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S/4 HANA commercial strategy

In a few years’ time, SAP clients will be compelled to decide when and how a possible upgrade to SAP S/4 HANA should take place.

The transition from SAP ECC to S/4 HANA entails potential financial risks that could result in significantly higher licensing and operating costs. However, it also paves the way for opportunities for a beneficial agreement.

Why devise an S/4 HANA commercial strategy?

By devising a strategy that focuses on both the technical and financial aspects of the transition to S/4 HANA, you can avoid financial risks and grasp the potential opportunities for optimisation.

When is a commercial S/4 HANA strategy relevant?

Many SAP users are currently in a situation where they have to make a number of choices vis-à-vis their future SAP engagement.

Within a few years, they will need to prepare a roadmap for the company’s future ERP support before SAP stops supporting the ECC in 2027. A transition to S/4 HANA will begin no later than 2027. Prior to that, they have to make a number of strategic choices that may have a major impact on the company’s future IT finances and operations.

The complexity and economic implications of an upgrade mean the vast majority of them will have to develop an actual S/4 HANA-strategy. Without a strategy, there will be a high risk of experiencing unexpected price increases, technical obstacles or competency gaps in the context of the transition to S/4 HANA.

Our assistance

Zangenberg Group has extensive experience in, and in-depth knowledge of the complex mechanisms that affect finances in SAP environments. When working on an S/4 HANA strategy, we prioritise the following three areas:


S/4 HANA licensing is one of the most crucial factors when preparing a strategy and business case for upgrading to the new system. The S/4 HANA licensing terms and options differ significantly from previous SAP licensing paradigms, and there will be a risk of significant price increases without a detailed overview of the potential implications of a migration.


An S4-HANA strategy also includes considerations of the consequential costs that usually arise in the context of migration to S/4 HANA. These include, for example, the purchase of new hardware, further training of employees and the depreciation of old software licences.

Technical debt

The third area of an S/4 HANA strategy involves pricing the technical debt that may arise as a result of a missing or delayed S/4 HANA upgrade. For example, we calculate the degree of business significance it would have for the client if they made do without new functions etc.


In addition to the three above-mentioned focus areas, we can also assist in the upcoming S/4 HANA negotiations with SAP. This can either involve direct negotiation assistance, where we actively participate in the negotiation process, or we can equip a client with the appropriate competencies and information prior to a negotiation. Read more about negotiation assistance here:

Negotiation of IT agreements (link)


  • A detailed overview of the client’s existing SAP environment and licence portfolio
  • A mapping of financial risks in the context of migrating to S/4 HANA
  • Input for upcoming negotiations with SAP related to the change to S/4 HANA

Would you like to know more?

Albert Hjelmsted Nygård

Associate Partner

+45 50 90 31 69


Dan Thor Larsen

Associate Partner

+45 26 94 54 40