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In my role as product expert within our SAP S/4HANA Customer Care and Regional Implementation Group I have had the opportunity to work with several customers on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and have noticed that responsibilities during implementation and operations of the system are often not clear.

Our private cloud product offers significant advantages to a more traditional on-premise based ERP solution. However, despite the term “cloud” in the title, this should not be regarded as a full Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud solution. Although being a cloud hosted solution, it is not a full public cloud offering, and hence, clarity needs to be provided on who is responsible for what, in a deployment.

The introduction of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition sees the lines starting to blur with regards to deployment and support activities for the end-to-end solution. That’s why I wrote this blog, to try and provide the required visibility around where roles and responsibilities lay.

The concept of hosting an ERP solution in the cloud, albeit a private cloud, brings about many questions around who might be responsible for the varying tasks associated with:

  • Implementation

  • Data Base support

  • System operation support

  • Release cycles upgrades

  • Governance

  • Security

  • Performance

  • Sizing

  • Capacity planning

  • System Availability

  • Integration

  • and more…

I will attempt to answer these questions, by outlining the various roles and responsibilities for an SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition deployment.

On occasion, you may see reference to PCE (private cloud edition) when researching SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. As this is not an official SAP branded term, I will refrain from any reference to this acronym.

SAP is offering customers a pathway to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition via an offering termed RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

For those looking for a more detailed and technical view on roles and responsibilities for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, refer to the following link: Roles and Responsibilities RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition

The SAP Trust Centre can also be used as the single source of truth for Product and Polices, refer to the following link: SAP Trust Centre.

What is RISE with SAP?

RISE with SAP is not a product. RISE with SAP is a curated offering centred around SAP S/4HANA. This package aims to accelerate, streamline, and motivate organisations with their journey to a cloud centric intelligent enterprise.

RISE with SAP is centred around 6 core components:

  1. Business Process Intelligence Discovery Reports

  2. SAP Business Technology Platform CPEA Credits

  3. SAP Business Network Starter Pack

  4. Custom Code Analyzer, Readiness Check, Learning Hub

  5. SAP S/4HANA with Deployment of Choice (Public or Private)

  6. Infrastructure Provision of Choice

RISE with SAP also offers the concept of “one”. One SAP contract covering all components, in addition to secondary contracts with Partners for services or add-on packages if applicable.



RISE with SAP comprises fundamentally 3 stakeholders, each taking shared or discrete ownership of specific deliverables within the RISE implementation transition.

These 3 stakeholders include the following:

  1. SAP Subscription Services

  2. Customer

  3. Partner (or SAP Services)

These 3 stakeholders own and contribute to various components through the Activate methodology life cycle, which includes the following:

  • Discover

  • Prepare

  • Explore

  • Realize

  • Deploy

  • Run

Each of the above phases comprises swim lanes that span across all phases. These swim lanes include the following:

  • Project Management

  • Team Enablement

  • Technical Architecture / Infrastructure

  • Application Design and Configuration

  • Extensibility

  • Integration

  • Testing

  • Data Management

  • Operations & Support

  • Solution Adoption

  • Analytics

When we represent these phases by swim lanes, we can visualise a matrix of deliverables, where we can then start assigning roles (ownership) to each deliverable (intersection of phase and swim lane).

Adoption Framework

The following diagrams have been drawn from the Adoption Framework. The Adoption Framework is part of the SAP Activate methodology for SAP RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and is found in the Roadmap Viewer. You can find the Adoption Framework here (note: access to the framework may be restricted to Partners only for now):

RISE with SAP Adoption Framework


SAP Subscription Services

Let us look at an example of the above Activate phases in combination with the deployment swim lanes. For ease of explanation, let’s represent these in a matrix format. For now, we will focus only on those activities where SAP Subscription Services is responsible.

Although SAP Subscription Services contributes to several deliverables, there is clearly space remaining for both Customer and Partner (SAP Service) deliverables.

Those areas above which are colour-coded in “dark blue” are the responsibility of SAP subscription services. Where a deliverable is not fully colour-coded, it indicates that the deliverable has joint ownership.

Key deliverables for SAP subscription services include: Project Monitoring, Onboarding, Tools Access Integration Provisioning, System Availability support, among many joint deliverables.


Let us take the above example matrix and overlay those activities for which the customer is responsible for.

Although the Customer additionally contributes to several deliverables, there is still some space remaining for the Partner (SAP Services) deliverables. Those areas which are colour-coded “dark red” are the responsibility of the customer. Like SAP subscription services, where a deliverable is not fully colour coded, indicates a joint ownership.


Key deliverables for the customer includes: Stakeholder Identification, Team Enablement, Sizing Verification, Testing, OCM & Learning, among many joint deliverables.

Partner (SAP Services)

Let us take the above example matrix and finally overlay those activities the Partner or SAP Services would typically be responsible for.

As this is an example matrix, there is clearly some room for discussion around deliverables to be negotiated between Customer and Partner (SAP Services).

This final overlay is not an absolute, where Customers are able to partner to varying degrees and agree on specific deliverables. As stated, this is an example only.

Those areas which are colour coded “dark green” are the responsibility of the Partner or SAP Services.

It is now evident there are many deliverables which are jointly owned, and several which are owned by one party or another.


Key deliverables for the Partner (SAP services) include: Project Initiation, Fit to Standard Preparation, Preparing Custom Code, Operations Planning, User Interface Design, User Access and Security, Test Planning, Solution Configuration, Data Migration, Integration Implementation, among many joint deliverables.


RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition is a great opportunity for SAP customers to embark upon their cloud journey in partnership. Partnerships require a degree of ownership visibility, where this blog has attempted to lay out an example and starting place for partnership roles and responsibilities. This should not be seen as a hard and fast matrix, but more an opportunity to begin discussions along with your journey and provide some insights into who might typically own which key deliverables.


Brought to you by the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care and RIG