How Accurate Was SAP on S/4HANA Not Being Free for ECC Customers?

Executive Summary

  • For years SAP has stated that SAP ‘s integrated suite offers a lower TCO.
  • In this article, we review the accuracy of this claim. 

What SAP Said About S/4HANA Not Being Free for ECC Customers?

SAP frequently stated that S/4HANA was so much better and so much more innovative than ECC that in SAP’s words, S/4HANA was the logical successor, but not the legal successor to ECC. This meant that S/4HANA would not be covered by the standard support contract terms that allowed a customer to upgrade to the most recent version of an application.

The Truth About S/4HANA’s Changes and Innovation?

S/4HANA has a new database schema, and its code has been rewritten, but it is simply not possible to view S/4HANA as a “new” application. It is ECC with some housekeeping changes that are more internally focused than things that the customer will notice. Secondly, it does not use Fiori (the new UI) nearly as much as it uses the same old SAPGUI. Analysis of the code between ECC and S/4HANA shows a 90%+ overlap between the two systems. How can such an overlap translate into S/4HANA being considered an entirely new product for upgrade reasons?

It is illogical.

Advice on Enjoying the S/4HANA Quiz

To see the full screen, just select the lower right-hand corner and expand. Trust us, expanding makes the experience a whole lot more fun.


Conclusion and Calculation

SAP receives a 0% accuracy rating for defining S/4HANA as so new and different than ECC that it is not covered as a standard upgrade to ECC customers that are current on their support.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.


Research Access

  • Do You Need to Access Research in this Area?

    Put our independent analysis to work for you to improve your spend.

Link to the Parent Article

This is one of many research articles on a specific topic, that support a broader research calculation. For the overview of the research calculation for all of the SAP topics that were part of the study, see the following primary research A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.