We are witnessing an incredible convergence of new business and technological innovations. End users now demand simple, seamless, and personalized experiences at every touch point. The ability to gather and analyze live data has thus become an imperative for organizations, not just to survive, but to thrive in the new opportunities created by digital disruption.

As organizations embark on this digital transformation journey, they seek a solution that connects all processes, provides live information and insights, and seamlessly integrates the enterprise with the digital world at large. This new generation solution should simplify their business while operating in real time. The solution should work in harmony internally across departments such as finance, human resources, extended supply chain, procurement and customer engagement, and externally among partners and the extended ecosystem.

To strip away the barriers between line of business, to remove the organization silos and to share information and resources seamlessly across enterprise processes, customers, employees and suppliers, SAP provides a new generation of SAP® Business Suite software – SAP S/4HANA. With SAP S/4HANA, business can create a digital core and benefit from a next-generation in-memory ERP platform. Together with other SAP solutions like SAP Ariba® and SAP Fieldglass®, businesses can run live and break free from the boundaries and limitations of the past.

SAP S/4HANA is characterized by simplification and massively increased efficiency. It signals a move away from the transactional system towards giving end users active decision support in real time. The value of using SAP S/4HANA as the foundation to drive digital transformation spans all aspects of your business, whether for driving new business models or optimizing business processes. It’s possible to achieve benefits, such as a reduction in days in inventory, finance cost, or total logistics costs, as well as an increase in revenue from new products, simply by leveraging SAP S/4HANA.

To better articulate the value of SAP S/4HANA plus cloud and line-of-business (LoB) solutions, a series of SAP S/4HANA (LoB) white papers have been published. These papers provide details on the value in moving from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application on a traditional database to SAP S/4HANA and cloud and LoB solutions. The papers are available for seven LoBs – sales, supply chain, manufacturing, procurement, finance, asset management, and research and development.

Each LoB white paper has an interesting “before and after” graphical representation of a relevant business process. For example, how does a process like available to promise (ATP) look in the traditional ERP world, and what has changed in the SAP S/4HANA world? There is a clear comparison of SAP S/4HANA in relation to ERP on a traditional database. This comparison reinforces the fact that SAP S/4HANA provides reengineered and simplified business processes that can yield significant benefits, transforming the execution from multistep, batch-driven processes with latency in terms of key performance indicators, to real-time processes with actionable insights.

The detailed content in the papers articulates the following for the primary capabilities for each LoB:

  • Pain points – Major customer business and IT challenges
  • Current state with ERP on traditional database – ERP capabilities available on a traditional database
  • SAP S/4HANA capabilities – Capabilities shipped with the latest release of SAP S/4HANA
  • Cloud and LoB extension enhancements – All other solutions that can be integrated with SAP S/4HANA to provide business value. For example, SAP S/4HANA and the SAP Integrated Business Planning solution, or SAP S/4HANA and the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) application. These solutions are not embedded in SAP S/4HANA, but integration scenarios exist for them
  • 2017 – Planned innovations – New functionality or integration possibilities planned for 2017 release of SAP S/4HANA
  • Business benefits – Key value drivers that are impacted with SAP S/4HANA shipment and cloud and LoB capabilities

Below are just a few ways value is uncovered across the LoBs. To learn more, we welcome you to read through the white papers to get the full value proposition.

Finance – SAP S/4HANA simplifies the core of finance through a single source of the truth. All transactional and planning data is stored one time only, in one place only – the universal journal – so there is no more reconciliation, no more replication, no more aggregation. Instead, the SAP HANA® platform provides a single source of the truth, which allows for a whole new level of visibility and operational efficiency across finance and the enterprise.

Sales – SAP S/4HANA enables unified, multichannel e-commerce and flexible billing for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations with business network collaboration. It provides detailed insight-to-action summaries and increased automation tailored for the internal sales representative. Integration between SAP S/4HANA Sales and SAP Hybris® cloud solutions helps companies deliver an even more compelling customer experience. Companies can now easily connect every part of the business and provide every business unit the information it needs to create the best, most consistent, and most targeted customer experience.

Procurement – SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba® and SAP Fieldglass® solutions enable a tangible step-change in performance, speed, visibility, and control. SAP S/4HANA covers all operational procurement processes from purchase requisitioning and order processing to invoice processing, order confirmation, and operational contract management. The procurement process is further supported by real-time embedded analytics across all spend segments, thereby improving performance and visibility. SAP Ariba extends those core operational processes with guided end-user buying, collaborative sourcing and contracting, and networked-based, end-to-end supplier collaboration to deliver a new, guided, simplified user experience that meets the expectations of millennial users.

Supply chain – With SAP S/4HANA as the digital core, customers can build a foundation for extended supply chain visibility and speed. Any supply or demand change, such as a promotion that generates higher-than-forecasted demand or disruption in supply due to a late delivery, can be quickly propagated up and down the supply chain to detect imbalances as well as simulate alternate scenarios. SAP S/4HANA can be integrated with SAP Integrated Business Planning, enabling advanced planning and response across strategic, tactical, and operational time horizons.

Manufacturing – SAP S/4HANA enables unprecedented coordination of planning and execution processes by applying advanced machine learning and algorithms as well as connectivity to Internet of Things (IoT) devices for even better operational visibility. SAP S/4HANA provides the most current information on market and customer demand so that manufacturing processes, resources, and capacity can be tightly aligned to drive optimal production efficiency and profitable and timely delivery of products.

Research and development – With SAP S/4HANA as the digital core, customers can iteratively and more collaboratively build a foundation of requirements-driven, smart products that are brought to the market faster with full compliance and a wide range of configurations and variants. SAP S/4HANA Research and Development allows companies to gain live visibility into the idea pipeline, portfolio prioritization, project actuals versus budget, new product design, development history, engineering changes, and finally phase-out.

Asset management – The SAP S/4HANA Asset Management solution enables organizations to manage their asset-related costs, risk, and performance holistically. It helps them in implementing proactive maintenance strategies that are enriched with the analysis of real-time data, as well as predictive and other forecasting methods. SAP S/4HANA is a digital core that fully integrates with solutions that are built on the SAP HANA® Cloud Platform, such as the SAP Asset Intelligence Network or the SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service solution, cloud edition. The extensions also allow an organization to collaborate effectively among business partners by providing the ability to share asset information and insight with the ecosystem.

Interested in the proof points? The white papers also list relevant customer references with benefits achieved from SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management and SAP S/4HANA LoB and cloud solution implementations. Below are a couple of examples:

Vectus Industries deployed the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution and started experiencing total ease in managing business operations. It experienced a 15% reduction in operation costs, 50% faster access to and visibility of real-time data, and 60% increase in operational efficiency.

Convergent IS turned to SAP to simplify the complexity of its expanding business. It achieved 48% reduction in days sales outstanding and 20% improvement in productivity for sales order processing with it SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management deployment.

Need more? Please read the white papers in full for more references.

The current white papers are based on the latest shipment of SAP S/4HANA 1610. The papers will be updated with every release of SAP S/4HANA. The next one is targeted for SAP S/4HANA 1709. It’s time to start the digital journey with a truly digital solution – SAP S/4HANA!

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