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Easy as 1-2-3: An Introduction to SAP S/4HANA

June 6, 2017 by Pankaj Bhula 1

Agility is a fundamental element of any modern business strategy. Long gone are the days of cumbersome, slow and unwieldy business processes – today, organisations leverage next-generation technology to ensure accurate data that can be accessed anywhere via the cloud, through any device. To achieve this, businesses are scrambling to put a digital core in place, one that will support all aspects of the business with real-time data availability, consistency and integrity.

Enter SAP S/4HANA, a real-time ERP suite for digital business. Based on the SAP HANA in-memory platform, S/4HANA brings significant improvements over SAP’s legendary Business Suite, including an improved user interface called SAP Fiori UX, an updated data model, and comprehensive embedded analytical and machine learning capabilities. By the end of 2016, more than 5400 customers around the world had adopted S/4HANA, with adoption accelerating at a breathtaking pace.

ERP, simplified

SAP S/4HANA has been built from the ground up to offer the same functional scope as SAP ERP, but in a radically simplified form. S/4HANA sits at the centre of digital transformation, providing in-memory computing capability with a simplified user interface to create a technical foundation for improving companies’ processes and supporting new products, services and entirely new business models. Whether in the cloud, on-premise or for hybrid scenarios, S/4HANA provides end-users with active decision support in real time based on data from internal and external sources.

It offers three key value propositions for the modern business:

  1. A new design that simplifies information access from any device;
  2. A modern architecture that enables all processes to be mapped in a single system; and
  3. An intelligent business approach that actively notifies users KPI shortfalls and offers forecasts based on predictive algorithms.

A better user experience

With the rise of mobility within the enterprise, real-time access to business-critical data through a variety of devices has become a non-negotiable. S/4HANA moves the transactional graphic user interface (GUI) of the former Business Suite to the role-based SAP Fiori UX that reduces the number of screens in the application, the need to switch between them and the fields essential to each role and process.

This is significant: a 2016 IDC white paper explored the experience that SAP customers were having with S/4HANA. It found that there is a direct link between a user’s experience of a certain piece of technology and their ability to do their work. In the S/4HANA context, we employ the SAP Fiori UX to create deeper value for our clients’ SAP investment. It provides speed and mobility across multiple devices to enable higher levels of productivity across the organisation.

The “principle of one”

SAP’s entire system landscape, including S/4HANA, offers a single solution for any given business requirement. Previous versions of SAP ERP contained multiple transactions for any particular business process: S/4HANA simplifies the application landscape as well as the architecture to deliver greater speed and efficiency while driving down the total cost of ownership.

Businesses that wish to explore the possibilities offered by SAP S/4HANA have a choice of a greenfield approach, involving a fresh installation in line with SAP best practice; a brownfield approach of system conversion involving a transition that retains all configurations, data and enhancements; and a landscape transformation involving a consolidation of the existing SAP ERP landscape, the installation of a new S/4HANA system or a conversion of an existing system.

To learn more about how SAP S/4HANA as the digital core can support your business click on the link http://bit.ly/2pSpu8q or feel free to leave a comment, alternatively get in touch with me directly.

ENDS

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About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit http://www.sap.com/africa .

 

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