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SAP ECC vs. HANA vs. S/4HANA: Understanding Your Options

As a leader in SAP managed services, we receive many questions around the differences between SAP’s core offerings, and which would best suit an organization.

For those with a non-technical SAP background, here’s what you need to know about SAP ECC, HANA, S/4HANA and Business Suite.

What is SAP Business Suite?

The SAP Business Suite consists of a bundle of modular applications designed to perform essential end-to-end business processes across all industries.

The SAP Business Suite supports a broad range of processes for finance, human resources, manufacturing, procurement, product development, marketing, sales, service, supply chain management, and IT management.

What is SAP ECC?

SAP ECC (also known as SAP ERP) is SAP’s legacy suite of enterprise applications. ECC was designed to run on a third-party database. It started as a Financial software package called RF in 1973, followed by a Material Management module called RM/1. As SAP added additional components, the package was renamed to R/1.

In 1979, R/2 was released, integrating multiple enterprise functions such as accounting, manufacturing processes, supply chain logistics, and HR.

R/3 was released in 1992. It was their first client/server package (which did not require mainframes) and supported a wide variety of operating systems and databases.

In 2004, SAP renamed its core ERP product to SAP ERP Central Component (ECC). SAP ERP and ECC are now used interchangeably.

What is SAP HANA?

Released in 2010, SAP HANA is an in-memory database designed to dramatically accelerate SAP applications and the business processes they support. It is the go-forward foundation for running SAP Business Suite.

HANA design innovations such as in-memory computing and a simplified data structure markedly improve performance, leading to higher productivity, real-time visibility, and better use of analytics. For example, companies can react to market conditions based on up-to-the-minute data, rather than relying on the last quarterly reports.

What is SAP Business Suite on HANA?

When you move SAP Business Suite from a third-party legacy database to HANA, you’re running SAP Business Suite on HANA. Moving to Business Suite on HANA is the first step in an S/4HANA migration. Customers also have the option of moving to Suite on HANA and then upgrading to S/4HANA later. Dividing S/4HANA migration into two separate projects enables companies to generate quick ROI, while minimizing disruption and risk.

What is S/4HANA?

SAP rebuilt their ERP solution, SAP ECC, from the ground up to take advantage of HANA’s performance and innovative data models. S/4HANA, launched in 2015, provides an award-winning UX called SAP Fiori, along with a host of application and use case-specific benefits.

The most important difference between S/4HANA and ECC is the database they use. While ECC runs on third-party database systems such as Oracle, S/4HANA relies on the SAP in-memory database.

On the technical end, S/4HANA also resolves common issues with traditional ERP systems, such as batch latency, manually driven processes, and data sprawl. That means lower IT costs, better stability, and less disruption from future SAP upgrades.

What is the Right SAP HANA Migration Path for My Business?

SAP transformations can be complex, and companies should compare the benefits, and impact on their business, of a migration to Cloud, HANA or the complete transformation to SAP S/4HANA.

Selecting a managed services provider with experience in SAP, multiple cloud vendors, as well as all areas of an SAP transformation could save you and your resources hundreds of hours of planning and development, as well as could minimize the cost, and disruption, to your business.

Protera has been an industry leader in SAP migration services and consulting services since 1998.

Learn how Protera can simplify, accelerate and optimize your business’ SAP transformation decision, process, and future state of your SAP with Protera FlexBridge.



By |2020-06-12T06:12:57-05:00June 4th, 2020|Categories: Cloud Migrations|

About the Author:

Avatar for Binoy James
With over 25 years of experience in SAP ecosystem, Binoy James is the Vice President of Application Delivery at Protera Technologies. In his current role, Binoy manages a global team that provides SAP managed and professional services for the over 100 SAP customers for Protera. Binoy comes to us from CenturyLink where he was the Product Owner for the SAP Portfolio, and prior to that was involved in Delivery leadership at both CIBER and SAP.