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A buyer's guide to customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise

Customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise is best for users who prefer to use a different set of tools and processes than HEC and have more control over the environment.

For organizations that want more control than HANA Enterprise Cloud provides, customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise may be the right fit.

With S/4HANA, SAP has underscored its commitment to user choice by offering a range of different deployment options. These range from the relatively simple, but sometimes restrictive, S/4HANA Cloud to the complex, but highly flexible, S/4HANA Any Premise versions.

Both Any Premise versions of S/4HANA are suitable for larger companies with complex needs such as substantial customization and advanced integration. They cover SAP's complete range of ERP functionality, and, as the name suggests, they offer much broader latitude in determining where the product is deployed than other versions. Of the two, the customer-managed version of S/4HANA Any Premise provides the greatest flexibility.

What is customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise?

To understand the two types of S/4HANA Any Premise, it's helpful to first learn about HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC). HEC is an infrastructure-as-a-service tool set combined with a set of managed services that SAP offers. Those services include backup and restore, deployment of software patches and updates, provisioning of new users, software upgrades, disaster recovery, and security monitoring.

With both S/4HANA Any Premise versions, users can deploy the product on their in-house servers or in the cloud. The primary distinction between customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise and S/4HANA Any Premise on HEC is who manages it and which tools they use to do so.

While HEC offers a good framework for managing an S/4HANA environment, some users may prefer to use a different set of tools and processes to manage the environment themselves or select a third-party provider to do so. The customer-managed version of S/4HANA Any Premise is likely a good option for them.

Functional scope

The customer-managed version of S/4HANA Any Premise includes the complete range of SAP's ERP features, including all industry-specific functionality and all languages and localizations. Partner add-ons are also fully supported. Both Any Premise versions are well suited to companies running third-party applications as part of their SAP landscape.

All S/4HANA users are able to take full advantage of ancillary SAP products such as SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, which handles HR; Fieldglass, which handles vendor management; Hybris, which handles e-commerce and CRM; and Ariba Network, which handles procurement and supply chain management.

The customer-managed version of S/4HANA Any Premise is best suited for users upgrading from an existing SAP system to S/4HANA and have a complex environment that includes customization and partner add-ons.

Extensibility

Customer-managed Any Premise users have complete control over extending and customizing the product. It allows ABAP extensions and side-by-side development, which users can deploy to create new functional capabilities. Users can also make modifications that alter SAP's core functionality.

Both Any Premise versions of S/4HANA allow all partner-developed content to be deployed with, virtually, no limitations. However, the customer-managed version provides the most flexibility in this respect.

Licensing

Customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise is available through a bring-your-own-license model, in which the software may be licensed from SAP on a traditional perpetual license model.

Who manages the environment?

Unlike the HEC version of Any Premise, the user or a third-party company designated by the user fully manages this program. Users can host customer-managed Any Premise within the company data center, at an SAP data center or at an SAP-approved hyperscaler such as Microsoft Azure, AWS or the Google Cloud Platform.

Suitable implementation scenarios

Customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise provides maximum implementation flexibility. It allows for system conversion or selective data transition from a preexisting SAP environment. Because of this, Any Premise is the best choice for larger SAP users who are upgrading to SAP's S/4HANA product and have significant customizations and/or partner-developed content.

The upgrade process

Customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise upgrades are offered on an annual schedule. Users have complete flexibility over upgrade timing, so they are fully responsible for managing the process. S/4HANA Any Premise on HEC is not as flexible.

However, because the upgrades occur once a year, the incremental functionality that SAP adds to S/4HANA may not be immediately available to customer-managed Any Premise users.

Customer-managed S/4HANA Any Premise use cases

The customer-managed version of S/4HANA Any Premise is best suited for users upgrading from an existing SAP system to S/4HANA and have a complex environment that includes customization and partner add-ons. Users who prefer to use the latest and greatest tools for managing their SAP landscape and their IT environment will prefer the customer-managed option over the HEC version.

Meanwhile, users who prefer to host their SAP systems in-house will likely select either of the Any Premise versions over S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition or Private Edition.

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