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Rise with SAP… (But how?)

Prashant-Sify

SAP has ramped up a bulk of its resources, innovations and R&D investments to transition SAP Business Suite/ERP customers (i.e. on SAP ECC6.0) to SAP S/4 HANA on Cloud. The campaign it launched worldwide (“Rise with SAP”) has been well-received by its customers and prospects.

While SAP has provided multiple choices for the said transition, it has created some confusion in customers’ minds. Rise with SAP but how? Which way to go? What is the best option suited for my organization?

Instead of directly telling the options available under Rise with SAP (deployment models for S/4 HANA Cloud), this article takes a customer-centric view and provides multiple scenarios of SAP customers/prospects and recommendations for the best-fit possible.

  • Yours is a startup raring to go. You want an ERP software which will provide a rich functionality of all the key business processes (right from procure to pay, order to cash, record to report, hire to retire etc.) seamlessly integrated, can accommodate the scorching business growth, would be Cloud-based (and so scalable) with subscription-based pricing giving SLA-bound performance with lowest possible TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). And all this in record time, ready to run! In this case, SAP S/4 HANA Cloud (Public Edition) could be the best option.
  • Or, you head a lean organization with SAP ERP ECC6.0 implemented (or you could be on a lower version of S/4 HANA, say 1503, on-premise), say, 6 to 8 years ago. In that long period, your SAP system has been customized on many instances to meet the business requirements on an ad-hoc basis. Due to various reasons, master data quality has not been up to the mark. Customizations done years ago seem to be no more relevant in the changed business scenario of today. Overall, the SAP deployment satisfaction index is not high. Given a chance, you would like to discard the chaotic system and start afresh on a blank slate. But while doing it, you don’t want to lose the rich functionality of integrated and reliable business processes and the comfort of SAP users. Keeping in tune with the changing times, you want to avail the elasticity of Cloud, want to see greenfield Implementation of SAP S/4 HANA in record time with a competitive budget. In this case, SAP S/4 HANA (Public Edition) could be the best option.
  • Or, yours is a big organization with SAP ERP ECC6.0 implemented, say, more than a decade ago. Most of the key business processes have been mapped and are being used across many plants, branches spread across the country (or even across many nations). Mirroring the business, the business processes are fairly complex and due customization has been done to cater to local/country-specific requirements.  You have maintained relatively high data hygiene in the SAP system and the SAP deployment satisfaction index is pretty good. You can’t afford to lose all that and so can’t think of any greenfield implementation. Your organization also puts much more emphasis on security and so want to go for single-tenant tenancy on Cloud. In that case, Brownfield migration to SAP S/4 HANA Cloud (Private edition with Hyperscaler) could be the best solution. The SAP system/servers could be hosted on one of the hyper-scalers like AWS, MS-Azure or GCP (Google Cloud Platform).                                                                                                                                                         

*Brownfield migration- Here you are getting SAP master data, transactions, configured business processes, RICEF objects, balances from SAP ECC6.0 into S/4 HANA (whichever is the target version). No need to create them from scratch (or upload them via batch programs). It also gives you an opportunity to configure new business processes, rectify some old processes, add any enhancements etc. if you perceive a need.

  • Or, you are a CXO of a very large organization using SAP ERP ECC6.0 say, since more than a decade. Most of the key business processes have been mapped and are being used across many plants, branches spread across the country (or even across many nations). Mirroring the business, the business processes are fairly complex and due customization has been done to cater to local/country-specific requirements.  You have maintained relatively high data hygiene in the SAP system and the SAP deployment satisfaction index is pretty good. You can’t afford to lose all that and so can’t think of any greenfield implementation. Besides, your organization works in a highly regulated environment (federal/state/local regulations) like life Sciences / Utility / BFSI putting heavy emphasis on various compliances. So besides opting for single-tenant tenancy on Cloud, you also want the SAP system/servers residing on a designated private data center (like HP, Dell, Lenovo). In that case, Brownfield migration to SAP S/4 HANA Cloud (Private edition – Customer data center) could be the best solution.

Following table captures the essence of above explanation along with some important data points (which could not be covered earlier) which should assist in your decision-making process of S/4 HANA migration.

RISE with SAP Deployment Models for S/4 HANA Cloud –

 Public EditionPrivate Edition HyperscalerPrivate Edition Customer Data Center
Business driverReady to runTailored to fitData sovereignty/residency, performance, security, portability  
Service offeringSaaS (SAP)IaaS & PaaS (SAP)IaaS (HP/Dell/Lenovo) & PaaS (SAP)
Migration typeGreenfield onlyGreenfield or BrownfieldGreenfield or Brownfield
Licensing modelSubscription- Cloud ERPSubscription- Cloud ERPSubscription- Cloud ERP
SAP SLA %99.7%99.7%99.7%
TenancyMulti-tenantSingle-tenantSingle-tenant
Max scale up RAM6 TB24 TB24 TB (with HP), 12 TB (with Lenovo), 6 TB (with Dell)
IaaS data center locationSAP’s choiceChoice of public cloud data centersIaaS (with customer data center choice)
Infrastructure hostAWS, Azure, GCP, SAPAWS, Azure, GCPHP, Dell, Lenovo
Cloud deploymentPublic cloudPublic cloudPrivate cloud
Data management and storageSharedSharedDedicated
CustomizationNoYesYes
SAP source code changesNo source code changes No IMG access YesYes
Upgrade flexibilityNo (Compulsory 2 upgrades/releases every year)Yes (customers can choose when to upgrade)Yes (customers can choose when to upgrade)
Integration with SAP PO (Process Orchestration)Not possibleYesYes

Conclusion –

Scenarios explained above need to be taken with a pinch of salt. It is highly possible that even a large organization may discard their current SAP system and may go for greenfield implementation or a unicorn startup may go for Private edition (Hyperscaler). It all depends on N parameters (some of which are discussed above), budget, timeline expectations etc. So, while there is no one-size-fits-all nor is any solution right or wrong, this article should assist the CXOs in deciding which way to go for SAP S/4 HANA migration.

-Prashant Pimpalekar, Sr. Vice President (SAP Practice), Sify Digital Services Ltd.

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