Companies that have already adopted SAP S/4HANA are well aware of the amazing short term benefits of this SAP version. However, when it comes to planning for the long-term, some SAP customers seem to disagree on making a complete transition to SAP S/4HANA. Even though SAP mandates all its customers to switch to S/4HANA by 2025, there still lingers some differences in opinion among different parties, which mostly triggers from the lack of clarity about the long-term benefits of this SAP S/4HANA platform.
This article aims to uphold the reality by eliminating doubts about the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA.
A disconnect in the thoughts of SAP vendors and customers about SAP S/4HANA
It is true that SAP vendors and customers are not on the same page when it comes to the SAP S/4HANA platform. Whole the customer group sees it as a step ahead towards innovation via powerful ERP, the vendors intend to offer customers an opportunity to come as close as they can to a real-time experience. The developers of SAP are very eager to present the state-of-the-art facilities of SAP S/4HANA, which have made it possible for us to envision a better future for the business platforms of tomorrow, by integrating real-time information to boost decision-making policies, increase employee efficiency, improve chances of collaboration, provide for a futuristic user experience. It is indeed exciting for vendors to implement the use of S/4HANA and participate in building the success stories of their customers.
However, SAP customers do not share this view at all. As SAP will make it mandatory for its customers to shift to S/4HANA by 2025, most customers are worried about the future. For an increasing number of customers, S/4HANA is an expensive and risky upgrade instead of an opportunity for transformation. Naturally, they are worried about switching to an entirely new platform after having built their SAP platform for decades.
Now, the question that needs to be asked is this – is there a particular reason behind these two differing attitudes?
Well, experts believe that SAP vendors are overlooking the concerns of the customers. SAP customers view the infrastructure of the software as its most defining feature. Here are some of the concerns that the consumers of SAP are expressing:
- Will this upgrade have a negative effect on my business?
- Will I be able to access the entire infrastructure that was initially available to me? For example, will the process of planning a website be different because of this change?
- Will my vendor be able to provide me all the updated services on time?
- Will I be required to pay an extra amount?
- What is the time-value correlation?
Vendors will first need to address these questions before trying to convince customers of the many benefits of SAP S/4HANA.
Why is the SAP S/4HANA upgrade worth it?
The SAP software that your company has been using for years may have a host of different problems that you are not aware of. S/4HANA will update your ERP completely. Instead of an outdated system that is plagued with a ton of different problems, you will soon be able to move to a much more improved platform. While this doesn’t automatically validate the S/4HANA’s reliability, but it does guarantee that you will have a faster and more efficient system at your disposal.
- The Cost and Disruption System
The SAP landscape caters to its customers. To enable your S/4HANA migration, your provider will provide you with an SAP environment with many provisions- both in-cloud and on-premise. The S/4HANA system operates on the in-memory of the HANA system, which makes it imperative for consumers to ensure that their workload is running on a legitimate SAP platform. This will make sure that the S/4HANA provides its consumers with the right balance of reliability and performance.
- Making sure there is continued support
The SAP ERP system will be discontinued in 2025. SAP will not be producing any new additions for that platform. The expertise on that platform will slowly fade out since the support resources for that platform will die out, or upgrade to the new platform. There will not be any new updates on that platform since developers will only invest their time and money into improving the S/4HANA.
Thereby, sooner or later, you will be compelled to move to the new platform. It is not necessary for you to put off this migration for any longer than is necessary.
- ROI and Time-Value Ratio
There are actually multiple factors at play when it comes to pricing the ROI for S/4HANA.
- The hosting and the support system – When you move to S/4HANA, you will be expected to move to the cloud automatically. This acts as an appropriate replacement for the shaky CapEx of hardware, as the predictable OpEx model of SAP S/4HANA eradicates certain risk factors that are inherent in complex ERP. Companies are more dependent on the expertise of an admin who knows the system in and out. In the absence of the admin, there is a shortage of people who can maintain the system on a day to day basis.
- Improved Performance – The S/4HANA system is much faster than the SAP ERP system. Since it is faster, it is a lot more productive and capable of getting a lot more done. This also ensures that the sectors associated with customer service and satisfaction can deliver at optimum speeds.
- Improved Interfaces – When you move to S/4HANA, you also move to the SAP GUI and SAP Fiori user system. Your team will upgrade from the archaic system of filling forms to a system that has won awards, and is extremely easy to use, and provides for increased productivity. Your employees will be able to get their work done much faster, and new employees will be able to learn the intricacies of their position in the company with ease. Eventually, your company will be able to save a lot of money and labor in the process.
- Discovering the Long-Term Costs of ERP solution
Most SAP ERP consumers are accustomed to infrequent upgrades that cause problems to their technical balance. This leads to a decrease in performance levels when the company tries to get more value from the investments in software and hardware. With that being said, the SAP ERP system is to be replaced soon. The correct SAP managed system will help you to urbanize your experience with ERP, ending the disruptions once and for all the moment you upgrade the new system. The routine maintenance will ensure that the software continues to deliver its best performance, without hindering your company’s service in any way, shape, or form.
Apart from what has been mentioned above, SAP S/4HANA is also highly suitable for dealing with real-time information; something that can help you make better data-driven decisions for the long-term.
So, to answer the question which is also the topic of discussion – it goes without saying that upgrading to the S/4HANA platform can indeed be advantageous for your company. For that, it is best to start off by charting out the immediate business needs and see how S/4HANA can be adapted to best fulfill them.