SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA is SAP’s biggest launch in the last 20 years. S/4HANA supports companies in the digital transformation of business processes. Following the launch of SAP S/4HANA Finance at the beginning of the year, SAP launched the first “major” release of the new product line to the market in November 2015. It offers simplifications for all departments, i.e. in addition to the financial management activities, now SAP S/4HANA also includes modules for sales, service, marketing, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, asset management, research and development and personnel management.
The suite of applications can be run in the cloud and on-premise. It uses the new SAP Fiori surface and in-memory technology of the powerful SAP HANA platform. With it, users can easily access different roles, businesses and industries, as well as all necessary information in real time. Besides traditional transactions, now companies can also support completely digitized processes. Thanks to a central information base, all processes are executable via a single system, from the planning and execution of forecasting and simulation to real-time analysis. This digital core is an essential element of the “Digital Business Framework” (SAP model for digital companies). It is the central solution which links the different areas of the value chain in real time: employees, equipment, the Internet of Things, suppliers, business partners and customers.
With S/4HANA Enterprise Management, SAP has developed the fourth ERP generation, which comprises Finance & Control (FICO) and Human Capital Management (HCM), the known SAP ERP logistics modules Sales and Distribution (SD), Production Planning & Control (PP), Materials Management (MM), Quality Management (QM), Customer Service (CS), Project Management (PS), Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), Logistics Execution (LE), Plant Maintenance (PM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Logistics General (LO). The SAP ECC 6.0 functionality is available which has already been partially modernized (simplification, Fiori surface, acceleration). In addition, special functions have been taken over from the industry solutions in S/4HANA Enterprise Management.
While in the future the ERP system should be used as much as possible in default mode with few modifications, the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) provides a very powerful development environment to implement new processes in a very short time with a connection to the backend (the SAP ERP system), using apps. Today, there is already a large number of applications available on the HCP, and this number will continue to increase rapidly in the future. New apps can be developed quickly and individually and put into operation.
SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management provides the core functions for imaging digitized processes for individual business divisions. These can be combined as needed with special sector-specific on-premise and cloud solutions by SAP, such as SAP Cash Management for financial management, SAP SuccessFactors solutions for human resources management, the Ariba Network for the procurement and SAP Hybris solutions for marketing and trade.
As part of SAP’s simplification initiative, SAP S/4HANA got a new role-based user interface (SAP Fiori) as well as a simplified data model. For example, all units were removed and thus the data structure was massively streamlined and redundancies in the system are avoided. The associated reduction in memory requirements will lead to more efficiency and cost savings.
Combined with the SAP HANA in-memory database technology, business processes can thus be performed much faster and more efficiently, but also completely new products and services are made possible by the application of intelligent analysis.
The innovative user interface SAP Fiori sets new standards for the design and user-friendliness of enterprise applications. For this reason, in February the new SAP interface will be presented with the coveted Red Dot Design Award.
Among the major simplifications and innovations of SAP S/4HANA are:
By replacing the SAP GUI interface with SAP Fiori, SAP has managed to take a long overdue step towards a modern user interface with responsive design. While SAP GUI supported a transactional or functional point of view which contained the information for several roles and was correspondingly complex, SAP Fiori focuses on role-based applications with a simple user interface. This personalization allows each user to have the relevant data and reports available in real time. This leads to a greater acceptance and user productivity and reduces error rates. The operation of S/4 HANA Enterprise Management is possible on virtually every type of device (PC, tablet, mobile…).
SAP Fiori sets new standards for the design and user-friendliness of enterprise applications. For this reason, in February the new SAP interface will be presented with the coveted Red Dot Design Award.
In order to facilitate the introduction for new customers or the migration for existing customers to SAP S/4HANA, SAP has developed the SAP Activate implementation method. It is integrated into S/4HANA. SAP Activate offers a winning combination of SAP Best Practices, guided configuration and a consistent methodology for cloud, on-premise or hybrid environments.
Interested parties can get to know SAP Activate in a free trial version of SAP S/4HANA.
“More than 1,300 customers in just eight months are impressive proof that SAP S/4HANA is our greatest innovation since SAP R/3. Customers and partners have recognized that the solution allows for completely new business models,” said Robert Enslin, member of the executive board of SAP SE and head of the sales organization. “The digital transformation has spread to all sectors. For companies, this means rethinking business models, processes and IT landscapes and simplifying operations. This is exactly what SAP S/4HANA enables.”
We presented a detailed analysis of potential for improvement in existing business processes in our webinar “SAP HANA – Use in the Life Sciences”. Ask for the access code to our podcast!
With our 20 years of SAP experience, we would be happy to assist in your migration to SAP S/4HANA.
For companies that already use SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management should at least be taken into account in their medium-term planning, because the release change to SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management will become necessary in the foreseeable future.
This results in various change scenarios:
All scenarios are complex projects for the aspects of IT, business processes and company organization. Regulatory issues also play an important role.
If you want to prepare to use S/4HANA Enterprise Management, the steps you need to consider when migrating to SAP S/4HANA can be found here in SAP News. Contact us, we’ll be happy to support you.
In particular, our pharmaceutical industry and medical devices customers are faced with a difficult choice when deciding on an operating model – Cloud or on-premise – as they not only have to maintain the model, but also validate it. In the case of on-premise deployment, i.e. in-house, S/4HANA Enterprise Management is “classically” validated. If you opt for the cloud version, specifically in the life sciences, some features in the validation of cloud computing systems must be observed. Although the company releases their responsibility for system operations and places it into the hands of the cloud provider, the customer always remains responsible for the quality. If you have questions regarding the validation of S/4HANA Enterprise Management, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.