01 August 2018 / Blog
SAP S/4 HANA: A PRIMER
By: Ravi Padmanabhan
SAP S/4 HANA 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/4 HANA 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/4 HANA 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/4 HANA?
SAP S/4 HANA 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. S/4 HANA 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/4 HANA 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 S/4 HANA, along with more flexibility for developers. Other intended benefits of S/4 HANA include business process optimization and modernization that will allow customers to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the latest analytics. The latter becomes 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/4 HANA 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/4 HANA?
Clients who choose to either undergo an SAP S/4 HANA migration or an SAP S/4 HANA implementation can hope to achieve:
- Reduced hardware due to data compression, which is offered by the SAP S/4 HANA 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.
SUMMARY OF EXPECTED SAP S/4 HANA 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/4 HANA 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/4 HANA, companies may wish to employ a certified SAP hosting provider or consulting firm to assist them with a landscape assessment that objectively evaluates their readiness for an upgrade, as well as the best deployment path and model to meet their needs.