Here is part two in our short series of blogs on all things SAP S/4HANA. Our first blog explained what S/4HANA is and why your business would benefit from investing in it. In this blog, we will outline how S/4HANA relates to the broader SAP portfolio, the business scope, and considerations when planning your journey to S/4HANA.

Scope and Road Map

What is the current business scope of SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all critical processes of an enterprise. It represents SAP’s foundation solution; natively built on the SAP HANA platform and designed with SAP Fiori UX which makes SAP simple to use and available on all mobile devices.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all core business processes (for example, order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, plan-to-product, and request-to-service) and core capabilities, such as core finance, as well as a variety of more specialised LoB and industry capabilities. It can also deliver native integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central for world-class HR functionality as well as with the Ariba Network to help customers fully leverage the power of the buyers’ network.

What is the SAP S/4HANA 1610 and 1709 release?

In October 2016, SAP delivered further simplification and innovation in the core with the 1610 release of SAP S/4HANA and then again this month with the 1709 release.

What is the product map and road map for SAP S/4HANA?

You can access the latest product road maps here.

Journey to SAP S/4HANA

How Can I Plan My Journey?

G3G is offering a free personalised roadmap which includes end-to-end support for business. We will help you understand the journey to S/4HANA and provide information on the different deployment options available.

Who Should I Partner with on My Journey? 

Choose a partner that has been successful in helping other companies adopt S/4HANA and achieve measurable business benefits. G3G has used our SAP certified templates, extended business scenarios and our agile methodology to enable customers to surpass their business goals.

SAP S/4HANA and the Broader SAP Portfolio

How does SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud relate to the SAP S/4HANA?

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud provides a private cloud environment for all SAP on premise solutions running on SAP HANA, including SAP S/4HANA. Customers can consider this as a deployment option for SAP S/4HANA.

How does SAP HANA Cloud Platform relate to SAP S/4HANA?

In the context of SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA Cloud Platform serves as an extension platform and agility layer. It is possible to build specific capabilities that extend the scope of S/4HANA by either integrating non-SAP functions or building your own. The cloud platform serves as both the development platform and the runtime foundation for the developed solutions. The extensions built on the cloud platform can run with both cloud and on premise deployments of S/4HANA.

How does G3G support integration needs with SAP S/4HANA?

G3G supports integration needs and requirements for standard integration scenarios as well as customer-specific integration scenarios. There are three basic types of integration support:

  1. G3G-delivered
  2. Template-based integrations
  3. Customer-driven integrations

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP Business Warehouse or SAP BW/4HANA?

SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) powered by SAP HANA and SAP BW/4HANA complement SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics, allowing customers to address all use cases from one data source, resulting in a comprehensive reporting platform. SAP BW is a strategic solution for enterprise data warehousing (EDW) and it has been recently expanded with a native SAP HANA EDW. SAP’s next-generation EDW, SAP BW/4HANA, is a new product specifically designed to run exclusively on the SAP HANA platform and to integrate with S/4HANA in the same way as SAP BW powered by SAP HANA. The new innovations taking place with SAP BW/4HANA are compatible with existing SAP BW on SAP HANA environments and focus on Big Data with enhancements to data management (such as multi-temperature handling or a variety of deployments including SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure). As SAP’s strategic platform for EDW, new functionality in SAP BW/4HANA will further enhance the integration with SAP S/4HANA (with, for example, CDS extraction, aligned content objects, and models).

SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite

Do SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite share the same data semantic?

SAP S/4HANA is the semantic evolvement of the classic SAP Business Suite. With SAP S/4HANA, SAP has developed a new product that leverages basic data structures and elements of SAP Business Suite for maximum compatibility, non-disruptive conversions, and hybrid scenarios. However, SAP S/4HANA provides new business functionality on top of these data structures, natively built on and optimised for the SAP HANA platform and designed with the SAP Fiori UX principles.

Will SAP continue to deliver innovations to customers using SAP Business Suite on any database?

Yes, SAP remains committed to protecting customers’ investments, including extending their maintenance commitment until at least 2025. They will also continue to deliver innovations without disruption (through enhancement packages, for example) to customers using SAP Business Suite on any database and on SAP HANA. However, transformational business and IT simplifications require a transformational platform and this is why S/4HANA runs only on SAP HANA. It is the logical next step for SAP installed base customers.

What is the fundamental difference between the SAP Business Suite code line and the new SAP S/4HANA product code line?

The development approach of SAP S/4HANA is to enable customers for the digital economy and deliver a new architecture, designed for real-time, live business. The SAP applications built on SAP HANA benefit from SAP’s market-leading in-memory computing technology. The SAP HANA in-memory database stores data in rows and columns. It is this combination of both storage approaches that produces the speed, flexibility, and performance of the SAP HANA database.

SAP S/4HANA combines standard SAP ERP functionality and industry features in one modern software stack including required data model adoptions such as the field length extension of material number and amount fields to support modern business process requirements. The SAP HANA database technology also allows for the elimination of all artifacts that have been introduced as performance workarounds for classical row-based RDBMS. These are aggregates and programmed indexes that contained no semantic value and provided only fast access to sums and data. These workarounds created interconnections in the application and complexity in how to lock the system to avoid conflicting updates to the aggregates.

Keep a look out for the final blog in the series coming soon!