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SAP S/4HANA made easy blog series: the deployment options part 1

Hello Community,

In my former blog, I tried to clarify on an helicopter/bird’s view the difference between SAP ECC powered by SAP HANA, SAP Suite on SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Finance.

Being part of the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Support Value Map team,, I often see confusion about the deployment options of SAP S/4HANA.

When you want to move to SAP S/4HANA, there are first two very important questions to answer:

  1. How should I make the move to SAP S/4HANA based on my current situation? This is referred as transition paths
  2. Where should I deploy SAP S/4HANA based on my requirements? This is referred as deployment options

Both questions need to be answered, and each one may influence the other.

In the first part of this blog, I will give some hints to help you understanding on a macro/bird’s or helicopter view, what are the deployment options of SAP S/4HANA.

This is voluntarily a simplified vision to provide clarification and an overall understanding of the differences between the deployment models. So I may use shortcuts for clarification purposes, although not fully exact on detailed level.

A bit of wording/branding

First, as usual, a bit of wording/branding is necessary:

  • SAP S/4HANA without more qualifier implicitely refers to the on-premise option of SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud implicitely refers to the Public Cloud deployment option of SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP HEC: SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is a fully scalable and secure private managed cloud offering available only from SAP for hosting and managing SAP HANA based systems (which can be a SAP BW or a SAP CRM or a SAP S/4HANA system for example)

Attention: SAP HEC is often confused with SAP Cloud Platform (often named/shorted as  SCP, or HCP ), sometimes even SAP HANA or even SAP S/4HANA, but none of these are the same at all.

The four deployment options:

Now, we are ready to list the four deployment options for SAP S/4HANA with the correct naming and branding.

  1. SAP S/4HANA
  2. SAP S/4HANA deployed in SAP HEC
  3. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition
  4. SAP S/4HANA Cloud

As a first reminder, I wanted to highlight that all deployment options are split in only 2 different software “editions”:

  1. SAP S/4HANA – SAP S/4HANA ( deployed in SAP HEC ) – SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant editiokn
  2. SAP S/4HANA Cloud

So what are the main differences between the 4 deployment options?

  1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is available as Software as a Service (SaaS) and has a different scope, which is currently focused on core processes and Professional Services
  2. SAP S/4HANA , SAP S/4HANA deployed SAP HEC, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition have the same functional scope, including industries, with different deployment options, contractual model and service levels
  3. SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA private edition are based on a “one contract ” subscription model. The contract will comprise the software (SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA) subscription, infrastructure/hardware and services

Let’s now put all of this in a schema  to get the full picture

So what are the key takeaways of this first part?

  • Deployment option is a key decision in your SAP S/4HANA project planning
  • If you are aiming for cloud, and subscription based model, you have the choice between two deployment options:
    • SAP S/4HANA Cloud with a core scope, available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) receiving innovation on quarterly basis,
    • SAP S/4HANA Cloud,  single tenant edition, with the same functional scope as SAP S/4HANA, including industries
  • If you are aiming to delegate hardware and infrastructure to SAP, but need the most flexible choice, together with additional optional service offerings, your choice would be deploying SAP S/4HANA in SAP HEC
  • If you are aiming to keep in your premise or at hosting Partner, SAP S/4HANA is for you



SAP S/4HANA Value Map Focus Advisor


This and much more you can learn with us on SAP Enterprise Support Value Maps.

Still wondering what the SAP Enterprise Support Value Maps are? Just keep reading.

SAP Enterprise Support Value Maps are comprised in Enterprise Support maintenance, and are like a navigation system that guides you to the right SAP Enterprise Support services, tools, and offerings to achieve a desired objective that is your ‘final destination’.

We invite you to read more about Value Maps on the SAP Support Portal* with an easy access here

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    Hi Renaud,


    Are S4HCPE (Private Edition) & S4HCPO (Private Option) are same thing? I see HEC agreement site is showing both services & their respective R&R.

