SAP S/4HANA® is SAP’s next-generation business suite
What is SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA® is SAP’s next-generation business suite, providing a digital core for your organization. It is a new product fully built on SAP HANA®, one of the most advanced in-memory platforms today, employing modern design principles with the SAP® Fiori® user experience (UX). SAP S/4HANA delivers massive simplifications in areas such as customer adoption, data model, user experience, decision making, business processes, and models. And it offers innovations for the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, business networks, and mobile-first to help businesses Run Simple in the digital economy. SAP S/4HANA is designed to integrate with and utilize the IoT, Big Data, mobile, business networks, third-party systems, and more. SAP S/4HANA helps our customers create a truly Live Business:
- It is immediate – empowering business users with insights to act in the moment
- It is intelligent – beyond automation to predictive suggestion
- It is integrated – not only between your departments but connected to the world
What are the key benefits for a customer to move to SAP S/4HANA?
SAP’s vision and strategy are to help customers run live in the digital economy. To deliver on this mission, we are redefining how enterprise software creates value.
The prevalence of digital technologies is forcing organizations to reimagine their business models, the way their business processes are designed, and the way their employees work in the digital economy. While this brings a plethora of challenges due to the disruptive nature of digital technologies, the digital economy also presents numerous opportunities for those who are aware and prepared to embrace digital transformation.
From a business value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates some unique opportunities to reinvent business models and drive new revenues and profits. First, enterprises can now connect to people, devices, and business networks to deliver new value to their customers on any channel because the Internet of Things and Big Data are accessible to any business. Second, enterprises can dramatically simplify their processes, drive them in real time, and change them as needed to gain new efficiencies – batch processing is no longer required. And finally, business users can now get any insight on any data from anywhere in real-time for planning, execution, prediction, and simulation, so decisions may be made on the fly with the finest level of granularity for faster business impact.
From an IT value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates some unique opportunities to simplify the landscape and help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), with SAP HANA as the great simplifier. First, enterprises can eliminate redundant data, reducing their data footprint while working with larger data sets in one system (for example, with industry or application function reintegrated, where it was previously standalone). This enables them to reduce hardware costs, operational costs, and complexity, and to save time.
Second, innovation is made simpler by leveraging an open platform (SAP HANA Cloud Platform) to drive advanced applications – for example, for predicting, recommending, and simulating – while protecting existing investments. Third, business users can leverage a simple and role-based user experience, based on modern design principles, which minimizes training efforts while increasing productivity as it combines information from various sources at the point where decisions are made. We also support customers with
simple configuration: both while setting up the system and during its use. And finally, enterprises get choice of deployment: cloud, on premise, and even hybrid scenarios to achieve quick time-to-value and reflect the current reality of customer solution landscapes. SAP
S/4HANA is built only on the SAP HANA platform because it is the only platform that can deliver the required massive simplifications and innovations.
How does SAP S/4HANA fit SAP’s digital business framework?
SAP S/4HANA is the digital core for your business. Built on the SAP HANA platform, it can enable the digital network that connects your entire workforce, suppliers, customers, and assets to the digital core.
What are the SAP S/4HANA deployment options for customers?
SAP offers on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments to give real choice to customers. SAP S/4HANA also gives customers the option to fully leverage the SAP HANA multitenancy database functionality as provided by the SAP HANA platform.
What is the benefit of using an in-memory platform with regard to the data model?
SAP S/4HANA delivers high-volume online transaction processing (OLTP) and high volume real-time online analytical processing (OLAP) based on a unified data model without the redundant data layers typically required by traditional RDBMS-based systems. This reduces TCO while providing new opportunities to increase business value from existing investments.
Examples of redundant data layers are custom-built layers based on database tuning efforts such as secondary indexes, or application built-in performance accelerators such as aggregate tables or multiple general ledger versions for different managerial reporting needs.
The massive simplifications of the data model and the data processing layers enable business and technological innovations on a broad scale, across all lines of business (LoBs) and industry solutions. The new application architecture simplifies system landscapes and accelerates cloud deployments on an economical scale.
Where can I find SAP S/4HANA enablement material beyond this FAQ document?
SAP offers both educational and training materials to help customers along their paths to a digital core with SAP S/4HANA. In addition to the primary product Web site, www.sap.com/s4hana, we recommend that our customers make use of the following materials:
SAP S/4HANA Customer Adoption Journey Map: This interactive, five-step journey map outlines how customers can establish a digital core and drive shorter time-to-value with our top SAP S/4HANA digital offers for existing SAP Business Suite customers and new customers. It includes our top business and IT audience assets.
