S/4 HANA - Frequently asked questions about the next generation ERP suite from SAP

In early February, SAP presented the successor to its current ERP system and Business Suite: S/4 HANA. By focusing on innovations like the HANA In-Memory database, an optional operating model as a hosted cloud solution and modern, mobile-ready user interfaces, the new ERP suite meets the demands of the digital and networked world of the 21st Century. What does this mean for current and future SAP customers, and what exactly is behind S/4 HANA? We will try to briefly answer these questions and more below.

Plattling, March 16, 2015

What is S/4 HANA?

SAP S/4 HANA, which is a short cut for SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, is the next-generation SAP application suite. It is a brand new product that was fully developed based on the powerful SAP HANA In-Memory platform and the modern SAP Fiori user interface. The central feature of S/4 HANA is the radical simplification of the data model and user experience, which helps companies simplify their business processes.

What kinds of operating models are available?

Many different operating models are available for S/4 HANA. SAP customers are able to choose the one that suits their needs best: local/OnPremise (featuring the familiar full adaptability and expandability of the system), Managed Cloud (individualized system hosted at the SAP data center) and Public Cloud (standardized multi-tenant cloud solution for simple business processes of select industries).

When will S/4 HANA be available?

The OnPremise version of S/4 HANA is already available now. The Public Cloud version will be available in Q2 2016 and the Managed Cloud version later this year.

How does "SAP Simple Finance" relate to S/4 HANA?

Simple Finance, now called SAP S/4 HANA Finance, was the first step in the road map of SAP S/4 HANA for customers. It showed the major advantages of simplifying the data model (e.g. no indices or aggregates) and is functionally contained within S/4 HANA.

How does S/4 HANA fit into the existing cloud solution offering from SAP?

S/4 HANA does not replace SAP's existing cloud portfolio. Rather, it is integrated into it and expands it. SAP customers can still set their own pace as they enter the cloud and easily combine the ERP solution with cloud offers like SuccessFactors, Ariba and Concur in a standardized way as needed.

Will SAP continue to provide its Business Suite customers with innovations for every database?

Yes. SAP always highly values protecting its customers' investments. Its commitment to extended maintenance until 2025 still applies and guarantees Business Suite customers future innovations without interrupting business operations (e.g. via Enhancement Packages), for every database and SAP HANA. However, S/4 HANA only runs on the SAP HANA platform. SAP S/4 HANA is the next logical step for current SAP customers and the largest step forward in many years. It is fully compatible with SAP ERP 6.0.

What does the typical path to S/4 HANA look like for an SAP Business Suite customer?

If the average current SAP ERP customer would like to switch to SAP S/4 HANA, they must switch to the latest Enhancement Package, migrate the existing database to SAP HANA and swap out for simplified, innovative solutions (new code). These steps can be carried out one after another or in combination. Customers of the "SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA" can switch over to SAP S/4 HANA even quicker, as they need only swap out for the simplified, innovative solutions (new code). If you have any further questions on S/4 HANA, feel free to contact us at any time. Our experts will help you classify both technological and business-related developments and give you some initial impressions of the new ERP solution using a demo system.

Let's get in touch.

Norbert Kytka, Headquarters Plattling