The latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud update is now available and we’re pleased to announce a range of advances in machine learning, user experience, extensibility, and much more.

As announced in September at SAP TechEd, this latest release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud also includes the launch of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud software development kit (SDK), which provides a simple end-to-end development experience that enables SAP customers, partners, and independent software vendors (ISVs) to easily develop custom applications, extending the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

In addition to the SDK, the fourth update of 2017, 1711, equips customers with a solution that continues to both define the state of the art and break down barriers to innovation.

To achieve this, we’ve focused on three areas that will further empower customers to thrive in the digital economy. Underpinning every decision made for 1711 has been a laser focus on delivering in these areas. Here we outline some of the new features and enhancements that users will appreciate in their working lives.

Intelligent ERP: Providing Increased User Productivity and Speed

Legacy solutions were not built to funnel the flood of information created by the modern enterprise. Complexity can inundate users, rendering promised productivity gains out of reach. That’s why SAP has pioneered intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP). Intelligent ERP learns from exceptions, adapts rules, uncovers insights, and enables smart planning. Users will see the benefits of this approach in several areas.

  • Soft close and prediction: Planning finances correctly is crucial for every business. At the end of the day, it is always hard to stick exactly to the financial plans, especially when there are unforeseen costs that need to be carried. To improve this process, we are now leveraging soft close and prediction with 1711. With this feature, all the costs that are expected but that are not yet reflected in your financial accounts — for instance, open purchase orders — are automatically recorded in your system. Providing a basis for predictive accounting and monitoring of the remaining budget, this new function will help enormously with financial planning.

Digital Business Excellence 

Our focus here is to deliver an improved customer experience and rapid global growth in a digital world through operational excellence.

  • Purchasing analytics: To ease strategic procurement activities, we now offer the ability to classify purchasing spend using A, B, and C categories. Currently we offer this classification for suppliers, material group, and purchasing group. For example, this could mean that 80% of your company’s spend is with suppliers in the A category, 15% with B suppliers, and the remaining five percent with C suppliers. With this classification, you can easily concentrate your efforts on those suppliers or materials that have the biggest impact on your operations.
  • Quality management: One of the processes introduced, with new user experience, in Quality Management is the ability to record and display defects. Digital assistant SAP CoPilot is introduced to help collaborate efficiently to record and handle defects to optimize processes while improving quality. In addition, with our new overview page, you can manage quality level in order to tighten or reduce inspection scope. Users can easily identify all data that relates to the dynamic modification of the inspection scope by using the data from the past inspection valuations to calculate the current inspection scope.

Application Extensibility, Integration and Configuration

The goal here is to accelerate customer-centric solution innovation and implementation in the SAP ecosystem with an open, flexible, and extendable business platform.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers a digital core of standard business processes, which can be extended and interfaced with other SAP and non-SAP solutions. For further extensions or integration with third-party or customer-made applications, APIs are available. Updates for 1711 in this area include:

  • EDI: Businesses have been conducting business electronically via EDI standards for several decades. New web services can be used to connect suppliers via EDI in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This is a big step ahead. As an example, best practices can be using scope item integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Procurement with suppliers.
  • SAP SuccessFactors: With the 1711 release, it is also simpler to integrate SAP S/4HANA Cloud with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, so you can integrate payroll-related expenses for the financial operation. This is working thanks to cost center replication.
  • SAP Fieldglass: This is relevant to run processes with SAP Fieldglass and will increase the level of automation in the entire E2E scenarios. With this update, additional master data replication services from SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Fieldglass such as company codes and G/L Accounts.

For more on the updates, enhancements and developments in 1711 for finance, procurement, professional services, manufacturing and more, visit the SAP S/4HANA Cloud website.