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Navigate better through the SAP multiverse

Two fundamental changes will occupy SAP users in the next few years: a) Migrating from existing applications to S/4HANA and from existing databases to HANA by 2027 at the latest, b) The introduction of non-ABAP SAP cloud products (e.g. SuccessFactors, etc.).
USU Software AG
September 19, 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

The solution here is usually an integrated, hybrid multi-cloud platform on any infrastructure.

In concrete terms, this means that SAP business applications are being containerized, the SAP ecosystem is modernizing towards cloud architectures, and a hybrid multiverse may be the means of choice for many SAP users in the coming years. It is the mix of on-premise, private and public cloud services, for both SAP and non-SAP workloads, that we call multiverse here. Because just like the heroes of DC and Marvel in their respective universes, it's easy to lose track of the big picture here.

In addition to S/4HANA, you will be able to obtain further SAP applications in the future both as SaaS and in containerized form for on-premise deployment. Products such as SAP Data Intelligence (aka SAP Data Hub) are making a start here. All of these developments inevitably increase complexity, which can only be managed with the right tool set to maintain an overview or to gain one in the first place. 

The topic of "SAP licenses" is constantly changing. Whether this represents a risk or an opportunity depends on how well you know your existing SAP landscape and how well you are able to navigate through the sometimes confusing options and offerings. 

Probably the hottest topic at the moment involves the question of whether a switch to "RISE with SAP" is a viable (but actually not very cost-effective) alternative to the existing "on-premise situation". 

The cost focus is primarily on infrastructure costs and the variable licensing model via "FUEs" (Full Use Equivalents) - so once again it's a lot of money, your money!

From a meta-level, the overall package seems very tempting, because it suggests a simple, worry-free world in the future, with transparent and plannable costs at a significantly lower cost, since you no longer have to worry about the infrastructure. But can you rely on this statement from SAP? Where do hidden costs lurk? It's not even just about the offer and what's included in it in detail, it's more important what might NOT be included and where even small differences between your needs and the offer package can make a big difference in your total cost of ownership. 

The various offerings around the switch to S/4HANA also require precise preparation and analysis: Regardless of an initial implementation or ERP switch, SAP now offers either "GROW with SAP" or "RISE with SAP" to take your business to the next level.

Grow with SAP??!? What is that now? With all the fast-paced changes, it's hard to stay up to date, so here's a quick overview:

"GROW with SAP" in a nutshell:

With "GROW with SAP", medium-sized companies have the opportunity to introduce a cloud-based ERP relatively quickly. In addition to ERP software, the package also includes helpful services for a cloud implementation.

- For new customers in the SME sector,
who do not yet have an ERP or want to switch to SAP

- Contains a high percentage of

- "Out of the box" ERP system 

- The technical basis for
developments is the SAP Business Technology Platform.

"RISE with SAP" in a nutshell:

A package of various tools & services for a fast and efficient S/4HANA cloud implementation. The central elements of the subscription offer are:

-For existing customers who already have
Use an SAP solution and want to lift your ERP system to the cloud with SAP S/4HANA

- Includes a high degree of customization

Operating models at a glance:

The classic operating model

Here, the company acquires a software license and operates the system on its own hardware. This enables a high degree of individualization and control over your data, responsibility for data security, and the ability to plan and control maintenance dates yourself. However, the company also bears responsibility for the availability and security of the system and must maintain the corresponding technical resources.


- Full control over hardware, installation and customizations

- High customization possibilities

- Flexibility in integration and connection to other software

- Data sovereignty


- Effort for operation

- Maintenance and administration lie with the company

- Potentially higher costs for resources

Cloud (Public Cloud):

Flexibility through standardization

The software is rented on a temporary basis and your organization accesses it via the Internet. The hardware and infrastructure are located at SAP, and the functional scope is significantly smaller. Since the maintenance is done by SAP, the company incurs fewer costs and the cost transparency seems higher. Individualization options are limited, and the company must rely on the service provider for data security.


- No own hardware required

- Operation, maintenance and administration are carried out by SAP

- Cost transparency and no
necessary resources for maintenance and administration


- Lower range of functions compared to the on-premise solution

- Limited individualization options

- More expensive FUEs compared to the private cloud

- Company must be able to rely on service providers for data security

Hybrid scenarios (Private Option):

The bridge between on-premise and cloud

Hybrid scenarios offer a combination of on-premise and cloud solutions. The hardware and infrastructure are provided by SAP or selected service partners, while the company decides individually which applications it wants to have hosted and which it wants to operate itself. This flexibility enables a variety of combinations tailored to the company's specific needs.

With the private cloud, the company operates its own system on SAP hardware and does not have to share resources with other customers. This offers extended individualization options and corresponds to the on-premise version in terms of the range of functions.


- Hardware and infrastructure are provided by SAP or service partners

- Combination of hosted and self-hosted applications possible

- Extension and individualization options between public cloud and on-premise


- Potentially higher costs compared to the public cloud

- More complex decisions and planning in the selection of applications

Which model is right for your business?

When deciding which is the appropriate SAP S/4HANA operating model, organizations should carefully consider their individual requirements and options. 

First of all, you have to get transparency about the (possible) costs. A company that prefers complete control over its ERP software and requires extensive customization might prefer the on-premise model.

Conversely, companies that want to focus on their core business might consider the cloud or hybrid scenarios.

Ultimately, the decision depends on the organization's specific costs, needs, and goals. However, with its various operating models, SAP S/4HANA offers solutions that help your company align your business processes with the requirements of the digital age.

USU Software AG

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.