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SAP Elevates Enterprise Architecture to enhance success and safety in S4Hana deployments

Disclaimer: This blog reflects my personal opinion and not the ones of my employer. This is my personal vision of SAP developed capabilities around Enterprise Architecture.

SAP is investing massively in Enterprise Architecture (people, methods, and tools) to ensure its new platform and solutions (cloud native, AI empowered) will ensure strong market growth in the future.

Deploying an ERP is still hard

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have long been the transactional backbone of enterprises, driving core processes and storing business critical data.

Today’s business landscape demands ERP systems acting as ‘control towers’ for efficient business operations with key workflows and business metrics, but also platforms enabling integration and innovation. As ERP landscapes have grown more complex due to customizations and multi-instance architectures resulting from acquisitions, securing and renewing ERP systems has become a top priority (more here from my colleagues from BCG Platinion).

The digital transformation wave also brought cloud-based solutions to the forefront, and with it, an opportunity to upgrade to modern ERP systems. It’s not just about keeping pace with the latest technology, like the SAP S/4HANA transition, but about unleashing new capabilities that can propel your business forward (like integrating generative AI or leveraging application satellites to extend your ERP features).

SAP is betting on Enterprise Architects to help implement ERPs

SAP is convinced of the importance of Enterprise Architects to help implement ERPs and is investing in two main areas: the enterprise architect community and training.

To join the online community, it is pretty straightforward: connect to online discussion group and chat about frameworks, tools, strategy, the TOGAF standard, and more.

SAP Enterprise Architecture Community
Paul Kurchina (on the left of the picture) is the community leader and is doing an amazing job at animating and structuring the community. He is organizing the North American “Next Generation SAP Enterprise Architect Forum” in February 27–29 (priority will be given to practitioners from SAP customer organization). Join if you can, it will be a great conference.


SAP also released a new training and a certification to become a SAP Enterprise Architecture Professional . I consider the training a little bit too expensive, but if you can afford it, it seems that people having passed it are fully satisfied with it.


SAP EA Professional training and certification
SAP will release soon a new Enterprise Architecture framework
SAP is finalizing a new SAP Enterprise Architecture framework, leveraging TOGAF and customized for ERP deployment.


SAP Enterprise Architecture framework is based on Togaf
Beside the TOGAF based artifacts, SAP complemented the framework with additional artifacts like the Business Model Canvas (now in its latest version as Sustainable Business Model Canvas) or the Application Use-Case Diagram which supports a Design Thinking centric and use case driven approach.


SAP Enterprise Architecture framework Metro Map
And SAP is also offering a set of Reference Architecture, composed of two sets of assets:
  1. SAP Reference Business Architecture (RBA) is based on SAP’s 50 years of industry experience and is aligned with best practices and standards, such as APQC. It describes the scope and undertaking of any enterprise, in a business-centric and product-agnostic way (described further is this blog post)
  2. SAP Reference Solution Architecture (RSA) explores how SAP addresses a customer’s business challenge with its unique product portfolio (described further in this blog post)

The Reference Business Architecture and Reference Solution Architecture are structured alongside the following four architecture views: Capability View, Process View, Data View, and Organization View. The four views cover a business and IT related model and allow the navigation between these two perspectives.

SAP reference architecture provides an enormous value for Enterprise Architects since navigation between different views and respective entities adds significant value, as the content of the reference architecture is a SAP official and authored content

A mind map of the SAP EA framework key concepts and assets has been already created by SAP EA Community member, and it worth a look.
SAP trinity of tools for Enterprise Architect
I kept the best part for the end. SAP is finalizing its transformation suite approach with a trinity of chained tools to support the business transformation from end-to-end.


  1. SAP Signavio is used to describe all reference architecture and help navigate the RBA and RSA.
  2. LeanIX, recently acquired by SAP, will be a tool of choice for leveraging the SAP EA framework. Rene de Daniel created various video capsules demonstrating a first insights on how LeanIX EAM will feature the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework.
  3. SAP Cloud ALM, an out-of-the-box, native cloud solution, designed as the central entry point to manage SAP landscape with content-driven guided implementation and highly automated operations.
Preliminary vision of SAP Transformation Suite Approach
1. SAP Signavio Process Explorer


SAP Signavio offers a set of tools bundled in a suite:

SAP Signavio product suites
Connect to SAP Signavio Process Explorer and you will have immediately access to process map, business capability map and the link with the solution architecture.


SAP Signavio Process Explorer
You can then access the business capability map, for example for Human resources …


Human Resources Business Capability Map
And then have a link with the associated deployment option (hybrid or cloud native in general) and the associated solutions.


Human Resources Business Capability Map linked to solution architecture
And if I select the cloud solutions, I can get the list of products by capabilities.


Human Resources [Cloud Solution Component Map]
This SAP authored content is of great help for Enterprise Architect. We can also imagine easily how this content could be used in the future by SAP, using AI, to guide design, make recommendations or validate implementation.

2. LeanIX for implementing the SAP EA framework

LeanIX strategy is to stay open (e.g. not being specialized for any ERP) and to support companies doing business an IT transformation.

It must be noted that LeanIX offers a deep integration with SAP Signavio for years. I suppose that the next step for SAP will be to facilitate the integration of the Signavio authored content in LeanIX for Enterprise architect to be able to design more precisely and more rapidly the target architecture (including integration with other applications in the company landscape). LeanIX will also be the home for the SAP EA framework. I have no doubt that all other EA tool vendor will implement the SAP EA framework when it will be finally released.

To have a glance of what it could look like, you can look at Rene de Daniel blog post.

SAP Business capability map un SAP Signavio and SAP LeanIX


Business capability linked to Deployment type

3. SAP Cloud ALM for managing the end-to-end deployment lifecycle

SAP Cloud ALM is the “third stage of the rocket”, focusing on end-to-end application lifecycle (orchestration of all needed tasks).

SAP Cloud ALM orchestrates all applications steps of the lifecycle
SAP Cloud ALM:
  • enables customers to adopt innovation at scale
  • helps to keep the business running by protecting business continuity
  • serves as anchor point and accelerator for customer transformations
    is included in maintenance and subscription​
  • replace ​SAP Solution Manager (7.2 mainstream maintenance ends Dec. 31, 2027)
Cloud ALM Project Overview


Cloud ALM Integration and Exception Monitoring
I really want to thank Paul Kurchina for its continuous support. He accepted me as a SAP EA community volunteer leader with a focus on helping with the Community in Europe.


Paul and I at SAP Headquarter (Walldorf)
I also want to thank all the SAP employees that accepted to meet us and to help prepare the February conference: Andreas Poth, Chris Allen, Chris Naab, Florian Heretsch, Ivana Trickovic, Marc Thier, Marco Michel, Oguzhan (Ozzy) Genis, Peter kaiser, Stefan Schoepfel, Stefan Faßmann, Thomas Saueressig, Ted Way, Tim Steuer, Walter Sun



Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Wow, William, lots of good content about what is going on with the world of SAP EA's. Hopefully people will post the content or links to new content and learning here in the community site as it comes out. Keep us all posted!

Senior Enterprise Architect
SAP Canada

Active Participant

William, This is an extensive blog with greth depth. Looking forward to the SAP Enterprise Architecture Forum in New Town Square and the European editions that follow. With LeanIX SAP finally has an EA tool that can call their own, and combined with Signavio it starts to complete the story.

Paul, Martin the EA community is growing. The early adoption of the groups platfrom can only help us grow faster.