SAP ECC vs. SAP S/4HANA – What Should Be The Next SAP Move For Your Business?

SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA are two key ERP software offerings from SAP that allow enterprises to simplify the management of business processes, enable effective data processing, and facilitate streamlined information flow across organizations. Though SAP ECC is the most commonly used ERP software, things will change as SAP ends its support for ECC 6.0 in 2027. As ECC is reaching the end of the line, the most practical way for businesses to benefit from SAP’s exceptional solutions is to migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

Like ECC, S/4HANA too offers solutions to enhance business process efficiency and the customer experience in areas like finance, inventory and asset management, sales, marketing, HR, logistics and supply chain, and product development, but in an incredible and unprecedented manner.

Before moving to the world’s most intelligent and modern ERP, it’s important to understand how SAP S/4HANA is different from its predecessor, SAP ECC.

What is SAP ECC?

SAP ECC is short for SAP ERP Central Component, the previous generation of SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Due to its modular design, SAP ECC is highly customizable and can be configured to suit the different needs of a business, such as finance, logistics, warehousing, human resources, product planning, customer service, and so on. The most striking feature of ECC is its ability to work with third-party or customized applications. For example, ECC can operate on a third-party database such as IBM DB2 or Oracle database and can work with customized applications like business messaging apps.

Due to its interaction with different components in the landscape, ECC is flexible, which also brings in more complexities. This is because a change in one component can affect how other parts function in the ecosystem. So, rolling out any change, such as customization, upgrades, add-ons, or enhancements, demands a thorough and careful testing of the landscape to ensure that your important business functions remain undisrupted.

With SAP phasing out ECC, users are left with only one alternative: moving to S/4HANA.

Read more: SAP for Business: 9 Ways to Maximize Business Performance

What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is the world’s most intelligent, complete, and modular cloud ERP software that simplifies your business landscape. It facilitates accelerated deployment by lowering costs with a standardized core and brings agility through an open, modular, scalable, and innovative platform. S/4HANA service management integrates crucial functions from various lines of businesses and industries and incorporates parts of SAP Business Suite Products.

SAP S/4HANA

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

Though ECC provides modules covering a full range of industrial and enterprise applications that can be run on a database of the user’s choice, the legacy ERP system fails to leverage the intelligent technologies needed to be competitive today. S/4HANA differs from ECC in many aspects:

SAP S/4HANA vs SAP ECC

Why Move to SAP S/4HANA Now?

Making decisions based on accurate and appropriate data is critical to gain a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic world. With SAP S/4HANA, organizations can use data, people, and enterprise assets in an aggregated manner that best suits their business. Moving to SAP S/4HANA offers you the following advantages:

1. Simplified Technical and Data Architecture

Businesses are attracted to SAP S/4 HANA due to its simplified data table structure and access. SAP HANA’s in-memory computing platform provides a database that operates way faster than the database options used in ECC or any traditional OLTP system. In SAP S/4HANA, there is no need to separate OLTP and OLAP applications into different databases or applications, as a single HANA database can handle both types of operations effectively. The traditional OLTP systems are generally slow at reading and analyzing data that gets updated while processing transactions. SAP S/4HANA offers restructured data models, allowing customers to access data reports faster.

2. Access to Innovative Technologies

Introducing a fresh bulk of innovative technologies will help you address all the upcoming business requirements. Built-in machine learning is an outstanding capability of S/4HANA that automates key business processes across your organization. Real-time insights, predictive BI, and automation free your employees from mind-numbing work and help them focus on value-adding tasks. Access to innovative trend technologies will keep you one step ahead of your competitors.

3. Invest in Your Growth Strategy

You can build an appropriate strategy with fully-automated data if your business is growing and venturing into new markets. Remember that your current SAP ERP  has a shorter shelf-life. Failing to catch up with the latest trends and developments will be costly. Investing in an intelligent ERP system is a business imperative, for it will support and complement your growth strategy and increase your speed-to-market.

4. Consistent User Experience Across All Devices

SAP Fiori – the design system that powers the user experience of SAP S/4HANA – defines how the new business value of S/4HANA is delivered to users. The Fiori design system delivers a modern user experience that works on various devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone) to ensure faster response times and better performance. Digital age user experience, end-to-end real-time analytics, new business processes (such as Group Reporting, Central Procurement, and Predictive MRP), and intelligent automation (such as Situation Handling, AI/ ML proposals, RPA) scenarios are the key value drivers for using SAP Fiori in SAP S/4HANA. Above anything, you need SAP Fiori to configure, adapt and extend SAP S/4HANA.

5. Avert The Risk of Falling Behind

SAP is no longer investing in ECC as the legacy ERP is reaching its end of life in 2027. On the other hand, SAP S/4HANA incorporates many innovative features through its dynamic quarterly releases that make its core even more intelligent. Several companies around the globe have already started their migration, and some are working fervently on their migration plans. Considering the predicted shortage of skilled SAP consultants and the rising cost of quality consulting services, it’s vital to bridge the gap and avert the risk of falling behind by acting now when there are available resources. Working with a trusted and certified SAP specialist, you can keep your project time, budget, and risk to the minimum. Also, if you have any plans to renew your hardware or hosting solutions, the SAP S/4HANA migration process and hardware purchase should happen simultaneously to avoid any non-compliance.

How Fingent Helps You Accomplish a Seamless Migration to SAP S/4HANA?

With Fingent, your SAP S/4HANA journey can never be complex. We offer the right S/4HANA solutions, expertise, and end-to-end services, including strategic advisory on choosing the right S/4HANA migration or conversion path to suit your requirements.

SAP S/4HANA Conversion Services

Our S/4HANA conversion services are customized to enable the smooth and rapid transition of your business systems, processes, and applications. We offer:

  • Convert to SAP S/4HANA on a fixed budget and schedule
  • On-premise or cloud-hosted S/4 implementation
  • Selective Data Transition (Hybrid approach)
  • More flexibility, higher success rate, and lower cycle time
  • Enhanced UX, lower costs and risks, and ongoing support services

SAP S/4HANA Migration Services

Improve your enterprise’s resilience by championing your migration to SAP S/4HANA with Fingent. Here are the SAP S/4HANA journey steps we follow:

  • Detect challenges, define the business case, and decide where to start
  • Pre-configured scenarios and process mining to mitigate risks
  • Identify deployment and hosting options
  • Perform pre-checks before implementation
  • Functional scope and custom code analysis

Our unique SAP S/4HANA service implementation methodology is a tried and tested practice with several successful implementations. Fingent top software development company will combine the best SAP Activate methodology, preconfigured solutions, focused industry templates, automation solutions, and a modular and agile framework. We help you integrate strategy, process, policies, people, and technology to ensure that your organization is process-driven. Transform your complex IT landscape into a simplified business system with SAP S/4 HANA.

Contact our SAP consultant to learn more. 

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    About the Author

    ...
    Ashok Kumar

    Ashok leads Fingent’s SAP Consulting practice for ANZ, SE Asia, The Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and other global clients. More specifically, he helps companies improve operational efficiency by enhancing their digital cores and improving their application integration. Ashok has amassed over 20 years of leadership and consulting experience having worked with Global giants like SAP, IBM Consulting, Capgemini, & Oracle in his previous assignments. Connect with Ashok via LinkedIn and learn how your business can excel with recent SAP trends.

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