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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
We from SAP S/4HANA Cloud Expertise Services Team recently conducted a session in the form of Community Live on 9th December 2021. This session was intended to provide our partners and internals an opportunity to have an open mic session directly with our experts on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. This session was targeted for all those technology enthusiasts from our partners and internal ecosystem who are interested and looking forward to help our customers together in their journey of Business Transformation using the RISE with SAP package based on SAP's implementation methodology - SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. This blog-post serves as a Question-Answer transcript of the session conducted for which the recordings can be found on the Partner Edge portal (needs PartnerEdge login).

As we all know by now that RISE with SAP provides a seamless and easy path for transforming an organization from traditional and legacy ERP systems to a modern, cloud based and an intelligent suite of softwares which caters for next generation business operations for an Intelligent Enterprise. The focus of this session being an open discussion between partners, internals and SAP experts on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition for new implementations, we were able to get insights on variety of questions from our partners. Our speakers were also able to provide clarifications on their doubts and questions during the 60 mins session. We also use this forum to look into the challenges which our partners and internals face and try to feed it back into our product teams in order to further fine tune the gaps if relevant.

To cater questions on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition - we called in experts from various areas like SAP Activate, Solution Management, Project Excellence, Partner Solution Center and Partner Engagement and Experience Center. The below slide shows the speakers of the sessions :

Speakers for the community live session

Also due to the vastness of the topics in implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud - Private Edition, we decided to confine this session only on topics which revolve around SAP Activate for new implementation scenarios and not around system conversions, migrations and selective data transitions. To make the 60 mins most relevant on the topic of SAP Activate for our audience we chose the topics around project management, project methodology, fit-to-standard project delivery, phases, deliverables & concepts, cloud mindset, organizational change management, transformation, tools, enablement and adoption. The deep dive topics which require in-depth techno-functional expertise were not in the focus of this session and we might plan to bring such topics in the future for our community live session going forward. Hence the below slide shows the guardrails which we put into our session to provide a precursor to our audience.

Session Guardrails

Having provided the information about the community live session, now let's see the actual questions which were asked live during the session to our experts and their answers to them. Before I move into transcribing the answers, please make a note that the answers are just opinions and viewpoints from our experts from their own experience and expertise and hold no official/legal obligation whatsoever on the part of company or individual.

Question 1: In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition - as the IMG is open for the project team, how is the fit-to-standard differentiated from that of SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Public) as per the SAP Activate guidance?

Combined Answer -> In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition the IMG (Implementation guide)  is opened up via the usual transaction code - SPRO and you can configure and change the configurations of your choice in the system accordingly. When it comes to fit-to-standard, there is a choice for the starting point which needs to be discussed with the customer depending on the inclination, requirements and scope of the customer business scenario. You can request activation of SAP Best Practices in the S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition to SAP Cloud Operation teams or our partners can activate them themselves. These Best Practices can be found here - SAP S/4HANA Best Practices. The second choice is to opt for the EML (Enterprise Management Layer) which has a separate price tag. This will bring the standard content as a part of the EML template which is based on best practices and provide you an option to perform additional configurations on top of the EML layer. There is another way where our partners from their experience and expertise can bring in their own partner templates. The SAP Activate roadmap for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition provides accelerators for Fit-to-Standard workshop preparation  which can be leveraged to obtain the templates and guidance around the fit-to-standard execution. Implementing partners can also bring in their own templates based on their industry expertise which can be further used over and above the SAP best practices which can be adopted by the customer in their implementations.

Also, when it comes to the two variants - Private Edition and the Public variant for S/4HANA Cloud, one must consider the limitations and the flexibilities into the solution. In the Private edition, customer have the capabilities and flexibilities which the software allows while implementing the S/4HANA solution. The Solution Standardization Board (SSB), the 5 golden rules for implementation will help you as implementing partners to keep our solutions and softwares as standard as possible in order to allow us customers benefit from shorter upgrade cycles without much maintenance activities from customer end and to realize quicker innovations. Sticking to the standards and not deviating much to include heavy customizations in both variants is a key understanding our implementing partners and customers need to have.

Another key difference in S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and S/4HANA Cloud (Public) is the preparation that goes while following the SAP Activate for fit-to-standard workshops. In the public variant, customer are handed over the starter system which is preconfigured with best practices and demo master data to conduct the workshops, whereas in the private edition the customer/implementing partner needs to perform additional tasks to setup the sandbox systems for conduction the workshops.

