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The S/4HANA Cloud Models at a glance

By: Lena Schneider and Stefan Theis

If you decide to operate the SAP S/4HANA system in the cloud, there are various models to choose from. But how do the editions differ? And can the GIB solutions be taken to any cloud version? The third part of the “Light in the Dark of the Cloud” blog series deals with these exciting questions.

The table below positions the various S/4HANA cloud operating models. The PaaS area can be left out when it comes to operating a complete S/4HANA environment.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

SAP S/4HANA on Hyperscaler

  • Using a hyperscaler’s infrastructure
  • Customer is responsible for the system
  • Possible to integrate customer add-ons or partner solutions

SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)

  • Using a cloud computing provider’s infrastructure
  • Customer is responsible for the system
  • In principle, possible to integrate customer add-ons or partner solutions
  • SAP manages the system and offers other additional services

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended Edition

  • Successor to the Single Tenant Edition
  • Consuming the application, SAP is responsible for the system
  • System is set up specifically for the customer (no shared use)
  • Possible to integrate customer add-ons under strict conditions
  • Possible to use certified partner solutions

SAP S/4HANA Essentials Edition

  • Successor to Multi Tenant Edition
  • Consuming the software, SAP is responsible for the system
  • Sharing the application with other customers
  • Not possible to integrate customer add-ons or partner solutions

The SAP RISE program, a bundle of licenses, packages and services designed to accelerate the move from the on-premises world to the cloud and make it more predictable in terms of cost, has also brought two more new names into play.

The Private Edition is the successor to the Extended Edition, but it will remain on the market as a stand-alone product. Focusing on the GIB solutions, both models can be compared directly with each other. The successor to the Essentials Edition, which is disappearing from the market, is the Public Edition. In the future, this can only be selected in the RISE program.

Where is it possible to use the GIB solutions integrated in the system?

The GIB solutions can be easily installed in the system in the SAP S/4HANA hyperscaler model, as the responsibility for the system lies entirely with the customer.

In the Extended Edition, only the use of certified partner solutions is possible. It is therefore mandatory to go through a certification process to use GIB’s solutions here. At the beginning of 2020, GIB was fortunate enough to have a long-standing partner who was considering migrating to the cloud edition and taking the GIB solutions with them. However, at that time, there was not a certification program yet. With the customer at hand, the GIB team was able to contribute to speeding up the certification process at SAP and was one of the first companies to go through it. GIB has now held the corresponding certificate for GIB SCX in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended Edition since mid-2020. The overall requirements for the certification process are significantly higher than for the classic on-premises certification process. Besides necessary adjustments in the source code and programming techniques, there were also some organizational changes. By moving to the certification program, GIB has committed to supporting every new SAP S/4HANA release and also recertifying itself for each release.

Thanks to the certificate, the Extended Edition or the Private Edition, which is identical from GIB’s point of view, can also be checked off. As the requirements for using this cloud version are significantly higher than for using the S/4HANA Enterprise Cloud, this model is also ticked off in our minds.

It is only in the Essentials Edition and its successor, the Public Edition, where no third-party software can be used as an integrated solution in the system. However, GIB is also currently in talks with a customer who like to migrate to precisely this model. We are putting our heads together to think about how the GIB solutions could continue to be used. It is already clear that this can only be implemented as a by-side app, i.e. an app that stands next to the S/4HANA system and accesses the SAP S/4HANA core via released interfaces.

So the solutions are already capable of running in almost every version and GIB is well prepared for the cloud.


For more information on this topic, please listen to Stefan Theis’ presentation here after completing a short registration process.

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