SAP S/4HANA – A revolution in enterprise resource planning

Implementing S/4 HANA will not only enable your company to enjoy the use of an innovative system but will also help you get ahead of the competition.
SAP S/4HANA – A revolution in enterprise resource planning

Introduction to SAP S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA is an innovative approach to the end‑to‑end management of all business processes. It comprises the SAP S/4 application and the SAP HANA database, which uses in‑memory database processing technology to significantly improve the speed of data use and analysis.

The purpose of implementing an ERP system is to reduce the cost of running a business, enhance the efficiency of its processes, improve quality control, increase sales, and reduce production time. In short – a properly prepared ERP system is the foundation on which you can build your competitive advantage.

Strengths of SAP S/4HANA compared to other popular ERP systems

There are many ERP systems on the market, each with its unique features, and choosing the best one depends on the exact needs of the organization. Compared to other solutions, SAP S/4HANA stands out due to its:

  • in-memory database (SAP HANA);
  • intuitive and responsive user interface (SAP GUI has been replaced by SAP Fiori);
  • integration with advanced technologies;
  • real-time data analysis;
  • simplified data structure;
  • specific, ready-made business processes, arranged based on the experience of experts from many industries.

What exactly is SAP S/4HANA and how important is it for organizations?

The role of an ERP system is first and foremost to ensure reliability, conduct real-time analytics, and provide the ability to continuously evolve. With SAP S/4HANA companies can not only catch up with their competitors but also gain a technological edge and make decisions with an eye to the future.

SAP S/4HANA is a cloud ERP system for enterprise resource planning that consists of various tools and extensions, not all of which are mandatory to implement. Hicron’s experts help clients select features that will improve the efficiency of their enterprise and accelerate their business processes. Most of the mentioned functionalities are related to the area of logistics and finance; they include, for example, the Universal Journal, which:

  • allows accounting and financial documents to be stored in one place;
  • facilitates access to key performance indicators (KPIs);
  • supports informed decision-making based on up-to-date data thanks to its customized cockpits;
  • improves reporting.

What is the biggest change brought by SAP S/4HANA?

The most popular version to date, SAP ECC 6.0, still used technologies that were developed in the 1990s. The latest generation of SAP S/4HANA is based on an advanced in-memory platform and addresses today’s business needs.

Streamline business processes with SAP S/4HANA

sap 4hana erp software
  • Integrated processes built into the system improve operational efficiency.
  • Real-time analytics and actionable insights support data‑driven decision‑making.
  • Simplified system architecture ensures lower maintenance costs.
  • The foundation of SAP S/4HANA is the system kernel, which contains most of the required functions, configured and ready to use.

Collaboration and mobility in SAP S/4HANA

sap s/4 hana platform
  • The solution enables seamless collaboration between departments and teams.
  • It mobilizes teams and increases productivity.
  • The application is available on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, so you can work online and offline and access data at any time.
  • You can collaborate and share information in real time (SAP CRM).
  • SAP S/4HANA offers integration with external tools such as Microsoft Office.
  • Administrators can grant specific roles, accesses, and functionalities to specific users.

Scalability and innovation in SAP S/4HANA

sap s4 hana implementation partner
  • SAP S/4HANA is scalable to accommodate business growth.
  • The solution is continuously innovated and updated to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Increased standardization enables rapid implementation of innovative solutions.
  • The system can be developed according to the organization’s needs by adding ready-made applications from the SAP portfolio, based on standard business processes.
  • SAP S/4HANA can also be extended with solutions tailored individually to the needs of the organization using the latest technologies, such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, machine learning, or real-time data analysis, available on the SAP Leonardo platform, among others. The system is designed to allow applications to be added and removed quickly, ensuring that the solution is highly innovative and can be scaled according to needs.
  • New features include the cash management module and SAP BPC planning integrated with the ERP system.

What is S/4HANA?

The launch of SAP S/4HANA in 2015 marked the arrival of a completely new quality in the ERP market. SAP S/4HANA is an updated version of Business Suite 7, enhanced with in-memory data processing capabilities (the HANA platform), which also brings about changes and improvements to the application itself. Previous versions were limited by technological constraints such as computing power, data storage costs, and hardware limitations. SAP claims that reporting times in SAP S/4HANA are 1,800 times faster than in other SAP ERPs.

SAP S/4HANA is the fourth ERP system from SAP, which has spent the last half-century developing systems for the integrated management of business processes and helping companies evolve. The latest version of the system combines years of experience in developing business software with cutting-edge technological innovations (such as the predictive capabilities of artificial intelligence or machine learning and static models that enable increasingly accurate decisions to be made based on algorithms that evolve with experience).

