Main (dis)advantages of SAP ERP 6.0 and SAP S/4HANA?

SAP ERP 6.0 is an ERP system that has been on the market since October 2005. It is also known as SAP ECC.

SAP ERP 6.0 is an ERP system that has been on the market since October 2005.It is also known as SAP ECC. Since its launch, the system has beencontinuously optimized and extended by several enhancement packages.The current enhancement package is the "SAP enhancement package 8"(since 2016).

One of the biggest advantages of SAP ERP is that many users are now familiarwith the system. They are familiar with the functions and applications of thesystem. In addition, SAP ERP has a very broad range of modules and coreapplications and can be improved and automated by numerous SAP add-ons. In addition to core applications such as CRM (Customer RelationshipManagement), SCM (Supply Chain Management) and SRM (SupplierRelationship Management), SAP ERP 6.0 consists of modules such as MM(Materials Management), Sales & Distribution (SD) or SAP Financials (FI).

One of the biggest drawbacks of the system is that SAP ERP has aconsiderable storage requirement. Due to the significantly more complexstructure of the entire system compared to SAP S/4HANA, data processingand analysis therefore requires considerably more time. It is not possible toprocess data in real time; new applications such as artificial intelligence (AI)or machine learning cannot therefore be implemented.

In addition, the familiarization usually takes a lot of time. Many functionalitiesare complex, the user interface unclear and basically no longer up to date.This also applies to the presentation of analyses, which are only possible to avery limited extent. In addition, if a user creates a new process (such as anorder), several steps have to be performed. Errors often creep in here

because important fields are omitted. The biggest disadvantage of all,however, is certainly that SAP is completely discontinuing maintenance forSAP ERP 6.0 from 2025.

Like SAP ERP 6.0 (or SAP ECC), SAP S/4HANA is basically ERP software. SAPS/4HANA is primarily intended to enable companies to take advantage of the"challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow" (SAP), i.e. above allthe opportunities offered by digitization. With SAP Leonardo, for example, SAPhas created an innovation tool that provides applications for the Internet ofThings, Artificial Intelligence or Big Data Analysis, among other things - but tobe able to use the advantages of SAP Leonardo, you also need a powerfuland fast software system such as SAP S/4 HANA.

Unlike SAP ERP 6.0, the new business suite is based on the in-memorydatabase SAP HANA (storage of data directly in the working memory). In thisway, SAP S/4HANA can process and evaluate widely ramified data andinformation in real time, as well as make forecasts, visualize data, and performsimulations. The high speed of the system also means that machine failures orstock shortages in the warehouse can be detected and rectified earlier - thuspreventing costly interruptions to production.

SAP S/4HANA also has a completely new user interface: SAP Fiori is similar toconventional consumer apps and can be used by experienced users withvirtually no training. And: SAP Fiori can be used not only with the computer inthe office, but also mobile with Smartphone or Tablet.

Another advantage of SAP S/4HANA is that the system is much simpler thanSAP ERP 6.0 - both in terms of the program and system architecture and withregard to the data model. In comparison, this means that SAP S/4HANA hasonly half as many code lines, data elements and tables as SAP ERP 6.0. This"simpler" structure not only results in higher response times, but also lowermaintenance requirements and a higher speed of innovation. SAP has alsoimproved the roles and rights system: Each user now only has access to theapplications that are actually relevant to him.

In addition to the advantages, SAP S/4HANA also has a few disadvantages.This includes in particular the investment costs associated with thechangeover to the new system. However, the numerous advantages of thenew system (higher efficiency, greater speed, use of digital innovations andtechnologies, etc.) mean that these costs usually pay for themselves quickly.Or to put it another way: Those who delay the changeover too long or inindividual cases do not even carry it out at all are at a disadvantage in thelong run in competition and will most likely have to pay for it with decliningrevenues and market shares.

As with any change to such a system, the change also means that users firsthave to get used to the new system. However, due to the significantlysimplified and user-friendly interface and the simple structure of the system,this should not be a major difficulty. The same applies to possible disruptions tobusiness operations that can occur as a result of migration from one system toanother. However, such incidents can usually be largely avoided by goodpreparation and planning of the changeover (readiness check, roadmap,etc.) and by the support of experts.

Meinolf Schaefer01 1444x1444px

Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & Marketing

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