What is SAP S4 HANA?

In two words, “S” for Simple, and “4” for Fourth Generation. That’s what SAP S4 HANA is – a highly evolved suite of simple applications (or sERP) running on the HANA database system.

SAP S/4 HANA is SAP’s next generation Business Suite. It was unveiled in New York on Feb 3rd, 2015. It is fully architected for the most advanced In-Memory Platforms, and is designed on most modern principles, with SAP Fiori User Experience. It will be offered on Cloud, On-Premise and Hybrid Deployment option to provide maximum choices to Customers. It is designed to provide simplicity to customers, by connecting people, devices and networks in real time.


What are the Key Points/ Benefits of SAP S4 HANA?

  • Reduction in data foot print by a factor of 10, for lower TCO
  • Even the number of database tables is reduced 10:1 in many areas.
  • Transactions are 3 to 7 times faster
  • Simpler Test scripts and test data is built in
  • Reduction in DB maintenance
  • Alerts Mechanism introduced
  • It creates unique opportunities to dramatically simplify the data model: no aggregates, no indices, no redundancies
  • It is designed for the end user, offering SAP FIORI user interfaces, technology allows us not only to change the layout but also to switch from a functional or transactional operational model to a completely role-oriented one.


What do we mean by Simple Modules of SAP S4 HANA?

The first application to be fully re-written to take full advantage of SAP HANA is Simple Finance / sFinance focusing on Accounting, Cash Management and Integrated Business Planning.  This will allow organizations to have real time views of their financial positions and allow end of month closing to be done in hours not days. SAP did a table clean up. For example the very old Material Master Database Tables from R/2 times (MARA, …) are finally no longer around, only views on the data.

The result is dramatically higher speeds and a 1:10 reduction in Data Footprint. Imagine – a 1 Terabyte SAP Database is down to 100 GB. This year will see the arrival of sLogistics, the next wave of re-written SAP applications for HANA.

With S4 HANA SAP is offering Fiori for free, to allow for all SAP customers to leverage the enhanced user experience through innovative user interface across multiple devices.


Application Delivery Roadmap for SAP S4 HANA?

SAP has stated a “Phased Roll-out” strategy which will take years rather than months to deliver.

  • The first two modules will be Simple Finance (available now) and Simple Logistics (available soon). Following that, we expect functionality to compete with Salesforce and Workday – Sales, and HCM – to be delivered in 2015. Further modules will follow that based on popularity.
  • Today, with Simple Finance in the market, there is no difference between SAP S/4 HANA and Business Suite on HANA, from installation point of view. With Simple Logistics, we expect the first cloud-first release of a SAP ERP product. This likely will pave the way for a separate installation for SAP S4 HANA through 2016 and the regular Business Suite and S4 HANA will part ways.


Which Project Management Methodology to be used?

From Project Management Methodology point of view, both will work- From Solution Manager perspective, people can use ASAP methodology, while from General project management people stick to Agile methodology.

What are the Licensing Implications?

  • For the on premise edition, the pricing model is similar to the one we had with the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. So, from licensing point of view, for on premise, S4 and business suite on HANA, aren’t different.
  • SAP is offering the following promotion until September 30th, 2015:
    • Existing SAP Business Suite customers have to procure the SAP HANA runtime license for SAP Business Suite (@15% HSAV = SAP HANA Software Application Value) and will get the SAP S/4HANA foundation-promotion license at no additional cost. 
    • Existing SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA customers with a valid SAP HANA limited runtime license for SAP Business Suite (LREA) are eligible for the SAP S/4HANA foundation promotion license without additional cost.
  • And regarding SAP Fiori, as already mentioned above, with S4 HANA SAP is offering Fiori for free.



What are the major offerings in SAP S4 HANA?

  • Row based, for even faster analytical reporting, on top of HANA Database, that will generate reports on the fly.
  • Analytical Processing on top of OLAP of HANA, will be faster.
  • BO was a separate system suiting HANA, but S/4 is inside and on top of HANA (instead just for HANA), and a core SAP Product.
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8 Comments

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  1. Gregory Misiorek

    Hi Mohammad,

    what exactly is “Row based, for even faster analytical reporting, on top”? did you mean to say ‘instantaneous analytical columnar reporting’?


    i share your enthusiasm, but there are still many end users out there who have never heard of S/4HANA.

    thx,

    greg

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    1. Mohammad Hanfi Post author

      Hi Greg,

      Thank You.

      Yes, that’s right. S4 HANA is completely row based architecture, and very fast speed of HANA helps the aggregation and analytical reporting on it, to be done on the fly.

      End Users, btw, will start hearing about it gradually, and will start understanding it too, as it is a complete transitional innovation of SAP.

      Thanks,

      Hanfi

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  2. claudio valerio

    Dear Mohammad,

    What do you mean by “For example the very old Material Master Database Tables from R/2 times (MARA, …) are finally no longer around”

    How does hte data model simplify? We will still have MARA, MARC, MVKE main tables or something will change?

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    1. Luis Lara

      Hi Claudio,

      That is exactly the same question that I got. MARA seems to still be around for S/4 hana, but most of the index tables and auxiliary tables are gone (MARC, MARD, etc). Would be nice to find a document that explains which tables still around and how is the structure of this tables. Without access to an S/4 Hana system is difficult to figure out.

      Best Regards:

      Luis Lara.

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  3. Sohaib Shaheen

    Hey mohammad, could you please tell me the difference between SAP HANA and SAP s4 HANA , is it the latest version of HANA. Actually m planning to do the database training of SAP that is the HANA , but in a bit confusion of s4 and hana, and secondly the consulting company is providing the hana sps 9 edition while the companies nowdays is using 12 or 13 sps i guess, so is there a big diffence in these editions?

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