SAP S/4HANA is positioned as the new digital core and a direct evolution from SAP ECC for existing ECC customers. SAP is now offering attractive discounts to nudge this adoption forward. But, it is not a direct replacement for SAP ERP with respect to the functionalities and capabilities.
Introduction of a new database
SThe introduction of the new in-memory database platform SAP HANA means faster analytics and removal of unnecessary tables. The architectural changes have enabled new ways of working with data. In financial, SAP has changed the physical data architecture so that it can unify the previously separate accounting ledgers into a single physical table called the universal journal. And it allows super profitability analysis. Other functional capabilities such as logistics have also enhanced this way.
Functional Scope Changes
1. Elimination of duplicate functionality
SAP ECC has two general ledgers (GL) architectures. But, SAP S/4HANA uses the new General Ledger Accounting architecture implemented automatically as part of the S/4HANA migration. SAP S/4HANA also has Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) functionality embedded into the core-system instead of having a separate SAP SCM system as in SAP ECC.
2. Some Functionality in ECC has no direct replacement in S/4HANA
SAP has stated that the functionalities in SAP ECC will be probable cases in the SAP S/4HANA road-map. But, this means that the enterprises migrating to S/4HANA will have processes which are obsolete.
3. Replacement of ECC and on-premise functionality with SAP cloud LoB solutions
For Examples: Replacement of human capital management with SAP SuccessFactors and supplier relationship management with Ariba.
4. Incorporation of stand-alone solutions in S/4HANA core
SAP Transportation Management and SAP Extended Warehouse management are two standalone solutions which S/4HANA has brought into its core.
5. New functional capabilities
SAP is releasing some new functional capabilities which are designed to work with S/4HANA and in-memory computing. Examples include Central Finance, SAP Cash Management, and SAP BPC Optimized for S/4HANA. But these require additional licenses.