SAP S/4 HANA is the fourth version of SAP's Business Suite, designed exclusively for the real-time SAP HANA database. With this new application, you can strengthen your ERP system and improve your company's performance.
With SAP S/4HANA (SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA), SAP is delivering the fourth version of the SAP Business Suite. And just to be clear, SAP S/4HANA is not just the next release of the ECC Business suite. It is a completely new product line, supporting both Cloud and On-Premises capabilities, with new state-of-the-art functions and features, says Kenneth Vagn Olsen, SAP Consulting Director, S/4HANA Center of Enablement at NNIT, and explains:
The SAP S/4HANA product portfolio is designed and built to fully utilize the in-memory platform SAP HANA. Using the full potential of SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA is designed to support and provide instant insight by using a single source of truth, real-time processes, dynamic planning, and analysis.
By the SAP Fiori user experience offering SAP S/4HANA, it supports a whole new way of working with the SAP System, and together with the simplified data model, and the principle of one, users will experience a faster and more streamlined execution of the individual transactions, compared to working with the traditional SAP GUI.
The SAP S/4HANA product line comprises:
SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, usually referred to as the SAP S/4HANA Core, is designed for different enterprises across industries that need a deep and broad level of functionality combined with a high degree of flexibility in customization.
SAP S/4HANA LoB Products enhance the core functions of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management to provide additional business functions and features for a specific line of business (LoB), e.g. Supply Chain Management or Finance.
SAP S/4HANA LoB Products for specific industries enhance the core functions of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management to provide industry specific business functions and features for specific industries, e.g. Chemicals or Pharmaceuticals.
SAP S/4HANA is offered to customers with a high degree of flexibility and there are deployment options such as on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployments where SAP S/4HANA works in a side-by-side environment. Kenneth Vagn Olsen explains, that the current trend for NNIT customers is, that they tend to select on-premises functionalities to support their “core business” or “core processes” where they can differentiate themselves from their competitors and realize a competitive advantage. By choosing this path, they have all the configuration and modification options available to tailor the SAP business logic according to their needs. We also see, that, in business areas where differentiation is not essential, but where high standardization is required, the S/4HANA Cloud edition is the ideal choice.
When implementing SAP S/4HANA, it is very important to consider the impact on the future license costs, as separate licenses might be needed to fully support the business processes, as Kenneth Vagn Olsen points out. When the future application usage scope has been identified, he recommends to team up with a partner like NNIT, or SAP to get the potential license cost issues cleared as early as possible.
How to migrate to SAP S/4 HANA
If you are currently using SAP ECC or earlier versions of SAP ERP software, you’re on a deadline, says Kenneth Vagn Olsen. Currently, that deadline has been set to 2025, but still, the clock is ticking! SAP has committed to offer support for earlier ERP versions until this clock runs out. However, then the support stops, and those businesses that want support from SAP will need to migrate to S/4HANA.
The road map road map to implement SAP S/4HANA will depend on your current ERP solution. You may be on Suite on HANA, a Hybrid Scenario, you may have a mature SAP Landscape, or you may be new to SAP. Maybe you want to roll out SAP S/4HANA as an early adopter, try it in a specific geography or business unit. You may want to implement SAP S/4HANA On-Premises, or in the cloud, or in a Side-by-Side scenario. There are many roads to S/4HANA, and NNIT will help you identify the business benefits and plan your road map.
Kenneth Vagn Olsen explains, that there are basically three different implementation scenarios for a customer to move to SAP S/4HANA:
- Scenario 1 - System Conversion: This scenario is focused on existing SAP Business Suite customers that want to change their current system into a an SAP S/4HANA system
- Scenario 2 – Landscape Transformation: This scenario is focused on existing SAP Business Suite customers that want to change their current system or system landscape into a an SAP S/4HANA, system (or system landscape). This scenario covers more complex migration scenarios.
- Scenario 3 – New Implementation: This scenario is focused on new customers (coming from any legacy system) or SAP Business Suite customers that want to start with a new installation. In this scenario, the SAP S/4HANA system is implemented, and master and transactional data are migrated from the legacy system.
Before you choose which implementation scenario to proceed with, we recommend making an S/4HANA Impact Assessment, which should include the SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA. Making an S/4HANA Impact Assessment is essential because it gives important information that is needed in the development of a road map, and it lays the foundation for a successful migration plan toward SAP. That is how we tackle things here, and our success rate is high, says Kenneth Vagn Olsen