All you need to know about SAP S/4 HANA and SAP ECC


Ever thought of changing the ERP of your organization and upgrading to something new and better? These monumental changes can be intimidating for any business irrespective of their scale or industry, which is why it is often seen that businesses choose to stay put as it is their safest bet.

However, we also need to understand that change cannot be delayed for too long. Especially for businesses, because it can make it rather challenging to survive in this competitive environment with legacy systems. Modern-day businesses require advanced technology that offers agility and reliability at the same time. This was when SAP provided its customers with new enhanced enterprise resource planning ERP solutions such as the SAP ECC.

But as businesses began to grow, the scale of their operations organizations needed something more robust and enhanced than SAP ECC. Therefore, SAP presented the SAP S/4 HANA in 2015, which promised to offer a lot more than the legacy SAP ECC solution. Nonetheless, both the solutions still seem to confuse many among us, which is why we will take a detailed look at both SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA in this post and get better clarity on things. So, let us get started without further ado.      

What is SAP ECC?

SAP ERP Central Component, commonly known as SAP ECC, can be called the preceding generation of the enterprise resource planning solutions offered by SAP. SAP ECC is equipped with many different modules connected and integrated into a customizable centralized system that can run on any database chosen by the user. As a result, organizations can leverage this solution to optimize and streamline different processes across every department, including logistics, customer service, finance, product planning, and human resource.

SAP ECC has always been known for being highly customizable as it enables businesses to configure components of the solution to fit the landscape of the business. In addition, the solution is easily compatible with other customized or third-party applications, but again we must not forget that this flexibility comes at a cost. We say this because every component of the business landscape is connected. If any single component malfunctions, things can easily go wrong with the rest of the components within the landscape. This makes it very important to facilitate effective testing of the entire landscape before deploying any changes, including add-ons, upgrades, enhancements, and customizations.

One important thing to take notice of is the fact that it has already been a while since SAP made an announcement stating that they will discontinue support for SAP ECC by 2025. This means that organizations using SAP ECC will have to hasten their SAP S/4 HANA migration and make the most of the features and functionalities offered by the new and advanced ERP system.     

What is SAP S/4 HANA?

The SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, which is commonly known as SAP S/4 HANA, is the latest ERP solution offered by SAP. Based on the in-memory database of SAP HANA, SAP S/4 HANA helps organizations implement numerous transactions and scrutinize all business-related data in real-time.

The user experience offered by SAP S/4 HANA is powered by the well-known SAP Fiori and is equipped with real-time analytics. Furthermore, the in-memory database of the solution enables it to deal with significant volumes of both transactional and operational data without any complications. Aside from that, the SAP S/4 HANA solves various other problems for businesses, such as issues associated with manual processes, batch latency, data sprawl, and more.      

Similarities Between SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA

This does not come as a shock, but many similarities between SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA can be spotted with scrutiny. Some of these similarities include:

  • Business Operations: The ERP solutions are engineered to help businesses facilitate effective and seamless management of different business operations associated with distribution, sales, quality, manufacturing, procurement, accounting, service, and even plant maintenance.
  • Modular Systems: Both SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA are modular systems. Both the ERP solutions are designed to allow businesses to configure the solutions and leverage only the components that can suffice the business’s different requirements.
  • Centralized Systems: Centralization surely makes things a lot easier for businesses, and both SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA store all their data and information in centralized storage. This makes it easier for everyone to access data and automate repetitive tasks while maintaining a single and unified source for operational reporting.     

Differences Between SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA

There are many noteworthy differences between SAP ECC and SAP S/4 HANA. Therefore, below mentioned are a few of these differences that make both the ERP solutions unique in their way.

  • Database: While SAP ECC can seamlessly run on any third-party databases like MaxDB, Oracle, and IBM, SAP S/4 HANA can only run on the in-memory database technology of SAP HANA.
  • Rebates: The SAP ECC solution leverages the existing SD rebate processing’s to process different customer rebates. The SAP S/4 HANA solution uses settlement management through condition contracts.  
  • CO and FI: The SAP ECC solution is equipped with the FI GL accounts, and these accounts are mapped to CO primary cost elements. On the contrary, SAP S/4 HANA is equipped with the structure of the universal journal that is used to store both cost element and GL account. 
  • New General Ledger (GL): Most know that SAP ECC can either run on the new GL structure or the classic GL structure. However, SAP S/4 HANA leverages only the new GL, which is similar to the new GL found in SAP ECC.


We all understand that the SAP ECC solution is nearing the end of its life, and now it is time for businesses to leverage the latest enhanced SAP S/4 HANA solution. Of course, SAP ECC can help organizations carry out business operations for today, but we all need SAP S/4 HANA to succeed in our business endeavors tomorrow! 

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