I see there has been a bit of confusion in terms of current SAP S/4HANA editions and even though there are numerous resources available for detailed information, I think it would be a good idea to write a quick review on each of SAP S/4 HANA editions available.
There are seven SAP S/4HANA editions available as of September 2016, with two main deployment options: on premise and cloud.
SAP S/4HANA Finance, on premise edition 1503
SAP S/4 HANA Finance (previously known as SAP Simple Finance) is the first release of SAP S/4HANA. It is basically a finance add-on, sFin 2.0, based on SAP NetWeaver 7.4 (core component SAP_APPL) and SAP enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0. It offers finance related HANA optimizations.
This edition would be suitable for existing SAP Business Suite customers looking for improvements and optimizations in finance area as it comes with innovations only for finance processes without disrupting other modules.
SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511
SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 can be considered as a separate product, because it has major innovations and HANA related optimizations in both Finance and Logistics over “SAP S/4HANA Finance, on premise edition 1503” along with an inclusion of additional industries in the core. It offers simplifications in Materials Resource Planning (MRP), Inventory Management, Capacity Planning, Sales & Distribution, and Procurement along with real-time analytics on transactional data.
It is based on SAP NetWeaver 7.5 (core component S4CORE), and also requires the installation of “SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition” as part of the migration. Though the Fiori component can be installed on a separate front-end server in a central hub deployment model.
SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 FPS01
This is the first Feature Pack Stack (FPS) released after the key release “SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511”. It is released in February 2016 and based on SAP NetWeaver 7.50 SPS01 for SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition. In general, SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 Feature Package Stack 01 offers enhanced Fiori applications and more stabilization by providing minor changes to existing and new features. SAP S/4HANA on premise edition 1511 FPS01 is also supporting two new industry solutions: “Higher Education and Research” and “Defense and Security”.
According to SAP’s release strategy, after Q4 2016 and the release of FPS03; SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 will be switched to maintenance only mode, and supported with SPS (Support Package Stacks) instead. From technical point of view, there is no difference between FPS and SPS. However, Feature Pack Stacks include new and enhanced functionalities along with bug fixes while Support Package Stacks will not offer any new functionality as they are just patches.
SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 FPS02
SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511 FPS02 has some new features over the previous release (FPS01). It now supports the integration scenario with the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central using the HANA Cloud Interface (HCI) to enable replication of employee, organizational, and cost center data. It also offers enhancements for Curriculum Management, Grading and Advising, Progression and Graduation, and Student Administration of Higher Education and Research, and Intrastat declarations.
SAP S/4HANA, Cloud editions
SAP S/4HANA cloud offerings are available as SaaS and resides on SAP owned infrastructure that is operated and maintained by SAP. IaaS (HANA Enterprise Cloud) and PaaS (HANA Cloud Platform) deployment options are also available with both public and private cloud options.
Three cloud offerings are currently available as part of SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition which two of them are specific to a line-of-business (LOB). Note that all these editions are available for later releases as well.
- SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud (base marketing option is also available) is for the marketing line of business and focused on optimizing the marketing activities.
- SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud is for the professional services industry and includes all phases of project management.
- SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management Cloud is a full ERP scope and includes finance, accounting, controlling, procurement, sales, manufacturing, plant maintenance, project system, and product lifecycle management.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1605
SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1605 is the new release after Cloud Edition 1603 and has some new features and updates over the previous release including new countries, additional business processes and enhancements for all three offerings.
I would like to add a side note (thanks to Mark Chalfen for reminding), The Cloud version is a true Public Cloud version – and that means customers can only be on the latest release – which is currently the below release SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1608. So none of the customers are currently running on 1603 or 1605.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1608
Released in Q3/2016, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1608 includes innovations and new features in the following areas:
- Universal Journal, Cash Management and Project-Based Services with Real-Time Revenue and Cost Recognition in Finance,
- Ariba Sourcing Integration,
- Advanced Available to Promise (ATP) in Manufacturing,
- Simplified Material Valuation in Supply Chain,
- Campaign Management, Commerce Marketing and Customer/Consumer Profile in Marketing,
- Consumer Insight, Sales Contract and Manage Customer Returns in Sales,
- Customer Project Management
- Perform Maintenance in Asset Management,
- Embedded Analytics
On premise vs Cloud?
The decision would highly depend on your internal processes and functionalities. SAP S/4HANA on-premise is more suitable for companies whose processes are already well established and need full set of functionalities along with high level of customization and modifications to meet business needs. The cloud editions might be more suitable for companies that can easily adopt to the standard processes, looking for faster maintenance cycles and ability to scale as they grow.
References and further reading:
SAP S/4 HANA Product Documentation
A must read: Mark Chalfen‘s post back in April: Which SAP S/4HANA version are you thinking about? | SCN