You're probably here because you don’t know this term fairly intimately, but you most likely will before long because it’s the name of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform from the German software giant SAP®. ERP software is what SAP is best known for, and SAP S/4HANA is the latest and greatest version of its popular ERP product.
SAP S/4HANA is the successor to SAP R/3 and SAP ERP, which have been taking care of business operations for customers in various iterations since the early 1990s. First emerging in 2015, it’s a big deal in a lot of different ways, starting with the fact that it’s optimized for the in-memory database known as SAP HANA (short for High-Performance Analytic Appliance).
As SAP’s latest version of its business suite, SAP S/4HANA is a natural progression for the various related applications. It’s also a whole new experience from a user perspective. Before, it was a functional but not dazzling blue user interface (UI) that looked quite similar for many different kinds of users. Now, a design language known as SAP Fiori allows user experiences that are both enhanced and simplified, varying based on specific user roles and business processes. With SAP Fiori, customers can build a simpler UI on top of the core ERP, and different groups can have different UIs.
There are two different versions of SAP S/4HANA, one that runs on-premises and one that lives in the cloud. There are pros and cons to both options, but generally speaking, the on-premises version is more fully featured and is well-suited for a migration from an earlier version of SAP’s business suite.
Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA is definitely not a piece of cake or pushing a button or two. There’s no single roadmap from the SAP ECC (ERP Central Component) environment to the world of SAP S/4HANA, and it’s an especially significant shift if you’re not currently on the SAP HANA database. That transition is one daunting element, and then there’s the fact that you’ll be building new applications on SAP’s Fiori technology. There are a lot of different ways to make these upgrades and highly individualized choices to make that vary from one organization to another. This Onapsis Special Edition e-book, DevSecOps for SAP S/4HANA Migrations For Dummies, is your handbook for venturing into the daunting task of moving toward SAP S/4HANA.