February 12, 2024 By Todd Stacy 3 min read

SAP ECC has been the ERP solution that runs the core business of many global enterprises for over two decades. While SAP released their next-generation ERP, S/4HANA, in 2015 and announced its plans to discontinue the support for ECC by 2027, more than 60% of customers have yet to initiate their move to S/4HANA1. A key reason for this hesitancy is the complexity and cost of migrating to a new ERP platform. With ECC driving mission-critical processes, businesses cannot afford disruption to their day-to-day operations. Since 2021, SAP’s approach to simplifying this was to create a SaaS-based solution for S/4HANA on a single contract called RISE with SAP that includes software, infrastructure and services to migrate to S/4HANA. SAPinsider’s RISE with SAP 2023 report identified the primary benefit as the single contract that enables a cost-effective move2

With the approaching 2027 deadline to move to S/4HANA, now is the time for businesses to start executing their modernization strategy, considering their priorities, landscape and the ROI of the transformation. As with most enterprise IT modernization programs, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Moving to S/4HANA could involve modernizing the stack from application to database to infrastructure, depending on the current ERP landscape. The key to determining the most non-disruptive approach is identifying what needs to be changed and retained in your architecture, considering the short-term and long-term benefits.

SAP offers both cloud and on-prem deployment options for S/4HANA. However, SAP has announced that all their latest innovations around generative AI and sustainability capabilities will only be available on the cloud version of S/4HANA, which is only available through the RISE offering. This also means that any S/4HANA deployment on the Cloud other than through RISE is S/4HANA AnyPremise, that is, the on-premise license hosted in the Cloud and not S/4HANA Cloud. Whether businesses want to move to S/4HANA Cloud or host S/4HANA AnyPremise in the cloud, or continue to run SAP workloads in an on-premise environment, IBM® offers the flexibility and choice of hybrid cloud options and is the only IaaS provider that offers SAP-certified instances on Power and Intel x86 architectures3.

Fig 1: On-premise to cloud move of SAP workloads on IBM Cloud

SAP ERP modernization on Power servers

Over 4,800 customers worldwide choose to run their mission-critical SAP HANA environment on IBM Power servers. The SAP ERP workloads running on IBM Power AIX, IBM i and Linux environments can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud for Production, DR and Test & Development use cases. As Tom McPherson, General Manager of IBM Power, stated: “Clients can leverage the benefits of cloud while also nurturing their on-premises SAP on Power environments as they build out their long-term hybrid cloud strategy.” For customers moving to S/4HANA, here are the SAP-certified hybrid cloud deployment options on Power. 

SAP S/4HANA versionsPower deployment options
S/4HANA CloudRISE with SAP, Premium Supplier
S/4HANA AnyPremise hosted in CloudIBM Cloud for SAP
S/4HANA AnyPremiseIBM Power servers for SAP
Scroll to view full table

As a premium supplier of RISE with SAP, IBM is the only SAP partner offering cloud infrastructure and consulting services4. By combining IBM Power Virtual Server on IBM Cloud with our advisory, implementation, application, security and technical managed services, we simplify customer’s move to S/4HANA. 

Inherent to the delivery of RISE premium supplier, IBM’s ManagePlus control plane has the flexibility to provide managed services for RISE with SAP and supported non-RISE applications. This allows IBM to manage end-to-end workflows that include SAP and supported non-SAP applications. This also enables clients to transform at their own pace by doing a lift and shift of their existing SAP landscape to a RISE-ready cloud landscape.

Building on our 50-year partnership with SAP, IBM offers the combination of SAP-enabled transformation expertise with IBM Consulting and enterprise-grade cloud platform capabilities that help accelerate our client’s ERP modernization journey. We’ll work with you to build and support a non-disruptive and cost-effective execution strategy for S/4HANA transformation with RISE.

If you would like to learn more, join us for the webinar “Non-disruptive modernization of SAP workloads running on AIX, IBM i and Linux environments,” where we will cover:

  • Cloud modernization options for SAP ERP on AIX, IBM i and Linux on Power environments
  • Critical considerations while evaluating these options
  • How to get started
Join the IBM TechXchange webinar, March 6, 2024

1 https://www.theregister.com/2023/10/11/sap_ecc_migration_s4hana/
2 https://sapinsider.org/research-reports/rise-with-sap-2023/
3 List of Certified IaaS platforms for SAP HANA

4 https://newsroom.ibm.com/2022-02-10-IBM-and-SAP-Strengthen-Partnership-to-Help-Clients-Move-Workloads-from-SAP-R-Solutions-to-the-Cloud, IBM on SAP’s partner finder

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