What is SAP HCM for S/4HANA On-Premise (H4S4)?

November 08, 2021
Written by Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.

SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA On-Premise (more familiarly known as ‘H4S4’) is another variation, similar to the SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE) offering, for customers who wish to extend their current investment in SAP ERP HCM.


SAP HCM for SAP S/4HANA On-Premise (more familiarly known as ‘H4S4’) is another variation, similar to the SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE) offering, for customers who wish to extend their current investment in SAP ERP HCM. As opposed to the PCE offering, H4S4 allows continued use of the on-premise SAP® talent solutions, including learning and recruiting (subject to licensing). It will be available in Q4/2022, synced with the SAP S/4HANA® release, and can be deployed either within the SAP S/4HANA environment or run standalone. More information can be found in this blog by SAP’s Ralf Wagner. More details will become available in 2022 as the delivery date approaches. Commercial details are not yet available.


There are existing SAP customers who have made large investments in the SAP on-premise talent capabilities, including Learning Solution (LSO) and/or e-Recruiting. While it is highly recommended to move to the SAP SuccessFactors solutions, given that innovation is focused there, those who wish to extend their support for those talent modules in addition to their core HR (Personnel Administration and Organizational Management) will have a choice with this offering. As you may know, the SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition offering allows customers to extend their on-premise investment through calendar year-end 2040 for the core SAP HR Payroll and Time solutions. This variation will allow for that, as well as offer support for the on-premise talent components.

H4S4: The basics

  • Based on SAP ERP HCM with comparable functional scope and business processes

  • Running on SAP HANA DB with performance benefits

  • UX, legal changes, continuous enhancements

This is not a new code line in on-premise SAP HCM; it is simply the existing code line that SAP is putting into the S/4HANA environment for those customers moving to S/4HANA and wanting to continue to run the ERP HCM code line in the same instance as S/4HANA. It is a technical upgrade that will take customers to the latest version. It will also have performance optimizations, as well as other usability enhancements. However, customers will still need to implement and deploy the new innovations, the same as any other normal system upgrade.

H4S4: Transition notes

  • Upgrade with existing migration tools and services
  • Customers can run HCM embedded in, or in a separate, SAP S/4HANA instance
  • Any customer Enhancement Pack level is supported; however, they will end up on EhP8 (technical upgrade).

2022 Payroll options

Starting in 2022, SAP customers will have four options for world-class SAP Payroll as detailed in the table below.


Option Payroll Description Learn more
1 SAP ERP HCM Payroll On-Premise Business as usual
SAP SuccessFactors has given a commitment to their approximately 9,000 on-premise SAP Payroll customers that they will not experience an interruption in their continuous world-class support, guaranteed until calendar year end 2027, with extended support available until 2030.
SAP Business Suite 7 Extension: What This Means for SAP ERP Human Capital Management Customers
2 SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE) Non-disruptive pathway to digital transformation
This offering, aligned with the HXM Move program, is part of SAP’s continued commitment to helping customers continue to get ROI from their on-premise SAP investment, while creating a bridge to the cloud and the future.

This is a non-disruptive way to keep your HR, Payroll Time and/or Benefits via a cost-effective pathway to the cloud, while retaining the functional richness of your existing systems. This option involves migrating to an SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (S/4 PCE) subscription, moving your environment to SAP’s own data center or in a hyperscalar (Azure, GCP, AWS). A conversion from on-premise SAP ERP HCM licenses to PCE cloud subscriptions is also required.
Migrate your HCM on-premise to S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE)
3 SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll Innovation
The current focus of innovation with approximately 850 customers and 48 local versions. SAP also allows partners to build their own with partner localizations.

Customers running SAP Payroll (on-premise) who wish to move to SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll (ECP) can do so using tools provided by SAP and partners. Employee Central is a prerequisite to deploying ECP.
Migrate on-premise Payroll to SuccessFactors’ Employee Central with PRISM for ECP
4 SAP HCM for S/4 HANA On-Premise (H4S4) Available in Q4 2022
An offering for customers who wish to extend their current investment in SAP ERP HCM. As opposed to the PCE offering, H4S4 will allow continued use of the on-premise SAP® talent solutions, including learning and recruiting (subject to licensing). It will be available in Q4/2022, synced with the SAP S/4HANA release and can be deployed either within the SAP S/4HANA environment or run standalone.
EPI-USE Labs will offer an upgrade path to H4S4 once it becomes available. We will probably leverage our Data Sync Manager™ (DSM) technology, and create a PRISM offering and methodology to reduce risk and increase the speed at which an upgrade can occur.


Request Free PRISM Assessment



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