H4 S4 options for your SAP HCM future tiny

A futureproof SAP HCM suite: choose your unique path

Do you consider futureproofing your SAP HCM environment, but want to safeguard your prior investments in SAP ERP HCM? Do you want to move to the cloud, but not ready for a fully-fledged transition to SAP SuccessFactors? SAP HCM for S/4HANA (HS4S) is just what you need. Stick to on-premise or gradually move to the cloud: with HS4S you’re spoiled for choice.

Why would I replace my familiar SAP ERP HCM suite?

Users of the SAP ERP ECC solution for HCM probably know that SAP will stop supporting the platform in 2027, or in 2030 if you are willing to pay an extended maintenance fee. If you are running a compatibility pack of SAP ERP HCM to keep your HCM solution compatible with SAP S/4HANA, you will also know these packs will be obsolete at the end of 2025. In other words, there is no escape: your SAP ERP HCM suite as you know it today, will need some sort of upgrade in the coming years.

SAP’s ideal scenario: SAP SuccessFactors

As with all its solutions, SAP’s roadmap for HCM focuses on cloud-first: every innovation that SAP develops is embedded in its cloud-based SAP SuccessFactors platform. SAP therefore recommends customers to go full cloud in SAP SuccessFactors. A growing number of organizations are already using the SuccessFactors suite or are on a cloud transition journey. They have a so-called ‘hybrid’ landscape, combining innovative cloud products with on-premise legacy solutions.

SAP HCM options cloud or hybrid

Still, as every organization is unique, so is their cloud journey. Not everyone is ready to rapidly transition from their familiar on-prem HR solution to cloud-based SuccessFactors. You may want to keep your HR processes – definitely your core HR – on-premise. Or you may want to gradually move to the cloud, without a SuccessFactors big-bang. That’s why SAP introduced SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA aka ‘H4S4’.

What is SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA?

HCM for S/4HANA (H4S4) offers the same key functionalities as SAP ERP HCM: Personnel Management, Time management, Payroll and most of the current Talent Management functions.

So, what’s new then?

  • H4S4 runs on the SAP HANA in-memory database, which offers impressive performance benefits.
  • SAP carried out UX enhancements.
  • H4S4 comes with continued support and enhancements: SAP will keep offering localizations (legal changes) to the payroll features, for example, until at least 2040. The maintenance periods are aligned with the general S/4 HANA roadmap.

What are my options and what does the move imply?

1. Stick to on-premise: H4S4 On-Premise

Want to – or have to, due to legislation – keep your HCM system on-premise and leverage your past investments in the solution? Choose SAP HCM for SAP S/4 HANA on-premise to keep running your Time and Payroll modules on premise, either in your own datacenter or via a hosting partner. All you have to do is upgrade the suite to convert to H4S4 on a HANA database.

H4S4 on-premise version is the option for you if you:

  • want to leverage past investments
  • are not interested in moving infrastructure to the cloud
  • are in a specific industry that does not allow cloud-based products (e.g. defense)

2. Move to the cloud: H4S4 Private Cloud Edition (PCE)

Rather take the leap and go cloud, but not ready for SuccessFactors yet? SAP offers H4S4 as a private cloud solution, allowing you to keep your custom code and migrate to the cloud at your own pace (unlike the public cloud). SAP will even guide you along the way, taking care of the migration and of the system work afterwards (upgrades, system copies, installation of support packs, …). Do note: the PCE version does not allow running Talent Management modules.

H4S4 Private Cloud Edition is the option for you if you

  • want to leverage past investments
  • are looking for a non-disruptive way to move to the cloud with Time and Payroll
  • do not use Talent Management modules like Learning Solution and E-recruiting
  • want to transition from CapEx to OpEx with a single subscription
  • want to run on a hyperscaler infrastructure like MS Azure, Amazon web services or Google cloud

Need help making the right choice?

Are you considering HCM for S/4 HANA but still need some advice on which path to choose? Let us help you! We’ve designed a series of tailor-made packages to assess all aspects of a move to S/4 HANA (HR and non-HR). Answering questions like ‘do we have to combine HR and non-HR on the same system’, ‘do we choose on-prem, cloud or hybrid?’ etc., the assessment package will help you select the journey that best meets your unique needs. And, of course, we can help you implement any solution you’re choosing!

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Written by

Kenneth Verbeeck

Kenneth Verbeeck