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How is SAP S/4HANA different from other ERP Solutions?

Since the beginning, SAP has been quite active in the market, honing its ERP platform in SAP S/4HANA intently. And why wouldn’t they do it, though? After all, it’s their prized possession. 

But why do people really use it? How different is it from the other available ERP systems? Will it really be an excellent option to handle whatever data flow your company currently has? 

Let’s keep reading to find out more about it. 

What is SAP S/4HANA?

It, in essence, is an advanced ERP business platform that is entirely based on SAP HANA’s in-memory database. With it, you can perform any business transaction and evaluate a business’s data or information in real-time. But, from SAP’s viewpoint, it is the centerpiece of their strategy to enable their consumers to undergo a complete and proper digital transformation. 

This way, they can turn their traditional organization into a modern one whilst ensuring that you are not losing any data at all. It might also allow a company to become more responsive, flexible, and resilient to the ever-changing business requirements. Due to this reason, SAP tends to refer to it as an intelligent enterprise where you can do anything and everything efficiently. 

SAP has announced that it will end support for the SAP ERP 6.0 (ECC6) system by 2027 for Enhancement Package 6 (EHP6) and above, and by 2025 for Enhancement Package 5 (EHP5) and below. This means that after the end of support, customers who are still running ECC6 will no longer receive new updates, bug fixes, or security patches from SAP. It is recommended for customers to plan and migrate to the latest version of SAP’s flagship ERP software, SAP S/4HANA, well in advance of the end of support deadline. 

SAP S/4HANA Vs. Other ERP Systems 

As marketed by SAP, S/4HANA is unique as compared to any other ERP system you can find out there. But how much truth is involved within the same? Let’s find out. 

Difference – 1: Database 

SAP S/4HANA usually runs on the HANA database. Hence, its usage of it might be restricted if you want to use some other option. On the other hand, if we’re talking about something else, like ECC, it can be used on different databases, including – SQL, Oracle, DB2, SAP MaxDB, etc. The main differences between these databases are in their features, performance, and the target market they serve. Each database has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of database depends on the specific requirements of the application and organization. 

Difference – 2: User Experience 

SAP S/4HANA uses the modern UX provided by SAP Fiori. Therefore, it is much easier and fun to use when compared to something like ECC. It uses the traditional SAP GUI, which is old and laggy. It might also seem a little difficult to use, as the technologies used in it are conventional. 

Difference – 3: Deployment  

SAP S/4HANA, because of being a newer ERP variant, can be deployed through more than one option. These may include on-premises, hosted cloud, private cloud, and public cloud. However, when it comes to ECC, you can only deploy it on-premises. Yes, you may also run it on a public cloud environment. However, there is no other specific public-cloud edition available for it. SAP does not offer a specific public cloud edition of SAP ECC, but rather allows customers to run SAP ECC on public cloud platforms as part of its Bring Your Own License (BYOL) program. This program enables customers to license SAP software on-premises and then deploy it on certified public cloud infrastructure. This means that customers can run SAP ECC on public cloud platforms, but they are responsible for managing the deployment and configuration themselves. 

Difference – 4: Functionality 

SAP S/4HANA has been specifically designed to make the most out of advanced technology. It might include – robotic process automation. Embedded analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as SAP CoPilot digital assistant. These capabilities aren’t currently available in ECC.  

Why Should You Use SAP S/4HANA? 

Since it was launched, SAP S/4HANA has become quite popular in the market. 

And there are quite a few reasons behind it. We have enlisted some of them in this section while explaining them elaborately too. But if you are still confused about something, let us know about it in the comment section below. We’ll help you out in any way we can. 

1: Much Easier to Update 

When compared to SAP ECC, SAP S/4HANA feels much more flexible and easy to use. Hence, whether you want to update it or integrate something within it, S/4HANA will be much easier to update than anything else. And the risk of data loss will also be non-existent here due to better usage of cloud computing. Even if you lose something, you will get it back instantly. 

RISE with SAP S/4HANA is a subscription-based offering that includes the SAP S/4HANA software, as well as hosting and managed services provided by SAP or its partners. RISE with SAP S/4HANA can be deployed in public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud environments. 

In the case of public cloud deployment, software updates are managed by SAP directly. SAP provides updates to the software on a regular basis, typically every quarter or so, and customers are informed of upcoming updates several months in advance. The actual update process is typically managed by SAP or its partners, with minimal involvement from the customer. The customer is typically given a testing and validation window before the update is applied to their production environment. 

In the case of private cloud deployment, software updates are typically managed by the customer or their service provider, with support from SAP. The frequency of updates can vary depending on the customer’s requirements and the service level agreement (SLA) with their service provider. However, SAP typically releases major updates to the software once a year, with additional patches and fixes provided on an as-needed basis. 

2: Flexible Deployment 

As mentioned in the previous section, SAP S/4HANA can be deployed in almost every possible aspect. You may utilize anything and everything for it, as per your requirements. This, in turn, might make it easier to integrate something along with the system and ensure that you are not experiencing any setbacks altogether. 

3: Automation 

With S/4HANA, you can automate almost every repetitive task that you deal with regularly. So it will be easier for you to avoid the mundane, uninspiring tasks and do something that has a higher level of priority. Furthermore, the usage of machine learning and artificial intelligence might also be beneficial in easing the working process in your organization. So, it’s a win-win for you. 

4: Innovation 

SAP S/4HANA can streamline business operations pretty efficiently. The features it comes with can also improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the organization to some extent.  

In addition, they will also create a lot of room for businesses to reconsider their business models or processes while allowing you to focus more on the consumer’s needs. 

Also, the availability of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can ensure that your business is future-ready and can tackle almost anything perfectly. This, in turn, can make you highly innovative as well. 

5: Cost-Effective 

Finally, SAP S/4HANA can also save you from spending your money on additional software and hardware. This, in turn, makes it highly cost-effective, as you don’t have to spend any additional money if you are not using a feature of the platform. According to a report by IDC, titled “The Business Value of SAP S/4HANA”, it can save almost 37 percent of your organizational budget in the long run. 

If you want to customize whatever you want to use, make sure to do it before subscribing to the facilities they offer. Or else, they might choose something for you, which, in turn, might cost a lot of money.  

Conclusion 

Apart from these, SAP S/4HANA can also offer faster insights, no matter what you are working on. So, it will be easier for you to get more information from them and make a proper decision.  

Furthermore, if there’s something else you want to add in here, don’t forget to let us know about it too. We will try to help you out in any way we can. 

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