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SAP S4HANA on AWS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP S4HANA on AWS is the #8 ranked solution in our list of top Infrastructure as a Service Clouds. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure: SAP S4HANA on AWS vs Microsoft Azure

What is SAP S4HANA on AWS?

SAP customers of all sizes can fully realize all the benefits of the SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition on the AWS Cloud. With SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition on the AWS Cloud you can:

  • Achieve faster time to value with the AWS on-demand infrastructure
  • Rapidly provision infrastructure for SAP S/4HANA with no upfront cost or long-term commitment
  • Pay for only what you need Don't spend upfront costs purchasing hardware for what you can't forecast
  • Test and evaluate SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition with a free trial offering from SAP on AWS

SAP S4HANA on AWS is also known as SAP S/4HANA on AWS.

SAP S4HANA on AWS Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP S4HANA on AWS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

SAP S4HANA on AWS Customers

Brigade Group, DoHome, Royal FloraHolland

SAP S4HANA on AWS Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP S4HANA on AWS pricing:
  • "The licensing of the product is reasonable but the cost of the hardware is exorbitant."

SAP S4HANA on AWS Reviews

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MangeshDixit
Director at Tru group
Real User
Top 20
Maturity may be a problem for this solution and the user base even though it is based on older, solid products

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is much better than most of the other products in this categaory as far as financial capabilities."
  • "The GUI is age-old, the pricing is too high for hardware and older customizations are not working consistently."

What is our primary use case?

The main interest of my customers is in service formulations and telephone centers right now. I think most of the things are very common. The application of customer assistance is a major thing as is registration automation. Apart from that, there are a lot of restrictions based on destinations. A lot of customers have to be removed from the cloud because of the basic restrictions and standards. This is because if you are going on to SAP S/4HANA on the cloud, you are not allowed to serve all the destinations because of restrictions.  

Being customers who have been using the product for some time, my clients have a lot of customizations. Now they have to follow some regulations and they need to either remove customizations or bring them current with the new product and the cloud environment.  

What is most valuable?

If you look at this product in comparison with other products in this category, it has more features than really almost any of my customers' needs. But it is specifically much better in financial ability in the way it controls costs and transactions. It is much better than most of the other products and they can not match it in these features or performance.  

What needs improvement?

One thing which is really killing a lot of people using this product is because they have been using it for twenty or twenty-five years and a lot of the customers' customizations are not working anymore.  

A second thing that is a problem for the product is the cost — particularly on the hardware side it is too high. If you have to procure your server for S/4HANA the cost is a problem. I mean hardware cost is killing a lot of people and the costs are complicating matters for those who want to stay with the product.  

For HANA the biggest issue which will need to change is the GUI interface. It is still the age-old GUI and this needs to be changed. All the other competitors are moving to a new phase in development of user experience and they are moving to new interfaces like AngularJS and other technologies that are new. Which things or trends become most popular still remains to be known. But the front-end needs a lot of thought.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I currently have two clients for whom I am doing work with this product off-and-on over a period of time.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In my experience, the product does not have any glitches or stability issues. But I do not think I am able to comment on that because I still hear feedback from people who are talking about providing solutions for issues they are having with the product. From what I hear from some people is that the product implementation still needs at least a couple of years to get real stability in the database. It is the response I am getting from the customers who have implemented it, but I have actually not actually seen it myself. It is not possible for me to say whether it is the product that has issues or if it is what the clients are doing with the product that creates the issues.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think it would be right for me to comment on that package regarding the scalability. I don't think it should be a problem, but as far as having the experience with the product to be sure, I am not at that point. It is too new and I am just helping clients who are implementing it right now.  

The maintenance of this product requires a different number of staff members depending on the deployment model. I think a customer will need to make their own decisions about this. Accountability on an outside service will be very different than in house. In house, you will be dealing with a team of three to five people. These will be some kind of functional experts who will be performing in different capacities. The size of the team will depend on what the company is planning on using and what they need to deploy and maintain. So for some clients, they may need a bare minimum of 4 to 5 people and then, in addition, they may need other support services.  

