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This part of the FAQ series we have prioritized for the questions around business value, let´s go:

What are the key benefits for a customer to move now to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP’s vision and strategy is to help customers run simple to drive the perfect enterprise. To deliver on this mission, we are redefining how enterprise software creates value in a digital, networked economy. SAP S/4HANA is designed to drive instant value across lines of business and industries with the ultimate sophistication: simplicity.

From a business value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to reinvent business models and drive new revenues and profits. First, enterprises can now easily connect to people, devices, and business networks to deliver new value to their customers on any channel – the Internet of Things and Big Data become accessible to any business. Second, enterprises can dramatically simplify their processes, drive them in real-time and change them as needed to gain new efficiencies – no more batch processing is required. And finally, business users can now get any insight on any data from anywhere in real-time: planning, execution, prediction, and simulation – all decisions can be made on the fly with the highest level of granularity for faster business impact.

From an IT value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to dramatically simplify the landscape and reduce TCO with SAP HANA as the great simplifier. First, enterprises can now significantly reduce their data footprint and work with larger data sets in one system (for example, ERP, CRM, SRM, SCM, and PLM in one system) to save hardware costs, operational costs, and time. They will no longer face discrepancies between the different systems with one common source of live data on one system. Second, innovation is also made simple with an open platform (the SAP HANA Cloud Platform) to drive advanced applications - for example predicting, recommending, simulating - while protecting existing investments. Third, business users can leverage a simple and role-based user experience based on modern design principles minimizing training efforts while increasing productivity. Please note that we also support the clients with simple configuration: setting up the system and furthermore during the usage. And finally, enterprises get choice of deployment: cloud, on-premise and even hybrid to drive easy adoption.

SAP S/4HANA is only built on SAP HANA because only the SAP HANA platform can deliver such level of massive simplifications and innovations. Here are key facts on SAP S/4HANA:

  • Smaller total data footprint
  • Higher throughput
  • Faster analytics and reporting
  • Less process steps
  • ERP, CRM, SRM,SCM, PLM co-deployed
  • No locking, parallelism
  • Actual data (25%) and historical (75%)
  • Unlimited workload capacity
  • Predict, recommend, simulate
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform extensions
  • SAP HANA multitenancy
  • All data: social, text, geo, graph, processing
  • New SAP Fiori UX for any device (mobile, desktop, tablet)
  • Three deployment options: on premise, public cloud, managed cloud

What is the benefit on the data model for using an in-memory platform?

SAP S/4HANA delivers high-volume transaction processing (OLTP) and high volume real-time analytical processes (OLAP) based on a unified data model without the redundant data layers typically required by traditional RDBMS based systems. This reduces TCO while providing new opportunities to increase business value from existing investments.

Examples for redundant data layers are custom-built layers based on database tuning efforts such as secondary indexes, or application built-in performance accelerators such as aggregate tables or multiple general ledger versions for different managerial reporting needs.

The massive simplifications of the data model and the data processing layers enable business and technological innovations on a broad scale across all lines-of-business and industry solutions.

The new application architecture simplifies system landscape architectures and accelerates cloud deployments on an economical scale

Do you have examples of business use cases? Let´s pick 3...


  • Today: A single source of truth with superior granularity for all transactions and analytics to streamline and eliminate cycle times and reconciliations of the data. Reconciliation becomes inherent.
  • Before: Separate systems and documents driving complexity across finance and a lot of manual reconciliation efforts

Example of unique innovation: central journal to get a consolidated, real-time view of the state of the business across all entities – this was simply not possible before

Proof points with SAP Simple Finance experience at SAP:

  • 70% less intercompany reconciliation time
  • Lengthy iterations eliminated in intercompany reconciliation
  • Today: Intercompany reconciliation on-the-fly for accelerating financial close. Unlimited simulations – apply historic data to continuously changing business context
  • Before: Only extensive transactions and batch processing, no real-time simulation

Proof points with SAP Simple Finance experience at SAP

  • 71% faster batch input processing in financial close
  • 40% less posting corrections in financial close
  • 400 hours less processing time at quarter-end close

Project-based services

Insights into current bids and past projects

    • Intuitive project manager self-service creation and planning of projects
    • Real time capture and faster billing of time and expenses
    • Seamless user experience across front and back offices

Forecasting and simulations

  • Cross project analysis to easily identify profitable customers and projects
  • Always up to date with latest transactional information
  • Proactive alerts to drive direct action

Accelerated processing and closing

    • Accelerated cash receipt and vendor payment
    • Empowered front office to resolve issues directly with the customer
    • Continuous close capabilities


Listening to your customers

  • Capture and analyze customer interactions from different channels
  • Get customer and consumer trends in a single view

Targeting the right customers

  • Perform customer segmentation with high speed on any data
  • Build dynamic target groups
  • Interpret behavior with scoring and attribution

Engaging with your customers

  • Execute personalized omnichannel campaigns
  • Analyze success of campaigns on open, clicks, and so on
  • Monitor impact on funnel and sales orders

Do SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite share the same data semantic?

With SAP S/4HANA, SAP has developed a new product that leverages basic data structures and elements of the SAP Business Suite for maximum compatibility, non-disruptive migration and hybrid scenarios. However, SAP S/4HANA provides new business functionality on top of these data structures natively built on the SAP HANA platform and designed with the SAP Fiori UX principles.

SAP Business Suite on-premise customers on the latest enhancement package can easily move to this new product simply by migrating to the SAP HANA database and applying the exchange innovation (new code) to their current SAP Business Suite environment.

What is the fundamental difference between the old SAP Business Suite code line and the new SAP S/4HANA Product code line?

The development approach of SAP S/4HANA is to eliminate all artefacts that have been introduced as performance workarounds for classical row-based RDBMS. These are aggregates and programmed indexes that contained no semantic value and only provided fast access to sums and data. On the downside, these created interconnections in the application and complexity in how to lock the system to avoid conflicting updates in aggregates. Moreover, significant code had to be developed for lengthy ETL (extract-transform-load) scenarios incurring data preparation and exception management routines caused by latency.

This portion of the code did not carry business semantic in itself, but served as “performance proliferation” in business processes.

With SAP S/4 HANA, these different types of workaround on restrictions based on technical limitations are no longer necessary, as the latest information and the time travel from the columnar store can be accessed instantaneously across all inserts and updates and therefore eliminates the need for any overhead of the index and aggregates..

And due to popular demand a repeat: How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP’s existing portfolio of cloud solutions?

SAP S/4HANA shall also be made available with public cloud and managed cloud editions. However, SAP S/4HANA will not replace our existing portfolio of line-of-business cloud solutions; it will integrate with and expand it. Our comprehensive offering is planned to allow SAP S/4HANA customers to build hybrid scenarios between SAP S/4HANA and cloud solutions from SAP, including those from SuccessFactors and Ariba as well as integration with SAP hybris Marketing. This way customers can leverage the cloud at their own pace, based on their needs, while keeping all the integration and business benefits of their existing SAP solutions. In addition, SAP S/4HANA is designed to easily connect with global business networks such as, for example, the Ariba Network and Concur.

Part1: SAP S/4HANA Frequently Asked Questions - Part 1 - the fundamentals

Part3:SAP S/4HANA Frequently Asked Questions - Part 3 - the path to get there

Now working on part 3. Keep the feedback and your questions coming, we will prioritize accordingly and update our FAQ for you. Also check frequently sap.com/s4hana.

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