SAP S/4 HANA
SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (or SAP S/4HANA) is a business suite that is built on SAP’s proprietary Operational Database System and in-memory computing platform called SAP HANA. SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s real-time ERP suite for digital business. It leverages SAP’s advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and offers optimized business processes, performance and end-user experience with SAP Fiori. SAP S/4HANA can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud for companies of all sizes and industries. The goal of this short blog is to shed a little light on what SAP S/4HANA is and the potential impact it may have on your business if you are running SAP today or considering SAP in the future.
WHAT IS SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA is an abbreviation of SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. Its name implies that it is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite, but it differs from its predecessors because it is designed to run on SAP HANA. SAP S/4HANA was designed to be simpler to use and easier to administer while helping users resolve more complex problems and process larger amounts of data than earlier SAP ERP and R/3 releases.
SAP S/4HANA is a big departure compared to the previous version.
• The ‘S’ stands for simple. The goal of this software release is to dramatically simplify the business processes of organizations.
• The ‘4’ indicates the fourth generation of SAP software.
This next generation of SAP applications achieves the following:
• Takes the code base and dramatically reduces the amount of compute and transactions required to support the same business processes as previously supported by R/3.
• Takes advantage of a new and improved user interface via SAP Fiori.
• Runs massively parallel providing 50 times the throughput of SAP R/3.
WHAT IS NEW WITH SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA was a massive undertaking, requiring an overhaul of the database concept and the revision of hundreds of millions of lines of code. Simplicity and usability were the driving factors behind SAP S/4HANA, along with more flexibility for developers. Other intended benefits of SAP S/4HANA include:
• Business Process Optimization allowing customers to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the latest analytics.
• Business Process Modernization which is a major selling point because of the underlying SAP HANA platform that not only allows for the simplification of business processes, but also the ability to process analytics in real-time.
To summarize, SAP S/4HANA further builds upon the business value of in-memory database performance with a simpler, faster, and more efficient application code base.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SAP S/4HANA?
Clients who choose to either undergo an SAP S/4HANA migration or an SAP S/4HANA implementation can hope to achieve some of the following benefits:
• Clients who choose to either undergo an SAP S/4HANA migration, or an SAP S/4HANA implementation, can hope to achieve:
• Reduced hardware due to data compression, which is offered by the SAP S/4HANA application suite.
• Lower software costs through a reduction and elimination of many software products such as ETL, data replication, management, and other middleware software.
• Faster development time through automation and minimized complexity.
• Increased productivity for users through a simplified user interface and for administrators through the simplification of the environment with the SAP HANA platform.
SAP S/4HANA Editions
The S/4HANA product offering consists of two editions: SAP S/4HANA On-Premises and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
SAP S/4HANA On-Premise is similar in terms of coverage, functionality, industry-specific support, and localization to the current SAP Business Suite (35 languages, 61 country versions, 23 industries). This edition is available for on-premises deployment and as a hosted offering via SAP and its partners.
SAP also offers SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP S/4 HANA Cloud was announced February 8, 2017, at an analyst briefing. SAP has emphasized the product as pivotal to its cloud shift. It consists of functionality for finance, accounting, controlling, procurement, sales, manufacturing, plant maintenance, project system, and product lifecycle management, plus integration with SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Hybris and SAP Fieldglass.
SAP plans to have comprehensive industry coverage for the cloud edition, as well as industry-specific solutions. It is currently available in several languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese).
SAP S/4HANA IMPLEMENTATION
There are various ways to get to S/4HANA, this depends on a customer’s starting point. For example, new implementation, system conversion, and landscape transformation.
New implementation – This is a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA (green field): customers who are migrating from a non-SAP legacy system or from an SAP ERP system and implementing a fresh system that requires an initial data load. In this scenario, the SAP S/4HANA system is implemented, and master and transactional data are migrated from the legacy system, thus standard data migration tools and content has to be used.
System conversion – This is a complete conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite system to SAP S/4HANA (lift & shift): customers who want to change their current SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. This scenario is technically based on Software Update Manager (SUM) with Database Migration Option (DMO) in case the customer is not yet on SAP HANA as the underlying database.
Landscape transformation – This is a consolidation of current regional SAP systems into one global SAP S/4HANA system or a split out of different parts of a system: customers who want to consolidate their landscape or carve out selected entities (such as a company code) or processes into a single SAP S/4HANA system.
SUMMARY OF EXPECTED SAP S/4HANA MIGRATION
With the lure of the potential benefits listed above, companies are already beginning explore the business case of making a transition to this latest release from SAP. The option of running SAP S/4HANA on-premise or in the cloud gives customers the flexibility of choosing a model that best matches their IT strategy and business needs. In order to prepare for SAP S/4HANA, companies may wish to employ a certified SAP hosting provider or an SAP consulting firm to assist them with a landscape assessment that objectively evaluates their readiness for upgrade, as well as the best deployment path and model to meet their needs.