• By
  • February 17, 2020
  • HR Training


SAP has always been the most preferred ERP system among industries but like everything in this world, it needs to evolve and upgrade in order to remain the most preferred choice in the coming years and SAP understands it and is constantly trying innovative ways to enhance its performance. One such innovation towards a more improved solution for optimized performance and seamless integration is its new product SAP S/4 HANA. In my earlier blog SAP in HR, we have seen the uses of the SAP ecosystem in the Human Resource field and now in this article, we will explore the unique features. This new and improved product of SAP possesses and also discusses the major point of difference between the previous SAP ERP product and SAP S/4 HANA.

SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) is an enterprise resource planning software that has a wide range of various modules (finance, logistics, HR, product planning, customer service, etc) to perform various automated business processes, integrated seamlessly for the smooth functioning of the various departments of an enterprise. SAP ECC has a centralized database for the integration that runs on a third-party database.

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SAP S/4 HANA is an improved and intelligent SAP ERP system which unlike SAP ECC uses SAP’s in-memory database SAP HANA. SAP HANA is a column-oriented, an in-memory relational database that comes with various unique features along with its primary function of storing and retrieving data, like advanced analytics and it also includes ETL capabilities along with an application server. Operating on SAP HANA has significant advantages like using an in-memory database that enables faster transactions and data processing as the data is stored in the RAM of the system. Its column-oriented architecture helps perform better analytics also SAP HANA enables parallel processing which was not the case with traditional databases. All of these features and advantages contribute to better and faster performance of SAP S/4 HANA which makes it the next-generation ERP system.

SAP aims to move its customers to SAP S/4 HANA as it will stop its support for SAP ECC by 2025. SAP S/4 HANA has other various unique intelligent features that help it to stand out in the market. We will discuss this more in detail further in this article.

Lower inventory costs of an enterprise: As the business processes are all automated with optimized performance, maintenance cost is bound to reduce.

Billing process time Reduction: Due to the advancement in technology in S/4 HANA, it drastically reduces the time consumed in the billing process saving time for business growth.

Lower cost of ownership for an enterprise: The pricing for SAP S/4 HANA is based on the resources used unlike in its traditional products where pricing is based on the number of users.

SAP S/4HANA gives us a next-generation solution that integrates and organizes your entire business, exploiting the power of artificial intelligence so that every employee of an enterprise can make smart decisions faster. SAP S/4HANA capabilities are endless; from finance to sales it covers all of the business processes for your enterprise. It can also perform advanced analytics to improve business growth and boosts the efficiency with requirement driven process along with effective management of enterprise projects. It also maintains and manages asset operations and environment, health and safety risks and also helps in maintaining service agreements. These are a few of the endless advantages of this new and efficient ERP solution.

We just discussed a few of the advantages of SAP HANA over other traditional databases above let’s continue this discussion further and explore more of SAP HANA capabilities because SAP HANA is the major point of difference between SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA. SAP HANA along with database services also provides other unique features that you would not find in any other traditional database. Some of those capabilities include advance analytics, parallel processing, data access, app development, administration, and openness. With SAP HANA you not only get a database service but a very intelligent tool that will aid you significantly to grow your business in any way possible. From analytics to app development, SAP HANA has covered it all. Without much technical knowledge about app development, you can build interactive apps, perform advance analytics or do any kind of administration task, it just needs a little understanding of the software. Let’s look into the details of HANA’s capabilities and understand why it is gaining such popularity among industries. This discussion can get a bit technical from here so make sure you are aware of all the necessary jargon related to SAP HANA.

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  1. Database services for data processing – Taking decisions faster became easier with HANA’s in-memory database services and its ability to process high-speed transactions and analytics…
  2. Advanced analytics – make smart decisions in real-time and gain new insights from advanced analytics processing by employing in-memory data processing capabilities like text, predictive analysis, spatial, graph, streaming, and time series analysis. You do not need a different tool for reporting, SAP HANA does the work for you.
  3. Application Development – Developing next-generation applications and combining analytics and transactions, and deploying them on any device is easier with SAP HANA. You can take full advantage of best-in-class development tools to deliver personalized experiences with the right data served at the right time for users.
  4. Data Access – You can gain a complete and accurate view of your business by accessing data from any source – internal or external. SAP HANA enables us to access data where it’s located, merge or recreate relevant data into SAP HANA, and ensure data quality to increase confidence in decision making.
  5. Administration – You can easily simplify the system administration and IT operations with tools that help you monitor processes, ensure data and application security, and achieve continuous availability. It also helps you to keep your business running smoothly and effectively from any device or location which makes management of business processes easier.
  6. Security – You can keep your communications, data storage, and application services secure with robust identity and access management controls. Businesses can absolutely rely on best-in-class software security, patching, and encryption and maintain a dashboard to monitor all KPIs related to security in real-time which again contributes heavily to SAP HANA’s popularity.
  7. Cloud – Another unique feature of SAP HANA is that you can achieve cloud freedom with SAP HANA. You can always speed up the business innovation in the cloud without provider lock-in by utilizing a broad set of development tools and deployment options across public cloud provider platforms and in private clouds. Businesses can take full advantage of true hybrid compatibility of SAP HANA to develop once and deploy anywhere – in the cloud or on-premise.

Till now throughout the blog, we have discussed the SAP S/4 HANA on-premise technology be it the added functionality or the new and innovative database SAP HANA but SAP also provided us with the cloud version of S/4 HANA too. It is basically a SaaS version of S/4 HANA which provides us with the same functionality of on-premise version but without employing the hardware, database or IT staff thus making use of organizational resources more efficiently. In S/4 HANA cloud all the services are being taken care of by the SAP providers just like any other cloud service provider in the market, we only need to pay for what we use and for how much time unlike the traditional licensing systems and thus makes it more cost-efficient. S/4 HANA cloud is also more scalable then the on-premise version as scaling up and down becomes easier with the cloud technology. Furthermore not only the services SAP S/4 HANA cloud also takes care of the maintenance aspect of the software. Implementation is also faster in the cloud version since it uses a ready-made platform that is already being provisioned, implemented and tested by the SAP cloud provider.

It does not by any means implies that S/4 HANA cloud is better version of the on-premise edition as their certain functionalities which the on-premise version provides better like S/4 HANA on-premise versions like customization (which is more flexible in case of on-premise) version or integration of systems which is complex and slower in the cloud version due to the security issues. Larger organizations that have well-established business processes would benefit from the on-premise version whereas for organizations that are rapidly growing and changing, SAP S/4 HANA cloud is the better option.

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Researchers are being continuously done to upgrade and maintain SAP S/4 HANA. SAP also has a different research group especially for SAP HANA, the SAP HANA Research group connects academic and industry experts to conduct cutting-edge research dedicated to solving database challenges. They together always strive to continuously improve SAP HANA—with access to insights from SAP customers and well-known academic institutions, both locally and worldwide. They are continuously trying to develop HANA in areas like query processing, query optimization, quality assurance to name a few of the research domains researchers are constantly working upon and this SAP HANA a very much reliable database service.

Industries are reluctant to migrate to SAP S/4HANA due to the cost the data migration project entails but this solution guarantees the more efficient performance of systems which in turn leads to business growth. Along with the change in deployment models, SAP S/4 HANA changes also pricing and the architecture of the database of the system. Migrating to this solution may seem expensive but it may be the best investment your business needs.



Lokesh Malviya | SevenMentor Pvt Ltd


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