SAP Simple Finance – A more detailed look
In my previous blog about SAP Simple Finance I tried to give a high-level overview over this new solution launched at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014. Here is a short reminder that you can skip if you read my previous blog post and the associated comment trail SAP Simple Finance launched at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014
Summary: SAP Simple Finance is the result of a close collaboration with customers to identify the most complex functions and tasks in finance and make them simpler to consume and perform. SAP Simple Finance takes full advantage of the SAP HANA in-memory platform with new finance capabilities, offers a new user experience for easy access with SAP Fiori – all deployed in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud under a full subscription model making it easy for finance departments to adopt these solutions, accelerate their finance transformation and to deliver strategic outcomes to their business.
So now let’s take a more detailed look at 5 concrete examples of innovations for driving simplicity:
(1) Intercompany reconciliations “on-the-fly”
With SAP Simple Finance, customers can replace the long running transactions and batch processes they might be using today for achieving intercompany reconciliations. SAP Simple Finance provides a unified, single general ledger that automatically achieves this reconciliation. This not only speeds up reconciliations, but also enables simulations and thereby enhances a company’s ability to plan and stay ahead of the curve.
(2) Integrated Planning
SAP Simple Finance provides unified models for enterprise-wide financial planning and reporting scenarios on a single source of truth. This integration can eliminate any latency or discrepancies that might exist between operational systems and analytical or planning systems and it enhances a companies overall planning capabilities.
(3) New Cash Management
With the new cash management capabilities in SAP Finance, customers can analyse global bank balances and cash positions based on data from SAP and non-SAP systems so customers can take action to manage any risk exposures. This new ability is based on real-time connections to banks and local entities and minimizes any cash management risks that might be created by working with outdated, or manually updated spreadsheets.
(4) Single Source of Truth
SAP Simple Finance provides common source of information for transactions and analytics, regulatory and managerial accounting processes, eliminating the need for manual reconciliations. This eliminates any double work, costs and risks associated with running many, potentially redundant and separate systems and documents. Using a single source or truth minimizes complexity across Finance. It can eliminate lot of manual reconciliation efforts, and is a significant enabler for achieving a true real time enterprise.
(5) Reduced Data Footprint
With SAP Simple Finance, IT departments can drive massive simplification using the capabilities of SAP HANA. By removing data redundancies and pregenerated aggregates, customers can achieve a reduced data footprint and increased throughput. Eliminating the need for a large number of redundant aggregates, tables, indexes, and totals, etc. simplifies the overall system, minimizes the potential for latencies and errors and allows customers to respond to change faster and more consistently across the organization.
SAP Simple Finance is targeted for deployment in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to progressively add the simplified consumption and end to end user experience of cloud based applications. SAP, however, continues to provide our customers choice in terms of deployment models and speed of change for the overall finance solution portfolio. Customers can move their SAP HANA-based Finance landscape to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud or deploy the SAP HANA optimized Finance functions on top of their on-premise landscape leveraging the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA as an example. New customers can just go directly to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to consume SAP Simple Finance as a managed service in the SAP cloud, with some components of the SAP Simple Finance portfolio running in the public cloud, and other components running as a managed service in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. In this way we increase our customers’ ability to extend their existing investments with the cloud to achieve new levels of efficiency and to enable new financial processes.
I hope this short blog has given you some more useful detail about SAP Simple Finance, and I look forward to your questions and to our continued dialogue.
Can you provide some more information regarding this scenario and what you define as "the public cloud"?
Hi Richard, sure
one example here is SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense. SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense is running in a "public cloud" format in that it has a 100% cloud-based onboarding and end-to-end experience, and in that there is no "on premise" version of it. SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense is, at the same time, a part of the "collaborative finance operations" part of the CFO value map of SAP Simple Finance. I hope this helps, I know this whole area of definitions of what is private vs. public is somewhat more fuzzy that we all like and I wrote a bit of a rant about this in yesterday's blog :=). The Cloud is here. What's next?
Now I understand:
refers to a broader scope than just pure Finance offerings. This is a new angle that I had not seen before.
Are other integrations (for example with C4C) also part of the "part of the "collaborative finance operations" part of the CFO value map of SAP Simple Finance"?
Hi Dick, no, the scope is depicted in the following picture. Travel and Expense is a function that bridges the finance and procurement functions, but has traditionally been included with the Finance solution map
That is a useful diagram.
Which functions from that diagram are already present in the existing release and which ones are planned for the future?
Hi Dick, only Strategy Management and International Trade Management are currently out of scope for SAP Simple Finance. They are available on premise, however.
Christian, in this context, will it also support non-ERP financials like BRIM or subledgers like FI-CA?
Hi Harris, to my knowledge, yes to both, although subledger-type functionality is provided differently with SAP HANA acting as single source of truth for any kind of tranactional or analytical processing though views
I was looking at the diagram Hass Plattner showed st SAPPHIRE where you had the current situation with about twenty database tables for each GL transaction - not only BKPF / BSEG but BSID / BISK / BSAD etc and the assorted controlling tables for cost centre and profit centre accounting and COPA, the list goes on forever.
The two point were that this was a massive duplication of data storage and involved each month a manual effort to make sure all the tables reconciled with each other.
In the new revoluntary "simple" world you only have BKPF and BSEG and they can be used for everything the other hundred million tables used to do.
The value in this is obvious, but in the back of my mind a little voice said "this looks familar".
I thought about it, and suddenly it came to me where I had seen a database design with just two tables which served both financial accounting and management accounting (controlling) and sub-ledgers like asset accounting and accounts payable / receivable.
