SAP S/4HANA HCM is the unofficial name of a product SAP will release in 2023 as a bridge to give SAP ERP HCM users more time to migrate to SAP's cloud HCM platform, SuccessFactors.

Mainstream support for SAP's on-premises enterprise users was scheduled to end in 2025. In January, 2018, SAP announced it will extend its on-premises support to 2030, but it is requiring users who want to remain on premises to migrate to its in-memory SAP HANA platform.

Deployed alongside SAP S/4HANA

The new platform, said SAP, will "be deployed alongside, and integrated with, SAP S/4HANA." The product was not given an official name, and SAP S/4HANA HCM is a shorthand description. S/4HANA is SAP's next generation ERP platform.

There is no native HCM in SAP S/4HANA. Instead, it runs as a "sidecar," acting as a separate integrated platform with its own release cycles and support timelines.

SAP's decision to create SAP S/4HANA HCM is being driven by business reasons. The firm has 14,000 on-premises customers, most of whom are in Europe. An ERP migration can take years and is usually costly. Furthermore, Europe's privacy rules complicate moving HCM to a cloud-based system. SAP said many of its on-premises users run hybrid environments and may use SuccessFactors capabilities but run their core HR on-premises.

SAP S/4HANA has an unknown support life

SAP has made SuccessFactors, a software-as-a-service platform, the destination for SAP ERP HCM customers. That has not changed with this announcement. SAP describes the migration to S/4HANA HCM as a "technical upgrade" and relatively easy to manage.

It's unclear what will happen to on-premises users after 2030. Support for SAP S/4HANA HCM is promised to "at least" 2030, but that leaves users guessing about any SAP support services past that date.

This was last updated in February 2018

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