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Author's profile photo Marco Valencia

Recommendations for greenfield implementations of RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition following a cloud mindset.

When SAP launched the enterprise management layer, SAP main goal was to help SAP customers speed up the implementation and reduce time to value by providing them with a preconfigured appliance. We achieved this by providing customers with the pre-configuration for up to 49 countries with a fully activated Fiori User Interface out of the box and ready to be used.  Since then, the enterprise management layer has become the basis for the SAP fit-to-standard process used in close conjunction with SAP Activate and the 5 Golden rules in SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementations.

Let me first elaborate on the 5 Golden Rules of implementations for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, so that we can build upon it and explain how all of this can help with RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition deployments.

1) Foster cloud mindset by adhering to Fit-to-Standard and Agile Deployment detailed in SAP Activate

    • Leverage SAP standard processes where possible.
    • Deploy your solution incrementally with short sprints and releases.

2) Use preconfigured solutions with predefined processes and leverage SAP Fiori UX

    • Enterprise management layer.
    • SAP Best Practices
    • Other LoB/Industry Preconfiguration on top.
    • Qualified Partner Packages.

3) Ensure use of modern integration technologies

4) Ensure use of modern extensibility technologies

5) Ensure transparency on deviations

    • Any deviation from the standard must be clearly documented as part of the implementation; this will help the customer replace these with standard capabilities if they are offered in the future.
    • It is recommend to establish a solution standardization board (SSB) in your project to control your extensions.
    • Use standard capabilities of SAP Application Lifecycle Management tools to document the solution.

For Customers looking at RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition deployments for net new installations, customers could benefit from the learnings gained from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition experiences by deploying the system with a Cloud mindset following the 5 Golden Rules. This will allow customers to keep a system as close to standard as possible (clean core), which will ultimately help customers with easy innovation cycles, maintenance, and upgrades thus reducing total cost of ownership.


5 Golden Rules of implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud

To start, customer should look at this deployment with a Cloud mindset and not in a traditional way. While SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition is a very flexible solution, which allows core modifications, having a clear governance towards the 5 Golden Rules is a key success factor for the implementation.

Customers embarking on a RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition net new deployment, should foster a Cloud mindset by adhering to a fit-to-standard and agile deployment.  To guide customers in their implementation journey, SAP released the SAP Activate Methodology for RISE with SAP, and the use of this methodology is key to success.


SAP Activate Methodology

The use of pre-configuration has shown that customers can reduce efforts tremendously on the overall system implementation.  Pre-configuration comes in many forms: SAP Best Practices, enterprise management layer and qualified Partner Packages.  RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition includes the activation of 1 country with SAP Best Practices as part of the provisioning.


SAP Best Practices

Furthermore, based on our experiences, customers looking for a multi-country implementation can benefit from the use of the enterprise management layer for SAP S/4HANA which includes a full appliance activated for up to 49 countries and additional benefits like set-up of group currency, configuration of fiscal year variants,  preconfigured parallel accounting, intercompany reconciliation, country-specific functionality, etc. and, lastly, the out-of-the-box Fiori user interface, among others.

The enterprise management layer is not included in the RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition subscription. However, with an additional fee, this appliance can be provisioned out of the box to unlock a multitude of business values by reducing and saving implementation time and by creating a future-proof foundation for your business operations.


Enterprise Management Layer for SAP S/4HANA

Integration is one of the areas where we receive the most questions from our customers. Per the experiences we have gained from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition we would like to recommend that our customers use Cloud-like integrations. This means to review the list of included APIs in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub and maximize use of these APIs for integration. With the latest SAP S/4HANA release, SAP has released 679 + APIs with many different operational functions. We would like our customers to benefit from the content of the APIs in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub. SAP is committed to offer additional integration capabilities over time, so we encourage our customers to keep checking the SAP Business Accelerator Hub on a continuous basis as SAP will continue to release included APIs.


