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What is SAP S/4HANA?


SAP S/4HANA – It’s more than just another new SAP release. Much more, in fact, because SAP S/4HANA is the real-time ERP suite for the digital economy. With SAP S/4HANA, enterprises can create a “digital core” that integrates previously separate business processes into one system, thus breaking down data silos and creating a central data source – the “single point of truth”. Thanks to its intelligent enterprise approach, SAP S/4HANA also helps companies make better, algorithm-supported decisions.

This ERP solution is based on the SAP HANA platform and enables the innovative streamlining and acceleration of business processes like never before. The “S” in S/4HANA stands for “simple”. Its combination of ultramodern in-memory technology and a radically simplified data model makes it possible to retrieve information in mere seconds and make decisions in real time. It’s also easy to access SAP S/4HANA from mobile devices. The role-based SAP Fiori 2.0 user interface opens the door to a completely new user experience.

S/4HANA is the strategic product platform from SAP for many areas – particularly financial accounting, purchasing, and production, but also procurement, project management, sales, and logistics. Since older product versions will cease to be supported by SAP in the foreseeable future (likely from 2027), it's important for every user to start exploring SAP S/4HANA today.

The differences between the SAP S/4HANA versions

SAP offers SAP S/4HANA in two versions: an on-premise version for maximum control, and a cloud version for greater flexibility and improved scalability at lower costs.

  • SAP S/4HANA on-premise:SAP S/4HANA runs as an internal platform on internal servers and is maintained by your team. A new version is released each year, which your team implements on its own. In the on-premise version of SAP S/HANA, you retain full control of all your monitoring and configuration processes. Billing is based on a classic licensing model.
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud:All you need for this option is a computer with internet access. This version can be implemented in a public cloud (SaaS solution) or a private cloud (managed service via AWS or Azure). Updates are imported automatically twice a year, ensuring that the platform is always state-of-the-art in areas such as machine learning and predictive analysis. Payment is based on a subscription model.

SAP uses two different update cycles for SAP S/4HANA: For on-premise customers, a new release is provided every year; cloud versions are updated twice each year. Each release is maintained for five years starting from its release date. SAP announces current technologies and future adjustments, such as planned enhancements and new features, in the form of the SAP S/4HANA Roadmap. It covers the next three years and is updated regularly.

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