaceutical: SAP S/4 Upgrade

Case Study for Huahai Pharmaceutical: SAP S/4 Upgrade

13 January 2022 

About Huahai Pharmaceutical

With the cause for human health as its duty, Huahai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is devoted to providing global patients with high-quality medical health products, and continuously improve product accessibility for higher life standard of people.

Founded in 1989, Huahai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Zhejiang, China. Their business involves many sectors, such as chemical drug, biological drug and trade.

The Challenge

Huahai required that their existing SAP S/4HANA 1609 landscape be upgraded to SAP S/4HANA 2020 to take advantage of the advances and new functionality provided in the latest release of S/4 HANA. Their landscape consisted of a Sandbox, Development, Quality Assurance and Production systems, all hosted on AWS. It was required that an upgrade project plan be designed to facilitate the upgrade in line with the customer’s strategy timelines, and for the plan to accommodate the continued support of the existing version during the upgrade project.

Why ETZ Global?

ETZ’s execution strategy incorporates proven methodologies, extremely qualified personnel, and a highly responsive approach to managing deliverables. ETZ had proven itself uniquely capable of providing expert skills in technical SAP upgrades, AWS administration, advanced troubleshooting, and project management to ensure that the project would be designed, managed, and implemented successfully within budget and on time.

“…the upgrade project completed successfully. The Basis team has done a great job and we appreciate your great contribution! “

Sandy Zhou – 

CIO at Huahai Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd 

The Plan

ETZ uses the SAP Activate implementation methodology which utilizes the agile approach for the design and management of our projects. The methodology divides a project into six distinct phases: discovery, prepare, explore, realize, deploy and run. Each phase comprises tasks and key deliverables with flexibility within the phases, which can have a varying number of tasks that are related to each other and not dependent on the end of one phase to begin another. 

Project recommendations

ETZ made a number of recommendations for the upgrade approach, these were to ensure preparedness for the production cutover and also to ensure support for the existing landscape version.


The upgrade plan was developed according to the SAP Activate methodology and included the creation of a Proof-of-Concept Sandbox system as a copy of production to be used as a test bed for the S/4HANA 2020 upgrade. This PoC upgrade would allow us to test the upgrade by determining software requirements, resource constraints, iron out any technical issues encountered, and hone our timing of the process.

Parallel Landscape

As Huahai was using AWS for their SAP landscape, it made sense to take advantage of the flexibly offered to rapidly procure IT infrastructure where needed. The time needed to provision a new environment is reduced from weeks, to less than an hour and as such, ETZ recommended creating a parallel landscape as copies of the original Development and Quality Assurance systems. This would allow for the upgrade of the copies, whilst retaining the original systems in their existing SAP S/4HANA version to allow for the ongoing support of the landscape during project. The production system upgrade would be the final step in the process and would be upgraded on the original system. The STMS landscape would subsequently be switched to the newly upgraded landscape after the production cutover to the new version.

Dress Rehearsal

During the upgrade project, changes had been made to the production environment during the normal support process. This meant that by the time we reached the production upgrade cutover, the validity of the original PoC had diminished to the degree that we were not comfortable with performing the live cutover without performing another upgrade test. This we recommended in the form of a “Dress Rehearsal”, which was to perform an upgrade on an exact copy of production, again utilizing the flexibility of the AWS Cloud platform. This Dress Rehearsal validated our upgrade recipe and provided an accurate estimate of the upgrade duration for the production cutover.

Project Plan

The project plan was developed, presented to the customer, and was approved. A visual representation of the project plan are provided here in the form of a high-level overview, and the actual project plan itself:

Proposal for Huahai Pharmaceutical: SAP S/4 Upgrade
High Level Project Overview
Project Plan SAP S/4 upgrade of Huahai Pharmaceutical
Project Plan

The Outcome 

The upgrade was performed on-time, under budget and any technical issues encountered during the Hypercare phase were minor and rapidly resolved.

About the Partner


AWS Consulting
Partner ETZ GLOBAL helps organizations transform the SAP workplace through
cloud-based implementations. For more information about how ETZ GLOBAL can help
your company build and manage your AWS environment, see the ETZ GLOBAL listing
in the AWS Partner Directory.

Request A Consultation

ETZ Global Form

Latest News