SAP Business Accelerator Hub

If customers can’t find the API they are looking for or they need enhancements to an existing API, they can submit an influence request within the Customer Influence Channel ( that will create a process to fast track a decision to create or enhance an API for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and S/4HANA family of products.

Specific customer business requirements need a strong extensibility framework to achieve the last mile needs. For this purpose SAP has developed a guide to Extend SAP S/4HANA in the cloud and on premise with ABAP based extensions. This guide has proven to be a great guidance tool to keep the system close to standard (clean core) as much as possible. Customers use it coupled with solution standardization board governance to decide on these last mile enhancements as needed.

RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition is a very flexible system which provides customers with even more possibilities for extensibility, including the possibility to do core classic modifications. However, while this flexibility allows you to cover the most pressing last mile needs, it also comes with the risk of technical debt as there might be maintenance and adjustments necessary to the extensions during the upgrade process. For this reason, we typically recommend our customers implement Cloud based extensibility, such as using in-app extensibilitydeveloper extensibility (aka SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment “embedded steampunkt” available as of release S/4HANA 2022 – for more information refer to the SAP Community on this topic) and side by side extensibility using the SAP Business Technology Platform.


Extend SAP S/4HANA in the cloud and on premise with ABAP based extensions

Now, some customers have contacted us, concerned about how to address last mile needs when they need to select classical extensibility techniques to cover those requirements. Most of the time they don’t know if they really need them or not. It is important to remember that the “Guide to Extend SAP S/4HANA in the cloud and on premise with ABAP based extensions” provides a recommendation, however customers need to take these decisions directly in their system with the understanding that they need to be prepared to maintain and/or adjust them during a system upgrade.  Remember that ensuring transparency is key and therefore it is highly recommended to document any deviations that one is planning to implement.

To ensure transparency, customers may use the Custom Code Migration app in SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment to run the ABAP_CLOUD_READINESS check variant to get a high-level perspective of the effort needed to move “classic extensions” to cloud-like extensions in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment or in ABAP Environment in BTP. This check variant can also help customers control their custom developments and ensure all are built with the cloud-mindset.

Here the SAP Activate governance approach to keep the core clean with the Solution Standardization Board (SSB). This in-project governance will help customers uncover and make some of these pressing standardization decisions. The SSB also has a great whitepaper that can be used to follow standardization decisions, but also to audit some of the decisions that were made.

Some of our customers have benefitted tremendously from this concept. Please see example here.


Solution Standardization Board

As you can see, while RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition provides ample flexibility you can still apply the Cloud mindset, and the 5 Golden Rules to keep the core system as close to standard as possible, which will ultimately provide more business value as you will be enabling faster and easier innovation cycles when you upgrade the system.

We encourage you to visit SAP Activate Methodology for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition to start your implementation journey.

I want to thank the following colleagues for reviewing the blog and providing content and feedback based on their own experiences and knowledge: Petra Ohlinger, Jose Marquez, Jan Musil & Javier Baltazar.

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, and SAP S/4HANA, check out the following links: 

  • SAP S/4HANA 2022 “highlights in seconds” blog and video
  • SAP Enterprise Resource Planning website
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition release here
  • SAP S/4HANA Community here
  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
  • Join the SAP S/4HANA Movement
  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA here
  • Help Portal Product Page here
  • Feature Scope Description here
  • What’s New here

Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA or follow Marco Valencia

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      Author's profile photo Satheeshkumar Dhandapani
      Satheeshkumar Dhandapani


      Are the 5 Golden Rules applicable for Private cloud only?? cant it be applied to Public Cloud???

      Author's profile photo Marco Valencia
      Marco Valencia
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Satheeshkumar,

      Yes the 5 golden rules also apply to public cloud, the only difference is that in public cloud these rules are more prescriptive as public cloud provides our customer with a higher degree of standardization:

      a) you can't create modification in the system.

      b) you can only used allowed APIs

      c) Content is part of the solution (preconfiguration).


      I suggest you look at this blog for public cloud:

      Let me know if this helps,