SAP S4HANA Review

Scalable and stable with good cost optimization shipped on cloud solutions


What is our primary use case?

With our customers, we are currently administering their solution over SAP HANA and with different infrastructures such as cloud computing, AWS, Azure, GCP, and others that are also on-premise.

We have customers with new implementations and we offer this product to them. We handle the technical installation, then the high availability solution, the disaster recovery, et cetera. We are doing the administration of all the landscapes and a sub-basic administration. 

In all the other cases we have, the customers are immigrating their solution from SAP HEC. That is the other server for SAP. We bring it to the cloud with public clouds like AWS. Those cases are the most common.

What is most valuable?

The cost optimization that is shipped with cloud solutions is the primary benefit of the product. 

The integral services that we can administer to our customers are excellent. They are paying for an all-inclusive version of the service. We manage all the features of the operating system - such as ACE's, SAP systems, networks, security on the cloud, et cetera. We can administer everything that is associated with the landscape.

We're well trained on the solution and therefore find the implementation process straightforward.

The solution is quite stable and offers good patches for when issues arise.

The scalability is excellent, especially on cloud deployment models.

What needs improvement?

From our point of view, we are just a technology consultant. We look at the interfaces in terms of the functional modules we have. It's hard to really see what would be missing in terms of a feature. 

For clients, the most painful part of the solution is the implementation guides of the business or process applications. Okay. The business scenario, the graphic user interface, shown on the system can be a challenge. 

Maybe the commercial model for some other products developed for HANA could be adjusted to make it less complex and more affordable. The commercial laws that SAP has it's very complex. The customer has to acquire a very high license on the product and then they have to buy infrastructure on top of that.

Technical support has been declining. They aren't as responsive as they used to be.

The product could use some other integrations with leaders of the products with public clouds - especially if they are doing with another staff like ILP or on other applications. There could be more legal applications that could be integrated more easily with SAP than they're doing. Right now, we have to develop all the integrations. It would be so much better if this was already done. 

SAP often launches new solutions without first providing the proper documentation. We end up figuring it out, however, it would be nice to have that documentation up front.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have approximately 15 years of experience on the books with this solution. We've used it since SAP was not HANA. It's now been with HANA, since 2014, if I recall correctly. Therefore, that may be about seven years of experience. Obviously, we've worked with the product over the last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. It's, it's a very, very stable version. SAP is often releasing new patches. If we are having some issues, such as some problems with transactions or maybe some features may not work properly, we reach out to enterprise support and often just get a patch. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The level of scalability you can achieve depends on the infrastructure that you have installed. In the cloud, in product public sites, it's easier to scale. We can scale both up and out and it's very simple to accomplish. 

Typically, we deal with medium businesses. Some others are large at approximately 5,000 users. Most are between 400 and 800 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support used to be better. They seem to be less proactive than they were before. Previously they were very responsive and helpful. It's lagged a bit. We're disappointed their rapid response has declined. We're no longer satisfied with the level of service provided.

How was the initial setup?

For us, the entire process is traditionally straightforward. It's not too complex. We manage it like the other systems in the past and obviously take into consideration any new technology within SAP HANA. However, in terms of setting it up, it's not a problem.

With a big cloud infrastructure, we can set up a system in less than a month. It may take between two to three months to take over the system and put it onto the cloud or on our hardware projects. On-premise it may be longer - sometimes around four months.

How many people you need for deployment and maintenance depends on the number of systems. However, with a team of four to five people we managed to do all the projects. 

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation process for our clients.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

While our clients may first evaluate other solutions, that's not something that we typically do.

What other advice do I have?

We are experts in the technical implementation of the product.

We work with a variety of versions, and, of course, with eh latest 2020 updates. We deal with both cloud and on-premises deployment models.

I'd advise potential new users to really think about their infrastructure and the features they would like. Everything should be looked at and discussed in advance, from security concerns to functional modules. The more you understand what you need, the more likely you will get a solution that you want - and that does what you need it to.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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