Your Entry into the Digital World

Efficient, fast, innovative – the challenges companies are facing are constantly increasing. If you want to remain competitive and successful, you need a powerful, latest-generation ERP system such as SAP S/4HANA. A migration is the gateway into the digital world – from real-time analyses to Industry 4.0 and Machine Learning.

Two women in a conference room

What is S/4HANA?

It is the platform for intelligent companies in a data-driven, digital world: the SAP ERP system S/4HANA from SAP is a ground-breaking innovation and represents a paradigm shift in data processing. Based on the in-memory technology HANA, SAP S/4HANA enables the rapid processing of data and analyses in real time. This helps companies to optimize their processes and improve their decision-making and performance.

SAP S/4HANA replaces the ERP system SAP ECC, whose maintenance expires in 2027. The name of the system derives from the underlying database technology SAP HANA; the S stands for Simple, the number 4 for the fourth product generation. While SAP ECC was based on modules, SAP refers to SAP S/4HANA as processes that cover the entire company and are harmonized with one another – from finance to logistics and human resources to procurement. And all of this on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid.

The migration to SAP S/4HANA is about more than just migrating from an old system to a new one. SAP S/4HANA not only optimizes the entire business processes, but also forms the basis for innovations and new business ideas. The introduction of SAP S/4HANA is not just an IT project, but a company-wide endeavor that should be based on a strategic decision by the management. Only the transformation of processes leads to optimal strategic goal achievement.

SAP S/4HANA is the centerpiece, the Digital Core, of the SAP solution portfolio. All processes can be restructured and digitalized in line with the corporate strategy and a whole range of other functions can be connected via the Digital Core. This allows the full potential of SAP S/4HANA to be utilized.


Basis of the digital transformation

A database of unexpected speed: SAP HANA – the abbreviation for High-Performance ANalytic Appliance – offers a platform on which huge amounts of data can be processed in real time.

The basis for this is a high-performance in-memory database in which the data to be analyzed is not just temporarily copied from the hard drive to a working memory, instead it is stored directly in the working memory.

The HANA database makes it possible to perform analytical and transactional operations simultaneously for any type of data. Whether on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid. Many SAP solutions run on SAP HANA, first and foremost SAP S/4HANA, but also SAP Datasphere and SAP Analytics Cloud.

User experience on a new level

SAP S/4HANA impresses with its new usability: the Fiori user interface. It is visually similar to conventional apps, as we know them from smartphones, and is characterized by a modern visual design. The complex process steps in the backend are hidden behind a simple interface. This makes the apps very intuitive and easy to use.

SAP Fiori apps can also be quickly and easily customized to company-specific requirements and personalized with their own interfaces. In contrast to SAP GUI, where transaction-oriented work dominated, SAP Fiori can be personalized, for example by adapting the layout and fields individually to the user and their role. Users can use the applications with almost no training, and display those they use most frequently in their day-to-day work on their personalized homepage.

One innovation that makes everyday work much easier is the responsive web design: Employees can now also access SAP S/4HANA on the go using any device such as smartphones or tablets.

How is S/4HANA modelled?

SAP S/4HANA is the operating system of the latest generation and makes use of the HANA database technology. It can be operated both on-premise and in the cloud. The new user interface is designed according to the Fiori standard and ensures a simple and intuitive usage. It covers all central business processes. These lines of business are:

  1. Sales
  2. Finance
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Supply Chain
  5. Service
  6. Asset Management
  7. R&D/Engineering
  8. Sourcing & Procurement
  9. Human Resources

What benefits does SAP S/4HANA offer?

Real-time analytics for faster insights and data-driven decisions

Increased efficiency, lower costs and higher productivity by automating routine tasks and rationalizing workflows

Improved usability through modern, intuitive user interface, reduced training requirements

Improved reporting – create reports quickly and easily with enhanced reporting capabilities

Enhanced integration capabilities with other SAP and third-party systems

What are the differences to SAP ERP ECC?

SAP ERP ECC is the predecessor to SAP S/4HANA and has been SAP’s flagship product for a long time. SAP S/4HANA is the latest generation ERP from SAP and features a number of key innovations. It forms the basis for the digitalization of your company:

Database technology

The biggest difference lies within the technology. While ERP ECC is based on traditional database technology, S/4HANA uses the advanced HANA in-memory technology. The HANA database makes data processing significantly faster and enables data analysis in real time.

User experience

The user experience has also improved through the new system. The SAP Fiori user interface used in S/4HANA provides a simple and more intuitive user experience than the SAP GUI used in ERP ECC.


SAP S/4HANA is more flexible than SAP ECC, for example in terms of reporting. Data can be analyzed according to numerous dimensions in pivot manner. Financial statements with precise insights and more efficient management are created much faster than before.

How does the transition to S/4HANA work?

Switching to SAP S/4HANA is much more than just a migration. Rather, the system has the potential to revolutionize business processes from finance to the supply chain all the way to sales.

To unlock its full potential, a company-specific requirements analysis is crucial. Practical experience and implementation skills make the difference here. Our approach has proven itself in many projects and provides our customers in all industries with a fast and professional start into the SAP S/4HANA future – a world full of digital possibilities.

What needs to be considered when switching to S/4HANA?

The decisive course is set at the beginning of a project. That’s why we believe a detailed analysis of the actual situation is crucial for the success of the project.

To do this, we first analyze your system requirements and pre-check your existing system. We use our experience from a multitude of SAP S/4HANA projects to prepare the results of the audit for you in a way that is relevant for your decision-making.

