Business Case for SAP S/4HANA

What You Need to Know

  • SAP’s S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendations (BSR) report targets on-premise customers, typically those on ECC 6.0, considering a move to latest version of SAP’s suite
  • Companies can use BSR report findings as part of internal business case for S/4HANA or for further conversations with SAP and implementation partners
  • Based on individual company’s uploaded SAP data usage, each complimentary report is created by SAP personnel, and is back to customer within five business days of receiving production information

Kick Start an S/4HANA Conversation or Continue the Discussion

For customers and SAP, the ability to create a compelling business case for HANA adoption has frequently proved difficult. General talk of improvements in streamlining and speeding up business processes only go so far. Many customers also need data that is specific to their own individual operations. That’s where the S/4HANA Business Scenario Recommendations (BSR) report may prove helpful.

“We see it as a tool that could be of significant value to customers,” says Carolyn Coad, global product marketing director for SAP S/4HANA. Since the tool became available, she estimates that SAP has delivered “hundreds” of S/4HANA BSR reports to customers so far. The BSR tool is aimed primarily at customers on ECC 6.0 and other SAP ERP releases. Coad says it may also prove helpful to customers currently running Suite on HANA or BW on HANA.

Requirements Gathering for Customers

Customers can register for a complimentary BSR report on the S/4HANA website ( by filling out a brief form and providing their latest SAP production system data and a month’s transaction workload. Companies such as manufacturers and retailers with significant seasonal or other fluctuations in system usage are welcome to provide data for longer time periods—typically, a three-month period, according to Coad.

The request for a BSR report can also be made on a customer’s behalf by their SAP account rep or by their SAP partner. As Coad points out, more than 60 percent of S/4HANA projects are actually being run by SAP partners. Once SAP receives the customer data, it gets to work on the report, using a mix of automation and human review to create recommendations personalized to the customer’s current SAP line of business system, Coad says.

The BSR report highlights where across internal functions—finance, HR, procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing, services and enterprise asset management—a customer may be able to streamline business process performance by moving to HANA, the Fiori user interface and S/4HANA. The report also includes an overview of S/4HANA and suggestions on next steps and implementation advice for a company to take after digesting the findings.

We’ve Got the Report, Now What?

SAP sees the S/4HANA BSR as “not just a report but part of a conversation with the customer,” Coad stresses. “A customer can discuss with their SAP account rep or the SAP Services team how adopting S/4HANA impacts their strategy and how it aligns with their digital transformation strategy.”

How are companies who’ve gone through the process using the report’s findings?

According to Coad, they’re using the results in different ways. For some companies, the findings are useful additions to ongoing internal conversations about identifying real value for their organisation and stakeholders, particularly line of business stakeholders. For others, the findings are useful to validate and move their S/4HANA decision forward by answering specific questions they had.

For SAP and its partners, the report is a useful tool to start conversations about lines of business where a customer is not currently using SAP or lines of business that customer may be about to enter. For instance, it can be helpful for a product-based company looking to add a services operation or a manufacturer debating offering a direct-to-consumers e-commerce business.

The Future of the BSR Report

SAP has offered HANA BSR tools in the past, notably a BSR report for SAP Suite on HANA. The S/4HANA BSR is an enhancement of that report. The vendor also provides a Cloud Applications BSR. Plans are underway to align the two BSR tools, Coad says, so customers can compare on-premise and cloud business application options.

“We will continue to grow and evolve this S/4HANA resource,” Coad says. “It’s aligned on GA dates of any announcement made for S/4HANA.”

Peer benchmarking is an interesting area that SAP may look to include in the tool in the future, Coad says. So a company might be able to gain some insight into how it's suggested S/4HANA benefits might stack up against organisations similar in scope to itself which have already deployed the software.

Neil How
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Neil How

Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 21 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.

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