By Anthony Plute, NIMBL SAP Senior Architect
After some recent learnings on SAP’s newest SAP SaaS product – S/4HANA Public Cloud – I came away with a solid vision and insight into SAP’s new ERP Cloud/SaaS offering. SAP is making a big bet and has high expectations for their new SaaS Cloud offering called S/4 HANA Public Cloud (or S4HC). The intention is to allow customers to make a digital transformation or enable their customers to become competitive and successful in the digital economy. The much anticipated S4HC 1608 was released on August 29. SAP has made the S/4 HANA version very easy to recognize… 16 equates to year (2016) and 08 equals month (August). FYI… S/4HANA on premise uses the same nomenclature.
The SaaS versions are available as follows: Enterprise Management Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Professional Services Cloud. Each of these Cloud solutions are designed for companies with unique business models. These solutions are specifically designed for a company to run simple; maintain a low TCO due to less IT and Hardware investment along with an enhanced UX via Beautiful Fiori apps; and to leverage their SAP investment by taking advantage of SAP quarterly innovations. These innovations are not typical upgrades or patches but they will contain new capability to run a business in a digitally connected world.
S/4 HANA on premise customers will get yearly innovations while S/4HANA cloud customers will get quarterly innovations. This is important if a company believes that their innovation strategy needs to be rapid and agile. The main idea is that S4HC will set the digital benchmark and on premise will catch up soon thereafter. In order to allow insight into SAP’s digital innovations, each quarter SAP is releasing a four-quarter forward looking roadmap that lists innovations for all S4HC offerings. For example, key digital applications such as SuccessFactors, Fieldglass, Ariba, Concur, and Hybris will become more connected with the SAP ECC digital core thru these quarterly innovations. SAP wants customers to easily identify upcoming innovations and quickly assess how it can help them expand and upgrade their digital footprint.
S4HC solutions have a standard methodology that will allow for a much quicker implementation than a typical on premise implementation. The typical implementation will be measured in WEEKS rather than months or even years. Each Cloud Solution comes with Best Practice Tools and Accelerators to help a customer adopt Best Practices as the rule and not the exception… and with as little customizing as possible. This is a key to allow for the testing and adoption of quarterly innovations as well as to maintain a cheaper and more manageable IT footprint.
One recent S4HC success story relates to a services firm who recently implemented the S4HC Professional Services solution. This company was focused on innovation and as an early adopter of S4HC. They recognize that their customers are diverse and that an agile and prescriptive solution is important to drive business outcomes, enable scalability, and provide world class service. For example, this company is on a rapid growth path and real time visibility to resource scheduling will help them respond and supply the proper services to their customers quicker. Additionally, they cite that a single source of truth for Project Profitability Tracking with live data (and not offline) that tracks project costs will enable them to ascertain what markets they should and should not be in to maximize value.
In summary, SAP believes that S4HC will be a main driver for digital transformation since the world will continue to be more digitally connected. Digitization is an enemy of the status quo and the catalyst for exponential growth. The S/4 HANA Public Cloud will enable business processing to be connected through a modern digital core. Also, a Beautiful Fiori UX will enable an enhanced user experience that will lead to enhanced processing and increased productivity and quality. I believe that this solution has the true potential to be a game changer… one enabling customers to leverage the power of S/4HANA at a fraction of the cost. For those customers that fit this scenario – it can be a whole new world.
If you would like more information on S/4HANA Cloud, please contact Anthony at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org.