April 21, 2021

SAP S/4HANA is a modern, next-generation ERP with built in intelligent tools meant to help streamline operations and gain real-time insight and analytics.  S/4HANA utilizes SAP HANA, to improve efficiency and productivity within your business processes.  In order to transition to SAP S/4HANA, identifying the deployment options best suited to your company’s operations and workloads is recommended.  S/4HANA can be deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or as a hybrid solution. There are several factors to consider when determining your deployment strategy.  Some key considerations include the level of flexibility, internal infrastructure, time to value, and time management. Whether you are upgrading or transitioning from another ERP, be sure to research your options and discuss with an SAP partner.

S/4HANA Cloud Edition

S/4HANA deployed in the cloud provides a standardized and lightweight experience for customers.  This is especially true for those interested in a scalable deployment with a simplified implementation and quick time-to-value. Cloud implementations generally lead to cost savings and lightens the maintenance workload for internal IT teams. This ERP option is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. There are three tiers of cloud deployment to consider, all of which provide the benefits of utilizing a cloud infrastructure. The cloud deployment options are well-suited to mid-sized companies who will benefit from a scalable solution that requires less internal maintenance and oversight.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud essentials edition (ES) – This deployment option, formerly known as multi-tenant edition, is hosted on SAP’s public cloud.  All regular upgrades, security, and scalability are automatically handled by SAP.  Your system will benefit from the most up-to date software and configuration versions at all times.  SAP also uses standardized code in their essentials edition that is pre-configured and optimized, making this easier for them to implement and maintain. As a result, a lot of robust tools are offered as part of this standard package. This option provides tools for a core set of industries and localizations.  Understanding the capabilities and limitations is key. Check out Cloud ES for a cost effective, standardized ERP with a quick time-to-value.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud extended edition (EX) – Cloud EX is SAP’s single-tenant option for S/4HANA deployment. This means that company’s selecting EX will have dedicated cloud resources that are not shared with other S/4HANA clients.  Businesses can choose to run their extended edition S/4HANA on SAP Cloud or an alternate cloud provider. This deployment option allows for more customization in the configuration and more flexibility in implementing upgrades.  This flexibility also means implementations can be longer and more intensive.  Upgrades, on the other hand, need more management from the client side.

S/4HANA On-Premise/ Any-Premise

S/4HANA Any-premise means that this ERP is managed either by the customer or their third-party management partner.  This can occur in a dedicated datacenter or in another hyperscaler cloud provider.  This deployment option provides the most flexibility over upgrades and configurations.  It is also the most analogous to SAP’s preexisting ERP solution. This may be a true on-prem ERP or a hybrid solution.

With this option, SAP does not manage upgrades and configuration.  The customer has the ability to set the pace and timing of both their upgrades and maintenance. There is a lot of opportunity here to make the product a unique experience, however that requires additional time and cost.  On-prem/any-prem deployment is well-suited to large clients with the resources and expertise to manage more complicated implementations, customizations, and maintenance strategies.  This deployment option is beneficial for the client looking to customize and modify their experience.  It could also benefit the longstanding ECC client who is looking to translate their current solution services into this next-gen product.

S/4HANA can be deployed either in the cloud, on-premise, or in a hybrid scenario.  This all depends on the amount of flexibility and personal oversight that is needed.  Many customers who have been utilizing SAP ECC will opt for a “system conversion” deployment that will translate their current system selections into the S/4HANA solution.  For those who are either new to SAP ERP or looking to redesign their solution, a new implementation will help identify the best deployment design for your business goals and operational strategies.

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