These are the major points that needs to be accounted while executing the fit-to-standard in S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition as differentiated from that of the S/4HANA Cloud (Public).

Question 2: What is the difference between the S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and the S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition  which we often hear?

Answer: When it comes to Extended Edition, SAP has been offering the consumption of the software along with the pre-configuration, some additional services and the upgrades which are included in the pricing. With the Private Edition, there are many changes which were done on the overall remit of the solution like inclusion of the Private Edition in the RISE with SAP contract which is not currently available for the Extended Edition. Now when comparing the product capabilities between the Extended and the Private Edition, both have the base S/4 components, almost similar business processes, industry coverage and localization capabilities. Hence holistically the majority of difference falls into the commercial aspects as well as the packaging of the softwares with RISE with SAP. Majority of the techno-functional capabilities are same for both the products, but there are finer details which further differentiates both the variants in S/4HANA Cloud.

Question 3: We understand that PCE functionality is 99% the same as S/4HANA on-premise. If that's the case - what is the primary delta between the on-prem Activate methodology and S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition Activate methodology and why do those need to be different?

Answer: In general, when on-premise Activate methodology is compared to that of the S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition Activate methodology the first point is to consider is the fit-to-standard. This can happen either on an empty system or on the system which is based on best practices or Enterprise Management Layer. This fit-to-standard in the SAP S/4HANA on-premise is slightly more extensive for which you can find details in the deliverable - Make yourself familiar with Fit-to-Standard and How to Approach Fit-to-Standard Analysis / Design - On Premise (Public). The second biggest difference is on the RISE with SAP bundle providing components and content on Business Network Starter Pack, SAP BTP CPEAs, SAP Process Insights which is available for private edition and not for the on-premise variant. The content for all this is continuously updated and can be found on the hyperlinks which has been mentioned in the above sections.

Question 4: Are the same 5 golden rules for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition applicable for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition as well?

Answer: Yes, the 5 golden rules for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition are applicable for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Cloud. To extend these golden rules further, you can also use them in the on-premise implementations. We have testimonies from partners who have used the SSB and the golden rules in their implementations and saved a lot of time, efforts and customization tasks to successfully implement our solutions for our customers. One such can be found here on the blog - Proven practices for fit-to-standard for your SAP Activate project

Question 5: How many customers have already gone live with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and how many used SAP Activate as implementation methodology?

Answer: SAP keeps a track of customer go-lives but unfortunately not the implementation methodology they follow. We can say that a large number of our partners and customers have adopted either fully SAP Activate or smaller concepts from SAP Activate. Majority of the our implementations are based on SAP Activate as a proven implementation methodology for successful go-lives.

Question 6: How do we leverage our existing investments on Hyperscalers, SAP BTP etc. in the context of RISE with SAP while implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition? Are there options for customers to use their existing licenses?

Answer: SAP is open for Partner add-ons to be included in their S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition implementations provided they are SAP approved add-ons. The previous licenses has to be terminated and remodelled as a subscription model (As BYOL - Bring your own license is not allowed for S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition). Any other investments in SAP BTP can be included in their ongoing implementations. For further commercial questions related to RISE with SAP for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition implementation we highly recommend you to reach out to your Account Executive or SAP Sales representatives.

Question 7: We currently use the Digital Discover Assessment (DDA) to analyze which cloud solution fits best - S/4HANA Cloud, Private edition or Public? Which tool is recommended for analyzing along with the customer from SAP?

Combined Answer: Primarily, depending on the customers legacy system (SAP ERP or non-SAP system) and requirement for the digital transformation, we recommend to see what implementation approach the customer wants to adopt to implement S/4HANA. Depending on whether it is a new implementation, reimplementation, system conversion or selective data transitioning scenario customers might be required to choose between SAP S/4HANA on premise, S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition or S/4HANA Cloud (Public). Once customers implementation scenario is fulfilled, you can now use the Digital Discovery Assessment as the recommended tool for analyzing which SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions (Private or Public) fits for customers requirements based on the inputs provided in the DDA tool. Customers and Partners can also leverage the Trial systems which is free of cost and quickly understand on what they might get on implementations.

Question 8: What does the Enterprise Management Layer (EML) consist of and on what scenarios should the customer go for EML? Can this be elaborated?

Answer: Enterprise Management Layer

The enterprise management layer provides a global template for customers operating in multiple countries.