How are customer service and technical support?

If there is really ever an issue we probably need to contact support. If something is going wrong and we contact them, the response generally good. I do not have any problems with technical support.  

But the other thing I do know regarding the technical support is that they need more time to build their database for this version of the product. Right now the product is somewhat new and very few people are available who have a lot of experience with the product completely. The community is still pretty small.  

So it will take another one or two years to really compile expertise and a strong background in working with S/4HANA and finding those people who have that expertise is going to be difficult. The real problems that the user base will face might only be reported once every 5 days over a period of six months. It will take some time to build out the knowledge and for the user base to grow.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not really change to S/4HANA, I was working with it for some time in other versions of the product. Some clients felt like they had invested a lot in the product, so they moved up to the new product. In a sense, I had no choice but to switch to it.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really fairly simple. If you have a basic understanding of databases and SAP the setup is not something that is complicated. It is pretty simple. The deployment process takes about 20 days or a little more than two weeks because you need to reconfigure everything. There are other things that will take more time.  

The deployment of S/4HANA takes maybe two or three people. You will need one who is a DBA setting up the back-end database configuration and the one who is an application specialist. They will be doing all the configurations.  

What about the implementation team?

We are doing the implementation ourselves, absolutely. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing cost for the product is not so high, but the cost for the hardware you need for it on-premises is very high. I can not verify the degrees in comparison to other products, but I know that the hardware cost is too high because. There would not be much of a change to reduce it down so that the cost could more in line with competitors.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice I would give to someone who is looking into implementing this product is to wait for a year basically so the product will mature and stabilize. The company and the users will learn what the issues are that have been discovered by other people and then maybe it is OK to take on S/4HANA as a project. The project itself is going to take eight to nine months to get completely on HANA. If this part of your business is the backbone of your industry, you can not afford to make this kind of risk.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the product overall as between a five and a six. Closer to a five at this point. The problems are that the GUI should be updated and the time needed for real user issues that will come up, be identified, and be rectified. Probably after that, you will start seeing the results with the product moving in the market and raising awareness and popularity. It is more of a wait-and-watch as of now in my estimation.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SD
Senior Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helps to simplify your workload with automation

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is currently the leading product within this category."
  • "The product could use more capabilities in the areas of robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, but these improvements are already on the way."

What is our primary use case?

There could be many use cases for this product. The use cases will be different depending on the industry where it is employed. It could range from the manufacturing industry to the retail industry. The actual use case could be anything.  

The solution is deployed with two possible methods. One is the on-premises deployment (with AWS) and the second one is the cloud deployment. You follow the software development life cycle for deploying the solution. First, you do the project preparation followed by the solution design. This is followed by the actual realization of the design plan. In the final testing, you engage in three go-live activities. When this is successful, you follow it with an actual live deployment. With the go-live successful, there would be PGLS (Post Go-Live Support), which is nothing but the support aspect. So implementation typically follows the normal software deployment life cycle. The approach could be anything, like support could be a waterfall approach (project activities into linear sequential phases) or it could be a more aggressive approach.  

What is most valuable?

Because SAP is a part of ERP the features range from finance functions to manufacturing functions to quality control functions to procurement functions — anything you might need in development planning. So you can have tight integration between all the functions in which a manufacturing industry operates to develop market and distribute its products. The S/4HAHA platform provides insight into the processes which can become part of robotic process automation. S/4HANA as a platform is enabled for artificial intelligence and machine learning. So you can use it to help simplify your workload with automation.  

What needs improvement?

This is the latest offering by the SAP company. Of course, there are the pros and cons to on-premises deployment versus cloud deployment — especially as far as the infrastructure maintenance is concerned. There is not so much difference as far as activities are concerned. But having said that the cloud deployment is on AWS (Amazon Web Service). It is always the latest offering and the cloud is indeed today's emerging market.  

