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As we are launching SAP Simple Finance at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando as we speak, I wanted to write a short blog post to capture some of the thoughts and discussions we have been having around this new offering in the past weeks and months. Many of you might have questions, and maybe this blog post will answer some of these questions, and hopefully it will also encourage you to post more questions in the comments for me and the experts to address.

So, what exactly is included in SAP Simple Finance?

Short sFinance_Overview_v10.jpg

Based on SAP HANA, SAP Simple Finance is a new offering consisting of a set of end-to-end finance solutions delivered as easy to consume, yet comprehensive value packages covering the complete capabilities of the SAP Finance Value Map. For maximum choice and flexibility, SAP Simple Finance is offered with subscription pricing and can be deployed as a managed service via the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. This set of finance solutions can also be connected to other cloud and on-premise applications in a hybrid deployment model, allowing customers to protect and extend their current IT investments. The set of solutions includes:

Base Package     
     (SAP ERP Foundation Extension, financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA)
Financial Planning and Analysis
     (including Planning and Reporting)

Accounting and Financial Close,

     (including Corporate Close, Financial Closing Cockpit, and Master Data Governance, Lease Administration by Nakisa)
Treasury and Financial Risk Management
     (including Treasury Operations, Treasury and Risk, Financial Services Network, and Commodity Risk Management)

Collaborative Finance Operations
     (including Receivables Management, Payables Management, Travel Management, and Shared Service Framework, Ariba Collaborative Finance)

Enterprise Risk and Compliance Management
     (including Risk Management, Fraud Management, and Audit Management)    

The offering can be easily connected  to the broad portfolio of public cloud applications from SAP for key lines of business such as human resources (HR), procurement, sales, service and marketing, as well as to the Ariba Network, enabling collaboration in the world’s largest trading community.

Some of you have asked if SAP Simple Finance is new code, or if Simple Finance is just a new provisioning of the SAP Value Map for Finance in SAP data centers. The answer is that SAP Simple Finance provides new code to customers in specific areas, for example in the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and in the new, planned finance applications based on the financials add-on (e.g. SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA and SAP Cash Management powered by SAP HANA, etc.). In addition, SAP Simple Finance also contains all existing SAP Finance solutions that are available for deployment in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. This provides consistent finance solution scope and capability independent of the customer’s choice of deployment.

Another questions that comes up very often is around the choice of word “simple”. Simple is not the first thing that springs to mind when we talk about enterprise-caliber finance solutions. We chose the word “Simple” to draw attention that we can now bring simplicity across the most complex finance tasks with the SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA. SAP Simple Finance is also designed to provide the most simple experience for easy cloud adoption — from the discovery of the solution to the deployment, until the actual usage by finance users. By leveraging modern design principles, customers also have the option to deploy the SAP® Fiori® user experience for personalized, responsive and simple interactions across most common financial tasks.

While all the enterprise-caliber capabilities of the SAP Finance solution are still available, the internal accounting architecture, analytical methodology, discovery, consumption, on-boarding, configuration, packaging, and extensibility are and will continue to be radically simplified. By delivering easy-to-consume, and simply subscribed value packages and by progressively applying more and more cloud capabilities to the set of solutions over time, SAP recognizes that cloud deployment and consumption of enterprise software will be the “new normal”. Yet, SAP is moving beyond simple cloud enablement with SAP Simple Finance. We are delivering on all the benefits of the cloud (e.g. ease of deployment and consumption, etc.) while not compromising on SAP’s traditional strengths of enterprise caliber breadth and depth, high degree of automation, globalization and industry support. In summary: SAP Simple Finance makes the most complex finance functions and tasks simple to consume and perform while delivering sophisticated capabilities.

That’s all for now, I look forward to your questions!

CHHO, Walldorf, June 2014

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28 Comments

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  1. Abdul Hakim

    Hi Christian – Thanks for sharing this blog with the community. I have couple of questions regarding SAP Simple Finance.

    1. What are advantages and business value SAP Simple Finance brings up compared to SAP Finance solution delivered as a part of SAP Business Suite / SAP Business Suite powered by HANA?

    2.Whether this product is developed to run solely on HANA or it can run across other database platforms as well? What are the technical skillset (ABAP/Java/Javascript/River) required to support / enhance this product?

    Thanks

    Hakim

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Abdul,

      1. What are the advantages and business value of SAP Simple Finance compared to SAP Business Suite, and SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA?

      The financial capabilities of the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (ERP
      Financials) are part of the SAP  Simple Finance offering. They are complemented by offering such as SAP Financial Performance Management, Ariba Invoice Management, or SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense. In addition, SAP Simple Finance is optimized around the cloud qualities of simplicity and ease of consumption. It is aimed at delivering a continuous stream of innovations on a modern finance set of solutions that fully leverages the SAP HANA platform and SAP Fiori user experience. So, the financial capabilities of the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA is an essential part of our SAP Simple Finance offering and can be considered as a starting point for customers that want to drive simplicity across their most
      complex tasks.

      2. Is this product developed only on HANA or can it run against other database platforms as well, what are the technical skillsets ..