Multiple courses on SAP S/4HANA are available through the openSAP platform. They include:
- SAP S/4HANA in a Nutshell
- SAP S/4HANA – Deep Dive
- SAP S/4HANA – Use Cases
- Implementation of SAP S/4HANA
SAP S/4HANA Cookbook: This online and living “cookbook” includes frequent updates on functional capabilities, transition options, extensibility, adaptation, and integration information as well as education and service offerings from SAP.
What is the current business scope of SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA is a broad enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite designed to help companies take advantage of every opportunity in this digital world.
The figure below highlights the business scope of SAP S/4HANA for customers choosing an on-premise deployment.
Customers can drive end-to-end digitized operations across business functions with SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be found later in this document, here. SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all mission-critical processes of an enterprise. It represents our foundation solution, natively built on the SAP HANA platform and designed with SAP Fiori UX to unleash a new wave of productivity across your organization.
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 specialized LoB and industry capabilities. It also delivers native integration with SAP SuccessFactors® Employee Central for world-class HR functionality as well as with the Ariba® Network to help our customers fully leverage the power of the buyers’ network.
What is the SAP S/4HANA 1610 release?
In October 2016, SAP delivered further simplification and innovation in the core with the 1610 release of SAP S/4HANA.
Key simplifications and innovations include:
- Greater integration with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and with business networks such as the Ariba Network
- Integration of production planning and detailed scheduling, and of extended warehouse management, in the digital core to reduce overall landscape complexity
- Unified SAP Fiori 2.0 UX across the entire suite
- Enhancements to the SAP Portfolio and Project Management and SAP Product Lifecycle Management applications
What are SAP S/4HANA Line-of-Business Solutions?
The SAP S/4HANA Line-of-Business (LoB) Solutions combine the core capabilities included in the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution with each LoB solution in our portfolio (on premise and cloud). Examples include the SAP Cash Management application for finance, SAP SuccessFactors solutions for human resources, the Ariba Network for procurement, and the SAP Hybris® Cloud for Customer solution for marketing and commerce and sales and services.
What SAP S/4HANA industry solutions are available?
Within SAP S/4HANA we have an “Industry-to-Core” initiative as industry value chains undergo significant reorganization. For example, we can foresee the consumer products brands becoming retailers, and retailers becoming consumer products brands. The classical industry definitions are becoming increasingly blurred. Our Industry-to-Core initiative is driven by a “principle of one” mindset, and releases portions of the former industry solutions as part of the core SAP S/4HANA solution. Both SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud are open to customers of all industries. As expected, the functional depth and support of specific industry scenarios is larger for the on-premise edition than for the cloud edition, as the latter focuses on more standardized and streamlined core ERP processes. Support for industry-specific solutions is planned according to market prioritization for both on-premise and cloud editions
What is the product map and road map for SAP S/4HANA?
SAP customers and partners can access the latest product road maps here. With the 1610 release of SAP S/4HANA, we are introducing a new rolling four-quarter format for greater clarity and transparency.
Where can I find customer enablement materials for SAP S/4HANA?
The customer journey to SAP S/4HANA includes end-to-end support for business and IT audiences. SAP offers both educational and training materials to help our customers on their digital transformation journey with SAP S/4HANA. We recommend that our customers make use of the following enablement materials: SAP S/4HANA Customer Adoption Journey Map: This interactive, five-step journey map outlines how customers can establish a digital core and drive shorter time-to-value with our top SAP S/4HANA digital offers to existing SAP Business Suite customers and new customers. It includes our top business and IT audience assets.
Choosing Your Path to SAP S/4HANA: This interactive flip book helps you understand the journey to a digital core and provides information on the different deployment options available.
SAP S/4HANA openSAP Courses: There are multiple SAP S/4HANA-specific courses available through openSAP, including: SAP S/4HANA in a Nutshell, SAP S/4HANA – Deep Dive, SAP S/4HANA – Use Cases, and Implementation of SAP S/4HANA. SAP S/4HANA Cookbook: This living online “cookbook” includes functional capabilities, transition options, extensibility, adaptation, and integration information as well as education and service offerings from SAP.
Where can I find partner enablement materials for SAP S/4HANA?
In addition to the enablement materials listed above, partner-specific enablement materials about SAP S/4HANA are available on the SAP Partner Portal SAP S/4HANA Training and Education page.
How can I try SAP S/4HANA?
Customers and prospects can experience SAP S/4HANA with a free 14-day cloud trial of SAP S/4HANA. They will discover the value of a digital core across concrete roles and predefined scenarios in finance, project management, and marketing.
You can also explore SAP S/4HANA with a 30-day trial environment deployed on Amazon Web Services. Here, you will have total control of a complete SAP S/4HANA environment to evaluate the value of instant insight across end-to-end business processes in finance, controlling, manufacturing, and service.
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 SAP 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 SAP S/4HANA.
How does SAP efficiently and effectively support integration needs with SAP S/4HANA?
