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This part of the FAQ series we have prioritized for the questions around how to get to SAP S/4HANA, let´s go:

What is the typical journey for an existing SAP Business Suite customer?

Moving to SAP S/4HANA for a typical existing SAP ERP 6.0 customer will require a move to the latest enhancement package, followed by a database migration from anyDB to SAP HANA combined with the deployment of the exchange innovation (new code). From an execution perspective, these steps can be executed in sequence or as a combined step.

Moving to SAP S/4HANA for an existing SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA customer is even faster as only the deployment of the exchange innovation (new code) is required.

Both journeys are well proven in the market with several hundred of live SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA customers as well as SAP Simple Finance live customers.

What is the typical journey for a net-new customer?

The journey is defined by a net-new implementation of an SAP S/4HANA system with simpler adoption – example: guided configuration, easy on-boarding from the discovery of the solution through cloud trials to the deployment with pre-configured best practices. We defined three major scenarios supported by tools and pre-configuration delivered through our SAP Rapid Deployment solutions (RDS):

How can SAP partners support the move of a customer to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP has an established partner ecosystem (value-added retailers and systems integrators) that is ready to resell and service SAP S/4HANA for our joint existing and new customers to implement future innovations. More than 50% of the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA projects were managed by partners.

Partners and SAP will support customers in their journey with predefined migration, system conversion in the cloud, and deployment packages for quicker time to value. Companies of all sizes will benefit from the high-quality service and reseller capabilities our partners provide

What happens to existing modifications when a customer moves to S4/HANA?

In any scenario, the move to SAP S/4HANA is a great opportunity to validate the existing modifications and simplify your solution. It has not been unusual for customers to realize that 50% of the modifications that hamper fast release cycles and require long test cycles were no longer necessary to run the business, but were leftovers from older projects while the remaining modifications could have been built in a less intrusive manner.

When moving to SAP S/4HANA, public cloud edition, customers will move their modifications to SAP HANA Cloud Platform as an extension.

Also, customers that make the choice of the SAP S/4HANA, managed cloud edition, the recommended approach is to use SAP HANA Cloud Platform extensions to provision enhancements.

In fact, standard field extensions can directly be done within the SAP Fiori UX while SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be leveraged for more significant developments.

SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition, provides maximum customization opportunities: on premise as traditionally done in the past or through SAP HANA Cloud Platform. SAP has several references of SAP Business Suite customers using SAP HANA Cloud Platform extensions for on-premise systems.

In general, the SAP HANA extension framework of SAP HANA Cloud Platform uses SAP HANA as the common platform for SAP S/4HANA and offers additional choices such as the integration of open source solutions. The extension framework has the advantage to isolate modifications from the core and drive agility for the on-premise deployment and safeguard agility for cloud deployments. This means that rather than modifying the core code, enhancements are put in a “safe” environment so that innovation packages can be easily applied. The core SAP S/4HANA system remains “clean” and can be quickly and easily updated when new innovations are added – in just the same way that consumer mobile apps are updated on a regular basis.

What happens to existing legacy interfaces if a customer moves to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition, currently supports the existing published legacy interfaces.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to and co-exist with the existing SAP landscapes?

A single system can always only be on SAP S/4HANA or on the traditional SAP Business Suite (on SAP HANA or anyDB). However, customers can decide to move separate installations within their landscape individually to SAP S/4HANA and do not have to do a “big bang” for their whole system landscape – and thus run in a mixed environment. As SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite are using semantically consistent data structures, a move to SAP S/4HANA is nondisruptive.

Can a customer choose to run the traditional SAP user interface and custom screens or is SAP Fiori mandatory?

All SAP S/4HANA innovations are intended to be delivered with SAP Fiori UX providing the same experience on all devices. However, a customer using SAP S/4HANA is planned to still be able to consume the traditional user interfaces.

Can customers run different SAP S/4HANA editions in parallel in their enterprise architecture?

Yes, SAP S/4HANA editions are integrated and run mostly on the same data semantic.

Is SAP S/4HANA multitenant?

SAP S/4HANA gives customers the option to leverage the HANA multitenancy functionality as provided by the SAP HANA platform (currently support package 9).

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

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

Part2: SAP S/4HANA Frequently Asked Questions - Part 2 - the value

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