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Author's profile photo Fred Isbell

Planning Your Journey to the Future with SAP S/4HANA

By Fred Isbell

Senior Marketing Director
SAP Service & Support Marketing

Witness the Dawn of a New Era of Innovation

Just a few short months ago, at our annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, we were privileged to spend time talking with customers about their current business and IT needs and their unique industry requirements. Many organizations are wrestling with the challenges posed by dramatically increasing data volumes, expanding sources of information, interdependent business processes, and a demand for accelerated business execution.

At the same time, we’re seeing transformational changes in enterprise software. IDC calls this the “third platform era,” referring to the shift from mainframes to PCs and LANs to the current environment marked by Big Data and analytics, cloud, social media, and mobile computing. Together, these trends add up to something more: a need for customers to simplify their enterprise software, with solutions that enhance flexibility and power.

Run Simple in the Digital Economy

SAPPHIRE NOW featured an amazing array of sessions and presentations from SAP, customers, and partners as well as a variety of demonstrations and discussions on the show floor. One of the major topics was SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA.) This next-generation business suite helps businesses Run Simple in the digital economy while continuing to be at the forefront of exciting new innovations. Following the release of SAP S/4HANA at SAPPHIRE NOW, customers, partners, and analysts were intrigued by this business innovation. They began to ask questions about the steps needed to deploy this solution and the time frames required to complete the effort. The most popular questions all related to the issue of “How do I do this?”


Over the course of several days, the team from the Service & Support organization was kept quite busy addressing key questions, such as:

  • How do I successfully implement SAP S/4HANA with a reduced total cost of implementation?
  • What are the benefits of the cloud edition? What are the benefits of the on-premise edition? Which one is right for me?
  • Are there resources available for help, and if so, what are they?
  • How can my organization take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and advanced analytics? How can I enable my company to stay agile?

To address these questions and help both business and IT executives simplify their journey to SAP S/4HANA, it is important for companies to consider their existing landscape. They must also prioritize current and future company needs – whether they are in finance, marketing, or HR. The path to a successful solution for SAP S/4HANA is based on three things: an innovation road map, a unified solution approach, and a simplified engagement model. Click here for an overview of the SAP S/4 HANA solutions journey from an expert from Service & Support.

Gain Flexibility to Anticipate and Adapt to the Future

The future of work is upon us, and business and IT will continue to change. Businesses today have the overwhelming need to create, adapt, compete, and sustain, which unfortunately leads to one thing – complexity. However, in today’s fast-paced environment, companies cannot afford to have added complexities (and costs) bogging down business. Simplicity is the only answer to achieve long-term sustainability, because it allows companies to focus on innovation and proactively embrace future trends.


Consider the retail industry, for example. Major players must not only realize trends as they are happening, but also set the trends for consumers. Instead of simply following market trends, retailers must stay relevant to customers by becoming lifestyle advisers, resulting in a shift in the way business is conducted across all industries. Companies must push the boundaries to find new ways to innovate because media, music, and publishing companies are changing how consumers entertain themselves.

Engage SAP S/4HANA Suite Experts

In order for companies to reduce complexity within the workplace and focus on innovations supported by a digital foundation, organizations must be nimble and ready for change. Service & Support, which offers specific expertise and resources focused on SAP S/4HANA, can be an invaluable partner. We are prepared to help your organization formulate valuable new ideas and insights on critical business trends in areas such as finance, marketing, and human resources.

Learn how your company can take advantage of SAP best practices to implement innovation and leadership throughout the future. Click here for an overview of SAP Service and Support offerings to facilitate your journey to SAP S/4HANA.

About Fred Isbell:


Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Service and Support Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the worldwide Service & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field Engagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar.

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