Skip to content
Stuart Browne13-Oct-2022 15:59:095 min read

Once bitten, twice shy - what you don't know about S/4 won't kill you.

I had anticipated writing this sooner.

In fact, I had the title and structure clear in my mind a month ago while travelling the length of Vietnam.

But when I got home, I got flu. 

Well, I thought it was flu. 

In fact, Sophie and I both thought we had flu.

We slept for 3 days straight. I dragged myself out of my bed and forced myself to the UKISUG Connect conference. I really didn’t feel like being around people or being social. 

I felt like shit.

During my 2nd of 3 days at the conference, Sophie called me to tell me she’d spoken to the doctor, having told me not to bother them with flu symptoms.

“They have enough on their hands and can’t do anything for you..."

Apparently through, we had Dengue Fever.

Dengue is known as the bone breaking disease as the muscle and joint pain is is so severe that you feel like your limbs are broken. It zaps your energy and appetite and makes you just want to sleep. 

A lot.

It also makes you hallucinate. It messes with your mind. I felt completely disconnected from my brain a few times.

If I’d have ever done drugs, I imagine this is how it must feel.

There are 2 versions of Dengue Fever - let's call them the baby version and the bad version.

The bad version isn’t a different infection - it’s a consequence of the way your immune system reacts. My baby version involved a stingy rash all over my body - the bad version causes haemorrhaging. 

The bad version of Dengue can kill you.


Weirdly, you can only have a vaccine if you’ve already had it. So we couldn’t have taken precautions - but I've been sternly advised to definitely take precautions against having it again.  Blackpool next year.

Don’t worry though - If you bumped into me at UKISUG or have met me since, it’s spread by mosquitos, not shaking hands or long winded conversations about enterprise technology.

We’d obviously met a bunch of infected female Ades mosquitoes on our travels and then incubated their infection for 10 days before falling ill at home. Hence the delay to my writing this. But, what I was going to write 3 weeks ago was this...

In Vietnam - pretty much the length of the country - the people use a couple of tourist friendly phrases that they’ve honed over the decades. One such phrase is used with such frequency that it infects you so that you start to use it yourself without noticing.

"Same same, but different.”

Try this dish. You’ll like it if you’ve tried Pho. Same same, but different.

To book a taxi, use Grab app. It’s like Uber. Same same, but different.

That beach is nice. All beaches here are nice. Same same, but different.

Everything is same same, but different.

And it is. 

Of course it is.

You can always find similarities between things. You can always find differences between things.

Dengue Fever. Like Flu. Same same, but different.

For once, I didn’t think about work much on my travels. I definitely didn’t think about work much on my death bed (I had man-dengue apparently).

But the one time I did, it was thinking about the stuff we’re doing around SAP S/4HANA at the moment and our FusionGraph platform that visualises what’s new in S/4HANA so that SAP customers can plan, prepare and even build that elusive business case for the move.

You see, S/4HANA is same same, but different when compared with ECC.

Trouble is, people don’t really understand what’s the same and what’s different.

Exactly 12 months ago, we were compiling this research…

We identified that 63% of SAP customers don't know what's different in S/4HANA.

We came away from this research asking ourselves “How the f**K can you do a business case for something if you don’t know what’s different about it.”

I convinced the dev team to join me in data hell for most of January and February to solve the problem. Although it’s taken us the best part of 9 months to design, build, test and refine it, FusionGraph is the result. 

We already have ECC customers using it to plan their S/4 journey - take a look…

Then, over the summer, we did this research into S/4 skills and salaries.

We asked the same question of 450 SAP consultants - "How well do you understand what’s different in S/4HANA?" 

Bear in mind - SAP consultants this time, not SAP customers. These people should know more, right? Especially 12 months on from the last research.

But the SAP consultants faired little better than the SAP customers.

Turns out, not only do most SAP customers not have the detail to build a business case, but SAP consultants don’t either.


Of course SAP know what’s different. They can help you build a business case for S/4 with tools like the Transformation Navigator and Business Scenario Recommendations tools

If course they can - they want your hard earned cash for S/4 licences.

Yes, SAP clearly knows what's different in S/4HANA.

Or do they?

One of our customers has just gone live with ECC in a particular industry vertical, using some niche functionality that is core to their business. 

However, SAP have removed this functionality from S/4HANA with no plans to re-introduce it anytime soon. 

Not only that, but SAP have already done an impact assessment on their S/4 migration and never pointed this out.

We identified it in 15 minutes with FusionGraph.

Your S/4 system is going to be "same same, but different” to your ECC system in the near future. Maybe by 2025, maybe in the 5 years that follow.

But it’d be handy if you knew how same same and how different, right?

View our research library here.


Stuart Browne

Stuart has held leadership roles in the SAP ecosystem over an 18 year period, spanning consultancy, delivery management, practice development, sales, marketing and analyst relations. With an eclectic mix of skills and one of the largest SAP networks in the UK, Stuart has established a formidable reputation that has enabled Resulting to guide SAP customers through complex challenges.