A look at the economic processes is just as important as taking stock of the technical requirements. We use the SAP Process Discovery analysis tool to measure the performance of your processes and subject them to a standardized industry comparison. In this way, we identify automation and digitalization potential and demonstrate which SAP S/4HANA functions, intelligent technologies and Fiori apps will move your company forward in line with your business strategy.

At the end, you will receive a recommendation for further steps and a detailed offer for a migration to SAP S/4HANA.

Testing playfully with the sandbox

Lächelnder Mann sitzt an einem Schreibtisch

If you would like to test the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA in advance and experience the benefits for yourself, the consolut sandbox is exactly what you need. The best thing about it: the sandbox contains your own data. A personalized look into the future, so to speak.

We create the sandbox according to your wishes and requirements. If required, we can also offer hosting and operate your system entirely on the SAP cloud platform Microsoft Azure, without any impact on your system.

The prerequisites for a sandbox are a readiness check, an SAP S/4HANA license or approval by SAP and a backup of your current ECC 6.0 system.

Roadmap to SAP S/4HANA – Safely to the Destination

The migration to SAP S/4HANA fundamentally changes the processes and technologies in the company. To ensure that you achieve exactly the result you want, a thorough preliminary study is important. This serves to find out which migration path best suits your company. We illustrate this changeover path in your customized roadmap.

It clearly and precisely divides the project into milestones, plans the individual steps and provides information on time and costs. The starting point for the preliminary study is a joint roadmap workshop in which we consider the opportunities and risks of the migration and clarify, for example, whether on-premise or cloud solutions, a greenfield or brownfield approach and a changeover in phases or a big-bang changeover set for a specific point in time are appropriate for you. Once these questions have been clarified, the roadmap will guide you safely towards your goal.

Which migration approach is right for you?

As the migration to SAP S/4HANA affects not only IT, but almost all areas of the company, the launch is a major step. It requires thorough analysis and preparation in order to succeed. It is crucial to choose the right migration approach – greenfield, brownfield or a combination of both.

Übersicht der Migrationsansätze

Greenfield – Completely New Implementation

With this approach, the ERP system is implemented from scratch, designed, installed and configured on a “greenfield” basis. This approach is ideal for anyone who is new to the market. However, the greenfield approach also offers great opportunities for anyone already using an ERP system. Especially if, for example, there are many historically grown, inefficient processes, an internal reorganization is pending, carve-outs or consolidations through mergers & acquisitions. The greenfield approach can be used to optimize processes and clean up master data. It enables a return to the standard and a cloud-first strategy.

Brownfield – Upgrade to Business Suite

With the brownfield approach, existing processes, data and customized solutions are transferred to SAP S/4HANA. This is an upgrade of an existing SAP system. This approach is suitable if the existing systems are still relatively new, are close to the SAP standard, you are basically satisfied with the existing processes or you want to switch to SAP S/4HANA quickly.

The approach is a fast and low-risk way of converting systems. It is ideal for anyone who wants to keep the same data and familiar processes. The changeover is easy to plan and involves less training and higher user acceptance than a greenfield migration.

Shell conversion or mix & match?

Hybrid approaches such as shell conversion or mix & match, which are a mixture of a new implementation and a system conversion, are also very common: For example, by renewing and streamlining the existing landscape, but taking over some of the existing data.

Our procedure

To successfully implement SAP S/4HANA, we work with our proven Prisma methodology. In clearly outlined, consecutive steps, we guide you to your goal: At the beginning, there is a thorough analysis of your initial situation. We work with you to develop a roadmap that shows you the stages that lie ahead, from the initial preparatory work to implementation and go-live. This way, you know exactly what to expect.

Prozess zur Implementierung von S/4HANA

What risks can the migration to SAP S/4HANA entail?

In addition to the various benefits of migrating to S/4HANA, there are also some risks that should be considered during the migration:

Change management

One of the biggest risks of an SAP S/4HANA migration is a lack of employee acceptance. Many processes usually change when migrating to SAP S/4HANA. It is therefore important to prepare and train end users for the changes. Problems in the processes should also be identified before they occur. Change management should therefore be an important part of an SAP S/4HANA project. However, it is often neglected due to a lack of specialists and resources.

Not just an IT project

The introduction of SAP S/4HANA is not a typical IT project. In contrast to other SAP projects or simple upgrades, the proportion of technical topics is higher.

Duration and costs

The duration of an SAP S/4HANA project depends a lot on the size of the company and the project, the manpower and the existing SAP landscape. Thorough project preparation in particular contributes to success. If the effort is underestimated, problems can quickly arise due to a lack of time or an unexpected explosion in costs.

When should the change take place at the latest?

SAP will stop supporting SAP ERP ECC at the end of 2027. Extended maintenance for all SAP Business Suite applications can be booked until 2030 for a surcharge on the existing maintenance basis. It is therefore advisable to migrate to SAP S/4HANA soon. An early migration can also give you a competitive advantage, as you will benefit from the advantages of SAP S/4HANA before your competitors.

We will be glad to help.

You want to know whether it is worth it for you to migrate to SAP S/4HANA or you have already decided but are still looking for the right partner? Get in touch with us!

Ansgar Broese
SAP Financials Business Unit Leader
Clemens Sontheim
General Manager & Senior Consultant SAP Logistics
Tom Knowlton
Senior Consultant SAP Financials