SAP® EWM for S4/HANA Cloud: Can It Handle 450,000 Telegrams per Hour?

Published on in Software
04:20 minutes reading time

The cloud has a silver lining. That’s great news because the forecast for the world of SAP has just shifted from clear skies to cloudy. Christian Klein, CEO of SAP, announced that the latest innovations for all SAP® standard solutions, including SAP® EWM, will only be available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This move raises two questions. One, how can I migrate my logistics processes from an older version of SAP® EWM to SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud? And two, will the SAP Cloud deliver the level of system performance I need to keep highly automated processes running smoothly? We answer these questions and more in this blog post, using one of our highest performing migration projects with an SAP® EWM solution as an example. The solution processes 450,000 MFS telegrams per hour with a latency of around 25 milliseconds. Read on to learn all about it!

Not all clouds are created equal: S/4HANA Cloud, private edition or public edition?

Since 2019, all subsequent releases of SAP® EWM 9.5 have been exclusively part of the SAP S/4HANA suite. The SAP S/4HANA® database technology is ideal for the logistics industry thanks to its high performance and short processing times, and its speed increases the overall performance of the logistics system.

In addition to the well-known embedded and decentralized on-premise variants, SAP S/4HANA® also offers license models for the cloud. While on-premise installations continue to run on servers owned by the customer, SAP provides the IT infrastructures for the cloud through a subscription service. There are two options for this software as a service model: private or public edition.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, is comparable to the classic on-premise option by SAP® EWM. This software solution offers the same functions and advantages as a decentralized or embedded version – just in the cloud, allowing users to customize and modify the SAP® EWM standard system. SAP also cooperates with hyperscalers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Alibaba. Users can select the provider they want and the system is hosted on a private server that is managed by SAP.

In contrast, SAP® EWM for SAP S/4HANA, public edition is a multi-tenant solution. This means that the SAP S/4HANA Cloud is used by multiple SAP customers and has a smaller scope than SAP® EWM for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

Which cloud option is best for you depends on your company’s needs. However, the same decision-making criteria apply for both cloud and on-premise solutions. After taking the existing SAP® EWM solution into account, these criteria are:

  • Scope of function
  • Material flow
  • Degree of automation
  • Required latency and availability of the network
A finger taps a tablet display. Data, represented by cubes, is migrated to SAP<sup>®</sup> EWM for S4/HANA Cloud, private edition.
Along with the high level of automation and the required latency, the customizability of the existing SAP® EWM solution was decisive for the final decision to use SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. Response times were thoroughly checked and found to be sufficient to migrate our retail customer’s high-performance end-to-end SAP® EWM system landscape to the SAP Cloud.

Use case: 450,000 SAP® EWM MFS telegrams an hour in S/4HANA Cloud, private edition

These reference points also laid the groundwork for choosing the right cloud solution in the best practice example we mentioned earlier. Our customer, a retail group who is active worldwide, selected their highly automated distribution center as the pilot project for their logistics network.

Overview of the distribution center


degree of automation



based on SAP® EWM 9.5 with SAP NetWeaver® technology as the warehouse management system (WMS) and warehouse control system (WCS)

subsystems integrated into SAP® EWM and controlled by SAP® EWM


telegrams per hour

(60 % ingoing, 40 % outgoing) with latency under 25 milliseconds

Along with the high degree of automation and the required latency, the customizability of the existing SAP® EWM solution was crucial for the final decision. Response times in SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, were thoroughly checked and found to be sufficient to migrate our retail customer’s high-performance end-to-end SAP® EWM system landscape to the SAP Cloud.

The migration project for our retail customer began in late 2022 and successfully went live in October 2023 after extensive testing in the emulator and in the system. The entire SAP® solution is hosted by the hyperscaler SAP on Microsoft Azure in Zurich, Switzerland. The distribution center is also located in Switzerland.

