Skip to Content
Product Information
Author's profile photo Amin Hoque

What is the difference between SAP Best Practices and an SAP Model Company?

Last updated: June 7 2021

SAP Best Practices are used to accelerate customer’s SAP cloud and on-premise implementation projects. You can find lots of excellent content on the benefits and value of using them in SAP implementations. This blog looks at what they contain and describes the key differences between SAP Best Practices, SAP Model Company and Rapid Deployment Solutions. It answers some of the questions often asked by customers. It also contains useful links to get the latest information.

The blog covers SAP S/4HANA cloud and on-premise deployments. See my related blog to understand the S/4HANA deployment options. https://blogs.sap.com/2019/08/22/sap-s4hana-cloud-and-on-premise-deployment-options/ 

Once you have read this blog, see my latest blog that describes the different types of SAP Best Practice content and shows some of the useful content that is often missed or overlooked by customers and consultants.

SAP Best Practices

SAP Best Practices have evolved and improved for many years. They provide baseline configuration, standard business processes and a library of detailed documentation. They focus on cross-industry scope for S/4HANA but also cover C/4HANA and other cloud solutions.
The same Best Practice content generally exists in S/4HANA cloud and S/4HANA on-premise. (There are a few exceptions). They cover 42 countries in on premise and cloud. There are over 250 scope items representing business processes or functions. Each scope item can be activated in a sandbox or development system and has a process diagram and detailed test script.

SAP Best Practices are available free of charge and can be seen or downloaded at the Best Practices Explorer with your s-user: https://rapid.sap.com/bp/. You can also find SAP packages for integration, data migration and analytics topics. Some partner solution packages are also available.

See my latest blog that describes the different types of SAP Best Practice content and shows some of the useful content that is often missed or overlooked by customers and consultants.

SAP S/4HANA Best Practices have significantly improved since 1) they became the foundation for S/4HANA Cloud and 2) they are developed and tested at the same time as the software by the same team. This means different SAP Best Practices work together seamlessly and continuously evolve based on feedback from cloud customers. S/4HANA Cloud Best Practices are updated every quarter and on-premise S/4HANA Best Practices are updated once a year. (Note: SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended Edition uses the on-premise S/4HANA Best Practices!).

They can be selectively activated into your on-premise sandbox or development system using a tool called SAP Solution Builder. (This creates a large number of predefined configuration settings). You can choose which countries you want, what scope items you need and certain other input parameters. S/4HANA cloud customers get content activated by SAP as part of their deployment. Activation creates new configuration settings and does not change the standard configuration that is part of a normal on-premise installation. For example, they may create one company code and other selected organization units that can then be renamed. There are also tools to generate sample master data.

Activation in on-premise solutions is usually a one-off process. However, after the initial activation, an experienced team can do more delta activation. For example, to add an additional country or extra scope items. New configuration is added to the system by activation. S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition customers can selectively activate new configuration content with each quarterly upgrade.

Once activated, even inexperienced SAP users can run end-to-end integrated business processes immediately by simply following the test script documentation. The greatest acceleration can be achieved by activating the configuration content into a new development system at the start of a project creating transports as you go. Alternatively, if you are already underway, a sandbox can be a good reference for project team members.

With SAP Best Practices available, why start with an empty system? Once the Best Practice configuration is activated, an on-premise customer can change whatever they like with the IMG.  S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition customers can change configuration using SSCUIs.

Read on further to see how SAP consulting can activate SAP Best Practices for you. Alternatively, get a hosted 30-day trial (no licence required) here https://www.sap.com/cmp/oth/crm-s4hana/index.html. Or customers and partners with licences can use an “appliance” to get an activated sandbox quickly. This uses the Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). https://blogs.sap.com/2018/12/12/sap-s4hana-fully-activated-appliance-create-your-sap-s4hana-1809-system-in-a-fraction-of-the-usual-setup-time/ 

SAP Best Practices are also available through the Enterprise Management Layer for SAP S/4HANA (for cloud and on-premise) .  SAP activates the SAP Best Practices for you. They allow you to use SAP Best Practices for multiple countries in one SAP instance. They form a baseline for your SAP S/4HANA implementation.  For more details on this important “foundation” , see my blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2019/09/25/multinational-corporations-model-company/

SAP’s implementation methodology, SAP Activate, recommends the use of SAP Best Practices in a “solution-led” approach. It advocates executing Fit-to-Standard workshops instead of the traditional Blueprint workshops that were part of the old ASAP methodology. Starting from day one with the standard SAP solution allows you to keep to standard and minimize customizations.

