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How SAP and Mendix can accelerate your S/4HANA migration and Digital Business Transformation

The path most organizations will prefer to take when it comes to digital business transformation is always going to be the one that provides the most flexibility for the future. In environments that have invested heavily in SAP applications, that almost invariably means upgrading to SAP applications running on top of the SAP HANA in-memory database.

The challenge organizations face is that while they need SAP applications to provide the foundation for mission-critical business applications, they also need to be able to quickly create applications that will differentiate themselves from rivals. After all, customizations and extensions are how organizations create the flexibility and agility required to truly differentiate themselves. 
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S/4HANA

The challenges SAP customers face when migrating to the latest iteration of SAP applications, however, is substantial. Only 16% of SAP customers have migrated to S/4HANA, which is required by 2025. As part of that process, new and existing extensions and customizations have to either be added or re-implemented to run on top of the SAP HANA in-memory database. Organizations.can deploy S/4HANA today with a “clean core”, an SAP best practice, while using Mendix to customize the environment by creating extensions that run side-by-side.

Once migrated, both S/4 and the associated Mendix apps run on the same HANA database. In fact, Mendix is the only low-code platform to run natively on the SAP HANA database. That’s crucial because SAP applications are extremely rigid. As a service that is offered by SAP of the SAP Cloud Platform “SAP Cloud Platform Rapid Application Development by Mendix“ opens up a clear migration strategy based on a SAP offered development stack, using a common security and governance model, delivered via support for HANA.CTA022

SAP S/4 applications

Customizing SAP applications has historically required a massive investment in professional development skills. Now Mendix is the only application development platform that enables developers and business executives to collaboratively build and deploy digital business applications leveraging all the critical data stored in SAP applications. In effect, Mendix teaches those massive SAP applications how to dance to the music of a modern digital business process!

To facilitate the building of those applications SAP makes it possible to take advantage of a low-code approach of Mendix, which require much less development expertise to create unique processes and workflows. The best part is those extensions can run in their own environment apart from the core SAP S/4 applications. 

SAP HANA Data Management Suite 

One of the primary benefits of the SAP Cloud Platform RAD service by Mendix is the simplified access to the SAP HANA Data Management Suite for real-time analytics processing. The ability to embed real-time analytics into applications will surface the critical actionable intelligence required to drive new classes of digital business applications.

A second major benefit is that amount of data that can be accessed in memory substantially increases. As Intel Optane DC persistent memory becomes available, it will become a lot more common for development teams to find themselves accessing SAP HANA databases with 6TB of data or more that can be persistently accessed in memory to drive near real-time applications.CTA023

The low-code approach to building these applications enable by Mendix make possible for cross-functional teams within organizations to iterative develop new classes of digital business applications that without SAP HANA would not have been possible to build. Rather than waiting for professional developers to craft what they think how a digital business process should be constructed, business users working in enterprise environments can collaboratively share their insights and expertise as low-code applications are built at a higher level of abstraction than traditional development tools.

In some cases, advanced end users will be able to use visual tools to build applications on their own within the context of a set of guidelines defined by IT operations teams.
There’s a global shortage of developers that limits the number of applications any organization can build at one time. As organizations look to embrace digital business process transformation, the size of their application development backlog is starting to increase. There simply are not enough professional applications developers to keep pace with the demand for new applications. By employing Mendix to build applications at a higher level of abstraction, the rate at which applications can be built and deployed substantially increases as professional developers and business users collaboratively build more applications faster. Mendix uniquely allows development teams to both reduce the time and application cost of digital business transformation.


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Tanja van der Krabben

Tanja van der Krabben is Mendix Partner Manager at Mansystems. As a Partner Manager, she is continuously involved in Mendix projects from an HR, project management and quality management perspective.