SAP S/4HANA comes standard with the HANA database, which dramatically increases the system’s processing power, throughput and flexibility, thanks to columnar storage and in-memory operation. It supports real-time decision-making using internal and external data sources. The HANA database also centralizes network and hardware resources, while serving as the core of business processes.

what is sap s4 hana


S/4HANA as SAP’s flagship product

The demands on enterprise-class software continue to grow, with customers expecting both speed and innovation. The need to develop new functionalities while maintaining efficiency and handling ever-increasing amounts of datarequires continuous evolution. SAP S/4HANA is the answer to these challenges. The new version of SAP runs exclusively on the advanced SAP HANA in-memory platform, which improves analytics performance, while the SAP Fiori user interface enhances the comfort of user experience.

The importance of the HANA database in the S/4HANA architecture

SAP HANA is a new SAP database designed to meet the challenges facing modern ERP systems. It offers a range of advanced capabilities that address issues such as analyzing and reporting large volumes of data or integrating structured and unstructured data.

In an era of dynamic market changes and the resulting need for rapid decision-making, it is critical that company data is up-to-date and processed in a timely manner. With SAP HANA, in‑memory data processing is up to 3,600 times faster than hard disk operations. The SAP HANA database is also much more efficient at compressing data, which significantly improves the convenience and speed of work for system users.

The solution also enables parallel processing of data, which makes it possible to use multiple processors simultaneously when performing a single operation. Moreover, SAP HANA’s use of columnar data storage, as opposed to storing data in rows, avoids duplication of information, thereby increasing its availability and speed of retrieval.

Integrating SAP S/4HANA with existing systems – how to prepare for the transformation?

RISE with SAP is a methodology and toolkit that offers companies a holistic transformation to an intelligent enterprise. Companies that embark on this path are guided throughout the entire process by Hicron and SAP. We analyze processes, suggest the most appropriate solutions available within the SAP Business Network, and provide the opportunity to test the integration options available within the SAP Cloud Platform offering.

Visit our RISE with SAP offering and contact us for more information.

Who is S/4HANA for?

The SAP ERP system, available on-premise or in the cloud, is well-suited for companies that are focused on growth, process large amounts of data, and need to make quick decisions based on that data.

Identifying optimal conditions for S/4HANA implementation

In the case of S/4HANA implementation, we can distinguish three types of approaches:(environment transformation): SAP ERP –> SAP S/4HANA.

(environment transformation): SAP ERP --> SAP S/4HANA.
(new implementation): system implementation from scratch, i.e., the first implementation of SAP, where the system is designed from the ground up, taking into account the current strategic objectives.
(system conversion): a hybrid conversion, involving a partial transfer of the system used in the organization and the addition of brand-new features offered by the newer version.

Each of these options has different benefits and risks. To take full advantage of the system’s capabilities and avoid delays or mistakes, it is best to clearly define the goals of the implementation at the outset and assemble a team of experienced experts.

Another option available for S/4HANA is to perform a so-called “readiness check”, which is a technical assessment of the current system’s readiness to be upgraded to a newer version. It is also worthwhile to review the Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA, which helps to assess the functional gap between the systems.

Benefits for large, complex, and international organizations

The larger an organization, the more data it processes. But data alone is not enough; a company must be able to analyze and act on it quickly. Here are some areas where SAP ERP software can prove particularly useful, along with concrete examples of its benefits:

  • Logistics and procurement companies: better utilization of warehouse space, continuous inventory control, synchronization of deliveries, rationalization of purchasing policies.
  • Manufacturing companies: optimization of resources, precise quality management.
  • Companies with complex business processes: fewer data errors, automation of procedures, real-time management of company resources.

It should also be mentioned that the system has a number of modules that allow it to be customized to meet industry-specific challenges faced by, for example, law firms, real estate managers, or marketing and event agencies.

Benefits for customers using earlier versions of SAP and migrating to S/4HANA

Compared to SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA uses technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics. SAP HANA significantly accelerates the generation of all analyses and forecasts, making it easier and more reliable to make the right business decisions. Other benefits of implementing SAP S/4HANA include:

  • reduced hardware and interface setup costs;
  • accelerated implementation process;
  • significantly increased capacity for system and business development;
  • improved efficiency of business processes;
  • increased speed of operations;
  • user-friendly interface;
  • the ability to create reports that are updated in real time;
  • greatly simplified data analysis.

Choosing the right SAP S/4HANA edition

The latest SAP S/4HANA system is available in either a public or private cloud. The choice between the two is determined primarily by company-specific factors, including:

  • budget considerations;
  • the uniqueness of the organization’s business processes;
  • compliance with personal data processing regulations, particularly in industries with specific legal restrictions (e.g., finance, public sector, healthcare);
  • the pace of business development and its seasonality, which translates directly into the need for system scalability;
  • the required level of control over the infrastructure.

There is no universal answer as to which version of the system is best for each organization. Before making this decision, the company’s business conditions should be reviewed in detail, taking into account the available budget, and advice should be sought from experienced professionals.

SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud 

A version of SAP S/4HANA in which the infrastructure, hosting, administration, upgrades, and maintenance of the system are handled by SAP or its partners. It ensures fast implementation and does not require an IT team to manage the infrastructure.

SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud

In this SAP S/4HANA implementation option, the infrastructure and the hosting of the system are handled by the client or a third-party cloud provider. It gives the company greater control over its infrastructure and data.

SAP S/4HANA modules and add-ons

SAP S/4 HANA consists of several solutions supporting enterprise management. Available modules and add-ons include:

Finance • Book-keeping
• Accounting
• Controlling
• Liquidity management
• Process management (e.g., financial close)
Sales • Price lists
• Commissions
• Sales team management
• Order management
• International trade
• Invoicing
Logistics and Production • Real-time inventory management
• Warehouse management
• Transport management
• Detailed planning and order schedules
• Plan optimizations
• Complex production processes
Purchasing • Budget control
• Demand
• Purchase centralization
• Supplier management and evaluation
• Purchase settlements
Research & Development • Project planning and budgeting
• Project logistics
• Recipe management
Service and Maintenance • Servicing contracts
• Servicing orders
• Spare parts management
• Warranties
• Repair and inspection planning • OHS • Resource scheduling

How to achieve success?

One way to ensure success when implementing the latest version of the SAP system is to make the decision early in order to avoid so-called technical debt. SAP is focusing all of its development efforts on the HANA platform, so taking advantage of its innovations is the easiest way to gain a competitive edge. The best way to avoid falling behind the competition is not to delay the implementation.

SAP customers need to be aware that the company intends to completely phase out support for the older version of the SAP ECC system by 2025. Although the deadline may still seem far away, it is only seemingly a long period of time. Waiting until the last minute is not worth it – it is better to start implementing the system now to ensure that the organization can reap the benefits sooner and to avoid prolonging the entire process, as the number of implementation projects is sure to increase in the final phase before the end of support.

Assessing the fit between S/4HANA and the organization’s needs

An enterprise resource planning system should be tailored to the company’s needs. Before implementation, it is a good idea to conduct a thorough analysis of the requirements, consult with the vendor, or even test the system. All this is done so that the system not only fits the current shape of the organization but can change and evolve with it as well.

Factors considered when assessing the fit include:

  • the scale and complexity of the organization;
  • the industry;
  • the specifics of the processes involved in the business activity;
  • the ability to integrate and exchange data with existing applications and systems;
  • the implementation model and infrastructure.

Setting realistic expectations and adapting plans to the needs of the organization

When making a transition to SAP S/4HANA, four fundamental questions should be answered:

  • Do we just want to update the software or do we wish to also reorganize the processes in the organization?
  • Do we prefer a Waterfall or Agile implementation methodology?
  • Do we decide on a brownfield or a greenfield approach?
  • And most importantly: what is the fundamental purpose of the project?

Summary: Embrace the new era of ERP with SAP S/4HANA

A quick decision to embark on a digital transformation that modifies existing processes and business models or creates new ones will allow the company to become more flexible, responsive, and resilient to changing customer demands and market conditions. Contact our experts to learn more about SAP S/4HANA.

Why Hicron?

Trusted Advisor
We focus on partner relationships based on trust, and from the very first day of cooperation we strive to deserve this trust. We support our clients at every stage, not only as consultants and programmers but also as advisors familiar with the latest technological trends and SAP solutions.
Cooperation models
In Hicron we offer as many as three variants of implementation contracts; their terms are agreed on individually with each client. This guarantees that the cooperation agreement will be fully tailored to your company’s needs and mode of operation.
Experience since 2006
We have been active on the market for over 15 years. We follow closely the development of new products and current trends. Additionally, our consultants act as SAP mentors. We keep our finger on the industry’s pulse so that we are always able to offer you the right innovative solution.
International projects
We have carried out implementation projects on almost every continent. Our partners include companies from Australia, USA, Germany, the MENA, and other markets. Our international experience allows us to approach business problems from many different angles and propose solutions that have already proven themselves in other markets.
Conversion to SAP S/4HANA

As a supplier of innovative technologies, Sharp is well aware of the pace of today’s world and has long been taking steps to maintain its place at the forefront. The infrastructure of the original ECC system has been consistently transferred to the HANA environment. The management of Sharp Consumer Electronics Poland, which also manages units in Slovakia, Germany, and other European countries, decided to convert SAP ECC to S/4HANA.

Since the new functionalities were to be launched in the middle of the fiscal year, our biggest enemy was time. However, the great commitment on the part of the client and the hard work of the consultants made everything go like clockwork.

Grzegorz Zubilewicz
Key Account Manager Hicron

Contact Request

If you are considering the implementation of S/4 HANA or migrating to its latest version, please contact us.

Our experts will explain the benefits of the new system and discuss the implementation with you. 
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