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Migrating to an SAP Cloud is much more complicated and involved than simply transferring data offsite. You need to ensure that the right technologies are deployed, the right security measures are implemented, and that all of your customizations and proprietary applications will work. Additionally, if you are moving to SAP HANA, you need to convert your data from your traditional SAP row-based relational database management system (RDBMS) to HANA’s in-memory, column-oriented RDBMS.

Still, moving to the cloud is the best way to get the most out of HANA and Fiori. To help with the migration, SAP and SAP Partners offer a number of options:

  • SAP Cloud Platform Services
  • SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud
  • SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud
  • SAP HANA Third-Party Private Cloud

The SAP Cloud Platform

This is not an ERP offering like the other cloud platforms. Instead, it is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) to help you deploy SAP in the cloud and get more value out of your HANA implementation. It can also play a critical role in your migration and upgrade by extending the capabilities of your legacy applications into the cloud, or by helping you add connectivity to IoT devices. SAP Cloud Platform integration also allows your developers to build or customize applications before you invest in a HANA landscape.

The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud

Designed for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that are new to SAP and don’t need a lot of customization, the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud provides the cost savings of a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, such as lower IT overhead and no maintenance. This cloud consists of a range of industry-specific offerings in areas like manufacturing, professional services and financial services, distributed by SAP in a SaaS model. SMBs can get HANA-like functionality integrated with SAP products like SuccessFactors, Employee Central, and Ariba Network.

The challenge with SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud is that it does not support all of the countries and languages that an on-premise version of S/4 offers. Similarly, you cannot customize or upgrade your SAP installation, and you cannot migrate your current SAP landscape – you will have to create a new one in the cloud. For the ability to customize, upgrade, or migrate, you will need another flavor of SAP S/4.

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

For larger companies and those wanting to upgrade their SAP implementations, the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) represents SAP’s top two tiers of S/4HANA service. Within SAP HANA HEC, you have two choices, S/4HANA Private Cloud Option and Custom HANA Enterprise Cloud.

The SAP Custom HANA Enterprise Cloud

Designed for larger corporations, the SAP Custom HANA Enterprise Cloud gives enterprises the ability to migrate their existing SAP landscapes and modify their S/4HANA solution to deliver exactly what they need. While it is an SAP-managed, fully customizable solution, the price tag really does only make it an option for enterprises with about $1 billion in revenue.

The SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud

SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud, on the other hand, provides a middle ground between the Public Cloud and Custom Cloud. It offers the flexibility of the HANA database in a standardized SAP private cloud. This gives each tenant their own dedicated, virtual private cloud, which can be for any language, country, or region. It allows you to share governance responsibility with the vendor, just like in a standard S/4HANA landscape.

Unfortunately, many companies bump up against the limits of the Private Cloud option, beginning with the inability to migrate your existing landscape. Just like the Public Cloud option, you will need to build an SAP Cloud landscape from scratch.

The SAP HANA Third-Party Private Cloud

This option gives you the ability to find or co-create the ideal SAP Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment for your organization. Working with an experienced and skilled partner, you can build a fully customized solution at a price you can afford. Symmetry offers such capabilities, helping you migrate to the cloud or to S/4HANA in the cloud in a way that is secure, governed, and high performing. One way to harness the power of HANA quickly is by migrating to SAP Suite on HANA prior to to S/4HANA without delaying production planning. This can have your organization up and running on SAP HANA in just a few weeks.

Knowing What to Look For

Migrating to the cloud requires specialized experience to create properly sized hardware with the security and governance your enterprise needs. While SAP offers three solutions that work for many companies, if your organization does not fit in those groups, you will need a customized solution. And that means you will probably need a partner who understands the cloud, SAP, and you.

This is where Symmetry can save you time and money. As an SAP-certified partner, Symmetry has years of experience helping companies like yours migrate to the cloud and to HANA or S/4HANA databases. Talk to Symmetry to see how an SAP-certified partner can ease the transition and optimize your new IT landscape.

Matt Lonstine, Director of SAP Technology

A Leader and SAP technical veteran, Matt Lonstine oversees the SAP Technologists that make up Symmetry’s Delivery team, while providing strategic guidance to customers. Matt has managed and executed some of Symmetry’s most complex projects with a current focus on HANA, virtualization, disaster recovery, system hardening, and migrations to Symmetry’s SAP Cloud environment.