SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP S/4HANA Cloud
14 March

SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP S/4HANA Cloud

After years of development, SAP Business ByDesign im SaaS-ERP area for medium-sized companies has reached a high level of maturity. SAP Business ByDesign seems comparable to the strengths of SAP S/4HANA in larger enterprise implementations. So what is the difference between the two SAP cloud products?

SAP S/4HANA Cloud the successor to SAP Business ByDesign

SAP's launch of S/4HANA in 2015 marked a major step forward for the flagship of SAP's ERP offerings. In addition to the many changes in the technological basis, there was a consistent focus on the cloud added. But this was not SAP's first foray into the cloud-based ERP world. Almost a decade earlier, the company had launched a pure SaaS ERP product called SAP Business ByDesign, which functionally felt somewhere between SAP Business One and SAP ERP.

Versino Financial Suite for SAP Business One Finance

SAP S/4HANA Cloud when it has to be less special

If you want to compare SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA, the first question that arises is how SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA differ? This is especially true for those based on the competing cloud versions. Because SAP offers a slimmed-down version of S/4 HANA from the cloud for smaller, less complex companies. Why should a new customer choose SAP Business ByDesign instead?

SAP Business ByDesign - The cloud pioneer

SAP originally introduced SAP Business ByDesign in 2007. the ERPsolution and is a combination of native code and elements inherited from its flagship ERP system. This is Software-as-a-Service, ie business software in the cloud. This should support business processes in the essential functional areas. The solution is accessed via the Internet using a browser. For medium-sized companies that want to quickly introduce an ERP with a wide range of functions, SAP Business ByDesign can be a good choice, provided that the business processes of the product correspond to the functional requirements of the company down to the last detail.

SAP Business ByDesign - strengths and limitations

For SMBs, particularly mid-sized companies, Business ByDesign offers strong ERP capabilities with some distinct advantages, including the following:

  • Customers can implement SAP Business ByDesign relatively quickly
  • SAP Business ByDesign is suitable for companies that use GAAP, IFRS and other accounting standards are required to report.
  • As a SaaS product, it has central update management
  • The thoroughbred cloud solution shifts IT maintenance away from your own company

Potential customers should also be aware of the limitations of SAP Business ByDesign:

  • Although SAP Business ByDesign in finance strong, it may not be mature enough in other areas to keep up with S4/HANNA
  • There are relatively few add-ons to extend SAP Business ByDesign. The central control of updates always harbors the risk that the time and scope are not coordinated with the extensions. This can be expensive and/or lead to disruptions.
  • Generally, SAP Business ByDesign cannot be customized. While some configuration is possible, the scope of the customizing there are limits.

SAP S/4 HANA more functions for the cloud

While SAP S/4HANA Cloud is less complex compared to other versions of the same product, it is still more complex than Business ByDesign. SAP Business ByDesign was built for mid-market companies that need the functionality of a high-end ERP, but without the immense range of configuration options available in S/4HANA.

The package that should be compared to SAP By Design is SAP S/4HANA Cloud: A highly standardized, multi-tenant cloud service for selected sectors and industries. However, it has a larger and more comprehensive range of functions than SAP Business By Design. The cloud version of SAP S/4HANA has similar goals: extensive cloud standardization, high scalability and rapid innovation with relatively lower total cost of ownership.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers faster upgrade cycles: quarterly, as opposed to yearly for the on-premise version. This has advantages and disadvantages, as a customer you are always on the move with the latest version, but you also have to live with the risks of software that is not yet “tested in everyday use”.

In terms of expandability, there are clear limitations in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud compared to the other variants of the SAP ERP software. In principle, extensions can be made with the SAP S/4HANA Extensibility Framework or with the help of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) via a API will be realized. Access to this system is exclusively for the user via SAP FIORI and thus via a web browser.

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