From what I understand, SAP is already at work focusing on improving the CE (Customer Experience) and the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as far as S/4HANA is concerned. They are working with having better robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, which can work with this ERP. So there are already new concepts on the way. They are making a lot of use of Python technology, and they are making heavy investments to make it much more user-friendly and customer-friendly. Automation is at the center of their development focus.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had an S/4HANA implementation for some time.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is fine. We have no issues with that.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For scalability, the skill set required is very specific. You need someone who has a functional and business knowledge along with technical knowledge. A candidate or the consultant who has experience in the difference between the data technological concerns and the business trends can easily go through the entire deployment very easily. Having industry experience is very much required for deployment and scaling.  

How are customer service and technical support?

As a consultancy, we provide some of the technical support for SAP. The support we provide is very much function specific. I am from a finance background. For finance-related support, I could be the key person in our company. For materials management, it would be someone else. Materials and quality management can be handled by a production management expert. One team member may be the marketing, distribution and logistics expert. Each subject matter expert will be deployed on the support of a particular ERP based on their areas of expertise. It is not a one-man show. One person can not run the entire support services as an expert in every area. It is very much specific to the role the candidate needs to play in addressing the subject matter as an expert in that particular function.  

How was the initial setup?

As far as the deployment on AWS is concerned, it is the cloud deployment. It is a little complex. But once it is deployed, the post maintenance and the support services are very easy because the upgrades and maintenance are not handled manually. It is just like on smartphones where the patches get auto-upgraded. In the same way, the patches or the upgrades are automatically pushed to the ERP on cloud. So there is no manual maintenance required going forward. There is no downtime required. For these reasons, clients are attracted to going with cloud deployments. But others are still going with on-premises deployments for various reasons.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a lot of competitors coming into the market. The main organizations as far as IT or information technology companies are involved already. We have Infosys, there is Oracle, there is Siemens, there is Accenture, there is Cognizant — all of these are from the IT organizations' perspective. From consulting companies, we have got the Lloyd Group, KPMG International (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler), PricewaterhouseCoopers, and others who are all into this. There are other up and coming competitors and consultants like BDO Mauritius (Binder Dijker Otte). All these various kinds of organizations are good at deployment and the support of SAP solutions. The main difference is in their approaches to providing solutions that are on-premises or on the cloud.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to people who want to use S/4HANA on AWS is that a specific study needs to be involved in the implementation process. It is what we call a discovery session. The idea is to discover all the independent needs for the use of the product. This includes things like the size of the organization, the size of the industry, the number of users expected, the revenue, et cetera. It should also include projections into the future aspects of organic and inorganic growth. The budget may be the main issue for many organizations. The deployment plan should be created based on keeping all these discovered factors in mind. This can affect the deployment model or choices as to whether to go for SAP S/4HANA on the cloud, on-premises or if another ERP may be a better choice. But in any case, all the factors need to be taken into consideration. It is not a black and white decision.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate SAP S/4HANA as very near to a ten. Maybe nine because there is no competitor like SAP in the market right now to compare the product to and maybe there is room for improvement. I think that Oracle and Microsoft are looking to close the gap. But, looking at the current market share of SAP, it is at the top so it is near to a ten.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about SAP S4HANA on AWS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,694 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Md Saiful Hyder
AGM, Enterprise Solutions at Omgea Exim Ltd
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
Scalable with many available modules and good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution adds great value to any organization."
  • "The product can be very complex."

What is our primary use case?

We only provide the infrastructure, not the solution. We use just the infrastructure that we provide to our customers and customers include the system integrated to deploy the SAP S/4HANA inside the AWS infrastructure. The customer likes it that way.

In every organization, there are several systems including project management and production planning. They can get integrated in a way that they can actually link up with all these departments and get common visibility. Clients use SAP for that.

What is most valuable?

SAP is number one in the world in all the years I've used this solution. There are other ERP solutions such as Oracle (EBS). There are other ERPs and different ERPs, however, SAP is number one in terms of providing the complex modules so that the customer can have complete automation and complete visibility.

