SAP Smart Financials – The Beginning of the Business Suite Reinvention
This article is also published on Beyond Technologies corporate website at: www.beyondtechnologies.ca
HANA has set the foundation for important changes in the SAP product portfolio (beyond the creation of new ones).
While a great technical breakthrough, the biggest challenge for SAP has been to materialize this into clear use cases for customers. Sure, all get “how fast” HANA is. The question for customers is: “What does it really bring for me and what is the business case?” I’ve previously touched these points in the following BLOG posts:
- The Business value of SAP Business Suite on HANA
- Who should “get” the HANA message? The forgotten ones.
In my opinion, the Business Suite will be, by a far margin, the biggest business case for HANA. I’ve been advocating for it since HANA was announced.
Sure, SAP ERP can now run on HANA and some enhancements (many included in ERP EHP7), including several Fiori Apps, are built for in-memory DB scenarios. But still, these are just starting to scratch the surface of what HANA can do for the Business Suite.
So now, without much fanfare, SAP published documentation of a new product that is simply the first clear manifestation of this reinvention.
SAP Smart Financials 1.0
Hasso late last year had already posted a BLOG about the opportunity for simplification of financial systems when running on HANA.
This new product, in ramp-up, is well documented in the following places:
- Smart Financials 1.0
- SAP HANA Live for Smart Financials
- Smart Financials
Aggregation tables have been removed, as in-memory databases change the way applications need to be built.
Main features are: (Highly copied and pasted here from SAP Help portal)
One Document for Financial Accounting and Management Accounting
Financial accounting (FI) and management accounting (or controlling (CO)) use a single-source document for accounting data.
Unified Single Point of Truth
The FI and CO tables are optimized using SAP HANA views to read from line items rather than totals.
Line Item Based Analytics
Processing and analysis of data is based on line items rather than pre-configured totals, thus you can achieve the highest level of granularity available. You are not restricted by having to set up aggregates, which limit the type and speed of analysis you can do, before you can evaluate data.
Integrated Business Planning
Integrated business planning is embedded into Smart Financials. It covers all of P&L planning (including cost center internal orders, projects, market segments, profit center, functional areas, and complete P&L) as well as a liquidity planning.
Accelerated CO Close
Period close and reporting processes in profitability analysis (CO-PC) and cost analysis are both based on line items rather than persistent aggregates.
SAP Smart Cash Management
SAP Smart Cash Management enables group treasury or the cash department to manage cash and liquidity centrally.
This is probably one of the most exciting announcements made by SAP.
The question that remains in my head is: Now that Financials has a “Smart” version, when will we have Smart Logistics? It is just a matter of time. This is my opinion.
You should not miss the upcoming SAPPHIRE show in Orlando this year. This will most likely get a lot of focus there.