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January 12, 2016

The S/4 Moment of Truth

A few days back, I had the S/4 moment of truth. S/4HANA revealed first hand ! Coming out of the exclusive Partner Enablement Workshop at SAP Walldorf has left me excited about what lies ahead. A series of conversations with the makers of the next generation enterprise solutions gave an exquisite insider perspective on where not only SAP but also the entire ecosystem around is moving and moving briskly.


It is evident that SAP must have taken strategic, radical and bold decisions while making S/4 Enterprise Management as the new product. A few key ones starkly visible - HANA is a must. Converge in the Core. Invest in User Interface. Cloud First. Instead of just be ready for the future, rather create the future. In this blog would like to articulate these briefly.


Firstly, going forward HANA platform is a must for all the innovations from SAP. Levering the Power of HANA, all the new improvements are being designed and developed in the Appliance model of homogenous database and application. This is the foundation of making S/4HANA lighter in terms of data model, data footprint; capable to perform OLAP apart from OLTP in real-time and capable to talk to the Digital World of Big Data, IoT, and off course, everything faster !


Call it  Super ERP, the new Digital Core not only covers classic ERP processes but also offers more functionalities that were so far available only in the satellite SAP products or in the Industry Solution versions of the vanilla ERP - SRM, BI, SCM and DIMP IS to name a few. One of the benefits of this move for customers is to run erstwhile extended processes within one system and reduce investment on multiple SAP solutions. BI for ERP processes is an example of such low hanging fruit. Operational as well as Management reporting and Analytics based on the SAP ERP processes can be in the same system real time and thus obviates the need of a separate BW box.


You can now relieve your personal memory from the series of transaction codes. Fiori Apps can take care of it. A long time due area of making SAP system interface truly user-friendly is now addressed well by SAP with the out of the box Fiori apps that work on PCs, Tablets and mobiles alike.  Each process area will now have transactional and analytical apps classified as per business roles. Sales Order cockpit a great example of innovation with Fiori. Instead of looking at Incomplete Order, Open Deliveries and Sales Invoices not posted to accounting yet with over 5 transaction codes, here comes a single window of the process flow with suggested next steps per line item.


Now Cloud is overtaking the ground. A completely new product space for and from SAP, we now have S/4HANA Cloud Edition with distinct functionality scope as ready-to-run suite. All the custom extensions and bespoke applications SAP now recommends to do on HANA Cloud platform with seamless connectivity to the On-Premise S/4HANA Edition. Also a key to make cloud first, all the new innovations/ improved and new functionalities with come to Cloud edition first on a quarterly basis compared to annual for On Premise edition.


Well, there are lot more interesting and must-do aspects of this journey of transforming the globally spread-out ERP landscape into the next generation S/4HANA Enterprise Management. It calls for many more blogs and interactions ranging from business value to cutover planning. Surely as a decision maker or a system user or a Consultant or as any integral part of the SAP ecosystem, you have your own view and questions. Happy to answer anything that makes your journey easier.

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