Enhancement packages give enterprises the flexibility to extend their SAP software by adding only those functions and technical improvements that they actually need. And, because SAP enhancement packages are simply imported into the existing SAP system landscape, customers incur only a fraction of the effort, cost, and downtime that a functional and technical ERP upgrade would entail.
Customers activate the new business functions that they want to use via the Switch Framework. The enhancement packages contain new functions for both generic and industry-specific processes. They are usually delivered to customers every two years and bundle all the new and enhanced business software functionalities that SAP has delivered – either on an ongoing basis or quarterly – in the form of In-Advance Shipments or Service Packs in the period since the last enhancement package was shipped.
The new functions in EHP 7 for SAP ERP 6.0
- Enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0 offers more than 100 new functions and is the first enhancement package to be optimized for both the SAP HANA database and the traditional certified databases.
- SAP has extended mainstream maintenance for the SAP Business Suite and the enhancement packages to the end of 2020, which means that customers’ software investments are safe.
- The enhancement packages reduce the adjustment effort required for customers who subsequently migrate their SAP Business Suite to the SAP HANA in-memory platform.
Enhancement packages are cumulative. Thus, enhancement package 7 contains all the previously delivered enhancements as well as the new ones: That adds up to a grand total of more than 750 functions.
- Since enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0, customers have had the option of deactivating certain business functions that were previously activated.
- Coinciding with the release of the new enhancement package for SAP ERP, SAP has also shipped enhancement package 3 for SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM 7.0), SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM 7.0), and SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM 7.0), which are also optimized for SAP HANA.
- The new functions in SAP enhancement package 7 include the current version of the SAP Commodity Management and SAP Convergent Charging 4.0 solutions. Participation in the SAP Ramp-Up program is mandatory for customers wishing to implement these solutions.
- SAP enhancement package 7 also includes numerous new functions for financial accounting, logistics, human resources, and quality management, as well as cross-application functions and improvements for SAP Master Data Governance and manager self-service (MSS).
Three key new features with EHP 7
The three most important new features in the current enhancement package are the SAP Fiori collection of apps, MRP (Material requirements planning) runs powered by SAP HANA, and technologies for implementing data aging concepts with SAP HANA. What practical benefits do they offer business users?
1. SAP Fiori in action
The current collection of 25 role-based productivity apps in SAP Fiori empower end users to perform recurring daily tasks with enhanced speed and efficiency across devices – whether they’re working on a desktop PC, smartphone, tablet, or notebook. The apps offer role-based processes that are personalized for specific user groups in the organization and that are intuitive to operate. This means that users can complete all their tasks simply and conveniently in a single user interface – no matter how many different SAP applications they work with.
For example, sales representatives need to access data sets from SAP CRM when they want to contact a customer; but they also need to access SAP ERP to create sales orders. SAP Fiori bundles the CRM and ERP transactions that the sales rep needs on a single user interface, which can be configured with ease to suit his or her personal requirements. There is also a context-based and role-based search function that helps end users find information that they are authorized to access, quickly and easily. The search function can be used in connection with SAP HANA, as can SAP Fiori apps that visualize reports.
2. Faster MRP runs
Another important innovation in SAP enhancement package 7 is the option to use SAP HANA Live to check on material availability and inventory days of supply in real time at exploded-view level. There is also an option to perform ad-hoc simulations. Leveraging these options makes it possible to speed up complex MRP runs and capacity planning dramatically.
For example, one customer who previously had to schedule between eight hours and an entire night for an MRP run can now complete the process in less than 30 minutes – thanks to SAP HANA. As a result, this customer can perform multiple MRP runs in a single day, a feat that would have been virtually unthinkable before. These improvements mean that enterprises can adapt their production planning and control very quickly and flexibly in response to changing customer requirements or to exceptional situations in the manufacturing process. Plant and business managers can see straight away whether they need to schedule a production order to a different machine or plant, and whether they could save money by sourcing parts directly from a supplier rather than through the plant’s own warehouse.
3. Data aging: real-time access to ERP data
The data aging objects for SAP Business Suite applications running on the SAP HANA in-memory platform make it possible to efficiently implement a data aging strategy. This gives end users near real-time access to data that is frequently required in day-to-day operations – such as the financial results for the last two years. On the technical side, raw data from the ERP system that is stored in the database is flagged and loaded into the main memory of the in-memory platform according to the “hot storage” principle, where it is kept in highly compressed form to enable rapid delivery of query results. Data that is only required infrequently or rarely remains in the SAP HANA database where it is accessed via SQL queries.
Tools provide overview of new ERP, CRM, and SCM functions
It is often difficult for IT managers to pinpoint which functions are relevant for their SAP landscape and which are likely to add real business value. SAP offers two useful tools to help customers speed up the decision-making process. The first is SAP solution browser, which gives IT managers a fast and precise overview of all the new functions in the current enhancement packages for SAP ERP, SAP CRM, and SAP SCM that are relevant for their system landscape. The second is the SAP business function prediction self-service tool, which – based on a transaction analysis in an SAP system – provides a tailored recommendation about which of the new business functions delivered by enhancement packages will bring the greatest business value to the customer.