With Sven Denecken
Orlando, Palo Alto, Walldorf, May 12, 2017. Cloud business solutions are great. Right? Self-contained, in a well-controlled environment with clear boundaries all business data will always be consistent and everything is peachy. So far so good. In this blog you will find out how businesses can be digitally transformed with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and why the integration to other cloud solutions is a major advantage.
Run your entire business digitally
We designed SAP S/4HANA Cloud to be the digital core of your business. But we did not stop at designing just the digital core. We want to enable you to run your entire business digitally. That is why we also designed SAP S/4HANA Cloud to extend your digital business processes into other SAP cloud family solutions. Because the more digital you can run your business the more business value you get out of digitization of your processes. Let me explain that with a simple example.
You’d like to sell widgets the properties of which your customers can configure on their own. This configuration is done online, using an app on their smartphones. As they place their orders, you will produce some parts of the widget in your own shop, and some you’d source from suppliers, depending on the properties the customer selected. You cater to each customer individually and deliver a unique product to each one. And as you have digitized your supply chain you can deliver this unique customer experience millions of times over. Sounds great for your customers, but can this business model be profitable for you? You’d cater to their individuality at a prime, and each order is processed electronically, with as few manual steps in the process as possible. So yes, it certainly can be a highly profitable business model. You digitize, because you get to know each individual customer, learn about their preferences, and learn how to cater to them as individuals at a profit. And now that you learn about your customers’ preferences, you can cater to them again and again and get more sophisticated as you do.
Below you can see how the digital core of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other cloud apps* of the SAP family integrate
When you start digitizing your business processes and your business gets the power to scale, you will soon realize that digitization is not the final stage of process optimization, but it is its own process: Digitization is a process that helps you scale your business, and in return it demands that you digitize more business processes and figure out more rules to run them like “on autopilot”. And as you look at your business processes for digitization, you will realize that running on autopilot these processes need more specialization and deeper sophistication. This is when you truly realize the power of SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the brain of your digital enterprise, connected through your entire business, a system of record that engages your employees, your suppliers, your production, your salesforce, and your customers.
Brainy SAP S/4HANA Cloud and her sophisticated sisters
We know, when you get to that point of realization, you would want this connection of SAP S/4HANA Cloud with her sophisticated specialized sisters in the cloud badly, instantly, and you’d want it to work right away, not a year later. This is why we made integration of SAP S/4HANA with her cloud sisters simple.
We also know that many of you have invested heavily in business software on premise. And you would like to keep running that software on premise as long as it keeps delivering good value to you while you explore digitization in the cloud with SAP S/4HANA and her sisters. But more often than not you would like to integrate your highly sophisticated and highly customized SAP systems on premise to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and take advantage of many new digital functions, state of the art user experience, and a higher degree of automation while still running some of your business on premise. This is why we made integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud with her family members on premise simple.
We made integration simple for you to understand, simple for you to implement, and simple for you to run. So, what did we do for you in respect to integration? As we usually do at SAP, we conceived a powerful framework for you: Our SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration framework consists of 3 key elements:
- Business scenarios across integrated SAP cloud applications
- Business scenarios for multi-tier deployments
- White-listed application programming interfaces, or APIs.
The illustration below shows SAP S/4HANA cloud among her family members:
Business scenarios across integrated SAP cloud applications cover business processes chains as they cross system boundaries. You can easily switch them on, activate them yourself in a few simple steps as they are described in easy to read instructions, or you can have your SAP cloud service center do it for you. These business scenarios tie into and complement SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s easily activated scope items, and you can explore their business value either in their business context or bundled by sister application, SAP Successfactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Hybris, SAP Concur, on the Best Practice Explorer following this blog.
Business scenarios for multi-tier deployments integrate SAP S/4HANA Cloud with the SAP Business Suite or other on-premise products like SAP S/4HANA. Typical 2-tier scenarios have headquarters run the global business in a business suite on premise, and subsidiaries in localized suites in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Controlling headquarters would want to obtain business data from their subsidiaries in real-time, provide for central services to their subsidiaries, like procurement, payroll, travel and expense management, or run central parts of their business through dedicated subsidiaries. Running HQ and subsidiaries together in such hub-and-spoke scenarios in near real time requires thoughtful integration. Find more information on multi-tier scenarios in Sven’s blog 2-tier ERP with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Use our white-listed public application programming interfaces or APIs to connect SAP S/4HANA Cloud to your 3rd party applications in the cloud or on premise, or to your SAP on-premise applications. Use them to create your own apps or enhancements on the SAP Cloud Platform. They are based on common standards like OData, or SOAP.
With the February release, “1702”, we added 31 APIs covering 286 operations to our scope. In total, 45 APIs covering 432 operations are now available in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA Finance packages.
Here are some highlights of the 1702 delivery:
- New API to read Business Partner, Supplier, Customer and Contact Persons data
- New API to read Product master data
- New API to create, release, cancel and read Supplier Invoices
- New API to read and release Production Orders
- New API to read the Bill of Material in S/4HANA Cloud
- New APIs for general ledger, asset accounting, accounts receivable and cash management.
As we continue to make available more and more integrated business scenarios for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and as we plan to release ever more APIs, we thought you might find it useful to plan your integrated business processes along our integration and product roadmaps you find linked below.
Talk to Sven at SAPPHIRENOW 2017 to learn about the most recent APIs and integration improvements of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1705 and check out APIs on the SAP API Business Hub where you can test them out in a trial environment.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration in line of business context on SAP Best Practice Explorer
SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration by sister application
SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s homepage for a 2-Tier ERP whitepaper
SAP S/4HANA Cloud APIs on SAP API Hub
SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration and product roadmaps