Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1905 for Professional Services
Welcome back to the quarterly release blogs on SAP S/4HANA Cloud. As with every release over the last 2 years, I will outline the great new innovations for the professional services industry of our intelligent ERP in the cloud. In the video you can see a short summary of the 3 most important deliveries with the 1905 release for our customers in the professional services industry. Throughout this blog, I will take some time to explain what exactly is new in the system with this latest release.
So, let us kick it off write away with an innovation that goes through the entire end-to-end process of professional service in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The new Overtime Management functionality touches the time recording, the billing, and the financial processes after that.
Consultants will be able to record time on previously configured overtime categories. This can only be triggered by the consultant performing the work, who decides in the end, which category to record time against.
This will then start the normal process in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. The project manager has the approval over this time recording and as with any other billing proposal, can decide, whether this overtime will be charged to the customer or whether it should be written off.
In case the performed overtime is chargeable to the customer, the overtime category can also be found when setting service price rates.
In the billing proposal the overtime recordings will be visible in separate line items, same as in the final invoice that goes out to the customer. So, as an example, if one consultant records normal time, time on a weekend and time on a public holiday, this would be visible on the invoice in three separate line items.
Secondly let’s look at the billing part of the solution and the new Convergence Criteria for Customer Billing Documents.
With this innovation we improve invoice processing efficiency and support omnichannel convergent billing processes. The supplementation of billing data sent from external systems into SAP S/4HANA Cloud with criteria for convergence. The criteria is used to determine which billing-due list items need to be merged into single invoices during billing.
This reduces manual effort required for error-free, successful convergence of relevant billing data.
Also, this feature provides field and process extensibility for the billing due list in the “Create Billing Documents” app.
By enabling one or more of three new business scenarios, the system can forward custom fields and their contents from sales documents, delivery documents, and billing document requests to the billing due list.
Billing clerks can use the new billing due list fields to sort and filter the billing due list. This makes it easy to control which billing due list items are billed together and converged into combined customer invoices.
Next up, let us take a look at the time recording without staffing coming with this release.
Consultants can now maintain timesheet entries for projects that they have not been staffed to.
Work Package details have to be provided to them to create a task for themselves and then record time against the relevant Work package.
This functionality is interesting for use cases where standard activities are being provided by a shared services team.
In this case the project manager wouldn’t have to staff the entire team but could just share the project details with the team and whoever does the work in the end, can create the needed task in their time recording themselves.
Fourth in this list, let us move to our advanced resource management processes in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the new Resource Comparison functionality for an improved strategic business and resource planning.
This new feature will give resource managers the opportunity to compare multiple resources that are suited to one resource request. This comparison view for multiple resources from the suitable resource list will show details about multiple attributes to make the decision process easier.
The resource manager will be able to find the best fit for the required resource request, by comparing the following attributes:
- Skill Match
- Availability Match
- Other Assignments with Customer
- Industry Experience
- Role Match
Let us move on to the highlight automatic project close.
We learned from our customers, that often projects won’t be closed due to the time needed to close them individually.
Therefore, we now deliver this automatic job in the system, which will allow you to close all inactive projects automatically.
This will help the project manager to keep track of all pending activities such as missing time approvals, expense postings and open invoices.
Therefore, we support cleaning up the system data and ensure proper archival of inactive projects in your system.
When it comes to integration and extensibility, there are 2 APIs that I would like to point out. With the 1905 release we enhanced the following 2 APIs with additional functionality:
- OData API for Customer Project – Support of Sales Order Data (update, delete)
- OData API for Sales Prices (delete)
And last but not least, I would like to point to a new analytical query for project forecast, which increases project reporting and analysis productivity.
With this query customers can make use of this analytical query for their reporting needs on project KPIs (ETC, EAC, POC) outside S4HANA system. Project review KPIs are important to track the progress and perform forecast on the project. This is made available via the external analytical query.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- Sven Denecken’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 Release Blog
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud User Community: register here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here