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Pioneers of SAP S/4HANA

The Driving Force Behind Innovation

by Mario Günter | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 4

October 9, 2015

In a digital world, businesses must leverage flexible, next-generation solutions to stay ahead of their competition. With SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA), pioneering companies can lead the way in reaping benefits such as standard user interfaces, reduced complexity, and simplified data models. Hear from DSAG on capitalizing on these trends and aligning customer needs with SAP’s future plans.


The business world is quickly becoming consumed by digitalization, and companies should find a strategy to innovate immediately. Fortunately, many large enterprise software providers are attempting to ease the transition into the digital marketplace with next-generation solutions.

SAP recently released SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA), which is intended to solve the static characteristics of traditional ERP systems by making real-time data available across the enterprise. This type of innovation was also the focus of this year’s DSAG Annual Conference in Bremen, Germany. At the event, we took a close look at how SAP S/4HANA is being accepted and helping companies innovate.

Capitalizing on Today’s Trends

In the age of Industry 4.0, big data, and cloud computing, investing in SAP S/4HANA is a straightforward way to take advantage of these trends and open up a range of new opportunities. For SAP S/4HANA to be accepted as the next-generation ERP landscape, however, a variety of successful business scenarios and use cases need to be presented. The first companies — the “pioneers” — that embark on these early projects will help answer the questions surrounding the platform.

Flexible solutions — ones that work equally well in on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments — are required to facilitate new business models.

For example, a simple data model and an easy-to-use interface don’t necessarily justify a business case. Functionality is key, and companies need to see that SAP S/4HANA’s functionality is in line with their business requirements. This will make it easier for businesses to decide whether a digitalization strategy is the right choice in the coming months or years.

Of course, not all companies are prepared to be pioneers. It is important that SAP leaves the choice to the customers as to whether they want to develop established business processes further or focus on innovative solutions such as SAP S/4HANA.

And while IT systems generally allow a lot of room for growth, flexible solutions — ones that work equally well in on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments — are required to facilitate new business models.

Aligning Customer Needs with SAP Innovation

Discussions between DSAG and SAP in recent years have helped propel today’s innovative projects, and the outcomes of these discussions are now being reflected in the design of SAP S/4HANA. For example, the standardization of user interfaces, improvement of the user experience, reduction in complexity, and simplification of data models to enable more straightforward solutions were all key discussion points. Even the crucial interplay between cloud and hybrid solutions — a major component of SAP S/4HANA — was on the agenda.

At this year’s DSAG Annual Conference, we explored SAP’s innovation strategy in greater depth, and focused on comparing and aligning customers’ existing and future needs with solutions from SAP.

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Dr. Mario Günter
Mario Günter

Managing Director

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