Many on-premise customers use SAP Solution Manager for the application lifecycle management of their SAP solutions. All the SAP Best Practice business processes diagrams and accelerators can be imported into Solution Manager and changed to reflect your project design.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition customers can use the Cloud Application Lifecycle Management implementation portal instead of Solution Manager.

 

SAP Model Company 

SAP Best Practices provide excellent cross-industry baseline solutions. What if you need deeper industry or line of business functionality and processes? Or, what if you want to avoid having to learn how to activate SAP Best Practices yourself?

SAP Model Company services built on top of parts or all of the S/4HANA Best Practice baseline content. They provided additional processes, solutions, configuration and scope items. The SAP Model Company concept is being adjusted and re-branded in 2021 as part of SAP’s shift to cloud first.

The good news is that:

  1. The activation and use of SAP Model Company content for on-premise solutions and SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition can still be bought as part of a larger SAP Services engagement.  This includes industry specific and Line of Business content that goes beyond the SAP Best Practices.  For more information reach out to your SAP Services contact.
  2. SAP Model Company content for cloud solutions e.g. SAP SuccessFactors are now available as SAP Best Practices.
  3. The very popular SAP Model Company for Multinational Corporations is available as the Enterprise Management Layer for SAP S/4HANA.

 

Rapid Deployment Solutions

Before SAP Model Company services were released, SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDSs) were available. Most RDSs have been replaced by broader industry or line of Business SAP Model Company services. A few RDSs remain for areas such as analytics and integration and are still available in the Best Practice Explorer.

Any more questions?  SAP Partners can ask them through the SAP S/4HANA Project Coach sessions.

 

I hope you found this blog informative.

Amin Hoque
Enterprise Architect at SAP Services UK

Assigned tags

      48 Comments
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Dennis Padia
      Dennis Padia

      It's really a nice read addressing the concern raised by many and also very well articulated.

      Author's profile photo Vishwanath Shastri
      Vishwanath Shastri

      Dear @Amin.Hoque

       

      its really a short and Informative blog

      Covering

      SAP Best Practices

      SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions

      SAP Model Companies

      I really enjoyed Reading it

       

      Best Regards

       

      Author's profile photo HEMANT BORATE
      HEMANT BORATE

      Very well crafted explanation. It gives complete picture about RDS, SAP Best Practice and Concept of Model Company

      Author's profile photo K Anandh
      K Anandh

      Hi Amin Hoque,

      Appreciate this blog on explaining SAP Offerings. Could you please clarify more on Master Data area? Is Model Company prebuilt with sample master data i.e Org Structures, Business Partners and materials?

      Thanks & Regards,

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi K

      Yes, an SAP Model Company comes with sample organization structures which can be renamed. For example, the multinational model company comes with one company code per country.

      Solution Builder allows you personalize your organization structure before you do the activation of SAP Best Practices.  See the help guide here:

      https://help.sap.com/viewer/f562b6ae200e4da4af598e580a354af9/1.0/en-US/8e28e72b0cac41acb8a436dd85bec672.html

      Sample master data is delivered and documented in the Best Practice Explorer accelerator called "Master Data Overview".

      There are also detailed documents called Master Data Scripts that guide you through creating the main master data objects.  Examples here:

      https://support.sap.com/content/dam/SAAP/Sol_Pack/BP_CLD_ENTPR/BP_CLD_ENTPR_S4CLD1905_16_Master_Data_EN_XX.htm

      Amin

      Author's profile photo Pravin Mandgaonkar
      Pravin Mandgaonkar

      Useful information! Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo John Brittain
      John Brittain

      Hi Amin

      A very clear a descriptive article. Things have come a long way since we configured companies and processes from the ground up in each implementation.

      Best Regards

      John Brittain

       

       

      Author's profile photo Elke Turner
      Elke Turner

      Thank you for this blog Amin. I'm currently learning SAP Activate and Solman and your blog fits perfectly!

      Author's profile photo Fausto Motter
      Fausto Motter

      Great content! Congrats.

       

      Author's profile photo Nitin Fatnani
      Nitin Fatnani

      Is it that only SAP DBS team can activate the Model Company or Partner Resources can also do the same?

