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Check out the updates and news for SAP S/4HANA 1511 edition. Especially the comprehensive FAQ document here: www.sap.com/s4hana. We thought it would be good for the community to highlight some of them on SCN in the good tradition of the FAQ series.

And lets start with a good repeat: What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management is SAP’s next-generation Digital Core and is a new product. With SAP S/4HANA, we are building on the success of the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA with a completely new and re-imagined suite

  • SAP S/4HANA is running on SAP HANA for massive simplifications (simplified data model: no indexes, no aggregates, no redundancies) and innovations (for example, open in-memory platform for advanced applications predicting, recommending, and simulating)
  • SAP S/4HANA is natively designed with SAP Fiori UX, offering an integrated user experience with modern usability and instant insight on any device (role-based, three steps max to get the job done, mobile-first, consistent experience across lines of business)
  • SAP S/4HANA is natively connected to the Internet of Things and business networks for real-time collaboration (planned: machine-to-machine, Ariba Network, Concur) in the networked economy
  • SAP S/4HANA is natively engineered for providing choice of deployment (on premise, cloud and hybrid)
  • SAP S/4HANA is natively born for easy adoption (guided, configuration, and easy on-boarding, from the discovery of the solution through cloud trials to deployment with pre-configured best practices)
  • In addition, SAP HANA Cloud Platform serves as open extension, agility layer for SAP S/4HANA. The extensions built on the cloud platform can run against either deployment of SAP S/4HANA: in the cloud and on premise.

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 in the digital economy. To deliver on this mission, we are redefining how enterprise software creates value.

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 – decisions may be made on the fly with a high level of granularity for faster business impact.

From an IT value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to simplify the landscape and help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) with SAP HANA as the great simplifier. First, enterprises can now reduce their data footprint and work with larger data sets in one system (for example with industry or application function re-integrated that was stand alone before, to save hardware costs, operational costs, time and reduce complexity. Second, innovation is also made simple with leveraging an open platform (SAP HANA Cloud Platform) to drive advanced applications – for example, predicting, recommending, and simulating – while protecting existing investments. Third, business users can leverage a simple and role-based user experience based on modern design principles which minimizes training efforts while increases productivity as it combines information from various sources at the point where decisions are made. We also support customers with simple configuration: setting up the system and during its use. And finally, enterprises get choice of deployment: cloud, on premise, and even support of hybrid scenarios to drive quick time-to-value and reflect current reality of customer solution landscapes.

SAP S/4HANA is only built on SAP HANA because, as of today, only the SAP HANA platform can deliver such level of massive simplifications and innovations.

How is SAP S/4HANA available to the market?

SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition, and SAP S/4HANA cloud edition are available for customers in all industries and regions.

SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition follows a yearly innovation cycle and SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition follows a quarterly innovation cycle.

In November 2015 (1511) updates have been released for both, SAP S/4HANA, on-premise and cloud edition.

What is new in SAP S/4HANA?

In November 2015, SAP delivered a massive wave of simplification and innovation in the core of SAPS/4HANA. With this delivery, enterprises can drive unprecedented business value with innovative use-cases - in core financial and operational areas such as in logistics – taking full advantage of a simplified data model and a responsive user experience.

Key simplifications and innovations include:

  • Optimized working capital with new accounts payables and receivables cockpits
  • Decreased stock buffers with simplified data model in inventory management for real-time, high-volume processing
  • Increased visibility with real-time stock and material flow insight
  • Reduced manufacturing cycle time with streamlined material flow for internal requirements (MRP)
  • Augmented reactivity with real-time monitoring of production orders regarding flow and critical issues
  • Improved operational decisions with easy simulation of supply alternatives
  • Lower procurement costs with standard integration to the Ariba Business Network
  • Better customer service with new sales order fulfillment cockpit for instantly identifying bottlenecks and issues

What is the current business scope of the SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition?

We worked closely with our customers to identify where digitized operations could provide the most value. The result is a massive wave of simplification and innovation in the core that covers critical business processes in finance, sales, service, sourcing and procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, asset management, and research and development, and human resources.

The visual below highlights the business scope of the next update for the SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition: in blue, the simplifications and innovations that are part of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management; in grey, the simplifications and innovations that are outside, and natively integrated, the scope of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. 

