The S/4HANA Cloud pitch
By now, most of us have heard SAP’s bullet points in their S/4HANA Cloud pitch: “It provides best-in-class ERP functionality by harnessing the power of S/4HANA.” Its real attraction, however, lies in two universal questions when it comes to making a business purchase: Will it lower my spend and will it drive innovation to my company? In the case of S/4HANA Cloud, both of these questions are answered by an undeniable, “Yes.”
Let’s begin with overall spend because that’s where most business decisions begin. With S/4HANA Cloud, the importance of eliminating the need for software ownership cannot be overstated. S/4HANA Cloud not only reduces your total cost of ownership but also allows you to simplify your overall IT footprint. It’s obvious that once you move to a cloud based ERP you remove all the hardware. However, what might not be immediately clear is that anytime you buy or build software, you’re incurring the technical debt the day it’s released.
This technical debt comes in the form of having to update the infrastructure it’s built on, updating the database, and maintaining the application over time as your business changes. Most (if not all) of those costs go away when you move to a cloud based solution. Using a solution such as S/4HANA Cloud also means that you no longer have to run and maintain a data center, deal with disaster recovery, high availability, nightly backups etc. It’s difficult to put a price on that level of peace of mind.
Perhaps more important than the lowered cost of ownership is the driven innovation provided by SAP itself. Whereas, S/4HANA customers will be given updates on an annual basis, those customers on S/4HANA Cloud will receive such innovations on a quarterly basis. These solutions come courtesy of 2000+ SAP developers that are based not only on decades of SAP best practices but also through the utilization of “Co-Innovation.”
Technologically staying ahead of the curve cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. It’s an organic process in which dialogue needs to be shared between developer and customer so that the latter’s issues are addressed and the developer is made aware of his/her task at hand.
In discussing Cloud Co-Innovation, VP of SAP S/4HANA Product Management, Bert Schulze noted,
“Co-Innovation translates customer and partner demand into product capabilities. We can only deliver functionality in the right way if we engage with customers and partners on a frequent basis and understand their demand and, also more importantly, understand the business acumen behind the demand.”
In addition to the comprehensive documentation, all the quarterly updates are available via YouTube videos that cover the highlights with, “The S/4HANA Cloud Update Plan.”
By lowering TCO and providing a cadence of updates based on Co-Innovation and best practices, SAP’s S/4HANA Cloud now offers companies a cost effective option that enables them to not only stay competitive through digital transformation but also to thrive with it.