      Also, you refer to as using the model company for building a sandbox. What are the disadvantages or limitations on using this for actually configuring a real D, Q & P landscape? Clearly it does have benefits of effort savings around manually configuring LOB specific processes.

       

       

      Regards,

      Nitin

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Nitin

      Only SAP DBS can activate a Model Company.

      You do not normally use a Model Company for development systems. There may be some exceptions. Customers, partners or SAP DBS may selectively activate Best Practices into a development system.  They need to understand SAP Solution Builder to do this.

      Another option for customers and partners is a fully activated appliance. Again, this is restricted to sandboxes.

      https://blogs.sap.com/2018/12/12/sap-s4hana-fully-activated-appliance-create-your-sap-s4hana-1809-system-in-a-fraction-of-the-usual-setup-time/

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque

      Author's profile photo Juliano Silva
      Juliano Silva

      Really nice!

      Clear and helpful!

      Author's profile photo Eddie Wiegner
      Eddie Wiegner

      Thank you for the information.

       

      Author's profile photo Mahmoud AlJawhary
      Mahmoud AlJawhary

      Great Concept Amin . Thank you.

      Currently I am about to finalize an S 4 HANA deal with SAP.

      Can SAP Model Company done by any partner or it should be implemented only by SAP themselves please?

       

      Thanks for the short feedback

      Mahmoud

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello

      Only SAP can assemble and activate Model Companies.  Partners can do SAP Best Practices.

      Cheers

      Amin.

      Author's profile photo Mahmoud AlJawhary
      Mahmoud AlJawhary

      Dear Amin,

      Thank you for your reply.

      Could you kindly share with me few best pricices links related to Construction and Projects business please.

       

      Thank you in advance for your support

      Regards

      Mahmoud

       

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Mahmoud

      Nearly all SAP Best Practices scope items are cross-industry.  Some will apply for a Construction and Projects business.

      There is no Model Company for the construction industry.

      See page here: https://www.sap.com/services/implementation/preconfigured-industry-solutions.html

      Amin

      Author's profile photo Mahmoud AlJawhary
      Mahmoud AlJawhary

      Thank you Amin

      Regards

      Mahmoud

      Author's profile photo Javier Pierini
      Javier Pierini

      Dear Amin, could you please help me to understand what are the differences between SAP Model Company trial edition, and the option we have to deploy via SAP CAL ? Are both Cloud hosting, right ?

      Thank you in advance,

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Javier

      Both are cloud hosted.

       

      SAP CAL for Model Company

      • SAP licences required
      • Must buy the Model Company service through SAP.  Contact your SAP Services Account Manager.
      • Sandbox solution is yours to do with as you will e.g. configure or upgrade software or do developments.
      • Most Model Companies are available to be deployed from CAL.  They are deployed from CAL individually.
      • For assembly of multiple model companies, contact your SAP Services Account Manager.
      • Deployed from CAL to Cloud Provider: Cloud Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platform
      • Signed Statement of Work is required to access Model Company in CAL.  Model Company available within a  few days of deployment.
      • Pay Cloud Provider hosting fees for usage.  You can check rates in CAL.
      • Must have Cloud Provider account and SAP S-user account.

      https://cal.sap.com/

       

      Trial Edition Model Company 

      • No SAP licences required
      • Short term 30 day trial with no extension possible
      • Limited to 10 users and some scope and documentation limitations
      • Only certain Model Companies available
      • No configuration is possible
      • Buy immediately from SAP for a nominal price via the SAP Store
      • Deployed from CAL to Cloud Provider: Cloud Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platform
      • Available within a day or so
      • Pay Cloud Provider hosting fees for usage
      • Must have Cloud Provider account and SAP S-user account.

      https://www.sapstore.com/solutions/99075/SAP-Model-Company%2C-trial-edition

       

       

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque.

      Author's profile photo Anand Deshpande
      Anand Deshpande

      for BP Installation in S?4 HANA 1909, is this a paid service now for partners? pls confirm.

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      SAP Best Practices are free and installation can be done by customers themselves or they can get paid assistance from partners.

      Model companies are bought from SAP and installed by SAP.

      Amin Hoque.

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      See my latest blog for details on how to activate on-premise S/4HANA SAP Best Practices yourself free of charge: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/04/14/sap-s-4hana-best-practices-tour-content-often-missed/

      Author's profile photo Bilal Hashmi
      Bilal Hashmi

      Hi

      Customers, who want to implement an S4 public cloud,  best practice will be upgraded quaterly along with Model company that is upgraded quaterly too?

