The SAP HANA database and
migration to SAP S/4HANA

The HANA in-memory database from SAP makes your system landscape faster, cost-efficient, and more flexible. IT managers should consider the HANA database and the migration to SAP S/4HANA in order to prepare for the future.

What is SAP HANA?

SAP HANA is the new in-memory database from SAP. It enables real-time analysis and transactions of large amounts of data. In contrast to conventional databases based on hard disks, SAP HANA stores the data in the main memory. This enables quicker retrieval and processing, which in turn gives companies the opportunity to gain real-time insights into their data. The database runs exclusively on the Linux operating system, which is why companies that want to migrate to SAP S/4HANA must switch to Linux.


What benefits does SAP HANA offer?

The database makes it possible to improve the integration of data and the efficiency of business processes through real-time data analysis. This promotes seamless operations. In addition, the advanced analysis functions of SAP HANA provide valid insights into the data volume and help to make more profound decisions.


What is the difference to SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is the latest ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software from SAP, which runs on the SAP HANA database. Prior to the introduction of SAP HANA, SAP software relied on databases from third-party providers such as Oracle. With the introduction of the HANA in-memory platform, SAP ERP systems such as SAP S/4HANA can access data faster. This has increased the speed of analyses and the ability to integrate data from different sources.


Why should you migrate to SAP S/4HANA?

Companies should migrate to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA. In addition to the benefits of improved data processing and increased efficiency of operating processes, SAP S/4HANA also helps to increase competitiveness. Anyone already working with SAP software solutions will gain access to the latest technologies and have the opportunity to carry out more detailed analyses. The migration to SAP S/4HANA is an important step for companies to modernize their IT infrastructure and improve their business processes.

How to prepare for the SAP S/4HANA migration?

The migration to SAP S/4HANA requires careful planning and preparation to ensure that the process runs seamlessly and with minimal disruption to business operations.

The following points should be considered:


First, companies should analyze their existing systems and databases in depth to identify potential challenges and risks.

Strategy development

It is important to develop a detailed strategy that includes the individual steps and timetables for the migration.


Companies should ensure that they have the required expertise to carry out the migration successfully.

Working with experienced SAP consultants can help to simplify the process. This will ensure that all aspects of the migration to SAP S/4HANA are considered.

We work with our proven Prisma methodology. We guide you to your goal in clearly outlined, consecutive steps: It all starts with a thorough analysis of your initial situation. We work with you on developing a roadmap which shows you the stages that lie ahead, from the initial preparatory work through to implementation and go-live. This way you know exactly what to expect.

How can the SAP S/4HANA migration be executed?

There are two options for migrating to SAP S/4HANA, as well as some hybrid forms: In general, a distinction is made between a greenfield and a brownfield migration. With the greenfield approach, the existing system is reimplemented and data is transferred to the SAP HANA database. With the brownfield approach, the existing system and database are updated to SAP HANA.

There are also mixed forms of a new implementation and a system conversion such as mix & match or shell conversion: For example, the existing landscape is renewed and streamlined, while the existing data is only partially transferred.


Which migration method is the best?

There is no clear answer to which migration approach works the best. The decision depends on the company’s individual requirements, goals, and resources. One important point, for example, is whether the company is satisfied with its existing business processes and wants to retain them. In this case, a brownfield migration may be the best option.

Conclusion: How can your SAP S/4HANA migration succeed?

The SAP S/4HANA migration offers companies the opportunity to accelerate their business processes and gain real-time insights into their data. Careful planning and preparation are required to ensure the success of the migration. You should first conduct a comprehensive analysis of your ECC system and processes and define a detailed migration strategy. Sufficient resources and expertise are key factors for a successful migration process.

If you want further information about an SAP S/4HANA migration or are seeking support for your own project, contact us today. Our experienced SAP consultants will be glad to help you.

Author of the article

Ansgar Broese
SAP Financials Business Unit Leader