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With over 6 hours of content and demo packed keynotes at SAPPHIRENOW it can be a little tricky to processes the deluge of new announcements and information that is being shared. Just in case you might have missed something, here is a quick recap of the top S/4HANA announcements made during the keynotes along with key S/4HANA highlights from Bernd and Hasso’s keynotes in case you missed any of these too.


Top announcements

1. S/4HANA Value Assurance

During his keynote Bill McDermott announced the SAP S/4HANA Value Assurance program to safeguard customer investments and ensure their smooth migration to S/4HANA. The program includes 4 steps from planning and foundational implementation to end-to-end setup, service, and support.

2. S/4HANA to run on Microsoft Azure Cloud

For some time now S/4HANA has been running on AWS with live customers such as Swiss Properties.  Soon customers will also be able to run S/4HANA on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Currently the deployment option is in controlled availability supporting the SUSE Linux Enterprise Operating System.

3. New S/4HANA journey brochure

Rob Enslin, President of Global Customer Operations at SAP, revealed a new SAP S/4HANA brochure during his keynote that maps out customers migration journey to S/4HANA and reveals more details on the solution’s roadmap and upcoming release (aka 1610).

4.  More customers go live with S/4HANA

Customers took to the keynote stage to announce they are now running live on S/4HANA:

  • Sabre’s Steve Strout, VP of Corporate Systems, participated in a CIO panel during Bill McDermott’s keynote announcing that his company went live with S/4HANA in April this year.
  • Nestle’s Terrence Stacey, Group CIO, announced that Nestle’s Asia-Oceania-Africa (AoA) region went live a month ago with S/4HANA and plan to go live with Europe in November this year and Americas in April of 2017 (read more)
  • GreyOrange’s Nalin Advani, CEO of Asia Pacific and Japan, took to the keynote stage with Bernd Leukert on the 2nd day to announce that his advanced robotics design and manufacturing company went live with S/4HANA on April 1st
  • Asian Paints’s Manish Shoski, CIO, was on stage at SAPPHIRENOW last year highlighting his company’s intention to move to S/4HANA. This year Shoski came back to Hasso’s keynote and announced that his company has been live for 100 days on S/4HANA (learn more).

5. New native iOS S/4HANA apps

Last but not least, in the run up to Sapphire SAP announced a new partnership with Apple. As a direct result of this partnership SAP will be developing and releasing a set of native iOS apps that will integrate directly into S/4HANA. On the Sapphire showfloor SAP showcased 2 of these apps that are planned to be generally available end of 2016 and mid of 2017 respectively:

  • Project Assistant iOS app– a professional services industry app that connects to SAP S/4HANA and enables project managers to collaborate, report, and manage their projects while on the go
  • Asset Maintenance Worker iOS app– a utilities industry app that connects to SAP S/4HANA and supports highly skilled workers who maintain enterprise assets to perform their job with complex information and business logic

Bernd Leukert’s S/4HANA keynote highlights

Among other things, Bernd revealed a new 5 step architecture blueprint for SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain and Manufacturing customers whereby:

  • Core processes including Production Planning, Quality Management, Inventory management, and Enterprise Asset Management run directly inside S/4HANA
  • Extended innovations like Transportation Management, Extended Warehouse Management, Integrated Business Planning , Manufacturing Execution and Advanced Planning and Optimization replace existing old modules with similar functionality in ECC (such as Warehouse Management, Logistics Execution & Transformation, and Supplier Network Collaboration) and be seamlessly integrated into the core either running  directly on top of the core or outside the core in a side by side model
  • Cloud applications such as Tracking and Tracing, Manufacturing Network Services and SuccessFactors will be connected into the core with Hana Cloud Integration (HCI)
  • New applications and extensions are developed using the SAP API Business Hub in HCP. Examples include Predictive Maintenance, Vehicle Insights, Asset Intelligence Network and SAP Real Spend.
  • End to end insights across all these applications and solutions will leverage SAP BusinessObjects Cloud

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Hasso Plattner’s S/4HANA keynote highlights

Hasso’s keynote was packed with S/4HANA information that I would do injustice to if I try to cram into one blog but here are some of my personal favorite:


S/4HANA doesn’t require an expensive “appliance”

Hasso revealed that the word “HANA Appliance” was a term that he invented to specify hardware that had more flash and more cores per CPU. Over time that turned into a bureaucracy which some hardware vendors used as an execuse to increase prices of HANA hardware. Hasso reiterated that S/4HANA can run on standard X86 architecture.

SAP simplifies the S/4HANA migration journey

During the keynote Hasso showcased the end to end migration of an S/4HANA system in which 4 tools were used to automate the entire migration:

  1. Maintenance Planner: a tool in use by SAP admin teams but now with the added capability to plan for new S/4HANA deployments producing a conversion blueprint to identify all components required to make up your S/4HANA system
  2. S/4HANA Pre-transition Check tool – this tool looks into business configuration at the application component level to ensure that your application capabilities are available in S/4HANA
  3. S/4HANA Check Readiness tool – a tool that analysis customer’s custom code and identifies which custom objects are currently being used, which objects can be retired and which objects might be impacted by the S/4 migration at which case the tool also presents SAP documentation notes to help with remediation
  4. Software Update Manager – Also known as “SUM” which is the tool used to do the final technical conversion to the new S/4HANA environment.

S/4HANA sizing and conversion estimates

As always Hasso’s keynote was sprinkled with interesting and useful quantitative estimates that can help customers on their journey to S/4HANA:

Average S/4HANA conversion times

  • 6 month total project time (some cusotmers such as Swiss Properties go live in as little as 2 months)
  • 1 week technical conversion
  • Over the weekend Downtime (a near zero downtime option is also available)

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S/4HANA hardware sizing

  • 48% of ERP installations are estimated to fit into a 2 socket system with 128 to 256GB of RAM
  • 38% of ERP installations are estimated to fit into a 4 to 8 socket system with between 512GB to 1TB of RAM
  • 14% of ERP Installations might require larger systems of between 4 to 32 Sockets and 2TB to 48TB of RAM

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S/4HANA data footprint

  • Up to 12x data reduction can be achieved with S/4HANA. Furthermore with Data Aging techniques only the actual data need to be kept in memory and remaining data can be moved to external storage .


Response time

  • 0.7 seconds average response time in S/4HANA Finance based on SAP’s internal live deployment


Custom code

  • On average up to two thirds of custom code can be dropped on the move to S/4HANA as some of the code functionality has either been replaced over time with other SAP functionality or is no longer needed today


…and more

These keynotes were just the tip of the iceberg at the event. There were over 30+ S/4AHANA presentations and customer sessions this year at SAPPHIRENOW. You can watch many of these session recordings here. You can also download a free S/4HANA special report to learn more about the expanded scope of the S/4HANA 1511 release here.


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