Understanding SAP S/4 HANA … in Simple terms

Starting the second full day of SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, the message is clear.

  • 3 min read

Starting the second full day of SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, the message is clear.

We all expected that “Run Simple” would be the prevailing theme at this year’s conference and we’re not disappointed – it’s now confirmed. I had the opportunity to attend a pre-conference event called “SAP S/4HANA – The Future of the SAP Business Suite” – a pretty direct title. You see, SAP is getting the message. HANA adoption is progressing, but slower than they would like. Suite on HANA is just not where they want it today with only 338 customers live. The challenges lie in the cost of the appliance, moderate performance improvements for the ERP system (OLTP) and complexity in the landscape. SAP is addressing all of these issues with SAP S/4HANA. The prevailing themes that I took away from Tuesday (other than Bill McDermott likes cats) are based on three principles:

  • Simplicity of the Data Model
  • Powered by HANA (in-memory columnar database)
  • Visualization through Fiori

Now this is something an SAP customer can grasp. Adopt HANA, which will be cheaper because of a simpler data model, and achieve a better, more user-friendly UI through Fiori (aka move away from SAPGUI). SAP was even bold enough to present a slide in my all-day SAP S/4HANA event that showed a large “X” through its SAPGUI screen. Never thought I’d see that!

Now, if you are a CIO, VP or Enterprise Architect that has been doing this SAP thing for a while, you know that this will be a long road. You might be thinking, “How can we begin to prepare for this change now?” As McDermott says, “It’s Simple.” And I believe that it is. There are numerous opportunities within each SAP project to begin simplifying the environment. Landscape optimization, better data management throughout the landscape (ALM), and scrambling sensitive data are all things that help projects optimize development, testing and training initiatives. Begin with simplifying your own internal SAP landscape. Today is the start for creating the swim lanes toward SAP’s vision of #runsimple. We put a lot of expectations on SAP to deliver on their promises from SAPPHIRENOW and I think it’s realistic to assume that we have to meet them half way. Companies like Attunity and solutions such as Attunity Gold Client have been part of the SAP ecosystem for years. We are uniquely positioned to help you find your way to a simpler future for your SAP projects.

Stay tuned as tomorrow we will discuss the on-premises versus cloud approach to S/4HANA and discuss what HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) means to your organization. Meanwhile, if you are at the conference, visit our booth #1520A to share your thoughts on the topic and pick up a personal power bank to stay charged up!

 

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