According to the 18th Annual Global CEO Survey by PwC, published in April 2015: “Chemicals CEOs generally scored lower in creating value from using digital technologies. Interestingly however, Chemicals CEOs would most preferably use it to increase operational efficiency. Much more than the rest of the Global CEOs.”

Despite that survey result and although the chemical industry is known as risk adverse and conservative, the new digital transformation holds many benefits for Chemicals in a highly competitive and dynamic market. Digital networks will integrate Chemicals with industries supplying raw materials, industries consuming chemicals and other business partners like logistics service providers, or contract manufacturers.

S/4 HANA is SAP’s biggest innovation in over a decade. SAP S/4HANA helps enable chemical companies to innovate for the future by serving as the platform for digital transformation.  How?  Consider the following examples:

  • Onboarding mergers and acquisitions quickly and seamlessly by eliminating the technology, operational and financial challenges associated with combining previously separate businesses, rapidly ramping up business operations, minimizing turnover, and accelerating time to incremental revenue and earnings.
  • Expanding into new geographical markets, leveraging business networks to tap into local sources of supply, leverage local contingent labor, and contract manufacturing, warehousing and logistics to ramp up operations with agility and flexibility, establish market presence quickly and minimize financial risk.
  • Increasing operational excellence, improving production schedule adherence, product quality and asset availability through real-time IT/OT integration, persistently monitoring assets and devices and running predictive analysis with big data volumes.

The platform is designed to evolve business operations into the digital age. So while there is a common understanding that the new digital age will come and that SAP is well prepared to deliver future-oriented business solutions with SAP S/4HANA, many questions arise: What does it mean in detail for my company? How can I leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) for my business? What tangible benefits can I expect? Will there be a major disruption of my business? When is the right time to jump onto the new digital train? Which is the best software deployment model, on-premises or cloud? To help answer these questions, we have put  together an all-you’ll ever need guide to blogs on S/4 HANA!  Your welcome!

1) SAP S/4HANA Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1-3 by Sven Denecken (SAP)

This series of blog posts is an excellent resource for getting your SAP S/4 HANA questions answered. Part 1 is about the basics of SAP S/4HANA, part 2 presents the key benefits that customers will get from moving to SAP S/4HANA and how it relates to SAP’s Cloud solution offering. Finally, part 3 discusses the roadmap for customers to get there.

Part 1 – the fundamentals
Part 2 – the value
Part 3 – the path to get there

2) The SAP® Business Suite 4 SAP HANA® (SAP S/4HANA) FAQ by John Appleby (SAP)

This FAQ answers also many questions about S/4HANA and thus supplements Sven Denecken’s blog. Maybe, you want to know, what the “S” in S/4HANA stands for; or, what are the licensing implications?

3) SAPPHIRE NOW Platform & Technology Highlights – Day 1 by Kathy Tan (SAP)

The blog post reviews the first day of SAPPHIRE NOW 2015 with the keynote by SAP CEO Bill McDermott as highlight, further announcements, press conferences, demo sessions etc. This event was the first big SAP customer event since the official announcement of SAP S/4HANA in February 2015, and it provides firsthand information about SAP’s new technologies and strategy. It also contains links to further information.

4) Sapphire Now Day 2: SAP Announces Updates to HANA for the Internet of Things by Leonard Klie (CRM Magazine)

The article talks about paradigm shifts like Digital Transformation and Internet of Things, and SAP’s new technologies to enable this transformation like SAP HANA platform, SAP HANA Cloud platform, SAP S/4HANA. It was the day, when the cloud edition of SAP S/4HANA was announced. It contains many quotes from the SAP leadership. There is a slight, but not too strong focus on CRM.

5) Key Takeaways from Sapphire 2015 by Stefan Guertzgen (SAP)

This blog post has a clear focus on the chemical industry. It discusses key topics like Digital Networks, the value of SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA, or the Best Run Chemical Company and reflects the reactions of chemical customers to SAP’S new concepts.

6) Manufacturing in Transition – SAP S/4 HANA Simplifies the Future of Manufacturing by Sean Molloy (itelligence)

Manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly reliant on large quantities of data. Companies will need their platforms to navigate and analyze this sea of data with speed, agility, and precision beyond which they are currently capable. SAP S/4 HANA is the platform that will allow manufacturers to evolve into a higher echelon of efficiency.

7) The SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Changer by Alison Bessho (ntt data)

This excellent article focuses on the SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Edition and its value proposition: simplified code, landscape simplification, seamless integration of SAP’s other cloud offerings like SuccessFactors, Ariba, Hybris, Fieldglass or Concur. The authors talks in more details about “Unsustainable datacenter costs”, “Real-time analytics, anytime, anywhere” and the importance of SAP partners (“Partners lead the way”).

8) SAP 4/HANA and The New Simplified SAP by Jorge García (TEC)

This blog post provides good insights and explanations, what SAP S/4HANA is about, how it fits into SAP’s strategy and what the impact will be for the market. It highlights SAP’s strategy for ERP systems with focus on database platform. Chemical giant BASF is mentioned as early adopter.

SAP S/4 HANA will open many doors to businesses in the coming years. This technology will enable recent innovations to be integrated into common operational practice enabling businesses to achieve new levels of efficiency and facilitating the growth of chemical companies. If there are any other interesting or thought provoking articles that we may have missed, please feel free to make use of the comments section.

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