S/4HANA Cloud and the End of Buzzword Bingo

By Michael Jolton

“Best Practices, Innovation and Speed” summarizes the NIMBL consultant, while talking about S/4HANA Cloud.

“Bingo!” is excitedly whispered by someone in the back of the room, as another game of Buzzword Bingo comes to a close.

What the skeptical audience has yet to experience, is the demonstration of the application, and why those buzzwords, often assigned to a bovine scatological reference, are actually meaningful in this case. As the demo unfolds, the audience sees a system that provides google-like search through thousands of records in sub-second time, returning context sensitive information that can be acted on immediately. They see interactive tiles that provide a real-time dashboard that allows the business user to focus on what is more important. The audience is further witness as to how SAP has applied the abilities of its in-memory HANA database along with its recently released Co-Pilot digital assistant to re-imagine cash management. A real-time view of cash balances drives an “instant message” like collaboration discussion between the treasury accountant and the purchasing manager to use some excess cash to take advantage of procurement discounts. No Excel downloads. No overnight data extractions. All real-time insight to action.

In wrapping up the demonstration, the consultant adds that this is but one of a myriad list of business processes that have been dramatically improved. And, further, that with quarterly updates coming from SAP, new technologies like machine learning and more will provide the company continuous process improvement beyond what is seen today.

A remaining skeptic in the room offers up a joke about demos and the real world. The consultant laughs and remembers his own joke about demonstrations, and then lets the skeptic know that this is not some demo environment built for sales, but it is the same cloud-based application being used by real companies across the globe, including NIMBL.

Taking one last, hopeful jab, the skeptic asks, “yeah, but how long does it take to implement?” The consultant answers that the implementation is done in weeks because the application is already configured. He adds that there can be complicating factors, like integrations, but the use of SAP “whitelisted” APIs and the SAP Cloud Platform integration manager makes those integrations a repeatable process for the project team. No implementation is easy, the consultant cautions, but it doesn’t have to be financially debilitating or overly painful either. The consultant finishes, “with a preconfigured solution, implementation tools like a migration cockpit and test automation suite, and pre-built APIs, the implementation of S/4HANA Cloud will not look like your father’s ERP implementation.”

As the demo ends, the audience begins to understand the epic shift SAP is bringing to the business world with S/4HANA Cloud. Hands go up to see additional business scenarios based on SAP Best Practices, Innovations like the Co-Pilot digital assistant, and the Speed of the HANA in-memory database. The bingo cards have dropped to the floor..along with a few jaws.

If you would like more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, contact Michael.jolton@benimbl.com.