SAP supports integration needs and requirements for standard integration scenarios as well as customer-specific integration scenarios. There are three basic types of integration support:
SAP-delivered integrations SAP delivers full end-to-end integrated processes for specific hybrid cloud scenarios, where SAP S/4HANA Cloud integrates with other SAP Cloud solutions.
Template-based integrationsTo simplify integration with SAP Cloud solutions, SAP offers flexible deployment models and template-based, packaged integrations, primarily for on-premise deployments of SAP S/4HANA. The template-based integration content is applicable for use cases where additional customization is required on a project basis.
Customer-driven integrations Customer-driven integrations run on SAP integration technologies. SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the goto solution, although SAP Process Orchestration and SAP HANA Enterprise Integration Management are also supported.
Customer-driven integrations leverage released SAP application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow for integration with other on-premise or cloud solutions, and leverage use cases of side-by-side extensions built on SAP HANA Cloud Platform. Technology features such as easy creation of new data services from CDS views for READ access, and an increasing number of released “Create Read Update Delete” (CRUD)-enabled APIs, allow for a powerful integration of the organization’s digital solutions. The customer-specific integration scenarios are developed and operated by the customer in both on-premise and cloud deployments, based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
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 SAP 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).
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 optimized 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 our customers’ investments, including extending our maintenance commitment until at least 2025. This is an unprecedented commitment to customers in the IT industry. We 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 SAP S/4HANA runs only on SAP HANA. It is the logical next step for our 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 our 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 extention 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. With SAP S/4HANA, these different types of workarounds, based on technical limitations of traditional databases, are not necessary.
What is the business scope of SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud currently covers specific business scenarios for the marketing line of business and services-oriented industries as well as the essential scenarios, such as finance, procurement, sales, inventory management, project system, and product lifecycle management, to run an entire enterprise in the cloud. It also includes integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, Ariba Network, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP Fieldglass® solutions (planned) and SAP Jam™ social software platform. Three offerings are currently available as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
- SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management Cloud – for a full ERP business scope SAP S/4HANA
- SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud – for the professional services industry
- SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud – for the marketing line of business
Additionally, customers can opt for the SAP S/4HANA Enteprise Management Cloud, private option to utilize a broader array of business processes with maximum flexibility while enjoying the benefits of a cloud solution.
What are the key differences between the options for SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management?
The differences between the options are summarized in the figure below.
What is the road map for SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
To provide increased transparency and clarity, we have introduced a new approach to SAP S/4HANA Cloud road maps, providing a rolling four-quarter view. SAP customers and partners can access the road map here.
Is SAP S/4HANA Cloud a public cloud offering?
Yes. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is offered as a public cloud solution that includes quarterly innovation cycles.
What is SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private option?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private option, provides additional capabilities for customers that require specific functionality, broader extensions, and deeper configuration capabilities in a dedicated cloud environment.
Are SAP S/4HANA Industry Solutions available in the cloud?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud is focused on standardized and streamlined business processes and covers core ERP functionality today. All industries can leverage SAP S/4HANA Cloud to run core ERP processes. Deeper industry-specific functionality is available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private option.
How does SAP S/4HANA Cloud relate to SAP’s existing portfolio of cloud solutions?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud does not replace our existing portfolio of line-of-business cloud solutions; rather, it integrates with and expands it. Our comprehensive offering allows customers to build hybrid scenarios between SAP S/4HANA and cloud solutions from SAP, including SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba solutions, well as integration with SAP Hybris and SAP Fieldglass solutions, and with SAP Jam. This way customers can leverage the cloud at their own pace, based on their needs, while keeping all the integration and business benefits of their existing SAP solutions. In addition, SAP S/4HANA is designed to easily connect with global business networks such as the Ariba Network and Concur® solutions (planned).
Can you provide any information regarding SAP data centers?
SAP has more than 40 data centers around the world, all designed to meet the highest security standards. SAP S/4HANA utilizes a variety of data centers from the SAP network.
What is SAP Activate?
For both new implementations as well as system conversions, SAP Activate methodology gives you the freedom to get up and running quickly and to innovate continuously with SAP S/4HANA. SAP Activate has the following elements:
- SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA provide ready-to-run digitized business and technology processes optimized for SAP S/4HANA. Leveraging SAP’s expertise and experience for standard processes helps deliver predictable results and saves time, so you can focus your efforts on innovation. SAP Best Practices are designed to guide you through the optimal integration and migration scenarios, whether you are moving from a legacy SAP software system or from a thirdparty database. SAP S/4HANA includes a reference solution for running in the cloud or on premise in addition to details for enhancing processes to fit your needs and integrate with line-ofbusiness cloud solutions. SAP Best Practices enable you to take advantage of all the power and potential available with SAP S/4HANA but tailored to your circumstances and business needs.