During this migration project, we and our customer gleaned six essential tips that are helpful for any SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud migration project, whether the level of automation is high or low. We share them with you below.

Finger tapping on a check button, representing the knowledge we’ve gained from our S4/HANA Cloud migration project.
During our S/4HANA migration project, we and our customer gleaned six essential pieces of information that are helpful for any SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud migration project, whether the level of automation is high or low.

6 tips for migrating from SAP® EWM 9.5 to SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud, private edition

Single point of truth – a shared to-do list
One decisive factor for getting a successful start to a migration project is having a single shared to-do list for the customer, the SAP implementation partner and SAP. A shared document and regular meetings are essential for successful collaboration, especially if the customer is actively involved in the project and bringing their own expertise to the table. This is also the point where issues such as network topics and rights should be defined. While creating a shared document may seem like an obvious first step, more often, it isn’t.
SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit – solid tool for data migration
The SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit is a good starting point for transferring the data in the existing system to the new cloud infrastructure, but it’s not a magic wand that migrates data perfectly with absolutely no errors. Therefore, manual work on the database after migration should be planned from the very beginning.
Planning a feature freeze and defining emergency transports
A warehouse management system (WMS) is not a fixed entity. It has to grow with the business to be able to provide value, which means it must constantly adapt to new requirements. Planning a feature freeze is therefore ideal for a migration project executed during ongoing operation. Which requests are actually emergency transports must be also defined during the test phase planning. These require both systems to be synchronized. Our retail customer, for example, started rolling out a cloud solution at a different distribution center while they were performing the S/4HANA migration. This other cloud solution had a lower degree of automation and some RF-guided and voice-guided processes, but uses the same code. For that reason, concurrent coordination of both projects was essential as well as using a solely technical go-live to transfer the code basis into the production system.
Test phases with emulation – ensuring system performance
The crux of every migration project is ensuring that the system delivers the required performance. For our customer the retail specialist, we spent two weeks performing intensive regression testing. Both an emulation and the actual system were tested to ensure the stability and robustness of the SAP® EWM solution in S/4HANA Cloud. Detailed analyses carried out during this intensive test phase revealed weaknesses in the system’s performance, which could then be corrected. For example, two mass tests performed on the quality system showed that the system sizing was insufficient and needed to be adapted. Additionally, the exact same bookings showed that database access was too slow. We solved the issue by optimizing queries and the database parameters. To help with load balancing, we decided in the specification phase that bookings from automated subsystems should be distributed across all application servers.
Go-live planning adapted to the system workload
One distinctive feature of our retail customer’s distribution center is that their order load increases over the course of each month, meaning that the peak – even during peak periods – is always at the end of the month. Therefore, we planned the go-live of SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud accordingly and tracked the successive workload increase with a special monitoring system. Thanks to the results of the intensive test phase, we knew to focus on the performance and optimization of database queries. To make it happen, the customer’s SAP base team collaborated closely with SAP (MaxAttention Services).
SAP® EWM 9.5: not the same as SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud
Whether introducing a new software program or migrating an existing one, software key users mustn’t be forgotten. The migration from SAP® EWM 9.5 to SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud meant a change in the interface – albeit a small change – but nonetheless one affecting the key users who work extensively with the system. Since this affects topics such as monitoring interfaces and deliveries or checking and maintaining master data, a training plan for key users should be included in the project plan.

What about your SAP® EWM cloud solution?

Whether SAP’s long-term strategy will be cloud-only or simply cloud-first remains to be seen. However, it’s clear that SAP® EWM for S4/HANA Cloud, public or private edition, are both solid deployment options. Our best practice example also shows that response times are no reason to not use the cloud. In fact, the response times in SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud, private edition are even fast enough to smoothly manage warehouses with a high degree of automation and complex processes.

Now there’s just one question left: What about your SAP® EWM cloud solution? We’re happy to get you started on your own personal migration to SAP® EWM for S/4HANA Cloud. Want to know more? Drop us a line at