SAP S/4HANA 101 – Top seven things you should know about S/4HANA

So what is S/4HANA? Today I want to share with you seven things that you should know about S/4HANA. S/4HANA has been a topic of discussion across a spectrum of companies building a business case to start their new ERP journey.

1. S/4HANA is the next generation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

In 2015, SAP announced its next big thing: S/4HANA. This is a major evolution of the ERP suite by SAP. Here is a quick rundown of the timeline for SAP’s major releases:

  • In 1979, we started off with R/2
  • In 1992, SAP released R/3
  • In 2004, SAP then came out with ERP
  • And then in 2015, SAP came up with S4/HANA

2. S/4HANA has a really really fast in memory database.

It can consume and process very very high volumes of data. So why is S/4HANA so fast? One of the major selling points to S/4HANA is in-memory computing. If you thinking about how a computer works, you have hard drives space in them RAM – or memory. Storing data directly “in-memory” instead of a tradition hard disk space increases the accessibility of the data significantly. Additionally, why S/4HANA is so fast has to do with how data is stored in an S/4HANA database. Traditionally, data is stored in forms of rows. But with S/4HANA, this is transformed into columns which makes it much much more easier and efficient to access high volume of data.

3. S/4HANA comes with a dramatically enhanced user experience: SAP Fiori.

SAP Fiori is built on HTML 5 and responsive. This means you can run it on virtually any device can run it on the desktop and run it on a smartphone and you can run it on the tablet. And based on on the device you use it automatically adjusts its time. Essentially, IT administrators don’t need to install a thick client on each PC to run the traditional SAP transaction codes but instead rely on each devices built-in browser’s for the end users to run transactions on the Fiori apps. There’s a great article here about SAP Fiori. The SAP Fiori Apps website has an entire repository of the SAP Fiori apps.

4. S/4HANA is the digital core for digital transformations

S/4HANA is really the digital core of the enterprise of the future. And the core enables customers to make use of the Internet of Things, for example. So you can connect the sensors with your digital core and use that information from those sensors to make better business decisions. And those sensors typically generate a lot of data and so you need a fast database that can process all this data now. We can access the digital core with all sorts of devices and that goes back to the beautiful user experience with SAP Fiori.

5. S/4HANA has built-in embedded analytics

This capabilities allows us to run reports on real-time data. We no longer have to have a business warehouse. We can have it, but we don’t have to have it anymore. And we can run reports real-time and get insights real-time. The digital core also connects to other SAP Cloud solutions like SAP Ariba or SAP SuccessFactors. One collaborative social network SAP has developed is SAP jam. It is a social network for a company and is very much like works like Facebook for like-minded individuals working on SAP.

6. S/4HANA supports ten Lines of Businesses (LOB’s) and 25 industries.

SAP supports almost all lines of business including Sourcing, Procurement, Order-to-Cash, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Research and Development, Asset Management, Sales, Marketing and Commerce, and Customer Service. So, all these lines of business are part of S/4HANA.

7. S/4HANA fully supports the cloud

S/4HANA can run be run entirely on the cloud or you can run it on-premise (in your own data center). Many companies today don’t want to run their own infrastructure so that they can stay focused on their business. As a metaphor, think about how we ourselves do not want to setup infrastructure to create our own electricity at home. Why set that up when I can pay somebody else to do it for me? With all the cybersecurity concerns today with running your own data center and infrastructure, SAP allows customers to have SAP or another service provider run their S/4HANA system entirely.

So that’s it, SAP S/4HANA in a nutshell and the seven most important things that you should know about S/4HANA.Feel free to comment below and ask any question you have about S/4HANA.

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