The solution adds great value to any organization.

The solution is very stable.

The scalability is good.

What needs improvement?

The product can be very complex.

It is not extremely user-friendly.

If you want to learn SAP S/4HANA the resources are not available and it's very difficult to learn. We found that aspect very difficult. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this particular solution for over three years, however, my total experience on SAP S4HANA, and in terms of providing infrastructure for SAP solutions, I have more than 13 years of experience now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. The solution is very reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales well. You can integrate almost any application with SAP and you can pull data from SAP or input data in SAP.

We have more than 20 SAP clients, however, only five are on the cloud.

How are customer service and technical support?

AWS support is very good, although it is expensive.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is rather difficult to set up. It's not simple or straightforward. Only a few people know how to install SAP in our country. 

That said, I do not install the solution myself. We only sell the license. Our customers have someone else handle the implementation, which may take about 20 hours or so to deploy.

We are not a service provider or deployment provider for SAP and therefore, we do not handle maintenance. We do resale only. For that, we have a pre-sales team of two members and we have a sales team. We sell licenses only.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If clients are setting up the solution as an infrastructure as a service, they have to bring on their own license. 

What other advice do I have?

We are authorized to sell SAP. We only provide infrastructure licensing. 

If our client's company would like to deploy SAP S/4HANA on the cloud, then we provide the AWS infrastructure or Huawei infrastructure to clients to deploy.

SAP B1 customers are not taking infrastructure from the cloud. They are directly taking the SAP B1 as a service on-premises. S/4HANA has separate modules that you can have on cloud models, and we do provide the cloud infrastructure to deploy S/4HANA.

We use infrastructure as a service for SAP S/4HANA deployment, though AWS has a separate offering where you can have a platform as a service offering, meaning that they will provide the infrastructure and provide SAP.

We highly recommend the solution to others and find that every year we have more and more clients implementing it.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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SK
Director at Peritus
Real User
The interface and the new user experience are really helpful for the end-user

Pros and Cons

  • "There are two main features that we find very valuable. One is the interface and the new user experience. That's really, really helpful for the end-user. The second is the HANA database itself because it speeds up the process. In other solutions, like Oracle, there is a lot of redundancy that slows things down."
  • "The solution needs a warehouse management feature. Right now, there's a built-in WM, but they don't have an EWM extended warehouse management built-in, in S/4HANA. It's a separate product. So if they can add that, that would be great."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as an end-to-end integration. Most companies are already using financial software, but they want to have software which can offer complete integration. In our case, it's finance, material management, sales distribution, and HR.

What is most valuable?

There are two main features that we find very valuable. One is the interface and the new user experience. That's really, really helpful for the end-user. The second is the HANA database itself because it speeds up the process. In other solutions, like Oracle, there is a lot of redundancy that slows things down.

What needs improvement?

The new product has SuccessFactors. If they can bring it in on-premise as well, and basically replace SCM with SuccessFactors on-premises, that would be great. It will allow for more revenue.

The solution's weakest area is technical support, which needs to be improved quite a bit.

The solution needs a warehouse management feature. Right now, there's a built-in WM, but they don't have an EWM extended warehouse management built-in, in S/4HANA. It's a separate product. So if they can add that, that would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've had no issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. With the new data connectors that they have and the new FCI NCPI integration facilities, it can be scaled up with any other third party component or even Zippy products.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is one area that they really need to improve. When you get a ticket, the response you get is "We are working on it." Yet it will take five to 15 days or sometimes even more than that to get a solution.

How was the initial setup?

With the S/4HANA, it's very simple. But prior to that in ECC it used to take a lot of time, whereas, in S/4HANA, you can easily deploy, and have an implementation in three months.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing depends on a lot of factors. For example, which month of the year it is. Is it close to the end of a quarter year's end? Usually, we get the best benefit out of it if we know the exact ICP events. Otherwise, price-wise, they're expensive. If you know when their quarter closing or annual closing are, you can get pricing similar to Oracle, and in some cases, even IFS.

