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A Year of Historic Milestones for SAP S/4HANA

December 15, 2015 by Markus Schwarz 1093

Our customers and partners have experienced a remarkable year in 2015 with the launch of SAP S/4HANA, our next-generation business suite. As this is the time of year for reflection, I wanted to share my highlights on this digital transformation journey that is just getting started.

Together, these milestones tell an interesting story about the unique value SAP S/4HANA delivers to businesses that are determined to become leaders in the digital economy.

Starting with the launch of SAP S/4HANA in February and continuing throughout the year, SAP and our partners have racked up a series of major achievements that reflect the ongoing impact of SAP S/4HANA.

SAP S/4HANA Marks Biggest Launch in SAP History

This landmark year started with the most important launch in the history of SAP since SAP R/3. The SAP S/4HANA announcement in New York City was SAP’s biggest launch to date, and it set the stage for a year of innovations that deliver the simplicity businesses need to succeed in today’s digital world.

In introducing SAP S/4HANA, businesses got a first look at a next-generation business suite that is:

  • Built on the SAP HANA in-memory platform for massive simplification and innovation
  • Natively designed with SAP Fiori UX, offering an integrated user experience with modern usability on any device, and
  • Connected to the Internet of Things and business networks for real-time collaboration.

This critical first milestone opened the doors for organizations to digitize the core and beyond as part of our new digital business framework.

SAP Prospects Rise with New Cloud Edition and Boardroom Showcase

Only a few months later at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, FL, SAP introduced SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition, giving real choice to customers. Adding a cloud edition was the next logical step, as cloud-based services provide a standardized solution for companies that want accelerated business innovations combined with the simplicity of the cloud, based on the most advanced technology.

In addition, SAP offered customers and partners the opportunity to leverage the SAP HANA Cloud Platform as the extension and agility layer for both the cloud and on-premise editions of SAP S/4HANA to extend, integrate, and even develop new digital apps for the Internet of Things.

Along with the cloud announcement, SAP unveiled the SAP Digital Boardroom showcase for executives to predict, analyze, and decide on real-time operational data across their entire business. By breaking down the barriers of a traditional boardroom, SAP S/4HANA gives business leaders the information they need to make decisions for today and drive change for the future.

Deployment Resources for Digital Transformation Journey

SAP momentum did not take a summer break. In July, SAP launched SAP Activate, the simplified deployment approach for SAP S/4HANA. SAP activate consists of best practices, guided configuration, and deployment methodology that allows a much quicker time-to-value.

SAP S/4HANA Reaches 1,300 Customers and Counting

In October, the year’s successes were easy to quantify, as SAP counted more than 1,300 customers for SAP S/4HANA. No other SAP software has been so quickly adopted during the history of SAP.

SAP would not have reached this major milestone without the trust of its customers and partners. And, more than 80% of all SAP S/4HANA projects are managed by partners located around the globe. These partners bring the expertise needed to lead companies to successful outcomes as they complete their digital transformation.

Enabling Digital Transformation with Simplification and Innovation

The year wrapped up on a high note in November with the announcement of a massive wave of simplification and innovation for SAP S/4HANA with the 1511 update that delivered on the promise of the digital core. This update supports all lines-of-business to drive innovative use cases with digitized operations in finance, sales, service, marketing, commerce, procurement and sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, supply chain, asset management, research and development, and human resources.

Among the simplifications and innovations that stand out are:

  • Optimized working capital with new accounts payable and receivable cockpits
  • Decreased safety stock buffers with a simplified data model in inventory management for real-time, high-volume processing
  • Increased visibility with real-time insight into stock and material flow
  • Reduced manufacturing cycle time with streamlined material flow for internal requirements and material requirements planning

The Road Ahead…

SAP will continue to drive innovation across lines of business for all industries in SAP S/4HANA. Our quarterly release cycle for SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition and annual release cycle for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition ensure your business will always have access to the latest technology advances and business innovations for today’s high-speed, ever-accelerating digital economy.

SAP is committed to these innovation cycles because the pace of business has never been this fast, and it will never be this slow again. New demands, driven by the increasing digitization of every aspect of business will put increasing strain on legacy IT systems.

Systems that were advanced ten years ago, are barely keeping up today. Tomorrow, they’ll be completely inadequate for delivering the data-driven solutions that are increasingly defining digital business.

You can get started on your digital journey with the IDC Digital Transformation Benchmarking tool and put your transformation in motion for the coming year.

Wishing you all the best for 2016!

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Top image via Shutterstock

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