It was in some of the assorted legacy systems I saw in various different countries before my team converted them all to SAP in the 1997 - 2000 period.
I think the French term "plus ca change" is appropriate here, or the Bibles' observation that "there is nothing new under the sun".
Indeed, Moore's law allows us to do some things now that would have been deemed nigh
impossible 2 decades ago
Hi Bharath Kumar C
You are doing the right thing to get certified with SAP FI since that knowledge is a excellent starting point. SAP Simple Finance is a portfolio that is much larger than just FI. Simple Finance includes FI capabilities, of course, but has a lot more elements. Simple Finance is specifically focused at being deployed in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, and it has a number of new solutions that are running on SAP HANA. However, like I said, your FI certification will be an excellent foundation and you will be able to pick up any innovations within Simple Finance easily.
Hi, we expect there to be a hybrid landscape of on-premise and cloud deployments. We will service both deployment models with the SAP portfolio for finance, and the key innovations will also be made available on both "sides" to maximize customer investment protection. Of course the cloud and SAP HANA bring many benefits and we encourage our customers to move in that direction at the speed they feel most comfortable with.
How does this integrate with logistics processes in SAP ECC MM/SD?
Could you please explain how SAP BPC and SAP Simple Finance will add to each other? Do you need one or the other?
"Do you need one or the other"
At the moment (early 2016) you can have Simple Finance 2.0 without BPC. The main area to research is Integrated Business Planning for Finance (IBPF). With this functionality SAP has used embedded BW functionality in ECC6 (rather than BW cubes in a separate BW instance) to stage integration to BPC.
As part of this there is an option to not use BPC and no BPC licences are required but there is functionality in IBPF you cannot use (I think this is Analysis for Office as it now part of the EPM Add-in).
In other words use basic IBPF with embedded BW and excel interfaces to complete basic manual Sales and Operations planning.
There is SAP documentation where the standard back end planning transactions for CO planning (e.g. Cost Centre planning etc) are no longer available/used and you need to use NWBC as the user interface with IBPF to achieve the same planning functions.
This is my experience with the current SiFi conversion implementation I am doing. There is an OSS note that allows you to switch on the old planning functionality.
Note this area is in a constant state of change for SAP and there is talk of IBPF not being used in the future in its current form. So research the latest information from SAP.
Thanks for your reply. Can you put some light on SAP BPC 10.1 embedded in context of simple finance 2 on Hana live? is it offering full functionality or still under developement by SAP.
Sorry I haven't looked into this. My understanding is that embedded BPC will have full functionality.
In Simple Finance Solution, do we have FI and CO separately as is now or does CO gets integrated with FI just like what happened for PCA in New GL ? I heard that SAP is planning to to get away with the concept of having separate CO component. Rather all the information available currently with CO will get merged with FI having unique set of tables. Could you kindly clarify. Thanks
Hi Sridhar, FI and CO have been unified, but FI and CO views are still available, as well as subledgers via views.
Thanks for sharing a nice blog.
I have a doubt, How do we integrate with other logistics & production modules in Simple Finance Solution ..?
Hello Raj, SAP Simple Finance contains the SAP ERP Foundation Extension, all existing integration interfaces are preserved and maintained.
Chris, thanks for the very informative blog. These are exciting times, something for the folks in the Finance domain to look forward to.
I guess I have a basic question here - do consultants need to know how HANA functions if they want to switch over from the traditional FICO module to SAP Simple Finance?
Appreciate your inputs.
Hi Shiv, the answer is two-fold. (1) No, you don't need to know how HANA operates to switch over since much was done to make the transition as easy as possible. The existing interfaces and views are preserved. (2) Yes, in order to take full advantage of the new architecture it is beneficial to understand the new operating principles. That way you can even more value, by not only making an existing system faster and easier to operate, but by beginning to think about entirely new things. Think of the example of going from London to NewYork and back. In the olden days, you'd have to pack for a long journey by clipper or steam ship. Nowadays you could accomplish a return trip in 24 hours. How does that change your perspective?
Thanks so much for this information – it is extremely useful!
I have been looking for information on the best/most comprehensive approach for an existing FI Functional Consultant to transition their skills to Simple Finance but I have not found much information so I am hoping you may have some guidance. The only related course I see is AC100 (SAP Simple Finance add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA 1.0 – Migration). Do you know if a more detailed course is in the process of being developed or will AC100 be enough – the reason I ask is because AC100 is only a 2 day course which seems short. If AC100 is the course can I assume that existing FI Functional skills will be the main foundation for Simple Finance? Would it be beneficial to do HANA courses in preparation?
Any information is appreciated - thanks,
We have to wait for few months it seems to be get full clarity on this...! SAP also intend to release a press book on this & it will be released by March 2015.
SAP Simple Finance. An Introduction of Jens Krüger - by SAP PRESS
Hello Pierce, I think it's good to start with the AC100 since the functional side is very similar like you assumed. If you allow an analogy. Switching from a fuel driven car to an electrical car still requires most of the same driving skills, although many things are no longer "inside" the car (fuel, tank, injection pumps, cylinder, valves, etc.), the basic concepts of navigation and following traffic rules still apply.
There was a question asked by Asif on how SAP BPC and Simple Finance will integrate and whether you need one or the other but I don't there was a response.
What is the future of SAP BPC and do you really need to deploy it if Simple finance has the functionality to perform budgeting and planning. Correct me if I am wrong.
I have replied to Asif above.