What are the new norms for SAP ERP project success?

What are the new norms for SAP ERP project success?

In the era of digital transformation, SAP ERP emerges as a critical force in redefining enterprise resource planning. As companies adopt SAP ERP, the question arises: what are the new standards for successful SAP ERP projects?

This article delves into the changing landscape of SAP S/4HANA projects, shedding light on their benefits as well as the innovative practices and strategies that now define success. 

As many of you know, SAP has evolved its SAP ERP (SAP ECC) into a new version, S/4HANA, which has set new benchmarks in the field of business operations. And it has a deadline for its implementation in companies that are using the older version of SAP ERP: December 31, 2027.

But S/4HANA is not just about updating technology; It is a comprehensive change in the way companies strategize, implement and benefit from the power of an ERP. With this change comes a new set of challenges and opportunities that demand a new perspective on project management and execution. 

In this context, understanding the nuances of SAP S/4HANA is crucial. It is no longer enough to simply implement the solution; The focus has shifted to optimizing processes, leveraging real-time data and improving overall business agility.

This article aims to guide you through the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud project delivery standards, from planning and implementation to adoption and continuous improvement.

The New Norms for SAP ERP Project Success

The New Norms for SAP ERP Project Success

For a start, it is essential to understand that SAP provides two versions of S/4HANA: S/4HANA Public Cloud (also known as RISE) and S/4HANA Private Cloud (also known as RISE). Each of them has different objectives and project models.

S/4HANA Public Cloud is the newest, lightest version of S/4HANA. It’s 100% Cloud SaaS solution, with focused scope of processes, fast innovation cycles, dynamic extensibility, native integration with other solutions of the SAP landscape (Success Factors, Ariba Network, Concur), flexible governance leaded by SAP, guided configuration with Ready-to-run Best Practices business processes and a subscription contract. 

The implementation mantra is fit-to-standard: identify the scope items of best practices and activate the solution in the most standardized and rapid way possible, limiting the number of custom adaptations. Designed to be 'ready-to-run', it encapsulates the finest industry practices and a commitment to continual innovation. 

At its core, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud operates with industry best practices. These are not mere guidelines but pre-configured, ready-to-implement processes. This design facilitates a swift, efficient initiation into the world of advanced ERP solutions. Businesses can deploy with confidence, knowing that the system is built on proven, efficient protocols. SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud allows you to reduce the implementation cost by 50%, as well as achieving value between 40 and 60% faster.

On the other hand, S/4HANA Private Cloud is the most powerful version of SAP ERP. It covers 100% of the most common business processes, from finance to production through logistics, supply and sales, it has specific vertical solutions by industry and allows the customization and adaptation necessary for each client, with a private tenant to evolve the platform in the way each business needs. 

S/4HANA Private Cloud operates as well with industry best practices but lit ets us customize and extend the standard when it’s needed. A key feature of SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud is its flexibility. Businesses can customize and adapt the system to reshape business models and redefine workflows as they evolve. This flexibility ensures that the ERP solution grows in tandem with the business, adapting to new challenges and opportunities.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud Project

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud Project

Starting with SAP S/4HANA is a journey marked by confidence. Is not just about managing day-to-day operations; it's a tool for transforming businesses.  

First of all, the Methodology. SAP Activate is a unique combination of SAP Best Practices, methodology, content and tools that helps customers and partners deploy SAP S/4HANA. Activate is the next generation project implementation methodology used to implement and deliver SAP innovations and solutions. Built on the Agile methodology, SAP Activate methodology takes an iterative approach to continuously improve and deliver to increase the project quality and success.

Success is no longer about implementing a system; success is now defined by how well the system aligns with and accelerates a business's strategic goals. This shift has introduced new norms that are crucial for the success of any SAP S/4HANA project.

