Definition: What is SAP S/4HANA?
The new product generation SAP S/4HANA (now the fourth in the SAP Business Suite) is more than just a direct successor to SAP ECC. In it, the in-memory technology HANA was firmly connected to the SAP Business Suite. This enables analyses and forecasts in real time.
In order to be able to fully utilize the performance of HANA, numerous applications and processes had to be newly developed and streamlined. SAP S/4HANA focuses on processes instead of modules. This resulted in a real-time ERP suite that companies can use as the basis for their digitization. SAP S/4HANA is characterized by a significantly simplified data model and numerous innovations via the SAP HANA cloud platform.
New features in S/4HANA are based on industry best practices. Customers have access to proven standards, which they can also adapt individually. SAP has taken a significant step towards user-friendliness and intuitive operation with its role-based interface design Fiori.
Added Value: Benefits of SAP S/4HANA
More efficient thanks to automation
A simplified data model and the SAP HANA in-memory database allow situation handling at unimagined speeds for real-time work. This creates space for core tasks.
Advanced analysis options
Drawing the right analytical conclusions from large amounts of data, using detailed reports and making forecasts – this is what S/4HANA enables and thus makes corporate decisions easier.
Boosters for digitisation
With S/4HANA, companies can easily initiate further digitisation projects. More than a pure ERP, the new product generation is the starting point for digital transformation.
Uniform access instead of isolated solutions
With its new architecture, S/4HANA bundles processes in one system, further (SAP) solutions can be integrated. Isolated solutions are passé. Device independence and mobile capability enable location-independent access to ERP functions.
Capex or Opex
Variable licensing models between on-premises and public cloud open up a wide field when balancing investment and operating costs.
More intuitive operation
The intuitive, role-based Fiori user interface concept from S/4HANA makes it easier to operate core business processes. Many actions now only require a fraction of the clicks of the mouse.
Contact: Get advice from our experts
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SAP Greenfield vs. Brownfield: How does the switch to SAP S/4HANA take place?
The transition, i.e. the transfer from SAP ECC to the new product generation SAP S/4HANA, is possible according to the greenfield or brownfield approach. That is to say, you either build a completely new system environment based on standard processes, suitable for the business model, or data, modifications and custom codes of the existing system are taken into the new S/4HANA world. The bluefield approach represents a middle ground that many companies opt for.
You should prepare for introduction of S/4HANA. The more clean-up work has already been done, the more ballast has been dropped, master data has been cleaned up, etc., the easier the later migration will be.
Which migration approach is chosen depends decisively on the careful analysis of the current situation. The analysis usually starts with a SAP readiness check for S/4HANA with detailed evaluations. Most user companies seek the support of a specialist for S/4HANA transitions.
Our approach: Convista ConVersion Factory:
This is how our SAP S/4HANA transformation works
With the ConVersion Factory, Convista has developed its own S/4HANA transformation approach in order to be able to optimally support our customers with these questions. The special thing about the ConVersion Factory is its modular structure, which allows you to flexibly adapt your S/4HANA project to your needs. You benefit from an individual S/4HANA solution that we can efficiently implement together with our proven approach based on SAP Activate.
FAQ: The most frequently asked questions about SAP S/4HANA:
SAP HANA (“High Performance Analytic Appliance”) is an in-memory technology developed by SAP in 2010. It combines OLAP and OLTP landscapes in a common in-memory database and allows data processing and analysis to be accelerated many times over. Originally conceived as an appliance (i.e. a combination of hardware and software), HANA can now also be used in virtualized form. Unlike its predecessors, the new SAP product generation is also based on HANA technology. So S/4HANA is an ERP suite, HANA the technology underneath.
For the new product generation, SAP offers several license models, from on-premises to hybrid scenarios to the public cloud “S/4HANA Cloud”. With classic on-premises use, the ERP system is completely hosted (i.e. software and hardware, systems, databases, servers) at the user company. Cloud solutions are available in different variants between private and public cloud, operated on hyperscaler platforms. In all of this, customers should keep in mind that SAP wants to become a cloud company in the long term and consequently focuses its development activities there. With the “RISE with SAP” program, the group wants to accompany its customers on their way to the cloud.
According to the current status, SAP will stop maintaining the SAP Business Suite at the end of 2027 (optional extended maintenance until the end of 2030). That is why user companies cannot avoid dealing with the transition. It is better to tackle this today than tomorrow, because the workload of qualified migration consultants is likely to increase in the coming years. Above all, however, S/4HANA is a platform from which digitization measures can be optimally started – a topic that every company should deal with today.
SAP user companies are highly individualized in the design of their ERP processes (and in terms of the degree between standardization and customer-specific adaptation). It essentially depends on how complex a migration to the new product generation will be. The amount of preparatory work that has already been done (master data cleansing, etc.) before the actual move starts is crucial. Fixed prices cannot therefore be reliably quantified for an S/4HANA project. A tailor-made design is always required – developed in a transformation project, ideally together with a specialized service provider.