It comes pre-configured and localized for up to 43 countries with a corporate financial template allowing for parallel accounting according to group and local requirements, based on 3 accounting principles (Group/Local/Tax) and a total of five ledgers. It offers preconfigured business processes across all application areas, including sample master data and print forms as well as detailed documentation for the users. The enterprise management layer is a service similar to its predecessor, the Model Company for Multinational Corporations, and addresses the following deployment types:

  • On-premise deployment (including Hyperscalers)

  • SAP S/4HANA, private cloud edition

Question 9: Can we have a complete landscape/environments like Sandbox, Development, Quality Assurance, Test, Production etc. in S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition as we can have it for on-Premise?

Answer: The SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition is pre-packaged with a 3 system landscape - development, QA and Production system. You can definitely extend the landscape by having Sandbox/Staging environments in the course of your contract/middle of your contract by separately licensing the system and use it during your implementations and even beyond go-live phases. You can reach out to your account executive for further information on the commercials of it.

Question 10: Do we have a concise documentation explaining the roles for system integrator, BASIS teams, customers, partners etc. in the context of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition for our disposal?

Answer: You can find the roles and responsibilities document here - Roles & Responsibilities . Types of services and their responsibilities between SAP and partners is mentioned in this document.

Question 11:  Do I have to use the components from RISE with SAP or can I ignore options like SAP BTP, Business Network in the first wave of implementation?

Answer: The components as a part of RISE with SAP bundling are not mandatory to be used during the implementations. You are free to use it as per the customers business requirement while implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. However, SAP highly recommends to explore these components as per the customers requirements as these will benefit the business scenarios for the customers and will help in their implementations for Intelligent Enterprise. The components like SAP BTP, Business Network Starter Packs and others have been adopted into the RISE with SAP offering after extensive collaboration with innumerous customers and gathering their implementation requirements. As an outcome of all the efforts combined with customers and partners, the components bundled in RISE with SAP turn out to be highly crucial and important aspects of pursuing an Intelligent Enterprise. These components will help customers to obtain various business and industry scenario aspects in a single contract with SAP with the power to be hosted on Cloud Hyperscalers benefitting from the complementary solutions like SAP BTP, Business Networks, Learning Hub and many many more bundled into a single offering.

Question 12: Can you provide some tips for project managers while implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition?

Combined Answer: Some tips from our experts include:

  • Regardless of you using SAP Activate in Private Edition or Public below are some of the findings from our vast experience with customers which define the successfactors of an implementation.

  • We also encourage partners and customers to leverage the SAP Cloud ALMSAP Focused Build & Insights on the SAP Solution Manager

  • Also another advice from our experience is to take time to plan as per the organizations appetite and not rush with the fit-to-standard analysis

  • Considering the impact of the cloud mindset & organizational change management should not be underestimated and end users should be well enabled in advance in order to ensure business readiness to operate on next generation business processes being implemented as a part of S/4HANA solutions

Question 13:  What advice other than the SAP Learning Hub do you have to upskill for the S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition Activate Certification? It currently mentions 2021, will this change and be invalid in 2022?

Answer: We only recommend using the the SAP Learning Hub for Activate certifications on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. We have digital learning rooms and courses curated for remote learning and upskilling. Also the certifications gets updated on a regular basis and we recommend to keep your certifications valid and up-to-date as the content are updated and enhanced to cater customers requirements.

Question 14: Is there a recommended maximum complexity (number of users, database volume, number of transactions, number of material master records , etc.) for a PCE implementation?

Answer: We do not have a recommendation depending on the scale mentioned above. However, our S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition is very well scalable as compared to S/4HANA on-premise in terms of volume, users and master data. We also provide a sizing tool in the form of the SAP Quick Sizer tools which need inputs in the form of users, throughputs and other important inputs and it provides the FUE (Full User Equivalence) output in terms of managing the size of the landscapes. It further provide delta sizing options too and can be extended depending on the available bundles of memory/database blocks which continues to cater the customers scaling requirements. Additional information can be found on the below resources:

  1. Applying the Right Sizing Method and Using the Right Sizing Tool

  2. Sizing

Question 15:  How do you migrate data from legacy systems/ECC systems to S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition?

Answer: For new implementations, the Migration Cockpit and leveraging the staging approach is the recommended approach for data migration. All information on Data Migration in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition is mentioned in the Data Management stream in SAP Activate.


In conclusion, above questions and answers provides you with the Q&A transcript from our partners on SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition. These also serves as the frequently asked questions around the area of S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition and SAP Activate.

In order to further reach out to us and ask your doubts, queries and share insights on SAP Activate or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition - we highly encourage you to use the below communities and post your questions with the relevant tags.