SAP releases S/4 HANA as free trial

The 30-day on-premise freebie aims to encourage more users onto new Business Suite software

SAP customers can try the latest version of Business Suite, S/4HANA, in a free, 30-day on-premise trial.

The trial gives access to a demo, with examples of typical installation scenarios and infrastructure trials so potential customers can view the insights it provides in real-life situations.

The suite allows businesses to explore instant insights across their entire organisation, including finance, procurement, sales and manufacturing, and they can also use the German tech giant's user experience software, Fiori, alongside it.

Elvira Wallis, senior VP of scale, enablement and transformation at SAP, said: "The trial allows users to touch and feel the simplicity of SAP S/4HANA combined with real-time insight to help our customers drive their digital business transformation at their pace."

When the trial ends, those who decide to purchase the suite can use SAP's Activate service to help them move to services on the cloud, on-premise or via a hybrid approach, while a cloud-specific trial is also available for customers that wish to head straight to a cloud deployment.

S/4HANA is available on-premise, in the cloud or as a hybrid deployment, and SAP hopes it will act as a way for on-premise customers to begin shifting more IT into the cloud.

The service had 900 customers at the end of the first half of 2015, up from 370 at the end of March.

Launched back in February, uptake has been encouraging, though in April 72 per cent of SAP users were unsure whether the latest release would make it easier for businesses to gain insights about processes, uptake has been encouraging.

SAP user group vice chairman Paul Cooper told IT Pro: "While this [doubt] is understandable considering it is a recently launched product, it highlights a knowledge gap that will need filling. As SAP's product offerings continue to evolve, users need to understand how they will impact on their business."

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