SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
This SAP cloud solution is always equipped with the latest technologies and is ready for use very quickly.
Companies are increasingly turning to the cloud - including when it comes to ERP. One option here is the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition (unofficially also known as the "SAP Public Cloud"). It offers numerous advantages in terms of flexibility, speed, innovation, costs and standardization.
What is SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition (SAP Public Cloud)?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition is an SAP ERP system from the public cloud, which is provided in the SaaS model. The solution is often referred to as "SAP Public Cloud", but this is not the official term used by the software manufacturer. The special feature of the system is that it is ready for use very quickly and has numerous best practices for various industries. SAP is also continuously updating the software with the latest technologies.
How does the SAP Public Cloud work?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition is provided in the SaaS model (Software-as-a-Service). The innovative ERP system SAP S/4HANA, including the associated data, is hosted centrally on SAP's servers (the SAP Public Cloud). Users access the services via the internet, eliminating the need to install, operate and maintain software locally in the company. This enables faster implementation, easier scaling and lower upfront costs compared to traditional on-premise solutions.
SAP Public Cloud licensing is usually based on a subscription model in which companies pay for the use of the software, usually on a monthly basis. The fee covers all relevant IT services such as hosting, maintenance and updating the infrastructure. SAP also takes care of security updates, data protection, backups and other necessary work to ensure the continuous availability and performance of the platform. Quarterly updates of the ERP software are also included in the price.
SAP also offers a comprehensive service package for S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition. This includes services to accelerate implementation, training, support and consulting. It also includes tools and best practices to support business process optimization and integration with other SAP and third-party solutions.
What is the difference between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition and Private Edition?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud is available in two main versions: the Public Edition and the Private Edition. Although both are based on the same technology, they differ in terms of hosting, functionality and customization options.
The Public Edition is hosted in a multi-tenant environment as a pure Software-as-a-Service solution. Here, several companies use the same infrastructure, but data and applications are separated from each other. This approach enables a particularly efficient use of resources and reduces costs. The SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition, on the other hand, is more akin to the classic outsourcing of an on-premise system. With this variant, companies receive a dedicated environment (single tenant) that is configured specifically for a single company. This enables a higher degree of control.
In terms of software, the Public Edition differs in its standardized functionality, which allows for faster implementation and easier updates. It also provides access to a wide range of best practices and pre-configured processes that allow customization to individual requirements. However, the core (code) of the software cannot be changed. The Private Edition, on the other hand, allows deeper customization of the software, including modification (changing the SAP source code). However, the latter option is not recommended in terms of maintainability.
In terms of software, the Public Edition differs in its standardized functionality, which allows for faster implementation and easier updates. It also offers access to a wide range of best practices and preconfigured processes that can be used to adapt to individual requirements.
Additional functionality can also be added via permitted extensions. Extensibility in an S/4HANA system is based on the clean core principle. This means that the standard SAP code should remain untouched as far as possible and ideally only be supplemented by external, permitted extensions. This ensures the stability of the system and release security. For the S/4HANA Public Cloud, SAP provides a 3-tier model for extensibility:
- The Key User Extensibility (no-code extension)
- the Side-By-Side Extensions (BTP developments)
- On-Stack Developer Extensibility (SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment or "Embedded Steampunk") for developer extensions that are implemented in ABAP directly on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud technology stack.
By splitting extensions into different layers or levels depending on requirements, the complexity of adaptations in the cloud can be minimized. The Private Edition also allows deeper customization of the software, including modifications (changes to the SAP source code). However, the latter option is not recommended in terms of maintainability.
At a glance, the differences between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition and Private Edition are as follows:
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
- Public network on multi-client system
- Pure SaaS solution, hosting and operation in SAP data centers (= SAP Public Cloud)
- Standardized and template-based
- Lower acquisition and total cost of ownership
- Mandatory upgrades
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private Edition
- Private network, protected by firewall
- Flexible hosting and operating models, IaaS provider can be freely selected (hosting with well-known
- hyperscalers such as AWS and Microsoft also possible)
- Very flexibly configurable and customizable
- Higher acquisition and total cost of ownership
- Upgrades can be controlled individually
For which companies is the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition suitable?
The SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition is particularly interesting for medium-sized to large companies that have standardized business processes (based on the SAP standard) in core areas such as financial accounting, controlling, purchasing, sales and logistics. The public cloud approach is also well suited to companies that want rapid implementation and simple scaling of ERP without the complexity and costs of an on-premise solution. Companies that operate in very specific industries or have highly individualized processes, on the other hand, are more likely to benefit from the private edition.
The initial ERP situation also plays an important role in the decision between Public and Private Edition. If a brownfield migration (switch from SAP ECC to S/4HANA) or a merger of several systems into a central S/4HANA solution is imminent, the Private Edition is the most suitable option. This is because existing coding can be taken along in this case. The Public Edition, on the other hand, is particularly advantageous for greenfield implementations, in which companies introduce S/4HANA from scratch without migrating or updating existing SAP systems.
The SAP Public Cloud offers robust security measures to ensure data integrity and security. Nevertheless, there are industries and companies that want to implement even higher security and compliance requirements. Some examples include utilities and companies in highly regulated sectors such as healthcare. Organizations of this type tend to use a private cloud particularly frequently. For all other companies, however, the level of security in the public cloud is generally sufficient.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition?
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition offers a number of advantages for companies. Above all, the following should be mentioned:
- Access to new services and innovations: Companies gain access to the latest innovations and services, which are regularly provided by SAP.
- Cost efficiency: By using a multi-tenant infrastructure in the cloud, companies save costs as they do not have to invest in their own infrastructure. Personnel costs in the IT area are also reduced.
- Fast implementation: Compared to on-premise solutions and the Private Edition, the Public Edition enables particularly fast implementation, as many processes are already preconfigured. In this context, SAP speaks of an implementation time of a maximum of 30 days (initial scope), 50 percent lower implementation costs and 40 to 60 percent faster value creation.
On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages:
- No high degree of customization: The Public Edition offers less flexibility when adapting business processes.
- Fixed updates: The updates are managed centrally by SAP and are mandatory. This means that companies have less control over the timing and content of the updates.
How does the switch to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition work?
More and more companies want to switch from a local system to a cloud solution from SAP. There are now several options for this. One option is GROW with SAP. This is an in-house package from SAP consisting of several services, best practices, knowledge resources and training. GROW with SAP is primarily aimed at SMEs that want to switch to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition very quickly and do not yet use an SAP system (greenfield approach). The service is often used by fast-growing companies for whom rapid system implementation is particularly important.
Another option is RISE with SAP. This bundle includes similar services and resources to GROW with SAP, but is aimed at companies that want to migrate existing on-premise SAP systems to the SAP cloud. In this case, however, the decision is usually made in favor of the private cloud rather than the public cloud.
Another approach is the Lift & Shift system, which GAMBIT has developed specifically for customers with an S/4HANA on-premise system. This service includes secure migration, system optimization, the introduction of SAP Fiori and the management of individual Z developments. You can find more information about this on the page about our Lift & Shift program.
As a general rule, the decision on the best path to the cloud should always be supported by a careful fit/gap analysis. This method makes it clear which option is best suited to a company's specific requirements and objectives. This significantly minimizes the risk of making the wrong decisions.
What does the SAP Public Cloud cost?
The costs for the SAP Public Cloud can vary depending on various factors. These include the number of users, the selected license options and the specific requirements of the company. It is advisable to contact SAP or a certified SAP partner directly to obtain a customized quote. In some cases, there may also be restrictions regarding the minimum number of users. This restriction may vary depending on the specific offer and contract terms.
Matthias Müller, Senior Sales ExecutiveDo you have questions about SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition? Then contact me!
+49 2241 8845 622