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Daily rates and S/4 budgets

For our central site, I have a final S/4 roadmap and budget. During the presentation and naming of the total sum, my CFO remained surprisingly calm. His question unsettled me: What will we get for it?
May 6, 2022
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

It is the old discussion in the SAP community in connection with the topic of technical release upgrades. Rise with SAP is currently a marketing promise and a rudimentary blueprint for the path to cloud computing. I have seen good presentations on process mining and almost everyone in our company talks about digital transformation - but day-to-day business looks different.

A CFO never voluntarily releases budget funds. In my case, however, I was told for the upcoming IT budget that it could be a little more if the value was right. This is where I get to thinking: Where do I find the added value of Hana and S/4? How can I guarantee a contemporary platform with this release change?

The challenge before me is to find a suitable price-performance ratio for the S/4 conversion. On the one hand, I could hire enough consultants at high daily rates to complete my release change by 2027; on the other hand, I already know that these enormous costs do not justify the result. My company would then have a comprehensive S/4 with an excellent database platform in 2027, but at a price that cannot be justified by anything.

Unfortunately, SAP doesn't see this challenge because, even after 50 years, SAP still hasn't learned to think holistically. I didn't voluntarily get involved with business administration at the beginning of my CIO career, and I won't forget the many evenings I spent sitting in the canteen with our CFO. But an SAP system is only perceived as a success if there is a balance between business administration, organization, technology and software licenses.

Customizing a technology that is no longer up to date with high daily rates seems inadvisable to me. Because I don't yet know what will happen after Hana and S/4, I'm not very willing to spend large sums on the S/4 release. To put it simply, asking my CFO for millions for a time horizon until 2027/2030 seems irresponsible to me.

This S/4 conversion has too little added value and should therefore be much cheaper to obtain as a full-cost calculation. With lower daily rates and SAP licenses, the risk would also be much lower and the board's question of what it gets in return would also be easier to answer. However, the SAP community is not a favorite playground for computer scientists. It's difficult to find developers and consultants who fit into my budget plan.

My current S/4 roadmap is therefore a wait and see approach: We are currently making the necessary preparations for a database version change and are theoretically looking at S/4 in numerous proofs of concepts. We can hold this indecision for another 18 months, then we have to make a decision or SAP will give us an answer as to how things look beyond S/4.

SAP has not yet given any other answer either, and so I also want to contribute a little to ending the war in Ukraine and invite you to think about it. In an interview on Spiegel Online, the young Mychajlo Fedorow (31), Ukrainian Minister for Digital Transformation and Deputy Prime Minister, was asked the question: "So far, you have asked the German company SAP to stop doing business with Russia, to no avail. Can German companies do more to help Ukraine?"

Mychajlo Fedorow answered the Spiegel reporters Monika Bolliger and Christoph Scheuermann: "German companies can leave the Russian market and especially cancel contracts with the government and state-owned entities. SAP in particular can do more. They are the backbone of state-owned enterprises and banks, they make profit in Russia and pay taxes that finance the war. Ukrainians have done nothing to deserve this war. This war has divided the world into black and white. Therefore, it is time for global companies to show their colors and support us. We would also appreciate financial and other support, such as for our cyber capacity."


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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.