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When SAP S/4HANA was rolled out early this year, the company made a promise to its customers that it would to extend the utility of SAP S/4HANA beyond finance and accounting into the other traditional ERP areas. Now that promise is being redeemed.

Sven Denecken from the Product Management and Co-Innovation team acknowledges that there is still work to do to deliver on this mission. But he says SAP’s S/4HANA 1511 update represents a big step in the process of rolling out a new ‘digital core’ enabling SAP customers to transform themselves into digital businesses.

This digital core is an essential element of SAP’s digital business framework for customers connecting the digital value chain in real time: workforce engagement, assets and the Internet of Things, supplier collaboration and business networks, customer engagement and omnichannel experience.

“This is a major milestone as part of our roadmap to help customers across industries and regions drive their digital transformation with the next generation business suite,” says Sven.

When SAP S/4HANA debuted in early February, it came with the finance and accounting package – Simple Finance since renamed SAP S/4HANA Finance. Now with the announcement of SAP S/4HANA 1511 update, customers will discover a complete ERP system beginning to emerge.

SAP S/4HANA 1511 update, announced a few weeks ago at the TechEd conference in Barcelona, adds most of the missing mission-critical business processes delivering what Sven describes as, “a massive wave of simplification and innovation in the core.”

In addition to SAP S/4HANA Finance, the new modules include Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Marketing, Sales, Service, Human Resources, Asset Management and  Research & Development.

To reflect this core functionality, the latest version of SAP S/4HANA has been named SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management and it will be available on premise and in the cloud. As with the initial SAP S/4HANA release, it comes complete with SAP’s new and radically simplified Fiori user interface designed to make the system as easy to use as a consumer app and enable managers using the Fiori dashboard to make key decisions quickly based on up-to-date data.

“Enterprises can now drive end-to-end digitized operations across their key business functions via a fully digitized enterprise management solution,” says Sven who demonstrates this in the video below:

Rewriting the core modules for SAP S/4HANA has enabled SAP to make some significant changes ‘under the hood’ that will benefit customers.

Among the improvements and changes are a simplified data model in inventory management for real-time, high-volume processing, streamlined material flow for internal requirements and material requirements planning, new accounts payable and receivable cockpits, simpler simulation of supply alternatives, real-time monitoring of production orders for flow and critical issues, a new sales order fulfilment cockpit, and standard integration to the Ariba Network for easier procurement.

Using the SAP HANA technology platform, SAP has eliminated redundant data, such as aggregates, indexes and history, and continued the reduction of the memory footprint and table design, including clear separation of master data from transactional data, saidKevin Reilly, ASUG Community Advocate for S/4HANA, in a blog note after Barcelona.

“What that means for SAP customers is more powerful, functional and easier-to-use software. Smaller database sizes lead to better performance and lower hardware cost. Improved, faster processes allow customers to take advantage of the extra time created, thereby creating value for the enterprise.”

SAP S/4HANA is already SAP’s fastest-growing product. More than 1300 customers signed up in the first eight months since its February 2015 launch making it SAP’s fastest-growing product.

“With SAP S/4HANA , SAP will deliver a massive wave of simplification and innovation for the customers,” says Wieland Schreiner, EVP for SAP S/4HANA. Learn more in this video:

“SAP has accomplished in months what took R1, R2 and R3 decades to achieve,” said Geoff Scott CEO at ASUG – Americas’ SAP Users’ Group, in his latest LinkedIn blog note. “ As customers, we now have the opportunity to implement a modern, digital-ready ERP platform end-to-end.”

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