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello

      S/4 Public Cloud is now called S/4HANA Cloud essentials edition. Quarterly SAP Best Practice upgrades are provided.  These do not include Model Company specific content.

      See my related blog;

      https://blogs.sap.com/2019/08/22/sap-s4hana-cloud-and-on-premise-deployment-options/

      SAP S/4HANA Cloud extended edition is not upgraded with Best Practice content but can include Model Company content up-front.

      Amin Hoque.

      Author's profile photo Jan Kretschmer
      Jan Kretschmer

      Thanks for this wrap-up, Amin.

      One - crucial for some customers - characteristic might be added: The Best Practice Content in S/4HANA Cloud (Essentials) always stays up to date under SAP Governance (Content Lifecycle Management, delivered to all customers via automated updates), whereas in all other Deployment Options incl. Model Company it's up to the customer or system integrator to maintain the content after the initial consumption, e.g. to be compliant to new local tax reports etc.

      So, with S/4HANA Cloud (Essentials) the customers continuously benefit of most recent best practices and therefore "stay accelerated".

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jan

      Yes indeed.... this is a key difference with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials Edition.  I also cover this in my related blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2019/08/22/sap-s4hana-cloud-and-on-premise-deployment-options

      Cheers

      Amin

      Author's profile photo James Olcott
      James Olcott

      Hi Amin:

       

      Please could you clarify the relationship between SAP Activate (SAP’s implementation methodology) on one hand and SAP Model Company (the template configurator tool for accelerating SPRO for a new implementation of S4HANA) on the other.  I'm afraid the term "activate" is used a bit too frequently and I would benefit from some distinctions. 

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi James

      SAP Activate is known as a framework.  The main element of the SAP Activate framework is the methodology. You can see this in the SAP Activate roadmaps.  You will see there are different roadmaps e.g. one for on-premise SAP S/4HANA and another for S/4HANA Cloud.  They describe the activities in the implementation projects.

      SAP Best Practices and SAP Model Company services are considered another element of of SAP Activate. These kick start projects by providing a documented working end to end solution on day 1.  The methodology recommends the use of SAP Best Practices and SAP Model Company services.

      Hope that helps

      Amin

       

      Author's profile photo Juan Carlos Jacinto
      Juan Carlos Jacinto

      Hi Amin, I see that Model companies can be implemented on On prem systems but I can't find the technical documentation to do it by my self, do you know any specific site to get this info?

      thanks in advance

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Juan

      For more detailed information on many Model Company Services look at the “Getting Started Guide” PDF available to download within the CAL.  This includes information on hardware requirements, specific software licences required and the SAP Best Practice scope items included in the scope. The Model Company must be bought from SAP and then the content can be released and deployed.

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque

      Author's profile photo Nick Davies
      Nick Davies

      Hi Amin,

      I remember you from the Druid days.  Excellent blog!  Really useful!

      Regards,

      Nick.

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Nick

      Yes.... lots of fun at Druid.  Many thanks!  I will be updating it next year.

      Amin

      Author's profile photo Socialize Club
      Socialize Club

      Ecommerce Development Company in Delhi
      Magento Ecommerce Development company

      Open Cart E-Commerce Development
      Best SEO Company in Delhi
      Social Media Marketing Company in Delhi

      Author's profile photo ozair Webs
      ozair Webs

      I think the blog looks at what they contain and describes the key differences between SAP Best Practices, SAP Model Companies, and Rapid Deployment Solutions. Is there any branch or office in Pakistan I want to find jobs in Pakistan?

      Author's profile photo Yiin Tham
      Yiin Tham

      Excellent material, thank you Amin.  I've bookmarked this so that I can keep coming back!

      Author's profile photo Ashish Goyal
      Ashish Goyal

      Hi Amin. I'd like to say thank you for your efforts and time that you put in this blog. Appreciate!!

       

      SAP best practices in short term are, we can explore it to the next generation web channel to search and browse things. In the SAP model companies, filled the enterprise and industry specific gaps that are smoothly going to be there for enterprise software. https://www.the-next-tech.com/

      Thanks

      Author's profile photo Thomas Winkler
      Thomas Winkler

      Hi Amin,

      I heard a rumor that the model company is no longer being developed - especially the utilities.

