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The S/4 hope

Only recently, SAP responded to the request of many companies to extend the end of maintenance for the current software version Business Suite 7 until 2027, or even until 2030 for an additional charge. Many SAP customers should therefore breathe a sigh of relief.
E-3 Magazine
June 17, 2020
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Existing customers are now being given more time to migrate to the new ERP version S/4. This delay is also urgently needed, as many companies are lagging behind with their digital transformation and often have other priorities than converting their ERP world.

On the other hand, many companies still lack a concrete strategy for migrating to the S/4 world. Another problem to which SAP has responded with its announcement is the lack of skilled workers for the ERP conversion.

The market research and consulting company Lünendonk und Hossenfelder published these and other results in the study "Into the digital future with S/4 Hana".

CIOs, IT managers and CTOs from 153 large companies and groups from various sectors in the DACH region were surveyed. It is available free of charge at

For many existing customers, the migration to S/4 may seem like a necessary evil due to the discontinuation of maintenance for version ERP/ECC 6.0 (Suite 7). However, the switch also offers companies the opportunity to subject their IT and business processes to an urgently needed modernization.

In the study, Lünendonk therefore determined what business and technological potential companies are hoping for. 63% of participants would like to see a significant reduction in maintenance and servicing costs for the ERP landscape - a wish that also exists at SAP: After all, there are hundreds of system configurations under Suite 7 with AnyDB and NetWeaver to which SAP Support has to respond.

Skills & competencies required for a successful transition to S/4 Hana.
Question: What skills/competencies does your company need in the context of the changeover to the current ERP version S/4 Hana?
Scale from 1 "not at all" to 4 "very strongly". Lünendonk® Study 2019: S/4 Hana Transformation; March 2020.

However, it is noticeable among existing customers that companies do not necessarily expect lower IT operating costs as a result of the reduction in maintenance and servicing costs.

"The result suggests that there is some uncertainty about the new license costs and the costs of indirect use of S/4"

explains Mario Zillmann, Partner at Lünendonk and Hossenfelder and author of the study.

In addition, topics such as process automation and the standardization of databases are an added value that S/4 should offer from the perspective of the study participants.

On the business side, users hope that the new ERP version will meet the requirements of digitalization and market players. This also includes adapting business processes to the requirements of digitalization. 40 percent of study participants place a very large focus on this aspect.

"The application scenarios and opportunities for optimizing business through S/4 and Hana are diverse, whether through more e-commerce activities, the expansion of multi-channel customer communication, the digitalization and automation of the process landscape or the development of new data-based business models"

summarizes Tobias Ganowski, Junior Consultant at Lünendonk and Hossenfelder.

As the market researchers also determined, companies are primarily looking for specialists with business process know-how as well as ERP and IT expertise as part of their ERP conversion plans.

"These skills are required significantly more frequently by the companies surveyed that are not only migrating technically (brownfield) but also introducing new business processes (greenfield) than by the other companies"

explains Mario Zillmann. Business and IT architects are also in high demand.

E-3 Magazine

Information and educational outreach by and for the SAP community.

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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.