What is S4 HANA? Why is it the Next Big Thing for SAP?

SAP has just released one of the greatest innovations in business software. What is it? It’s what they are calling SAP S4 HANA.

While it’s a new innovation, it remains a concept SAP has been brewing over the last half-decade or so. HANA, as a technology, has been around for some time and now SAP has brought in a new suite of applications running on the revolutionary in-memory database system. In two statements, “S” for Simple, and “4” for Fourth Generation. That’s what SAP S4 HANA is – a highly evolved suite of simple applications (or sERP) running on the HANA database system.

What makes it so great?
Well, this big idea brings in a Suite-of-HANA applications which will drive ERP strategies in in the near future. Not just for SAP as a technology company – but more importantly, for the most important stake holder, the customer.

Laying Out the Foundation of an Evolved Way of Doing Business
Since SAP announced its strategic plan to run everything simpler, the commitment from its partners such as TTCS has been to provide software solutions which not only give users smarter ways of doing things, but also making the user experience more enjoyable and simple. While in this line of thought, the idea of simplicity transcends the general understanding of a simpler way of doing things, and instead, points to a new way of getting enterprises to adopt business software.

The technical details speak for themselves – S4 is highly evolved and simple, its data models have been simplified and contain no materialised aggregates, code has been simplified (due to the fact that no material aggregates need to be maintained)…and all this means, it will amazingly use the  benefits of compression, real time analytics, landscape simplification, and ease of configuration.

The result? Powerful applications such as  sFinance, which run on the power and speed of HANA. This year will see the arrival of sLogistics and another decoration of business suite applications which fluently deliver value to customers.

What’s in store for African Businesses?
Nothing promises more excitement to the future of business software applications for Africa than ‘Cloud for Business’. As Managed Cloud as a Service (MCaaS) becomes entrenched as a cost-efficient and simple way to deploy upcoming SAP solutions, so does the prospect of applying the power S4 HANA application  to business strategy.

The keyword in that being ‘cost-effectiveness’. The cloud offering of S4 HANA Business Suite will be a compelling force for businesses who choose to leverage their business strategy on powerful systems – and the greatest part of that is that they will have the option of doing so without having to invest in some, if not, any IT hardware infrastructure at all. They just connect and start enjoying the benefits of hybrid enterprise resource management systems such as S4 HANA.

In-Memory Computing was yet another game-changer for SAP; now, the possibility of doing analytics in real-time directly from a transactional system is proving to be a powerful solution for any market. That’s why S4 HANA is the next big thing for SAP – and odds are, it’s going to be the biggest thing businesses the world over will see. It’s no wonder SAP predicts that its cloud business is going to grow seven times owing to the introduction of S4 HANA. It’s the direction many businesses are going to be taking.

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