Then, Fit-to-standard. Fit-to-standard is the implementation approach advocated by SAP to enable faster adoption of S/4HANA. It consists in using the best practices in the industry to create a clean core solution for the business so it can function properly using SAP systems. Fit-to-standard is hardly a new concept, but there has been renewed focus on it as organisations strive to digitalise properly, to be more compliant and to decrease the cost of running their systems over time. Ultimately, this optimal approach promises to provide businesses with a stable core ERP system which will be agile, flexible and easily adaptable to technological and innovation needs. This is provided that S/4HANA’s applications are used appropriately, and that businesses run effective change management programmes to support employee adoption of new systems and processes. Even proposing that fit-to-standard be the main implementation principle for both Public and Private Cloud, with S/4HANA Public Cloud we go with a pure Fit-to-standard approach with the scope items that are included in the implementation, while in S/4HANA Private Cloud depending on the complexity of the landscape we can start with a process mapping as part of the discovery of the implementation.

Other key factor: integration. An SAP ERP system must seamlessly integrate with existing processes and systems, ensuring a unified and efficient workflow. This integration extends beyond mere technical compatibility; it encompasses a holistic understanding of how the ERP system can enhance and streamline operations. SAP greatly facilitates integration with BTP Integration Suite (fka CPI). 

Another new norm is the emphasis on user experience and adoption. A successful SAP ERP project is one where the end users, from top management to the operational level, find the system intuitive and beneficial. User training and support are crucial, as they ensure the system is not only used but also leveraged to its full potential. SAP provides a new unified, flexible and advanced user interface thanks to SAP Fiori.

Agility and scalability have also become critical. In a world where business needs can change rapidly, an SAP ERP system must be flexible enough to adapt. This means the system should support scalability, allowing businesses to expand and evolve without being hindered by their ERP infrastructure.

Lastly, data-driven decision making is at the forefront. S/4HANA now play a pivotal role in providing actionable insights and analytics. The success of an SAP ERP project is partly measured by how effectively it aids in making informed, data-backed decisions. SAP now positions SAP Datasphere as both a Data Warehouse Cloud and to integrate transactional data with the cloud.

These new norms underscore the evolution of SAP ERP projects from mere IT implementations to strategic tools that drive business growth and adaptation in a changing corporate landscape.

Understanding SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Understanding SAP S/4HANA Cloud

SAP ERP Key Features

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are known for their efficiency and streamlining capabilities in business operations. SAP ERP, however, goes a step further, introducing a suite of key features that not only enhance standard ERP benefits but also bring a new level of productivity, insight, and agility to organizations.

Increased Productivity

At the heart of SAP ERP's productivity enhancement lies its ability to optimize and automate core business processes. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency, allowing employees across various departments to accomplish more with fewer resources. By streamlining workflows and reducing manual tasks, S/4HANA helps organizations maximize their workforce potential, thus driving business growth and operational excellence.

Deeper Strategic Insight

SAP ERP breaks down traditional information silos by providing a single, unified source of truth. This centralized data approach ensures that all departments have access to consistent and accurate information. The ability to quickly respond to critical business queries based on this integrated data leads to more informed decision-making and strategic planning, giving businesses a competitive edge in their respective markets.

Accelerated Reporting

With SAP ERP, the process of financial and business reporting is significantly streamlined. The system enables quick, easy generation and sharing of comprehensive reports, facilitating better communication and collaboration within the organization. This accelerated reporting capability allows businesses to act swiftly on strategic insights, leading to real-time performance improvements and informed decision-making.

Reduced Risk

Enhancing visibility and control over all aspects of business operations is a critical feature of SAP ERP. This comprehensive oversight helps in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and in effectively projecting and preventing potential risks. By managing risk more proactively, organizations can maintain operational integrity and safeguard their reputations in an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.

Simplified IT

One of the standout features of SAP ERP is its use of integrated applications that share a common database. This design simplifies IT infrastructure, reducing the complexity and cost associated with managing multiple disparate systems. It provides a more efficient and user-friendly experience for IT teams and end-users alike, leading to improved productivity and reduced IT overheads.

Enhanced Agility

SAP ERP equips businesses with efficient operations and rapid access to real-time data. This agility is crucial in today's fast-paced business environment, where the ability to quickly identify and react to new opportunities can define market leadership. With SAP ERP, businesses can adapt more swiftly to market changes, customer demands, and emerging trends, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.

