Can’t-Miss SAP S/4HANA Keynote Moments from SAPPHIRE NOW

With over six hours of content- and demo-packed keynotes at SAPPHIRE NOW, it can be a little tricky to process the deluge of new announcements and information that is being shared.

Just in case you might have missed something, here is a quick recap of the top SAP S/4HANA announcements made during the keynotes along with key SAP S/4HANA highlights from Bernd Leukert and Hasso Plattner’s keynotes in case you missed any of these too.

1. SAP S/4HANA Value Assurance

During his keynote Bill McDermott announced the SAP S/4HANA Value Assurance program to safeguard customer investments and ensure their smooth migration to SAP S/4HANA. The program includes four steps from planning and foundational implementation to end-to-end setup, service, and support.

2. SAP S/4HANA to run on Microsoft Azure Cloud

For some time now, SAP S/4HANA has been running on AWS with live customers such as Swiss Properties. Soon customers will also be able to run SAP S/4HANA on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Currently the deployment option is in controlled availability supporting the SUSE Linux Enterprise Operating System.

3. New SAP S/4HANA Journey Brochure

Robert Enslin, president of Global Customer Operations at SAP, revealed a new SAP S/4HANA brochure during his keynote that maps out customers’ migration journey to SAP S/4HANA and reveals more details on the solution’s roadmap and upcoming release (aka 1610).

4. More Customers Go Live with SAP S/4HANA

Customers took to the keynote stage to announce they are now running live on SAP S/4HANA:

  • Sabre: Steve Strout, VP of Corporate Systems, participated in a CIO panel during McDermott’s keynote announcing that his company went live with SAP S/4HANA in April this year.
  • Nestle: Terrence Stacey, Group CIO, announced that Nestle’s Asia-Oceania-Africa (AoA) region went live a month ago with SAP S/4HANA and plan to go live with Europe in November this year and Americas in April of 2017
  • GreyOrange: Nalin Advani, CEO of Asia Pacific and Japan, took to the keynote stage with Bernd Leukert on the second day to announce that his startup went live with SAP S/4HANA on April 1.
  • Asian Paints: Manish Shoski, CIO, was on stage at SAPPHIRE NOW last year highlighting his company’s intention to move to SAP S/4HANA. This year, Shoski came back to Plattner’s keynote and announced that his company has been live for 100 days on SAP S/4HANA (learn more).

5. New Native iOS SAP S/4HANA Apps

Last but not least, in the run up to SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP announced a new partnership with Apple. As a direct result of this partnership SAP will be developing and releasing a set of native iOS apps that will integrate directly into SAP S/4HANA. On the SAPPHIRE NOW show floor, SAP showcased two of these apps that are planned to be generally available end of 2016 and mid 2017 respectively:

  • Project Assistant iOS app: professional services industry app that connects to SAP S/4HANA and enables project managers to collaborate, report, and manage their projects while on the go
  • Asset Maintenance Worker iOS app: utilities industry app that connects to SAP S/4HANA and supports highly skilled workers who maintain enterprise assets to perform their job with complex information and business logic

Bernd Leukert’s SAP S/4HANA keynote highlights

Among other things, Leukert revealed a new five-step architecture blueprint for SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain and Manufacturing customers whereby:

  • Core processes including Production Planning, Quality Management, Inventory management, and Enterprise Asset Management run directly inside SAP S/4HANA
  • Extended innovations like Transportation Management, Extended Warehouse Management, Integrated Business Planning , Manufacturing Execution and Advanced Planning and Optimization replace existing old modules with similar functionality in ECC (such as Warehouse Management, Logistics Execution & Transformation, and Supplier Network Collaboration) and be seamlessly integrated into the core either running  directly on top of the core or outside the core in a side by side model
  • Cloud applications such as Tracking and Tracing, Manufacturing Network Services and SuccessFactors will be connected into the core with Hana Cloud Integration (HCI)
  • New applications and extensions are developed using the SAP API Business Hub in HCP. Examples include Predictive Maintenance, Vehicle Insights, Asset Intelligence Network and SAP RealSpend.
  • End-to-end insights across all these applications and solutions will leverage SAP BusinessObjects Cloud


Hasso Plattner’s SAP S/4HANA keynote highlights

Plattner’s keynote was packed with SAP S/4HANA information that I would do injustice to if I try to cram into one blog but here are some of my personal favorite:

SAP S/4HANA doesn’t require an expensive “appliance”

Plattner revealed that the word “HANA Appliance” was a term that he invented to specify hardware that had more flash and cores per CPU. Over time that turned into a bureaucracy which some hardware vendors took advantage of to jack up prices of SAP HANA hardware. He reiterated that SAP S/4HANA can run on standard X86 architecture.

SAP Simplifies the SAP S/4HANA Migration Journey

During the keynote, Plattner showcased the end-to-end migration of an SAP S/4HANA system in which four tools were used to automate the entire migration:

  1. Maintenance Planner: a tool in use by SAP admin teams but now with the added capability to plan for new SAP S/4HANA deployments producing a conversion blueprint to identify all components required to make up your SAP S/4HANA system
  2. SAP S/4HANA Pre-transition Check tool: this tool looks into business configuration at the application component level to ensure that your application capabilities are available in SAP S/4HANA
  3. SAP S/4HANA Check Readiness tool: a tool that analysis customer’s custom code and identifies which custom objects are currently being used, which objects can be retired and which objects might be impacted by the S/4 migration at which case the tool also presents SAP documentation notes to help with remediation
  4. Software Update Manager: also known as “SUM” which is the tool used to do the final technical conversion to the new SAP S/4HANA environment

SAP S/4HANA Sizing and Conversion Estimates

As always Plattner’s keynote was sprinkled with interesting and useful quantitative estimates that can help customers on their journey to SAP S/4HANA:

Average SAP S/4HANA conversion times

  • 6 month total project time
  • 1 week technical conversion
  • Over the weekend downtime (a near zero downtime option is also available)


SAP S/4HANA hardware sizing

  • 48% of ERP installations are estimated to fit into a 2 socket system with 128 to 256GB of RAM
  • 38% of ERP installations are estimated to fit into a 4 to 8 socket system with between 512GB to 1TB of RAM
  • 14% of ERP Installations might require larger systems of between 4 to 32 Sockets and 2TB to 48TB of RAM


SAP S/4HANA data footprint

  • Up to 12x data reduction can be achieved with SAP S/4HANA. Furthermore with Data Aging techniques only the actual data need to be kept in memory and remaining data can be moved to external storage .

Response time

  • 0.7 seconds average response time in SAP S/4HANA Finance based on SAP’s internal live deployment

Custom code

  • On average up to two thirds of custom code can be dropped on the move to SAP S/4HANA as some of the code functionality has either been replaced over time with other SAP functionality or is no longer needed today

…And More

These keynotes were just the tip of the iceberg at the event. There were 30+ SAP S/4HANA presentations and customer sessions this year at SAPPHIRE NOW. You can also download a free SAP S/4HANA special report to learn more about the expanded scope of the SAP S/4HANA 1511 release here.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.