We receive a lot of questions about SAP’s product offerings—especially when it comes to the differences between SAP ECC, SAP Suite on Hana (SoH), and S/4HANA. Many clients are migrating to SoH as the first step in their journey to S/4HANA, looking to take advantage of S/4HANA’s better performance without having to adopt a completely new system.

In part one of this series, we explain what SAP SoH is, how it works, and some of the benefits you can expect from it. In part two, we’ll share some best practices for successfully migrating from SAP ECC to SoH. Let’s get started with the basics. 

What is SAP Suite on HANA?

SoH is the traditional SAP ECC solution that operates on the SAP HANA database. It has all the functionality you’re used to getting in an ECC environment except that the database it uses is the HANA engine. This translates to faster performance because it’s working inside the memory component. SAP Suite on HANA also gives you access to the HANA live studio, allowing you to create real-time reporting. 

How We Got Here

SAP launched SAP HANA, its first in-memory database and platform, about ten years ago. Before that, its products were all database-agnostic. Now, SAP uses both SAP HANA and S/4HANA, its next-generation business suite for ERP and more. S/4HANA only runs on SAP HANA—it doesn’t support other databases like Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2. 

In 2030, SAP will no longer support business applications other than S/4HANA, which is why many organizations are starting to adopt the SAP HANA database now as they make the move from ECC to S/4HANA. Imagine SoH as a stepping stone in that process. 

How Suite on HANA Works 

It’s important to think of SoH as more than a way of using the SAP HANA database to support SAP ECC. While it’s true that SoH gives you the performance boost of SAP HANA, using it means you don’t have to restructure your entire application layer. 

You’ll notice your standard ECC functionality works just the same on HANA as you would expect on another database and hard disk drive data storage. Most of the SAP transaction codes are available in SoH, but there is no data simplification. SoH also features amended transactions to give you even better performance. 

Benefits of Suite on HANA

If SoH is your first step on the way to S/4HANA, you’ll experience a lot of value in that first step. Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:


Thanks to SoH’s increased performance and better visibility, you’ll find that you have plenty of rich data to drive enhanced analytics. (Imagine the business outcomes you can experience when working with all that real-time information at your fingertips…) 


There’s no better time to migrate to the cloud and take advantage of benefits like cost savings, scalability, security, and more. A cloud-based solution also helps simplify your IT structure by getting rid of your data center and moving to a managed services model. 


We’ve mentioned this benefit a few times already, and with good reason. Hands down the biggest gain you can expect from making the move to SoH, a significant performance boost will result in better user productivity and customer satisfaction. 


Using the HANA database gives you a bird’s-eye view of how resources are being used across your organization. This information allows you to deliver better customer experiences and quickly react to changes as needed.  

Getting the Most Out of SAP

We hope the first part of this series has helped you gain a better understanding of what SAP Suite on HANA is and why it’s just the tool your company needs as it continues its digital transformation journey. Don’t forget to check back for Part Two of this series, where we’ll share tips and tricks for making the move to SoH. 

If you’re ready to migrate from SAP ECC to SoH, partnering with the right people is critical to making that business transformation successful. From planning to executing to running SoH post-go-live, our senior-level US-based SAP consulting team can help you maximize the benefits of your SAP setup faster. 

Contact us today to get started.