Is the public edition of SAP S/4HANA cloud the right fit for you?


In its current ERP software offerings, SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides two main options, the private and the public edition. Naturally, customers may be wondering which is the best fit for their organisation. Leave it to Expertum to unlock the mystery in our new set of deep-dive blogs on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

Different approach

On the one hand side, the SAP S/4HANA private edition is a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) offering in which customers work with a more traditional ERP system that is deployed through the cloud hyperscaler of their choice. However, in recent years, even more companies are looking towards standardizing their core ERP processes and using commoditized ERP processes rather than reinventing the wheel repeatedly. To avoid having to start from scratch time and time again, SAP prepared and delivered the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. The visual below clearly indicates the different set-up of both editions.

Cloud introduction 1

Source: SAP

Assuming you are intrigued by the ready-to-run package, our brandnew blog series will take a deep dive into all that the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is about. Expect answers to questions on the functional scope of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition, its scope limits, the available adaptability and options to ensure flexibility in case strategic gaps need to be covered. But before anything else, let’s start at the very beginning.

When to go public

The first and foremost question on anyone’s mind would be when to go public. At what point does the ready-to-run public edition outweigh the made-to-measure private edition? When a company starts analysing its processes, the initial push more often than not comes from the top. Rightly so, more and more company executives are asking why they should invest time, money and efforts into creating an unique set of processes that - in the end – does not prove very different from other companies. They would by far prefer to spend efforts on becoming a best-in-class organisation by running proven best practices processes. That in turn would allow them to free up resources and invest in matters that make them stand out from the competition.

In such cases and in the following circumstances, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is definitely worth considering:

  • If you are about to start a greenfield ERP implementation and want to do so in the cloud.
  • If you are not ready to move your legacy into a cloud ERP just yet but you do need a fast and efficient solution to scale up in the light of an acquisition, joint venture or new business model.
  • If your legacy ERP has morphed into a complex and rigid custom solution and you want to enable the required mind shift to implement a new solution in a fit-to-standard mindset.

No limits on availability

A frequent misconception about the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition may be that its ready-to-use concept limits its scope. Let us immediately assure you that in our experience the available scope is huge. No less than 800 best-practice scenarios can be activated in the public edition, by far the most complete offering for any SAAS ERP available in the market! The visual below provides an overview of the standard and add-on scope items in different areas such as procurement, manufacturing, sales, finance etc. In our next posts, we will dig deeper into those functional areas and their possibilities.

Cloud introduction 2

Source: SAP

Fully adjustable and programmable

Another misunderstanding may be that the public edition does not allow for making any adjustments. But seen that most of the customizing capabilities from the private cloud and on-premise editions are also available in the cloud, this perception is wrong. Configuration typically happens via Central Business Configuration (CBC) which is an integral part of the solution landscape in the S/4HANA Cloud, public edition context.

Cloud introduction 3
Cloud introduction 4

Another worry may be that in a public cloud environment, you cannot program and thus risk getting stuck at some point during the implementation process. In the early days that would have been correct indeed but the issue has been resolved in the meantime. In this respect, Expertum highlights different extensibility concepts in SAP S/4HANA.

Two of them have already been integrated in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition:

  • Key user extensibility, in which users with limited technical knowledge can perform layout adaptations, create own analytics reports, define own business objects and add their own business logic with 800+ available cloud business add-in’s.
  • Developer extensibility, offering the possibility to write own applications which are compliant with the regular upgrades.

And should those extension options not take you far enough, then the Business Technology Platform (BTP) seamlessly integrates with the SAP S/4HANA cloud to deliver side-by-side extensibility. The following visual illustrates the way in which any eventual alternative company requirement can be integrated into the public edition.

Cloud introduction 5

Source: SAP

Our conclusion: the best of both worlds

Expertum assesses that since the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition’s launch, it has evolved into a fully-fledged SAAS software that delivers solid end-to-end business processes. Its offering combines the industry’s consistent best practices with the flexibility to configure and adapt it to your specific needs. Its architecture guarantees that your processes are implemented in a standard way, reflecting all the industry’s best practices that SAP has built over the last decades. So yes, we believe the public edition is a definite ‘go’.

PS. This blog is the first in a series focusing on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and will go on to dig deeper into the following five functional domains: procurement, sales, warehousing & transport, operations (production & maintenance), and finance & controlling. Stay tuned!

Intrigued? Feel free to contact our SAP experts and find out if your company is ready to start or switch to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition!

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