      • what's up here?
      • how are things going with the building blocks from this area, for example?
      • what would be a further development here?

      Thank you for the information.

      BR Thomas

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Thomas

      Some rebranding is planned. Watch out for information in April.

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque.

       

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Thomas

      See latest updated version.

      Amin

      Author's profile photo Kevin Harmon-Smith
      Kevin Harmon-Smith

      Fantastic blog Amin! Remember our days at Camelot?

      Cheers, Kevin

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Kevin

      Thank you. That's a long time ago!  I am very well. Hope you are keeping well too.

      Amin.

       

      Author's profile photo Boris Milosevic
      Boris Milosevic

      Hi Amin

       

      excellent blog, thank you for your effort and time

       

      I would like to ask you for an additional explanation on the Cloud ALM FAQ in the below screenshot.

      Why we have these two approaches Fit-to-Standard for the SAP Activate and Fit-to-gap for SAP FB?

      What I understood from the above answer -  it looks that that SAP Activate for SAP Cloud ALM will not provide so many inputs like in the case of Focused Build (SAP Best practice + Model company) therefore during the Prepare/Explore phases we should run two different analyses:

      • in Cloud ALM we should run Fit-to-Standard analysis where effort is much bigger  (comparing to fit-to-gap) and Process Expert should invest more effort in this process?
      • in the case of Focused Build, we are going to run a Fit-to-Gap analysis where Process Expert's time effort is significantly lower comparing to the Fit-to-Standard in SAP Activate?

      Would you be so kind to comment on my above thoughts - are they correct or not?

      One more question is it possible to use SAP activate in Focused Build?

       

      Thank you in advance for your reply.

      Boris Milosevic

       

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Boris

      Approach varies on S/4HANA deployment option and nature of the project.

      1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public) has a Fit-to-Standard and uses the Cloud ALM platform. Fit is done against SAP Best Practices.
      2. SAP S/4HANA Cloud On-Premise and Cloud Private Edition has a Fit-to-Standard and uses the SAP Solution Manager platform. Fit is done against solution provide by Enterprise Management Layer / Best Practices and Model Company content.
      3. SAP S/4HANA On-Premise projects with large gaps and significant developments can choose to use Focused Build. This is an approach backed by extra features in SAP Solution Manager.  Focused Build refers to a Fit-Gap rather than a Fit-to-Standard although Best Practices can still be used.

      All are covered in SAP Activate.  Fit-to-Standard refers to using a predefined Best Practice solution during the Explore phase.  Fit-Gap Analysis tends to be longer / bigger because of the larger gaps.

      More info in SAP Activate on Focused Build.

      https://go.support.sap.com/roadmapviewer/#/group//roadmap/S4HANATRANSONPRE/node/001999B7BD851ED68D8149F2BB4C82CE:

      Amin

       

      Author's profile photo Pinto Purushoth
      Pinto Purushoth

      Hi Amin,

      Do we have Best Practices content for Industry solutions like and Oil and Gas. I was not able to find any content for Oil and Gas in the Best Practices Explorer.

       

      Best Regards,

      Pinto

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Pinto

      Industry specific baseline configuration is available from SAP for S/4HANA on-premise and Cloud Private Edition.  This must be purchased through a service from SAP.  SAP activate the content in your system(s).  This content used to be called SAP Model Company but is now referred to as "SAP Standard Content Activation".  For more information reach out to your SAP Services contact e.g. your Service Account Executive.

      Content is available for Oil and Gas, Consumer Products, Retail, Mining, Telecoms, Chemicals, Utilities and others.

      There is some separate industry specific SAP Best Practice content in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud (public) solution. This is visible in Best Practice Explorer.  Look under "Solutions for Specific Industries" in SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque

      Author's profile photo Thomas Winkler
      Thomas Winkler

      Hi Amin,

      this answer is really important - do you have an overview about other industries?

      I can find only: https://www.sap.com/swiss/industries/chemicals.html

      Best regards

      Thomas

       

       

      Author's profile photo Amin Hoque
      Amin Hoque
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Thomas

      At the moment we do not publish the details externally. The content is available as part of a SAP Services engagement with a customer or partner.  For more detail you must contact your Services Account Executive and ask about "Standard Content Activation" which is the replacement of the "SAP Model Company".

      Kind regards

      Amin Hoque