Proven Best Practices

SAP ERP comes equipped with business processes that incorporate standard best practices from various industries. These practices are not just theoretical ideals; they are tried-and-tested methodologies that have been refined over years of industry experience. By embedding these best practices into its core, SAP ERP ensures that businesses are always aligned with the highest standards of operational excellence.

Rapid Value Realization

One of the standout features of SAP ERP is its ability to deliver quick value through a guided implementation process. This feature is enhanced by rapid technical configuration and a role-based, intuitive user interface. Such an approach not only accelerates the initial setup but also ensures a smoother adoption across the organization, allowing businesses to reap the benefits of SAP ERP without significant delays.

Continuous and Automatic Updates

SAP manages all updates, ensuring that the ERP system is always up-to-date with the latest features and security protocols. This automated update process relieves businesses of the need for extensive IT resources and minimizes business disruptions. Organizations can thus focus on their core operations, confident in the knowledge that their ERP system is continually evolving without requiring constant oversight.

Continuous Innovation

SAP ERP is at the forefront of incorporating cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and advanced analytics. This commitment to continuous innovation means that businesses using SAP ERP are always equipped with the latest tools to enhance their operations, drive efficiency, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Security, Compliance, and Scalability

SAP ERP excels in managing technical operations, including data protection, system maintenance, disaster recovery, and ensuring optimal operational uptime. This comprehensive approach to security and compliance offers businesses peace of mind, knowing their ERP system is robust and reliable. Additionally, the scalability of SAP ERP ensures that it can grow alongside the business, accommodating new challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Open and Extensible

With ready-to-use APIs and supportive documentation and tools, SAP ERP is designed to be open and extensible. This openness allows for easy integration with business partners and the ability to build upon the existing foundation. Such extensibility is crucial for businesses looking to tailor their ERP solutions to their specific needs, ensuring that SAP ERP is not just a product but a platform for growth and innovation.

In summary, SAP ERP stands out not just for its robust core features but also for its adherence to best practices, rapid value delivery, automated updates, continuous innovation, commitment to security and compliance, and its open, extensible architecture. These features collectively ensure that SAP ERP is not just a tool for managing today's business needs but a strategic asset for future growth and adaptation.

VASS, your ally to use SAP ERP

VASS, your ally to use SAP ERP

Having a robust ERP system like SAP is only half the battle. The real success lies in implementing and leveraging it effectively. This is where VASS, a renowned SAP Golden Partner, steps in as your indispensable ally. At VASS, we pride ourselves on housing a team of SAP experts located in various parts of the world, bringing a global perspective to local challenges.

As an official partner of SAP, VASS is uniquely positioned to help businesses across the globe achieve their objectives using SAP ERP. Our professionals are not just experts in the technical aspects of SAP; they understand how to align this powerful tool with your business goals, ensuring that your investment in SAP ERP translates into tangible business outcomes.

One of the key strengths of VASS is our adaptability. We recognize that each business is unique, with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Our approach is centred around understanding your specific needs and tailoring our SAP solutions to fit those requirements perfectly. This flexibility is crucial in today's ever-changing market, where agility and responsiveness are paramount.

Our specialization lies in adapting to the evolving needs of companies. Whether you are looking to implement SAP ERP for the first time or seeking to enhance your existing system, VASS’s team of experts is equipped to guide you through every step of the process. We ensure that your SAP ERP system is not just a part of your IT infrastructure, but a driving force behind your business’s growth and success.

In essence, VASS acts as a bridge between SAP’s technological excellence and your business's specific needs. By choosing VASS as your SAP partner, you are ensuring that your business is equipped to navigate the complexities of today's business environment, with a robust, flexible, and fully optimized SAP ERP system.


In the era of digital transformation, SAP ERP emerges as a critical force in redefining enterprise resource planning. As companies adopt SAP ERP, the question arises: what are the new standards for successful SAP ERP projects?


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