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SAP S/4 HANA

An intelligent business suite

SAP S/4 HANA is an ERP business suite based on the SAP HANA in-memory database that allows companies to perform transactions and analyse business data in real-time. SAP S/4 HANA is short for SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, meaning that it is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite, but is designed to run only on SAP HANA. It is an in-memory database designed to dramatically accelerate SAP applications and the business processes they support. It is the go-forward foundation for running SAP Business Suite.  

SAP S/4 HANA is the simplification and redesign of the ERP modules to provide new business value as in: 

  • focus on simplification of business processes 
  • real-time operational analytics 
  • integration with Cloud services and external data sources 
  • and accessible through an overhauled user interface  

What are the benefits?

  • Simplified processes and user interface;
  • improved business operations for faster reaction to market changes;
  • reduced transaction overheads for faster processing and real-time operational analytics;
  • integration with Cloud services and external data sources for improved BI insight;
  • increased ability to deploy mobile solutions;
  • improved quality of service to business users and,
  • reduction of database size and subsequent overheads.
sap s4 hana

How to get started with SAP S/4 HANA

1) The Greenfield Approach

New Implementation. The greenfield approach requires a new implementation of SAP S/4 HANA. This can be a tiresome and time-consuming project, especially on the change management side, since everything has to be started from scratch. The upside to this path is that the business processes can be redefined and simplified and full advantage of S/4 HANA capabilities can be taken. This does not guarantee that the new implemented system will actually work on the operational side, but there will be time for adjustment. Going through this re-implementation route can be unnerving because there will be radical changes in the way the system is operated. So, to go down this road, the whole process may be re-engineered.  

2) Brownfield Conversion

With all the repercussions of the greenfield approach, there is an alternative way: the brownfield route. This is SAP’s newest recommendation for existing customers who are operating on SAP ECC and want to migrate to S/4 HANA but still keep their investment in the current system. With system conversion, the whole system and business process will move to a new platform of S/4 HANA. This approach can offer a better solution if no changes are wanted in the operations of the existent business process. It essentially allows to run the business with less disruption since it’s more of a technical system conversion. The downside is that possible issues on the technical side can arise, but SAP has provided conversion tools and guidelines for this. Therefore, the risk can be mitigated.  

3) Blackfield Conversion or Landscape Transformation.

Under this path, a System Merge of multiple source systems into one SAP S/4HANA system happens. It comprises of: 

  • Upgrade ERP & Migrate to S/4 HANA
  • Convert full system with data
  • Minimal disruption
  • Retain / optimize configuration

 

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