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SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition

With S/4HANA Cloud Edition, SAP has expanded it’s existing ERP software product line. It covers all relevant processes of a company and offers all functionalities of daily business as well as industry solutions. But for whom is the cloud-based ERP software suitable?

Critical success factors

In principle, a critical evaluation of this topic does not only mean naming the advantages but also analysing possible critical success factors. For example, companies may find it problematic to extend and adapt functionalities that deviate from the standard, as well as the requirement to comply with a standard business process model

Currently, more and more companies tend to accept the standard business process models, since experience has shown that a high degree of customization through isolated applications of a company leads to higher complexity and higher maintenance costs in the long run. Therefore, an assessment is necessary whether a company’s current non-standard processes are really critical for business success or whether they represent a competitive advantage. In this case, a strong company's management is required to enforce compliance and enforcement of a standardized Cloud ERP solution in terms of organization and business processes while minimizing deviations from the standard.

Time is also an important factor here, as it is needed to perform regression testing of new functions and changes during the fixed quarterly release updates. However, the effort can be significantly reduced by introducing test automation tools.

Our conclusion

The decision for or against SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition must always be thoroughly evaluated. AdEx Partners helps you analyse and decide which ERP solution is the best one for your company. We will examine both positive and critical factors of your business environment at a professional and objective assessment: If the scenario fits, SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a powerful and scalable ERP solution. In our experience, the following scenarios are very well suited for deployment of the solution

  1. Small to medium-sized companies that can adhere to the standard SAP business process model.
  2. Branches/subsidiaries/sales offices/spin-offs that do not need the complexity and the specifics of the complex ERP template of the parent company. 
  3. Companies that can adhere to standard processes as far as possible and are willing to develop their solution via the SAP Cloud Platform for business-critical functionalities that are not yet on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud roadmap.


We would be happy to give you an overview of the services we offer for the SAP S/4HANA portfolio to find a customized solution for your sustainable business success. In this way, we support you in all relevant steps of your project, show how to implement best practices, and set up individually tailored processes.

Ihr Ansprechpartner

Dr. Sven Pfeuffer ERP-Transformation, SAP S/4HANA (Cloud), Program- & Project Management

For whom the right choice?

Basically, companies want an ERP system with a low long-term total cost of ownership. At the same time, fast implementation cycles are desired to keep pace with a constantly changing market environment. Furthermore, they have recognized that intensive software or product adaptations – for example, deviations from the standard - lead to long project durations in the short and to significantly increased maintenance costs in the medium and long term. Therefore, it is now a practice for companies to use standardized best-practice business processes as far as possible. 

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition offers a fast payback time and low total cost of ownership: The solution enables accelerated setup and implementation, but it is also easier to configure and ensures a lower TCO compared to conventional ERP systems (approx. 30% lower). A further advantage: Since SAP S/4HANA runs as "Software as a Service" exclusively in the cloud, there is no need to invest in your own IT infrastructure or continuous maintenance of your hardware. Furthermore, S/4HANA cloud is fully scalable and expandable: from a few dozen to several thousand users and transactions, it can easily grow with the number of departments, locations, and users without affecting infrastructure or performance.

Quarterly updates ensure fast innovation cycles, so your business is always up to date. At the same time, you keep pace with regulatory changes and automatically gain access to a wide range of innovations (e.g. machine learning, analytics, automation, and more). Also, a hybrid ERP strategy offers high flexibility: for the parent company you can rely on the necessarily more complex SAP S/4HANA ERP template with all special functionalities, for small subsidiaries or company acquisitions you stay close to the standard and use the S/4HANA Cloud Edition directly. 

We consider the standardization and streamlining of processes in SAP S/4HANA Cloud as one of the decisive advantages. The restriction to adhere to corresponding processes "forces" companies to focus on best-practice business processes at the same time. This is because the cloud solution enables small companies, in particular, to integrate legal entities with harmonized key processes (e.g. finance, consolidation, reporting) into S/4HANA cloud without needing the complexity of an ERP template outside the standard.

Guiding questions that you should address for your company when planning your journey to S/4HANA Cloud are summarized in slide “Key Questions” in the top right corner.

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Your key questions before switching to the S/4HANA Cloud