      Our current roadmap is that SAP Simple Finance is designed for SAP HANA. If third parties want to build sufficient capabilities into their database, like our planning capabilities, then we are open to port SAP Simple Finance to their database as well. So far, no competitor has given us a roadmap that states that they can provide these capabilities, and therefore, today, there is no roadmap to deliver this offering on third party database.The technical skillset is the same as for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, complemented by additional features of the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP HANA Platform. We will run a number of enablement sessions on Simple Finance after SAPPHIRE NOW so stay tuned for more detail.

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      1. Abdul Hakim

        Hi Christian – Thanks for the clarification. IMHO if SAP Simple Finance is extended for customers running SAP Business suite on other database platform that will be a big boost for this new offering as there are around 1000+ customers running Business suite on HANA compared to huge numbers who are running on other database platform. I also believe that success of a product depends mainly on the usage and adoption by the customers. Hope SAP release this new offering for customers running on other DB platform in the future.

        Thanks

        Hakim

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        1. Christian Horak Post author

          Hi Hakim, understood, I think the trend towards real-time, in-memory, and predictive planning is just at the very beginning and we will see a lot more adoption in the customer base. But valid points, I appreciate the input!

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  2. Richard Hirsch

    Hi,

    Can you provide a comparison (technology, audience, functionality, etc) of this new product with the old Financials OnDemand product?

    D.

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Richard

      SAP Cloud for Financials (formerly SAP Financials OnDemand) was a solution based on the SAP Business ByDesign code base. It was merged back into ByDesign in 2013. Midsize enterprises can still access the capabilities as an integral part of the SAP Business ByDesign offering, by simply configuring only the financial scope of ByDesign. I think you blogged this a while ago. ByDesign is a homogenous single application and stays focused on companies with a 50 to 500 user range, while Simple Finance is mostly aimed at larger companies with more than 500 users, that are looking to simplify and consolidate their finance solution landscape in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, and transform their finance function to deliver strategic outcomes through real-time analysis and simplification. SAP Simple Finance prospects prefer to have the complete Finance Value map of SAP available to them, including planning, consolidation, risk & compliance, etc. and they would not want to trade-off functionality on their path to the cloud. SAP Simple Finance is a set of solutions, providing a very broad range of finance functionality as detailed in the blog post above. The basic technical foundation is SAP ERP Foundation Extension (with EHP7), including the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by HANA. The add-on essentially replaces the ERP financials in a non-disruptive way and thereby provides the foundation for new HANA-based applications such as SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA and SAP Cash Management powered by HANA.

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  3. Fred Verheul

    Hi Christian,

    1. Can existing customers also deploy the whole Simple Finance package on Premise (if they have the prerequisites installed on-premise)?
    2. For net new customers who don’t have an SAP ECC system at all: is it possible for them to run Simple Finance in the HANA Enterprise Cloud without an ECC-like deployment or license (licensing just Simple Finance)?

    Thanks!

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Fred

      the Simple Finance offering is specifically targeted for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud deployment. Customers can stay on premise by taking onboard EHP7, and by installing the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by HANA to obtain equivalent financials capabilities.

      For net new customers of SAP Simple Finance, there is a specific offering (Simple Finance base package) for them to get started with the new simplified approach for finance. The can then extend their base package scope as needed with additional value packages (which are created along the key processes of the finance value map of SAP, see original blog post). For new customers, SAP will install all the prerequisite technologies and packages for them on the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. We are offering a range of optional services to help them get their data moved from their existing systems. The all-inclusive subscription price for SAP Simple Finance is either based on company revenue or number of users to make things simple.

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  4. Shyam Jajodia

    Christian,

    Thank you very much for a clear explanation of the foundations. Will industry extensions such as EA-PS be available in Simple Finance?

    Thanks!

    (0) 
    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Shyam

      SAP Simple Finance leverages the industry and internationalization scope of the SAP Business Suite. SAP Simple Finance is planned to be released for
      customers in 25 industries and more than 50 countries to match the local and
      global requirements of finance departments.
      While we start in a focused way, more countries, languages and industry capabilities will be added based on early adopter feedback. So the general answer is “probably” but we need to take it step by step. Since SAP Simple Finance is going in the direction of a cloud solution and SaaS we need to be careful to maintain simplification and standardization on the road ahead for Simple Finance. At the same time, we remain committed to keep in functional scope synch with on-premise deployments to the extent feasible and reasonable.

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  5. Varkey George

    1. Hope the SAP Simple Finance would take care of the Taxation requirements of different countries.

    2. Ongoing releases of Patches to take care of continuous changes in Depreciation & Income Tax, Excise Duty, Sales Tax etc – would it be simultaneously controlled by SAP Labs for ECC as well as Simple Finance

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      HI George,

      yes, SAP Simple Finance leverages the internationalization scope of the SAP Business Suite. While simple finance will be radically simplified when it comes to the end-to-end experience from discovery to actual usage, we have no intentions to eliminate functionality or regulatory coverage. From that perspective, SAP Cloud for Finance brings the best of both worlds, .. cloud simplicity and enterprise-caliber scope .. which eliminates the trade-of customers had to make with finance solutions in the cloud up to now.

