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Author's profile photo Jim Loiacono

5 SAP Cloud Secrets

Below are, in my opinion, 5 of the most common misunderstandings regarding SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It is my hope that fellow SAP Customers will appreciate the additional clarity regarding the various options available to them. The theme here is that you do have choices as an SAP customer.

Misunderstanding 1RISE with SAP Cloud is ONLY available with hyperscale public cloud IaaS.

The secret is RISE with SAP Private Edition, CDC (PE CDC for short) is available on-premises or in a colocation datacenter, so if RISE with SAP is a good choice for your organization, you do have choices.

This RISE with SAP Cloud Private Edition, Customer Data Center edition shares the same S/4HANA software and services as the Private Edition (without the CDC) which is hosted in hyperscale public cloud datacenters. See SAP’s Hybrid Cloud. This means SAP is providing customers a choice of how to deploy RISE with SAP–the public cloud multitenant edition or a choice of two private cloud editions–Private Cloud in a hyperscale public cloud (P.E.), or Private Cloud in a customer’s datacenter choice (P.E. CDC). It also goes without mentioning that customers can also continue to run outside of RISE with SAP offerings as well (subject to announced lifecycle rules).

Misunderstanding 2RISE with SAP Public Cloud Edition is a good fit for nearly all sizes of existing SAP customers.

The secret is RISE with SAP Public Cloud Edition is a multitenant SaaS offering that is minimally customizable with only for greenfield (start from scratch) implementations. As such, it has generally been adopted by new SAP customers.or organizations with less complex SAP requirements.

While RISE with SAP Public Cloud Edition is the closest RISE offering to SaaS incorporating automatic feature updates, existing customers may desire brownfield (full conversion) or bluefield (selective conversion) migration strategies rather than greenfield, making RISE with SAP Private Edition (PE or PE CDC Editions), or another optional method of running SAP more desirable.

Misunderstanding 3–Customers are widely opting for S/4HANA greenfield conversions instead of brownfield/bluefield conversions.

The secret is many new or greenfield-deployed SAP customers do not share the potential complexities of other customers. Conversion strategy can become more complex when dealing with existing large SAP implementations.

Various articles have published conflicting statistics regarding customer preferences for brownfield, bluefield, and greenfield conversions and the reason for the conflict appears to be largely due to the relative size/complexity of the customer organizations surveyed–larger organizations more commonly require brownfield or bluefield conversion while smaller or less complex organizations are more commonly permitted the option for greenfield conversion.

Misunderstanding 4–Since the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is cloud-based, if a customer wishes to develop custom applications, automate, integrate, or use artificial intelligence, they must run SAP S/4HANA Cloud in a hyperscale public cloud.

The secret is that SAP BTP is accessible between clouds, colocation datacenters or from on-premises datacenters as long as each customer is properly licensed for BTP. BTP licensing is available for clients that run their SAP S/4HANA Cloud outside the hyperscale public cloud or inside hyperscale public cloud. 

Connectivity between on-premise or colocation based S/4HANA and BTP is achieved by properly configuring SAP’s Cloud Connector as explained in the following blog post

Misunderstanding 5— SAP AI and Signavio functionality can only be used if a client hosts SAP S/4HANA Cloud in a hyperscale public cloud datacenter.

The secret is that while SAP licenses applications differently, AI, BTP, and Signavio are all available to clients that run RISE with SAP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud either in the public cloud or outside of the public cloud. 

If a client desires to remain outside of a hyperscale public cloud datacenter using SAP RISE PE CDC, SAP simply extends SAP Signavio and SAP BTP to them under an additional hybrid cloud agreement.


While both the ASUG and DSAG user groups have expressed concern regarding a potential lack of customer choice, SAP is indeed providing customer choice–even if some of those choices are a bit less commonly understood.

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