SAP S/4HANA is an ERP business suite based on the SAP HANA in-memory database that allows companies to process transactions and analyze business data in real time. While the letter S in the name of SAP S/4HANA, which is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite after R/3, means “Simple”, the number “4” indicates that SAP is the fourth-generation business software set. S/4HANA is designed to be easier to use and manage, while helping to solve more complex problems and process larger amounts of data than previous software suites. Available in on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployment models, with SAP strongly pushing its customers towards the cloud option.
SAP HANA is an in-memory columnar database designed to accelerate SAP applications and business processes, released in 2010. SAP HANA is now the primary way to run SAP Business Suite products. On the other hand, in-memory is a column-oriented database. It simplified data structure and improved performance to increase user productivity, provide real-time visibility and leverage analytics. It was created so that companies can react to the most up-to-date data instead of static quarterly reports.
In 2015, SAP reconfigured SAP ECC and created SAP S/4HANA to leverage the performance and data analytics capabilities of SAP HANA. This has been a great advantage and a great disadvantage. S/4HANA can only run-on SAP HANA, while SAP ECC can run on a third-party database.
S/4HANA is designed to solve complex problems and manage larger amounts of data than ECC and R/3. With SAP Fiori, it provides a better user experience and transitions from transactional systems that record data to real-time data from internal and external sources. With SAP Fiori, it provides a better user experience and transitions from transactional systems that record data to real-time data from internal and external sources. So why are some companies reluctant to switch to S/4HANA despite the benefits it provides? Due to the nature of some companies, they need to completely overhaul their existing business processes to switch to SAP S/4HANA, and they may not want to take on this workload.
What are the differences between SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA?
It is possible to explain the difference between SAP HANA and SAP S4/HANA in a single sentence. SAP S/4HANA is an ERP system like SAP ECC while SAP HANA is a database.
Written natively for the HANA platform, SAP S/4HANA is an entirely new generation SAP Business Suite characterized by attractive features such as simplifications, greatly increased efficiency, and options for planning and simulation in many traditional processes. SAP S/4HANA signals a move from the transaction system that only records the data to provide end users with active decision support in real time based on data from both internal and external sources.
In SAP Business Suite in SAP HANA, customers already have the option to calculate business cases enabled by TCO savings and optimizations. These calculations apply equally to SAP S/4HANA. However, the simplifications created by SAP S/4HANA also bring other benefits that the business value calculator will consider, such as the use of new user interfaces, reduced data volume, greater flexibility, and higher efficiency. For example, finance departments will benefit from more efficient shared services and accelerated financial close.
SAP released S/4HANA Cloud, a cloud-based version of S/4HANA, in March 2017. S/4HANA Cloud is best suited for large-scale organizations with 1,500 employees or more that may want to use a two-tier ERP system powered by a corporate entity’s SAP ERP Central Component or a complete business suite such as S/4HANA. Such firms can deploy and implement S/4HANA Cloud at the divisional or subsidiary level.
S/4 HANA Cloud includes next-generation technologies such as machine learning through a tool called SAP Clea and a speech-based digital assistant bot called CoPilot.
S/4HANA Cloud is a SaaS application with new versions released quarterly.
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