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Author's profile photo Dania Fayyaz

An SAP S/4HANA Throwback: A Look at How Far We’ve Come…

Since its release just over two years ago, SAP S/4HANA has come a long, long way.

Remember when, in November 2015, a UKI Survey claimed that only 20% of respondents saw SAP as a leader in digital? That number dropped even lower to 18%, when asked if the company was perceived as an innovator.

Remember when Hasso Plattner famously said, “If [S/4HANA] doesn’t work, we’re dead. Flat out dead.”?

SAP’s decision to rebuild its core competency left a lot of people – customers, analysts, even competitors – confused. Since the first release of SAP S/4HANA predominantly offered improvements around FI/CO, many saw it only as another enhancement pack rather than as a redesigned business suite. Critics claimed that it was only a partial solution, missing the functional mark across multiple lines of business. And of course, we did ourselves no favors with the licensing, which made it hard for customers and prospects to see S/4HANA as a fundamentally different solution from SoH (SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA).

The release of SAP S/4HANA 1511 (in November 2015), placated many of the naysayers, but, for many, it still wasn’t perceived as stable enough for large companies to make the jump from ECC to S/4HANA. There were all sorts of rumors floating around about how S/4 was just for small to medium size companies and how SoH was a much safer bet for larger corporations who were still on the fence.

What the market needed to see was large customers openly speaking about their journey to S/4HANA. Given that large implementations take several months, as early as Q1 2016, we were being asked why our marquee customers weren’t using S/4. The truth is they were. But naturally, their implementations would take longer than a couple months.

Towards Q4 2016, we began seeing an astronomical number of go-lives, coinciding with the SAP S/4HANA 1610 release. This release incorporated the full scope of supply chain and logistics functionality, brought Extended Warehouse Management back into the core, provided superior insights and a sleek user experience based on SAP Fiori 2.0 that even ECC veterans couldn’t resist.

For anyone using the system for the first time, both the business and IT benefits were instantly apparent. You can watch customer reactions to the new solution here.

SAP hasn’t been shy about its vision to be the ‘#1 Cloud Company by 2020’. A major step towards that was cementing its foundation for growth i.e. moving its ECC customer base towards S/4HANA.

While we should all be #HUMBLE it is hard not to be proud of our success to date, especially considering the fires we had to put out along the way. SAP is pleased to announce that more than 5,800 customers have chosen SAP S/4HANA. This represents an adoption rate of 4x compared to SAP R/3 in the 1990s – making S/4HANA our fastest growing product ever.

Moreover, in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 400 additional customers signed up for S/4HANA of which almost 50% were net new SAP customers. But there is more to be done… As Bill McDermott said, We’ve got to make products that you never knew you needed, but once you get it you don’t know how you ever lived without it.” That’s the goal.

Join us at SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 being held May 16th – 18th in Orlando to learn what SAP has in store for the future. Hear first-hand from our customers about how they are reinventing the way business gets done, by combining S/4HANA with SAP line-of-business solutions such as Ariba, Hybris, Fieldglass, Concur and SuccessFactors to create an end-to-end connected experience that our competitors can’t match.

Gear up for a record-breaking year!

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