    If not same, do you mind explaining what is the difference and where it fits in overall deployment model which you explained above.

    S4HCPO is explained here



    Best Regards,

    Mukul Sharma


      Hello Mukul,

      Yes they are the same. The current correct naming, that you will find in the latest slide decks, is SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

      Please note as well that the SAP S/4HANA deployed in custom HEC can as well be found in the latests slide decks as SAP S/4HANA Private Managed Cloud

      Best regards




  • Bonjour Renaud,

    Isn’t the “license as subscription” model available on “SAP S/4HANA deployed in custom SAP HEC”, same as on “SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition” and on “SAP S/4HANA Cloud” ?

    Best regards,



    • Bonjour Martin,

      You are right, within SAP HEC, you can currently Bring Your Own Licence (BYOL) , or subscribe. But in this last case, my understanding is that it is not an "all in one" bundle such as the Cloud private edition or Public Cloud.

      Taking this opportunity to mention the names have now been changed in the following way:

      • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition becomes: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition
      • SAP S/4HANA deployed in custom HEC becomes SAP S/4HANA (private cloud managed by SAP)

      Best regards





  • One of the best blogs I have read recently and this does clear the terminology quite a bit. Keep up the great work.

    I however have a different point of you. As we have two different software versions (S4H and S4HC) we should ideally have the following options for deployment

    S/4HANA - can be deployed on-prem or hosted on cloud (AWS, Azure, IBM GCP, T-systems, HEC etc).  HEC is one of the many options that the customer can choose from.  For S/4HANA Cloud Single Tenant Edition the  customers uses the on-prem version of S/4 but manages it like a SaaS (limited customization, side by side extension - see the  5 rules blog and Sven Denecken's Activate Methodology blog below). The deployment for this option is currently HEC.SAP upgrades your S/4HANA  on an ongoing basis and keeps your evergreen.


    S/4HANA Cloud Multi Tenant Edition is similar to Ariba and Successfactors. This is a true SaaS offering.

  • Hi Renaud,

    yours it's really an enlightening blog!

    I've a question for you... Since SAP S/4HANA Cloud Single Tenant Edition (S4HCSTE) is actually a S/4HANA on-premise' edition of the SAP S/4HANA software, I'm curious on how SAP can restrict on the S4HCSTE the modification to the standards, etc.: is this achieved with specific roles assigned to the customer? Or there are special settings in the on the S4HCSTE that prevent the customer to perform some modification?
    I'm asking this because, in case a customer starts with the on the S4HCSTE and later on decides to ‘switch’ to the SAP S/4HANA edition (on-premise or on HEC), I'm wondering how this can be achieved.

    Thank you very much,


  • Hi Experts,

    Per my current understanding SAP is offering 3 options as of today:

    S/4HANA Cloud

    S/4HANA Cloud, STE


    Where is S4HCPO (Cloud Private Option)? HEC agreement site still says about CPO along with STE which confuses me. Can I say S4HCPO is an offering which lies between S4HC-STE & S4H-HEC? If yes then how it is different from STE?

    Moreover please review this as well.


    Best Regards,

    Mukul SHarma

    • Hi Mukul,

      Mukul Sharma . My blog is getting a bit old and I clearly need to find some time to update it.

      Where is S4HCPO (Cloud Private Option)? HEC agreement site still says about CPO along with STE which confuses me. Can I say S4HCPO is an offering which lies between S4HC-STE & S4H-HEC? NO, CPO is SAP S/4HANA running in SAP HEC. I'll recheck with some SAP HEC colleagues. If yes then how it is different from STE? since answer is no, I believe you do not need this part to be answered, correct?

      Best regards


      • Thanks Renaud for replying!

        I also checked with one of my SAP HEC friend, he also mentioned that S4H CPO is nothing S/4HANA HEC (private cloud managed by SAP). If that is correct then I am good. If you get time please review the comparison and comment in case of any changes required.

        Thanks a lot!



        Mukul SHarma