- SAP Activate methodology is SAP’s new software implementation methodology that builds on proven approaches and SAP’s experience to offer a consistent, agile method for any deployment type – cloud, on premise, hybrid, or mobile. It offers support for initial implementation and continuous innovation with SAP S/4HANA.
- Specifically available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, guided configuration provides assistance not only throughout the implementation project, but also beyond – while running the solution in a production environment. You can adapt the best-practice preconfigurations delivered by SAP Best Practices – for example, to modify the organizational structure or expand the chart of accounts. Guided configuration is available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud deployments
What is the typical journey for an existing SAP Business Suite customer?
Moving to an on-premise deployment of SAP S/4HANA for a typical SAP ERP 6.x customer from any database can be achieved in a single step that includes a database migration to SAP HANA followed by the installation of the new code. Moving to an on-premise deployment of SAP S/4HANA for customer with SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA requires only the installation of the new code since the SAP HANA database migration has already been performed.
In both cases the existing system is converted into an SAP S/4HANA system, without the need for reimplementing the business processes, and SAP provides concepts and tools for this system conversion. More information on this transition scenario can be found in the SAP Community here. Some customers want to take the opportunity to optimize their processes and reconsider their priorities, so they choose to transition using the “new installation” scenario rather than the “conversion.” This approach may be combined with simplifying the system landscape, a scenario that is described as “landscape transformation.” An extensive description of all transition permutations can be found in the SAP S/4HANA Cookbook.
What happens to existing modifications when a customer moves to SAP S/4HANA?
In any scenario, the move to SAP S/4HANA is a great opportunity to validate the existing extensions and modifications with the goal of simplifying your solution. It is not unusual for customers to realize that 50% of the extensions and modifications that hamper fast release cycles and require long test cycles are no longer key to running the business. To manage modifications (and custom code in general) that will be sustained, SAP provides a full tool-based approach to identify challenges and give adoption guidance, see SAP S/4HANA Custom Code Migration Worklist in the SAP Community and SAP Help.
What is a compatibility pack for SAP S/4HANA?
A compatibility pack provides customers with a separate usage right for selected SAP Business Suite core applications and related add-on products. The usage right is limited in time and specifies which features and functions are released for SAP S/4HANA. Compatibility packs:
- Cover functionality from SAP ERP core or line-of-business or industry solutions
- Comprise the complete or partial scope of the related SAP Business Suite product
The aim of a compatability pack is to allow business continuity with SAP S/4HANA: customers can use the compatability in SAP S/4HANA while SAP may be developing comparable business functionality for SAP S/4HANA in parallel. Compatibility packs apply only to on-premise licensing of SAP S/4HANA; cloud licensing models follow different patterns. The right to use a compatibility pack is restricted in time. They expire at the date given in the SAP S/4HANA Compatibility Scope Matrix.
What happens to existing legacy interfaces if a customer moves to SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA currently supports most of the existing published legacy interfaces when deployed on premise. The limitations are due to data model simplifications to optimize the solution for SAP HANA and are described, together with functional changes and business impacts, in the “Simplification List,” which is guiding the SAP S/4HANA releases and is available in the SAP Help for S/4HANA (on-premise).
Can a customer choose to run the traditional SAP user interface and custom screens or is SAP Fiori mandatory?
The SAP Fiori launchpad is the central entry point to SAP S/4HANA for all users. The award-winning SAP Fiori UX is a significant attribute of SAP S/4HANA. It includes modern UX paradigms supporting intent-based navigation by being service-like, intuitive, and Internet-like. With respect to SAP GUI usage, SAP S/4HANA offers different options depending on deployment model
Cloud SAP S/4HANA Cloud is accessible through the Web browser. No local client is required to access SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Each user’s access is managed by the SAP Fiori launchpad. The user can launch or display SAP Fiori apps, SAP GUI for HTML, and Web Dynpro applications using the SAP Fiori launchpad
On premise SAP S/4HANA deployed on premise follows the same cloud principles as SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is accessible through the Web browser and the user can launch or display SAP Fiori apps, SAP GUI for HTML, and Web Dynpro applications using the SAP Fiori launchpad.
Note that there are some limitations to SAP GUI for HTML, described in SAP Note 314568. There is the option to embed the SAP Fiori launchpad in the SAP Business Client software, which allows users to launch SAP GUI for Microsoft Windows applications in addition to launching SAP Fiori apps, SAP GUI for HTML, and Web Dynpro applications from the SAP Fiori launchpad.
What is the pricing model for SAP S/4HANA?
For the on-premise version, SAP Business Suite customers need to purchase the SAP S/4HANA foundation license to run the new SAP S/4HANA code line. For the cloud version, the pricing model is subscription-based. Please contact your local sales representative for more information.