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  6. Rolena Smith

    Christian,

    Should a company looking at going to SAP Simple Finance need to migrate to New GL prior to migrating to SAP Simple Finance?  Many companies are still on the classic GL.  What is the expected migration path for companies on the classic GL?

    (0) 
    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Rolena. To state it simply: Yes. SAP Simple Finance is the name of the entire SAP portfolio of solutions for the CFO, running in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Not every customer will move their entire solutions set to the SAP cloud in one step. Customers can obtain many of the benefits of the new accounting with the key enabling steps (ERP 6.0, HANA, EHP7, financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA). The key to the new GL is the financials add-on which drives the new accounting and cash management applications, available on  premise and in the cloud.

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  7. 信光 神戸

    Hi, Christian,

    Your information is very informative.

    What I am still not sure is if Simple Finance will/can  take over entire SAP ERP FI/CO function or it just adds the extended functions like planning, analytics.

    According to the information so far, it will take over FI/CO and  reorganize them with the simple coding, which will streamline the process/ analysis without “aggregation” process.

    Am I right? 

    (0) 
    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi 信光 神戸

      you are correct. SAP Simple Finance covers the complete portfolio of solutions for the CFO, deployed in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, with a full subscription model. To be precise, the SAP Simple Finance set of solutions also contains the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by HANA which is a technical component that replaces the traditional financial capabilities of ERP 6.0/EHP7. This financials add-on is the new financial “core” that enables new applications such as SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA and SAP Cash Management powered by SAP HANA.

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  8. Madhusudan Sharma

    Thanks for covering with finer details on the offereing.

    Just one query,  for a SAP FICO functional consultant , does this offer additional career oppurtunities?

    (0) 
    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Madhusudan,

      I think it does. Your FICO core skills are still very much required, but now you can become an expert in the various use cases for financial consolidation, financial transformation and integration that will benefit from a simplified financials landscape running in the cloud. The key mind-set shift that has to happen is around the concept of having real real time transparency of your business, not just at the aggregate number level (which loses granularity) but down to the line item level. This gives financial transparency and risk management capabilities not only to financial experts but to the line of business managers as well. Think about it :=)

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  9. Alda Pinto

    Hello Christian,

    Where can I get online training for Simple Finance? Can you suggest a link?

    In which SAP portfolio sales bag is Simple Finance?

    Thank you for the information.

    Best Regards,

    Alda.

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Alda, since Simple Finance comprises of the whole value map of the SAP Solution for Finance, the training links are essentially the same for the finance portfolio. You might want to speficially look for trainings on the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powwered by SAP HANA, since that provides a key enabling component. From a sales perspective, the sales experts for SAP Solutions for Finance are covering it, but there is also support from the platform team, since SAP HANA is a key enabler.

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  10. Sridhar Bolisetti

    Hello Christian,

    First of all thank you so much for detailed explanation and information shared.

    1. If a company is running on ECC 6.0 with EhP6 or lower, then what is the SAP’s suggestion regarding the path to convert to Simple Finance ? Does it need to upgrade to EhP 7 to have the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by
    SAP HANA ?

    2. Do we need to go for migration / fresh implementation again taking existing SAP system as legacy system ?

    Thanks

    Sridhar

    (0) 
    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Sridhar, yes, you need to go to Ehp7 and implement SAP HANA as prerequisites.
      No, this is not a migration or fresh implementation, think of it as a simplification and capabilities boost, especially as you then leverage the new SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, and, as available later, SAP Cash Management, etc. Some implementation steps are required, of course.

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  11. Paolo Rabetti

    Dear all,

    I do have one important question:

    Does SAP Simple Finance cover all SAP ECC FI functionality? and the second question is: Does SAP Simple Finance cover as well Fiscal legal requirement also for Italy?

    And I have another one:

    Which is the advantage or disadvantage to use SAP ECC 6.0 FI instead of using SAP Simple Finance

    Thanks in advance for the answer!!!

    Regards, Paolo

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  12. Paolo Rabetti

    Sorry,

    I realize that for the first question I have already the answer and now my question is: If we have developed program with table that does not exist anymore in SAP SIMPLE FINANCE such as GLT0 table, I assume that we’ve to re-engineer some custom program before to do the passage to SAP Simple Finance: am I right?

    Regards, Paolo

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    1. Christian Horak Post author

      Hi Paolo, there is no generic answer. In general, any table can be realized as a view on top of SAP HANA, so the effort should not be large. The idea was to simplify and accellerate and maintain maximum compatibility

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  13. Ariel Dolinsky

    Hi Christian,

    From the functional/config point of view, are there any special considerations on SAP Simple Finance vs current SAP ECC Financials (ie core FI-CO)?  Also, would it be correct to say that SAP Simple Finance aims to New GL functionalities rather than Classic GL?

    And last: is there any specific training suggested for SAP Financials Consultants?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Ariel

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    1. Ramackant Acharya

      Hello All

      I am interested to register for certification on SAP S4/Hana simple finance, does SAP official training partners or institutes have this training and is it worth to get trained now or SAP FI is still the future.

      regards

      RK

      (0) 

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