5 benefits of the (still elusive) SAP S/4 HANA migration
Madalina Andrei – SAP Business Development & Project Manager
Also known as the next generation ERP suite, SAP S/4 HANA covers all core business functions, introducing the best conceptual and UI trait business could demand – simplicity. In SAP’s own words, the main purpose of this sophisticated tool lies in “executing all kinds of complex queries in the blink of an eye, without aggregating (and thus sacrificing) data in advance”. In order to be able to do this, SAP S/4 HANA employs the in-memory technology.
But why migrate to SAP S/4 HANA when you already have the classical SAP ERP, one might ask. We gathered 5 key benefits that answer this question. Alongside these, you may count on SAP’s leading-edge experts designing this successful next-gen suite as a super-tool that will only get more powerful with each update.
1. An opportunity of bringing your enterprise software into the new era of cloud
By relying on the in-memory technology, SAP S/4 HANA provides support for processes that were previously unavailable. Its promise is to unlock the potential of corporate data, and it comes with a combination of “core ERP in combination with cloud-based applications in order to interact and integrate with external parties such as customers (such as Hybris) and suppliers (such as Ariba)”. Via the HANA Cloud Platform, any business employing SAP S/4 HANA can directly connect to all that IoT means and will mean in its predictable timeline. As we mentioned, SAP also vowed to further develop and extend this platform, keeping pace with the next developments in cloud and IoT.
2. A simplified SAP landscape
The modern architecture of SAP S/4 HANA counts on the simplified SAP ERP data model.
The user interface is also simplified by employing the role-based SAP Fiori, thus reducing the number of screens in the application. Virtually any device supports this new UI. The end users have the opportunity of experiencing a friendly interface, which requires no extra training in view of mastering the software features for those already accustomed with the processes.
Also, all processes can be mapped in a single system, merging those from previous separate installations with the current ones, at will.
3. Instant access to relevant data
The in-memory technology make it possible for big amounts of data to be processed in short order. Instant access, as well as the data analysis processes are ensured.
This translates into:
- integrating certain types of materials (such as text, images and so on) in the processes, through real-time transfer, virtual access, data-imports or time-dependent operations;
- developing applications straight on the platform, with no need for a separate application server;
- supplying a foundation for next-level data processing, e.g. by employing SAP HANA geospatial engine – based data displays.
4. Working with an improved ERP
This benefit seems to go without saying, yet is represents a new level of efficiency that needs to be stated. Firstly, we are talking about real-time ERP, a quality enabled by the in-memory technology. Secondly, all the above details about the way users may access the data and the new enhanced UX apply here.
Couldn’t we just add such capabilities to the already-existing ERP applications? As SAP mentions: “Making adjustments of that scale to an already established application like SAP ERP would be simply impossible.” There’s no way add-ons and customizations could compete with employing a SAP S/4 HANA system, fully integrated and specially designed to provide a next-gen experience.
5. Advanced innovations and capabilities ready to support future development
This is indeed one of the most important benefits with SAP S/4 HANA. SAP has disclosed part of its future plans concerning this modern ERP platform, and the roadmaps indeed look great. The announced plans cover a three-year period for now and are available on the SAP portal via login. This combination of technologies and solutions launched in February 2015 is bound to evolve in ways determined by the requirements in various industries while interacting with the digital landscape and its transformations.
In other words, the further trajectory of SAP S/4 HANA updates or upgrades will mirror the collective knowledge derived from the continuous analysis of the ERP landscape versus the needs met by each customer.