What other advice do I have?

We use both the on-premises and private cloud deployment models.

I'd rate the solution 7.5 out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
RN
Director IT Infrastructure at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
In-memory is very fast and the interface is a highlight

Pros and Cons

  • "The Fiori interface is the most valuable feature. It's one of the highlights that they offer. The in-memory of S4 is very fast."
  • "Not just S4 but for SAP in general, the price is a little high because they have implemented a new licensing scheme on a number of connections. The price being too expensive is some of the feedback we get from our customers."

What is our primary use case?

The use cases for this solution will depend on our customer's industry. It can be manufacturing, retail, HR, etc..

What is most valuable?

The Fiori interface is the most valuable feature. It's one of the highlights that they offer. The in-memory of S4 is very fast. 

What needs improvement?

Not just S4 but for SAP in general, the price is a little high because they have implemented a new licensing scheme on a number of connections. The price being too expensive is some of the feedback we get from our customers. 

In the next release, I would like to see more support for more cloud providers. Because right now it's only AWS and Azure that it certifies. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for the last four years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have five to fifteen users consisting of our application team, infrastructure team, and some of our clients. 

For the maintenance of this solution you would need first, second, and third-level, so around five people in total. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is very good. They respond quickly. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward because they have templates that you can use to build on it. In terms of how long it takes to deploy, if it's basic it can be done within a day. 

There are a lot of factors, if there are migrations it usually takes around three months plus.

What other advice do I have?

Planning is very important before undergoing an S4 implementation and upgrade. The functional components need to be planned and tested thoroughly. Otherwise, the lines will not be met. Try to do a Greenfield implementation because it will be much simpler.

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
JeffreyVergara
Lead for AIX at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to virtualize our AX environment and has a user-friendly interface

What is our primary use case?

We implement it for our clients. Our primary use case is to virtualize our AX environment.

What is most valuable?

I like that they are very familiar with our VM which makes it easy to use. Its best features are its interface. It has a user-friendly interface.

What needs improvement?

I would like for them to have more integration with virtualization platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP S/4HANA for the last ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's one of the most stable virtualization softwares I have used.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability lacks on clustering capabilities.  Our clients are mostly enterprise size. 

How are customer service

What is our primary use case?

We implement it for our clients. Our primary use case is to virtualize our AX environment.

What is most valuable?

I like that they are very familiar with our VM which makes it easy to use.

Its best features are its interface. It has a user-friendly interface.

What needs improvement?

I would like for them to have more integration with virtualization platforms.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP S/4HANA for the last ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's one of the most stable virtualization softwares I have used.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability lacks on clustering capabilities. 

Our clients are mostly enterprise size. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We contact technical support if we have issues but most of the time we can resolve an issue by ourselves. They're good but there's always room for improvement. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It can take one or two days depending on the setup. 

It usually only requires one person for the setup but on occasion, it can require two.

What other advice do I have?

There should be the ability to deploy with clustering of different servers. They should add different types of advisory management.

I would rate it 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: Partner
KT
SAP Software Developer - ServiceNow Admin & Developer at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
CDS and HANA database are invaluable features

Pros and Cons

  • "The HANA database is a valuable feature"
  • "Doesn't have a common development environment."

What is our primary use case?

I'm an SAP software developer. We use the product for many different functions; financial production, material management, distribution functions. Everything. 

What is most valuable?

CDS use would be the most valuable feature. The HANA database is also valuable. 

What needs improvement?

I'm on the developer side of the product and my view, for now, is that the product is fine. I'm comfortable with it. Based on my product experience, I don't have any problems with it. If I would suggest something it would be that they unify the developer tools. 
For the next release, it would be helpful if they would include a common development environment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the product for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product has good stability

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

I think there are some processes that could be improved but it's a great solution. 

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.