The new SAP is NOW. What does this mean for your setup?
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 delivers the fourth version of the SAP Business Suite. And to be clear, SAP S/4HANA is not just the next release of the ECC Business suite. It is an entirely new product line, supporting both Cloud and On-Premise 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 full potential of the SAP HANA in-memory platform. This means that you can use SAP S/4HANA to support your business and achieve instant insights by using a single source of truth practice, real-time processes, dynamic planning, and analysis.
With S/4HANA, you can also take full advantage of the latest SAP Fiori user experience. Designed as a more user-friendly and flexible alternative to the traditional SAP GUI (Graphic User Interface), SAP Fiori supports a more streamlined and role-based way of working with the SAP System. Users will find it fast and easy to complete tasks such as approving purchases, reviewing sales orders, or managing timesheets.
The SAP S/4HANA product line comprises of:
- SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, usually referred to as the SAP S/4HANA Core. It 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 for specific industries enhance the core functions of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management to provide industry-specific business functions and features, 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 to select on-premises functionalities to support their core business or core processes. This is where they can differentiate themselves from their competitors and realize a competitive advantage. By choosing this path, they can utilize the many configurations and modification options available in S/4HANA and tailor the SAP business logic according to their needs.
–In business areas where differentiation is not essential, but high standardization is required, the S/4HANA Cloud edition is the ideal choice, states Kenneth Vagn Olsen
When implementing SAP S/4HANA, it is important to consider the impact on future licensing costs, as separate licenses might be needed to support the business processes, as Kenneth Vagn Olsen points out. When the future application usage scope has been identified, he recommends teaming up with a partner like NNIT, or SAP, to eliminate potential licensing cost issues as early as possible.
How to migrate to SAP S/4 HANA
If you currently use SAP ECC or earlier versions of SAP ERP software, you are on a deadline, says Kenneth Vagn Olsen. The deadline has been set to 2025, but still, the clock is ticking. SAP has committed to offer support for earlier ERP versions until the deadline is reached. However, the support for these earlier versions will end, and businesses that want support from SAP will need to migrate to S/4HANA.
The implementation roadmap for 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 or try it in a specific location or business unit. You may want to implement SAP S/4HANA on-premise, in the cloud, or a Side-by-Side scenario. There are many roads to S/4HANA, and NNIT will help you identify the business benefits and plan your implementation roadmap.
Kenneth Vagn Olsen explains that there are three different implementation scenarios for a customer that wishes to transition to SAP S/4HANA:
- Scenario 1 - System Conversion: This scenario is focused on existing SAP Business Suite customers that want to convert their current system into a 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 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 that operate a 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. It gives important information needed to develop an implementation roadmap or helps lay the foundation for a successful migration plan towards SAP. That is how we tackle things here, and our success rate is high, ends Kenneth Vagn Olsen