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Jack Bland explains the differences between SAP S4 & ECC. Take a look.

We are now starting to see a number of clients in the Australian market adopt the SAP S4 Hana platform as SAP plan to end their support of ECC around 2025. Here is a look at some of the key differences between SAP ECC and S4 – let’s break it down.


Previously with ECC, non SAP technologies have been employed for the database, Oracle and DB2 (these are the main ones). One of the key driving factors for S4 was the fact that SAP wanted to have customers on their own databases. This makes sense from a couple of perspectives.

  • It reduces revenues going to competitors
  • It develops an in-memory database which runs faster and provides more opportunity for innovation.

The database is one of the main benefits to customers, and we are seeing a number of companies who are creating new innovations around utilising real time data. This was previously very difficult with the old database, however companies are now benefiting from this new key tool by making use of the vast amounts of data available to them.

Still with me?

In-Memory Database

In-memory database refers to data that is read from a memory RAM, therefore it reads data much faster than traditional databases which read data from a disk.

Other innovations include column based tables, parallel processing and better compression. These have all contributed to a much faster and innovative database.

Hosting Options

ECC was primarily an on premise solution (a box hosted on site), however with SAP S4 there are a number of different options. If you would like some more information on the different options and how that is all related, please check out the below Speller blog. It’s a good one on PIZZA!


Cloud Options

There are a number of acquisitions and custom developed platforms that SAP have added such as SuccessFactors, Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur and C4C. These are all additional cloud offering that are generally run on a subscription model. These integrate more easily to SAP than to the older ECC version.

Better looking GUI 

The addition of Fiori has meant that GUI’s now look more in line with what users expect from an interface. The old clunky SAP interfaces have been replaced by better looking easier to use ones.

Let’s face it, we all want to work with an updated interface.

In Summary 

The combination of new customer-facing applications like those from hybris, the SaaS applications from Success Factors,  Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur and increase database speed, has made SAP ready to step into a new age of SAP. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform allows for easy implementations of extensions to integrate other software products or bespoke applications. As a result, the system allows for flexibility and best of breed solutions which allow greater innovation and more choice.

Have you got any burning questions about the S4 or ECC run down? Comment below and we will get back to you!

2 replies on “The differences between S4 & ECC

  1. Ian McCarthy - 2018-11-02 13:48:32

    Could you give some advice on how as a FICO consultant I can best secure an S/4 Hana project role from only previous ECC project experience?

    Is being an experienced FICO functional consultant sufficient for most clients?
    Are clients prepared for consultants to learn the transition on the job?
    Is it necessary to take an SAP delta training course before?

    • Jack Bland - 2018-11-20 12:41:42

      Hi Ian, thanks for your message and apologies for the delay in a reply.

      At the moment we are seeing that clients are open to taking on people that have not worked with SAP S4 however as it becomes more popular and more implementations are being done it may be that clients do start to request experience with S4.

      We would say the type of consultants that have been successful in making the switch are the ones that are adaptable to new ways of working for example, working in an Agile methodology.

      Companies do not generally ask for training certificates, so I would not say it is necessary, however I do feel it shows willingness and motivation to pick up a new technology which may help. I would be happy to have a chat through with you if you like and would be happy to keep you across any S4 opportunities that we receive.

      Kind Regards,


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