Customers will be able to drive end-to-end digitized operations across their key business functions via a fully digitized enterprise management core solution named: SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management. SAP S/4HAN

A Enterprise Management solution represents the core solution covering all mission-critical processes of an enterprise. It represents our foundational core solution natively built on the SAP HANA platform and designed with SAP Fiori UX.

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management covers all core business processes (e.g. order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, plan-to-product, request-to-service) and core capabilities such as core finance as well as a variety of more specialized line of business and industry capabilities. It will also deliver native integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central for world-class HR functionality as well as into the Ariba Network to help our customers fully leverage the power of the buyers’ network.

What is the business scope of the SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition?

The next update to the SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition will be released in November 2015 following the quarterly innovation cycle.

SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition currently covers specific business scenarios for the marketing line of business and the professional services industry as well as the most essential scenarios to run an entire enterprise in the cloud with a digital core such as finance, procurement, sales, inventory management, project system, and product lifecycle management, plus integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central, Ariba Network, SAP hybris Marketing, Field Glass (planned) and SAP Jam. Three offerings are currently available as part of the SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition:

  • SAP S/4HANA, cloud marketing edition – for the marketing line of business
  • SAP S/4HANA, cloud project services edition – for the professional services industry
  • SAP S/4HANA, cloud enterprise edition – for a full ERP business scope – cloud enterprise edition is the equivalent to the Enterprise Management on premise offering

What does the term “Materials Management & Operations” mean?

The term SAP Simple Logistics (sLOG) was an internal Project Name. The represented functionality can best described with the term “Material Management & Operations (MMO)”. This term is an umbrella term, as we combine multiple Line of businesses:

  • Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain
  • Sourcing & Procurement
  • Sales

It does not represent a formal product name.

What is the scope of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, key area Materials Management & Operations?

Innovations in Materials Management & Operations fall into 3 different categories.

The first category is role-based user experience, with a new Responsive design. The UIs run on any devices, desktops, tablets, smart phones, and even smart watches and have been redesigned for exception-bases issue handling.

The second category is a set of innovations are in the SAP S/4HANA Core, which has been modernized by simplifying & optimizing the technology footprint, and by collapsing Online Transaction Processing & Online Analytical Processing to make the functionality more relevant and designed for data-driven businesses.

The third category is the elimination of functional redundancies which have been built into the Business Suite over the years resulting in a simplified suite.

What are SAP S/4HANA <LoB> solutions?

The SAP S/4HANA <LoB> solutions are solutions that combine the core capabilities included in the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution (on-premise) and SAP S/4HANA, cloud enterprise edition with each LoB solution in our portfolio (on-premise and cloud). Examples include SAP Cash Management for finance; SAP SuccessFactors solutions in human resources; the Ariba Network in procurement, and SAP hybris Cloud4Customers solutions in marketing and commerce and sales/services.

The new branding reinforces the completeness and diversity of SAP solutions. For example, SAP S/4HANA Finance (formerly SAP Simple Finance) scope is unchanged and covers the entire portfolio of finance solutions across SAP ERP Financials, SAP solutions for enterprise performance management (SAP EPM), SAP BPC, SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance (SAP GRC), SAP solutions for business intelligence, Ariba, and Concur. Some of this solutions are licensed separately.

What SAP S/4HANA industry solutions are available?

Both, SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition and SAP S/4HANA cloud edition are open to customers of all industries. As expected, the functional depth and support of specific industry scenarios is larger for the on-premise edition than for the cloud edition, as the latter one focusses on more standardized and streamlined processes. Both in the cloud and on-premise edition support for industry-specific solutions is planned according to market prioritization. Current status of planned innovations is outlined in the external SAP S/4HANA roadmap on Service Marketplace (here).

What is the product map and roadmap for SAP S/4HANA?

SAP customers and partners can access the detailed product map in the respective repositories and the roadmap on the SAP Service Marketplace: here

Which SAP S/4HANA edition do you recommend for my enterprise?

The SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition is designed for enterprises across industries that need a deep and broad level of functionality combined with a high degree of flexibility in configuration and customization.

Existing SAP customers can use the SAP S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendation tool, a self-service tool designed to help you identify the most valuable digitized business scenarios for your enterprise The Business Scenario Recommendations report will use your current SAP software usage information and generate from a personalized report that will be e-mailed to you within five days to learn how SAP S/4HANA can help enhance your company’s current performance and competitiveness.

Access the SAP S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendation tool here.

The SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition is designed for enterprises across all industries that need a standardized cloud offering primarily covering the core business scenarios of an enterprise or specific business scenarios of lines of business - combined with a fast innovation cycle (quarterly).

In addition, the SAP S/4HANA editions offer the opportunity for customers to deploy real hybrid scenarios - combining on-premise and cloud solutions - for unprecedented IT flexibility and accelerated business innovation.

Where can I find customer SAP S/4HANA enablement material?

The customer journey to SAP S/4HANA has been enriched to provide end-to-end support to business and IT audiences. SAP offers both educational and training materials to enable our customers on their digital transformation journey with SAP S/4HANA. We recommend our customers make use of the following enablement materials:

SAP S/4HANA Customer Adoption Journey Map: This interactive, 5 step journey map outlines how customers can establish a digital core and drive time-to-value with our top SAP S/4HANA digital offers to existing SAP Business Suite customers and new customers. It includes our top business and IT audience assets.

SAP S/4HANA openSAP Courses: There are SAP S/4HANA specific courses available via openSAP, these include: SAP S/4HANA in a Nutshell, SAP S/4HANA – Deep Dive and SAP S/4HANA – Use Cases.

SAP Community Network and especially there the SAP S/4HANA Cookbook: This living online ‘cookbook’ includes functional capabilities, transition options, extensibility, adaptation, integration information as well as education & service offerings by SAP.

Where can I find Partner SAP S/4HANA enablement materials?

Partner specific enablement materials about SAP S/4HANA are available on the SAP Partner Portal SAP S/4HANA Training & Education page.

How can I try SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition trial: A free 14-day cloud edition trial system is available to help you experience the value of simplicity across key business scenarios: project manager scenario, cash manager scenario, general ledger accountant scenario, accounts receivable accountant scenario, accounts payable accountant scenario.cYou can access the cloud trial on: www.sap.com/s4hana-trial

SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition trial: Explore SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition with a 30-day trial and evaluate digitized business processes—such as order-to-cash or procure-to-pay—across your key enterprise functions. You can access the on-premise trial on: www.sap.com/s4hana-trial

Does SAP provide prepackaged integration for SAP S/4HANA to the existing cloud solutions from SAP?

Yes, this service is provided as SAP Rapid Deployment solutions with SAP S/4HANA and is delivered with prepackaged integration (for example integration between SuccessFactors and SAP S/4HANA).

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.

We have also introduced a dedicated implementation methodology with SAP Activate, details below and here: http://www.sap.com/activate.

What is SAP Activate?

SAP Activate is the innovation adoption framework that expedites SAP S/4HANA implementations throughout the customer lifecycle. It offers ready-to-run digitized business and technology processes, guided configuration, and next-generation methodology. SAP Activate supports customers at multiple starting points, including new implementation, system conversion, and landscape transformation.

  • SAP Best Practices packages provide ready-to-run digitized business and technology processes optimized for SAP S/4HANA. Leveraging SAP’s expertise and experience for standard processes helps deliver predictable results and saves time, so you can focus your efforts on innovation. Our best practices include business processes such as finance and logistics. They are designed to guide you through the optimal integration and migration scenario, whether you are moving from a legacy SAP software system or from a third-party database. SAP S/4HANA includes a reference solution for running in the cloud or on premise in addition to details for enhancing processes to fit your needs and integrate with line-of-business cloud solutions.
  • Guided configuration is the content lifecycle management tool that helps you configure and test chosen SAP Best Practices. Now you can configure, test, and receive support in data migration processes that are needed for your selected best practices. You have the option to add or update your preferred best practices at a later time. Automated updates and intuitive configuration changes support initial implementation and help you adopt ongoing innovation more quickly, with minimal disruption, while tracking your configuration history. The result? Your business users can customize preconfigured business processes – from charts of accounts to approval thresholds – without IT involvement.
  • SAP Activate methodology is SAP’s new software implementation methodology that builds on proven approaches and SAP’s experience to offer a consistent, agile method for any deployment type – cloud, on premise, hybrid, or mobile. It offers support for initial implementation and continuous innovation with SAP S/4HANA. The implementation best practices walk project teams through planning, build, and deployment of their SAP solution. SAP Activate methodology caters to customer-specific configuration and extension requirements to reflect each customer’s own business practices while remaining extremely scalable – nimble enough for smaller engagements and robust enough for larger projects.

SAP Activate gives you the comfort to advance quickly and to achieve fast outcomes with SAP S/4HANA, whatever your current configuration. For more information, visit the SAP Activate landing page.

