SAP S/4HANA unraveled: Solving the Mystery of the Next-Generation Business Suite

SAP has made a potentially game-changing decision, and it has got many people talking: The IT giant has completely reinvented its business suite with the rollout of SAP S/4HANA. But why make such a radical move? How does the new offering differ from the old? What advantages does it offer?

This blog series will address these questions and more, by scrutinizing the brand-new generation of enterprise software, its user interface (UI) and benefits. Firstly, we will be looking at why we need SAP S/4HANA in today’s world, and how it can open new doors for businesses.

How to prosper in the digital age

In the past, SAP made incremental changes to its software suite, improving upon existing technology. They knew what their customers wanted – and they delivered. Today, however, this “safe” approach no longer cuts it. The reason: It doesn’t allow for radical innovations in line with current demands, such as connecting business models with the Internet of Things. To compete in a rapidly changing playing field, organizations need to adapt. This involves taking advantage of big data, sensor technology, and other digital enterprise developments.

This is why SAP has taken a bold leap, and attempted to create a state-of-the-art business suite for the modern world. SAP S/4HANA aims to boost efficiency and productivity through its new and streamlined functionalities, intuitive UI, and highly granular representation of data. Applications based on in-memory database technology enable real-time analysis, simulation, and decision making, even in big data environments. These are the developments that should make organizations better equipped to capitalize on the digital transformation.

A quiet revolution?

I believe SAP has taken a smart approach with the progression of SAP S/4HANA releases. First came SAP S/4HANA Finance, which we will look at in more detail in an upcoming blog post in this series. Next came the logistics solution Enterprise Management. This is an area in which SAP has proven itself to be extremely successful, and where it has an unparalleled understanding of processes.

Starting with a less complex module has allowed SAP and NTT DATA Business Solutions to gain valuable experience working with the new software. We can now make the transformation much less disruptive for everyone – so the revolution will be a quiet one.

It has been a steep learning curve: In our first SAP S/4HANA projects, implementation was sometimes difficult and riddled with complications. However, the close, long-standing partnership between SAP and NTT DATA Business Solutions helped us to quickly iron out the issues.

While reinventing a whole business suite is a daring strategy, I am confident SAP made the right move at the right time. SAP S/4HANA eliminates the technical limitations of previous products, and truly reshapes enterprise IT. How exactly does it achieve this? We will answer this question in greater detail in the upcoming posts.

Explore the secrets behind S/4HANA as reported by Christian Schmidt, Global Director In-memory Technology at NTT DATA Business Solutions:


Next up, NTT DATA Business Solutions expert developer Axel Rosenthal examines SAP Fiori, evaluating the exciting new approach to UI by making an unusual comparison – with a designer handbag.

About the author

Christian Schmidt is the Global Director of In-Memory Technology within Global Business Solutions at NTT DATA Business Solutions. He has worked with SAP technology since 1999.

Christian Schmidt
Christian Schmidt
Director Data & Intelligence, Innovation Technologies

I am the Director Innovation Technologies for NTT DATA Business Solutions.

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