When I talk to our customers, conversations almost always lead to a discussion about intelligent enterprises and the experience economy.
How will intelligent enterprises build competitive advantage? How can they build a better understanding of customer needs and perceptions to develop products and services that best meet these needs? Why will an intelligent enterprise be more efficient? How will they take advantage of new business models more effectively? How will advanced technologies make employees more insightful, productive, and capable of anticipating challenges so they can serve customers better?
Becoming an intelligent enterprise in the experience economy is a journey, and it will take most organizations several years to achieve the full expected potential. The progress that SAP continues to make with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1911 release brings that promise closer than ever.
Building Better Customer Value Faster in the Experience Economy
With the 1911 release, our initial integration is delivered between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics). With this integration, SAP now becomes an experience management-driven company as we allow selected customers to share their SAP S/4HANA cloud software experience with SAP.
Additionally, we have embedded XM in the intelligent product design. Now, from a range of official feedback instruments, an SAP S/4HANA Cloud user can select the questionnaire that best addresses what they wants to learn from the customer, along the touch points of the customer journey. Once the user administers the questionnaire and receives feedback, they can better understands market requirements and put actions in place to build an improved solution. With this new innovation, SAP S/4HANA users can now understand customer needs more quickly and build better products faster.
Figure 1 details ideas of use cases that will enable SAP customers to become more experience-driven companies.
Embedded Analytics Across All Functions Drives Effectiveness
With the SAP S/4HANA 1911 release, SAP Analytics Cloud is now delivered standard. SAP Analytics Cloud is the only analytics solution to bring together business intelligence (BI), planning, and predictive to the cloud. And with analytics available on any device, insights can be delivered anytime, anywhere. Business users can now easily manage key performance indicators (KPIs) on SAP Fiori launchpad, mix analytical and transaction activity, analyze and visualize data from multiple dimensions, and build interactive drill-downs to explore data and influencing factors.
With this marriage of analytics and enterprise resource planning (ERP), the ability to drive increased company effectiveness goes up dramatically. An example of this is the treasury executive dashboard, which provides cash and treasury summaries for CFOs, risk committees, senior management members, and treasury employees for a real-time view on major treasury risk and finance KPIs.
Smart, Integrated End-to-End Processes: The Intelligent Enterprise Foundation
Deeply integrated processes that have been enabled with intelligent technologies are the foundation of intelligent enterprises. Across 21 key business processes — including procure to invoice, invoice to cash, and source to contract — SAP applies technologies like situation handling, intelligent robotic process automation, natural language interaction, and machine learning to bring a new of level of capabilities to users.
With the 1911 release, SAP now delivers more than 100 intelligent use cases across every business process — a seven-fold increase in less than a year. A strong example of intelligent capabilities delivered with 1911 is the advancement of predictive material resource planning, with which planners can identify potential capacity issues and evaluate possible solutions as early as possible. As a result of the simulation, these planners are better prepared to take decisions on changed conditions before they become customer issues and deliver higher levels of customer service.
Customers Thriving with Intelligent ERP
I want to conclude by highlighting three recent customer stories:
- Operating in more than 50 countries around the globe, EOH International supports organizations large and small to align technology with business strategy so they can easily adapt to change. EOH recently implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud to unify operations, reduce risk, and increase competitive advantage. See the full story here.
- REHAU is one of the leading systems and service providers of polymer-based solutions for industries such as construction, automotive, and consumer and industrial goods. To better align its corporate office with regional organizations and keep up with its drive for innovative excellence and fast-paced growth in new markets, REHAU implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud. See the full story here.
- Research and development consultants from AKKA Technologies help clients around the world engineer innovative solutions to challenges in the automotive, aerospace, railway, and life sciences sectors. AKKA moved to SAP S/4HANA Cloud for a more reliable, high-performing solution to meet the needs of both clients and consultants. See the full story here.
For more details, see “Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1911 Release.”
Oliver Betz is senior vice president and head of Product Management for SAP S/4HANA.