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5 compelling reasons to move to SAP S/4HANA

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Pierre-Francis GrilletGlobal Director, SAP Business Development
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In 2027, SAP will end its support for SAP Business Suite 7, which includes SAP ECC 6. For IT teams who have spent years honing their ECC skills and customizing their systems to perfectly fit their business needs, this poses a conundrum. Do they stay on the ECC system they know and trust or do they choose to modernize to SAP’s latest version – SAP S/4HANA? In this series of three posts, we will outline the different options you have, reflecting on the advantages of moving to SAP S/4HANA and providing some first recommendations on how to best prepare for this move.

  1. ECC end of life – what are your options?
  2. 5 compelling reasons to move to SAP S/4HANA
  3. Key decisions on your road to SAP S/4HANA

The top 5 benefits of S/4HANA

SAP S/4HANA promises SAP customers all the benefits they’ve enjoyed over the years, in addition to brand-new capabilities. Here are five of the most compelling reasons why you should modernize your ERP solution and transform your business with S/4HANA on public cloud:

1. Simplicity

SAP S/4HANA has a massively simplified data structure and with the introduction of the Universal Journal, brings better reporting capabilities (see below). In addition, it gives businesses the opportunity to adopt best practice business processes and run these in a “clean core” which then also lays the foundation for future growth and innovation. In short, SAP S/4HANA is simpler, cleaner, and easier to use than ECC.

2. Better reporting capabilities

With the simplified data structures and introduction of the Universal Journal – imagine one big table with all the relevant information from finance, controlling, and material ledgers - it allows streamlining the Chart of Account while being able to slice and dice the data in real-time with the power of the in-memory HANA database. This removes the need to write complicated reports and eliminates reconciliation efforts across the different areas of business. Layer on some simple visualization tools like SAP Analytics Cloud and you have accurate information available at the press of a button.

3. Enhanced user experience

Fiori provides a new user interface where information is presented to the end user in a much simpler and more intuitive way, regardless of mobile or desktop device or deployment.

Users can access multiple transactions in a single app and access role-based work lists and list reports. In addition, transactions are now processed with fewer clicks and screens to be populated.

4. Increased productivity

With standard business processes, simpler data structure, and a much faster database in HANA, it is not surprising that there are improvements in performance in speed both at a technical and business level. Removing redundant activities enables improvements including reducing the time it takes to close the books at the end of each period and giving businesses more time to focus on value-adding activities. Users spend more time looking forward, thinking about predictive analytics rather than performing historical data reconciliations. This will be an added boost to adopt innovation in the workforce and drive wider transformation in the business.

5. Agility and innovation

Adopting standard and commoditized business processes where it does not provide a competitive advantage enables to focus on those business processes that do give you an advantage over your competitors. Even if they don’t fit directly into SAP, the simple data structures and easy integration with the public cloud innovation platform as well as SAP’s own business technology platform (BTP) makes it much easier to plug into other best-of-breed applications that can really drive your business forward. You end up with a composable architecture, creating the ultimate agile and innovative organization.

By putting all of this in the cloud, you also have the added benefit of scaling your computing power to support your growth or slowdown when the next pandemic or financial crisis hits us or adjust processing power and storage based on your business activity peaks and troughs.

Why is it important to start transforming now?

2027 might seem like it’s far on the horizon, but it is crucial to begin your SAP S/4HANA transformation process as soon as you can. Here’s why:

Time-intensive planning requirements

Depending on the complexity of your system, the conversion process could take two years or more to complete, especially if you want to adopt an iterative and agile approach that minimizes risks and impacts on the business and provides a faster return on investment! Keep in mind that critical streamlining of data – including cleaning tasks – customizations and licensing will also need to be considered for a de-risked and successful system conversion. If you wait too long to upgrade, you might run the risk of not completing in time. If your conversion isn’t complete, you’ll have to pay a premium for support while your IT team scrambles to catch up.

Avoid paying a premium closer to 2027

Over the next few years, SAP consulting partners will be increasingly in demand to help businesses upgrade to hit the 2027 deadline, and this will continue until the end of extended support in 2030. Demand for SAP and cloud experts is increasing by the day, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to find competent help. To make matters worse, there is a good chance that these hard-to-find services will capitalize on the urgency of the situation and demand inflated prices for their services.

SoftwareOne will help you prepare

Getting ready to move to SAP S/4HANA sooner rather than later will help you get ahead of your competition. Think of it this way: If you get started today, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of a cloud-enabled ERP sooner – and you’ll know that your business is prepared for the future. So, come 2027, your IT team will be focusing on innovation while your less-than-proactive competitors are held back by an expensive, time-constrained conversion.

Ready to get started? SoftwareOne’s SAP S/4HANA Conversion Pilot helps existing and new SAP customers realize the conversion to SAP S/4HANA successfully, optimizing costs and minimizing risks. We provide best-in-class advisory and delivery services to help your business fully prepare for your next-generation ERP.

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Ready to take the next step?

Now that you fully understand why the upgrade to SAP S/4HANA is coming with a couple of benefits, it’s time to map out the key decisions you need to make before you start your modernization journey.

Ready to take the next step?

Now that you fully understand why the upgrade to SAP S/4HANA is coming with a couple of benefits, it’s time to map out the key decisions you need to make before you start your modernization journey.


A man in a blue shirt is posing for a photo.

Pierre-Francis Grillet
Global Director, SAP Business Development

SAP Services