From migration and deployment options to industry and business process support, find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about SAP S/4HANA.

What is SAP S/4HANA, and how does it differ from SAP ECC?

SAP S/4HANA is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution at the core of SAP’s Intelligent suite. It offers real-time analytics, simplified processes, and a modern user experience compared to SAP ECC (enterprise resource planning central component). Unlike SAP ECC, which was built on traditional relational databases, SAP S/4HANA utilizes in-memory computing for faster data processing and advanced analytics. SAP S/4HANA Cloud plays a critical role in supporting end-to-end enterprise processes and in supporting SAP’s Clean Core philosophy. It is designed to drive business transformation and innovation as well as enable real-time decision-making.

What are the benefits of migrating to SAP S/4HANA?

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA offers several benefits, including real-time insights, simplified processes, enhanced user experience, integration with intelligent technologies, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over time. Recent ASUG Research found that the top 5 business benefits experienced by member organizations live on SAP S/4HANA include improved performance, optimized business processes, faster access to analytics, improved organizational efficiency, and easier data delivery.

What are the deployment options for SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is available for deployment in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid environment. Cloud deployment options include SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud edition and SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud edition. SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud is the pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of SAP S/4HANA that is designed to support a pure, Clean Core system based on industry best practices with no extensions outside the SaaS core. SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud edition is run as a managed service by SAP or a partner and allows for industry-specific functionality beyond what is available in the Public Cloud edition. Each deployment option has specific business benefits, and organizations can choose the deployment option that best suits their needs, preferences, and IT infrastructure.

What are the different implementation strategies for SAP S/4HANA, and how do they differ?

The main migration approaches to SAP S/4HANA are greenfield, brownfield, and hybrid. Greenfield is a new implementation that involves reengineering your processes, setting you up for transformation. Brownfield is a system conversion of an existing SAP ERP system that aims to preserve as much as possible from your previous system. A hybrid migration combines elements of both approaches so that you can redesign some processes for more efficiency while maintaining critical customizations.

What factors should we consider when planning a migration to SAP S/4HANA?

Factors to consider when planning a migration to SAP S/4HANA include business objectives, existing IT landscape, data migration strategy, deployment options, customization requirements, change management, and resource allocation.

How long does it take to implement SAP S/4HANA?

The duration of SAP S/4HANA implementation varies depending on factors such as the project's complexity, deployment option, migration approach, organizational readiness, and scope of customization. It can range from several months to a couple of years for larger organizations. Recent ASUG Research found that, on average, it took respondents 1.7 years to go live. Some implementations took up to four years, while others took as little as six months.

What are the main challenges organizations face when migrating to SAP S/4HANA?

Common challenges organizations face when migrating to SAP S/4HANA include:

  • Data migration complexities.
  • Customization and integration issues.
  • Change management resistance.
  • Skill gaps.
  • Budget constraints.
  • Ensuring business continuity during the transition.

How does SAP S/4HANA support specific industries and business processes?

SAP S/4HANA offers industry-specific solutions and best practices tailored to various sectors such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, utilities, and more. It supports core business processes across functions such as finance, sales, procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain management. SAP Signavio and the SAP Business Technology Platform support organizations with business process management, extensions, and integrations so that you can optimize SAP S/4HANA to fit your needs best.

What should organizations do with customizations made in SAP ECC when migrating to SAP S/4HANA?

Depending on the industry and version, some customizations may not be necessary in SAP S/4HANA. Organizations should explore options for migrating customizations to the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).

How does SAP S/4HANA integrate with other technologies, applications, and infrastructure within an enterprise?

Organizations should assess how SAP S/4HANA will interact with additional technologies, including other SAP cloud products and non-SAP software, to ensure seamless integration across the entire enterprise. SAP BTP is the premier platform and toolset to help support the integration of SAP and non-SAP applications in one unified environment.

What is RISE with SAP, and how does it impact the contracting process for SAP S/4HANA?

The goal of RISE with SAP is to simplify migration to the cloud by combining SAP solutions, services, and technologies into a unified package. This is a bundled contract offering that includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other SAP SaaS products, as well as licensing for SAP cloud services that are intended to help streamline implementation and mitigate the risk to your data and business processes.

What support and resources are available for organizations migrating to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP provides a range of resources and support services for organizations migrating to SAP S/4HANA, including migration tools, best practices guides, training programs, consulting services, and a community of experts and users for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Your ASUG community offers resources that connect you with other customers on their SAP S/4HANA journey through our upcoming events, editorial insights, on-demand webcasts, and discussion forums within the ASUG SAP S/4HANA Community Alliance.