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

Moving to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition for a typical ERP 6.x customer will require a database migration to SAP HANA followed by the installation of the new code. Both database migration and new code installation can be completed in one step.

Moving to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition for a SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA customer is even faster as only the installation of the new code is required since the SAP HANA database migration has already been performed.

Both journeys are well proven in the market with several hundred 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 onboarding from the discovery of the solution through cloud trials to the deployment with preconfigured best practices. We defined three major scenarios supported by tools and pre-configuration delivered through our SAP Rapid Deployment solutions:

You can explore the full journey map for a comprehensive overview here

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 and more than 80% of SAP S/4HANA projects are currently managed by partners.

Partners and SAP will support customers in their journey with predefined migration 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 SAP S4/HANA?

In any scenario, the move to SAP S/4HANA is a great opportunity to validate the existing extensions and modifications and simplify your solution. It is not unusual for customers to realize that 50% of the extensions and modifications that hamper fast release cycles and require long test cycles were no longer necessary to run the business.

In general, when moving to SAP S/4HANA, customers can leverage the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) to build and operate extensions to the SAP core as well as own applications. HCP is a common extension platform for all SAP products,  offering a SAP Fiori stack, a SAP HANA database, a full-fledged development environment and even additional choices, such as the integration of open source solutions.  It is the ideal platform for all custom apps which operate in a self-contained way, are only loosely coupled with SAP S/4HANA or reach to the outside world. This kind of extensibility is called "side-by-side extensibility" and has the advantage that extensions run in a safe environment so that innovation packages can be easily applied to the SAP S/4HANA core.  The SAP S/4HANA core 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.

Further, the SAP S/4HANA stack can also be directly extended by partners and customers – in a process that we call "in-app extensibility".

For on-premise deployment existing customer and partner extensions, and even modifications can be used. It is only necessary to adapt them according to the simplification SAP has applied to SAP S/4HANA compared to the SAP Business Suite (e.g. transition of index tables into SAP HANA compatibility views). All these changes are described in a simplification database which can be downloaded from the SAP Market Place. Even more, a custom code migration tool exists which analyses custom code and its usage, resulting in a precise list of extensions and modifications which have to be reworked.

In the cloud deployment, key user extensibility is the recommended approach for in-app extensibility.  Within the SAP Fiori UX key users can adapt UIs, create field extensions or even define simple custom business logic at selected places. The underlying SAP S/4HANA extension framework isolates extensions from the core and thus drives safeguard agility for cloud deployments. To drive agility, key user extensibility is also available for on-premise deployments. Existing extensions and modifications cannot be transformed into key user extensions, but a data migration into key user extensions will be offered.

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 coexist with the existing SAP landscapes?

A single installation can run either SAP S/4HANA or the traditional SAP Business Suite (on SAP HANA or any DB) but not both at the same time. However, customers can decide to move separate installations within their landscape individually to SAP S/4HANA and do not need a “big bang” migration for their whole system landscape. Thus, customers can run in a mixed environment with some installations running SAP S/4HANA and others the traditional SAP Business Suite (on SAP HANA or any DB). As SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite are using semantically consistent data structures, a move to SAP S/4HANA is non-disruptive.

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, on-premise edition can still use the traditional user interfaces.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One?

SAP S/4HANA, SAP ByDesign and SAP Business One Cloud complement each other regarding  SAP’s ERP Cloud solution portfolio. None of these solutions are intended to be replaced by the other. While SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Edition is predominantly leveraged as a large enterprise solution, SAP ByDesign has been optimized predominantly for mid-market companies and subsidiaries of large enterprises.

SAP Business One addresses the market segment of smaller customers.

How does SAP S/4HANA relate to SAP BW?

SAP BW will continue to represent the preferred solution for strategic enterprise data warehousing to help customers consolidate data from different sources (including SAP and non-SAP data sources) and get a consistent view across the enterprise. SAP BW has also been optimized to run on the SAP HANA platform: SAP BW powered by SAP HANA. SAP S/4HANA delivers built-in real-time operational reporting capabilities covering all typical analytics use-cases in the context of the suite. Therefore, SAP BW will continue to act as our central enterprise data warehouse solution.

Where can I learn more?

Visit us on sap.com/s4hana and scn.sap.com/community/s4hana for more information and details on the next generation business suite including use case information, learning resources, technical cookbook documentation and more.


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

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