That's Impossible! New S/4HANA Demo Techniques That Will Challenge Your Beliefs

New SAP demo creation techniques that seem magical.

Published March 21, 2023



Sometimes there are leaps in technology that seem so sudden that they require completely resetting the belief system about what is possible.

SAP teams are being confronted with some of these changes today thanks to advancements in other parts of the tech ecosystem over the last 20 years. New capabilities seem unbelievable, even when seen first hand. But we encourage you to have a look - talk with us if you want to see anything in action - and think about how they could change your business.

Illustrating the Impossible: SAP Client Demo Mini-Cases

It's easiest to understand these advancements by example. So we will present the advance through a series of mini case studies all focused on the process of demoing an SAP S/4HANA system (fully functioning, with data) to a customer in a pre-sales setting.

Replica S/4HANA Systems Can Be Started in Under 10 Minutes

Imagine sitting with your team the morning before a client demo and saying to a team member, "Hey, can you start up that demo system we're going to be using this afternoon so we can do a last trial run?" Then they do it and a rehearsal demo system is ready in 5-10 minutes.

We generally hear two reactions to this anecdote.

  1. It sounds impossible unless a) the system is on an existing machine that was shut down last night and b) the team member you spoke to was a basis person.
  2. It sounds utterly terrifying. What if the machine doesn't start correctly? What if it takes too long to debug the startup process and we're not ready for the demo? What if we mess up the system that we spent so long configuring for today's demo?

If either of these was your reaction, it's time to update your beliefs.

It's now possible to start up a pre-configured replica of an SAP demo system in less than 10 minutes. It works every time. You can do your full demo, then shut down the system, and restart a fresh one with data refreshed as if you never ran the demo in the first place. The refresh also takes less than 10 minutes.

Even when we tell our customers that they can do this they sometimes shake their heads talking about how it's too risky. Then we show them how to do it. Then we show them again. Then they try it themselves. And finally they start to believe.

The backup is there. It starts up the same way every time. And it works every time.

Backups Are Easy and Reliable

Now imagine your functional team spent the last day customing a demo S/4HANA system to show industry specific data to a prospect. The end of the day comes and someone says, "Good day's work. Go ahead and back up the system so we can shut it down to save some money on our compute costs." In 15 minutes a backup is ready with your day's progress and you shut shut down the system from your smartphone.

Again, we generally hear disbelief - that's impossible! - and expressions of fear.

It is quite possible. With Nuve Platform, backing up a system takes between a minute and a couple dozen minutes depending upon the size of the system. Custom client demo systems usually take 5-10 minutes.

We are generally surprised when we hear the reaction that backups are high risk. Our experience has shown the opposite! Backing up a system at the end of each day means that the team will lose at most one day of work, no matter what happens.

If a data center experiences a natural disaster, you have yesterday's backup. If a developer makes a major mistake and corrupts critical data, you have yesterday's backup. If anything fails, you have yesterday's backup. And you can restore your system from that in less than 10 minutes.

For these reasons, we do regular backups on our own systems as a standard operating procedure.

Demo Systems Can Be Shut Down Daily to Save Costs

We won't rehash the initial disbelief and concerns we hear about this practice. They've already been addressed above.

Rather, we'll note that shutting down systems while preserving progress is easy, and it can save a lot of money. Have the team follow this process:

  • Take a backup at the end of the day
  • Shut the system down
  • Start a new system from the backup the next morning

The total time to do this is negligable. The backup/shutdown can be done on a smartphone while leaving the office, and the startup process can be done while getting a cup of coffee in the morning.

And shutting down demo systems at the end of the day saves a lot of money. The vast majority of the cost of running an S/4HANA system is the large hardware cost. In a cloud environment, this cost is charged per hour. If you can cut those costs by 66% by only running the system 8 hours per day, that can add up to thousands of dollars in savings per month.


We outlined three practices today that sometimes seem impossible to people working with SAP S/4HANA:

  • Starting a fresh demo system in 5-10 minutes, either blank or from a backup, to do customization work
  • Backing up progress daily at the end of the day to reduce demo customization risks
  • Shutting down demo systems at the end of the work day - after backing them up - to cut costs while saving progress

These practices are now possible, and not hard to do with infrastructure automation with Nuve Platform. And the use cases go beyond demo systems.

If you're still doubtful - or if you believe us completely - and want to see this in action, feel free to schedule a demo or take a trial.

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