SAP S/4HANA: Get every detail of the next generation’s SAP application suite

Industry 4.0 is the biggest driving growth of our economy“ says Horst Wildemann, Professor for economics at the TU Munich.  He is absolutely right - speed, individuality and innovations are three of the most crucial requirements large- and mid size enterprises will be facing in the near future. SAP S/4HANA helps to simplify business and had been developed entirely based on the high-performance In-Memory platform SAP HANA.
We will give you details about the most important questions related to SAP S/4HANA and its transition to the new application suite.

What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is the Real time-ERP-Suite of the next generation and was developed entirely based on the high-performance In-Memory-platform SAP HANA. The role-based interface SAP Fiori provides a high degree of usability and can be used intuitively. SAP S/4HANA offers a significant simplification of the data model as well as various innovations provided by the SAP HANA Cloud platform.

What are the advantages of running SAP S/4HANA?

The databank SAP HANA as foundation of SAP S/4HANA offers

  • high-performance data maintenance
  • processing and analyzing large data quantities in real-time
  • significant simplifications (such as e.g. a simplified data model) and innovations (such as the open In-Memory-platform for predictions)

Overall simplification

  • less code lines, tables and data elements
  • less maintenance
  • shortened innovation cycles
  • shortened system response times
  • decrease of overall operation costs

The SAP Fiori interface design offers

  • usability
  • intuitive operability
  • role-based operation
  • availability upon multiple devices (desktop, smartphone, tablet); the application runs uniform with a priority on mobile use

Available in different operating versions

  • On-Premise-Version
  • Cloud-Version (SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud)
  • Hybrid model

Aligned with the Internet of Things and business networks, SAP S/4HANA supports a virtual cooperation in real-time.

Frequently asked questions about SAP S/4HANA

What is SAP S/4HANA?

S/4HANA is a real-time ERP suite that is based on the powerful SAP HANA in-memory platform. SAP S/4HANA represents the fourth generation of the SAP application suite and is the successor to SAP R/3. The "S" in the name stands for the "Simple" principle, which embodies the real-time ERP suite due to the improved user interface and the simplified data model. 4 stands for the fourth product generation.

What does HANA stand for?

SAP HANA stands for "High Performance Analytic Appliance". It is a next-generation platform of SAP and enables accelerated data processing and analysis many times over using in-memory technology.

What is the difference between SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA?

SAP HANA is a next-generation database type. SAP S/4HANA is a real-time ERP suite developed on the SAP HANA in-memory platform.

What are the concrete benefits of SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA enables the processing and analysis of large amounts of data in real time and offers a significant simplification of the data model as well as numerous innovations through the SAP HANA cloud platform. S/4HANA is particularly user-friendly and intuitive thanks to the role-based SAP Fiori interface.

How do I switch to SAP S/4HANA?

There are three different approaches to switch to SAP S/4HANA: the greenfield approach, the brownfield approach and the landscape transformation. The so-called greenfield approach involves a new implementation of the SAP system. That means, the existing ERP system is abandoned and a completely new system will be implemented. In the brownfield approach, a system conversion will be performed. The existing systems will be converted systematically to S/4HANA. With the Landscape Transformation approach, several existing SAP systems will be technically consolidated in a newly set up S/4HANA system.


The real-time application suite SAP S/4HANA was developed as an answer to the digital transformation and its driving forces Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Mobility and Analytics. These driving forces influence modern IT systems in four crucial points: flexibility, usability, real-time analyses, and Big Data Management. SAP S/4HANA meets these requirements and assists enterprises to face the digital transformation.

How do I transition to SAP S/4HANA?

Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA can be done in three different ways: following the Greenfield-approach, the Brownfield-approach or a Landscape transformation.

Greenfield approach

In applying the so called Greenfield approach, the existing ERP system will be discharged and a completely new system is implemented. The enterprise starts at zero- or, better said, on the „green field“. Data and relevant business solutions from existing SAP and/or non-SAP ERP systems are gradually transferred. The Greenfield approach is one option when drastic changes are already on the menu: in case e.g. an enterprise operates several legacy systems which should be merged into one overall system. Enterprises therefore get a change to return to the standard version while stepping back from their highly-individualized ERP systems.

Brownfield approach

The Brownfield approach is suitable for enterprises wanting to keep all their individualizations and modifications. Existing systems will get an upgrade to the new version of the business suite and are gradually transitioned to S/4HANA. The existing landscape will remain untouched in large parts but definitely profits from the new software.

Landscape transformation

Here, several ERP systems are united in one central S/4HANA system. This usually starts with the migration of SAP FI and CO to S/4HANA Central Finance.

When would be the best time to transition to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP canceled the maintenance and development of the previous system R/3 by the year 2025 - making a transition to S/4 HANA inevitable for customers. Finding the perfect point of time for the transition depends on several parameter of your current and your future business model. The digitalization and Industry 4.0 are just two influencing drivers amongst many.

In order to find the right path and time for each SAP user, SALT Solution AG’s experts developed a workshop concept orientating users along their most crucial supply chain parameter.

Get in touch and find out how to gain longterm profits for your enterprise with SAP S/4HANA.