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Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 – Cross-Topics

Welcome to this new blogs series illustrating Cross Topic highlights for SAP S/4HANA Cloud starting with the latest release, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908.

As Cross Topics comprise many different aspects of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, this blog focuses on a selection of innovations which I consider most important for 1908. Please note that for one of these topics, there this an already well-perceived blog series in place. For this reason, I will not cover the topic in detail in my blog but instead point you to the respective offering.

For 1908, I will cover the following topics:

    • Extensibility Templates
    • Localization
    • Situation Handling
    • Analytics
    • Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
    • Hybrid Cloud ERP (link to separate blog)

Extensibility Templates

I would like to start off with the extensibility templates. This innovation is especially important for our SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation partners as it allows them to significantly speed up their implementation projects by distributing in-app extensibility content across system landscapes. In order to use this new functionality, you have to activate the scope item for in-app extensibility which is called 1N9. The new functionality comes with three new apps:

    • Export Extensibility Template
    • Import Extensibility Template
    • Extensibility Settings

The extended items, such as custom fields, custom objects, or business logic, are created in a separate name space in the quality system of the template provider (partner). In the ‘Export Extensibility Template’ app, these items can be added to an extensibility template and exported from the template provider system by means of a human readable .json file. To guarantee consistency, SAP S/4HANA Cloud checks during the saving process whether there are any dependencies to other extension items which need to also be included into the file.

Figure 1 – With the Export Extensibility App, you can download your extended items

Using the ‘Import Extensibility Template’ app, the exported template can be imported into the system of the template consumer (customer). There, it can be adapted according to the requirements of the respective template consumer. This, of course, leads to large efficiency gains: Template providers don’t have to manually create the same in-app extensions in each and every template consumer system, but instead you can easily import them from the same template. As you can imagine, this significantly speeds ups your projects and ensures consistency across your customer solutions.

The ‘Extensibility Settings’ app allows you to make the necessary settings for namespaces. As a template provider, you can register your own namespace and assign users to it to use the in-app extensibility tools to develop extensions in your own name space. You can create and download an installation file so that a template consumer can import your development objects. As a template consumer, you can register a template provider’s namespace to be able to import and publish extensions developed in the respective namespace. What is important to note is that a template consumer won’t be able to create items in the template provider’s namespace.

Disclaimer:

SAP is not responsible for any extensibility template that a customer uploads into his SAP S/4HANA cloud system. The use of an extensibility template is at the customer’s sole risk, and SAP shall not be responsible for any changes or modifications of customer data by or through an extensibility template (see SAP Help Portal for full disclaimer).

For more information, you can check out the following sources:

Localization

Also for localization, we have good news to spread for 1908: With Czechia and Thailand, we offer two new country versions along with the corresponding languages Czech and Thai. Thanks to this, we now provide 42 country versions in 24 languages. Regarding the Treasury and Risk Management (TRM) localization, we have Turkey and South Korea as new kids on the block.

For more information, you can check out the following sources:

Situation Handling

For Situation Handling, there are several innovations with 1908 that I would like to draw your attention to.

‘My Situations’ App

The first one is the new ‘My Situations’ app which provides an overview of all open situations in a user‘s area of responsibility and serves as an additional channel informing the user about situations that need to be solved. The app allows you to directly navigate to the corresponding apps with the situation details. In addition, it even contains those situations where the notification option was not enabled.The relevant scope item is 31N.

Figure 2 – The ‘My Situations’ app displays all open situations within a user’s area of responsibility

E-Mail Notifications

In addition to this, there is also a new functionality for e-mail notifications available which you can configure in the ‘Manage Situation Types’ app. It allows users to be informed about important and urgent situations by e-mail and can be enabled per notification type in the user’s notification settings.

Figure 3 – The ‘Manage Situation Types’ app allows you to configure e-mail notifications for new situations

With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908, we now deliver 27 situation templates. Situation templates predefine business situations about which you want to inform specific members in your organization by using the Situation Handling Framework. Standard situation templates are preconfigured by SAP and intended for specific use cases.

Examples for situation templates are:

  • Finance: House Bank Account to Be Checked (scope item BFA)
  • Sourcing & Procurement: Low Number of Quotations Received (scope item 1XF)

For more information on Situation Handling, you can check out the following sources:

Analytics

Scope item 41E called ‘HR Analytics with SAP Analytics Cloud‘ supports HR and finance business users with key insights into the workforce and financial situation of the company. Key workforce metrics based on SAP SuccessFactors together with financial metrics based on S/4HANA Cloud have been curated into four dashboards. These dashboards allow for a unique integrated HR and finance view on the company’s current situation and history.

Figure 4 – The ‘Workforce Overview’ dashboard provides an overview on headcount, FTE, and employee turnover

The available charts bring financial aspects to HR and vice versa in dashboards for

  • Workforce Overview (e.g. headcount, FTE, turnover)
  • Diversity (e.g.gender, age groups)
  • Performance (e.g. total workforce cost ratio, operating expense per FTE)
  • Finance (e.g. balance sheet)

Figure 5 – The ‘Workforce Performance’ dashboard provides an overview on headcount, FTE, and employee turnover

For more information, check out the following sources:

SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

The next topic that I’d like to mention briefly is SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. SAP Intelligent RPA is a complete automation suite from SAP Leonardo and enables customers to achieve a high degree of automation by delivering robotic process automation, machine learning, and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in an integrated way to automate business processes.Intelligent RPA accelerates digital transformation of business processes by automatically replicating tedious actions that have no added value.

SAP Best Practices for SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation provides prebuilt contents for various core business processes in finance, procurement & Data Management area based on the new Intelligence Robotic Process Automation automation tool. The contents utilize the existing UI & API to obtain, process and enter data and information to automate the business processes. AI bots mimic users by learning user actions in the application’s graphical user interface (GUI), and then automatically execute by repeating those tasks directly in the GUI.

Figure 6 – SAP Best Practice provides prebuilt bots for SAP Intelligent RPA

If you’re interested to learn more about it being integrated with SAP S/4HANA,

To enable the automation within your SAP S/4HANA or SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, you activate the corresponding SAP Best Practices package. First, install the required components for SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. Then, search for the correct or available version of the template bots within the package.If you’re interested to see a practical example how Intelligent RPA can be used with S/4HANA and S/4HANA Cloud, you can check out the blog from Ulrich Hauke that discusses a practical example from the Finance area: The Automated Upload of Manual Entries via API (scope item ‏4CA‏).

For more information, you can check out the following sources:

Hybrid Cloud ERP (aka Two-Tier ERP)

Last but not least, I would like to quickly mention Hybrid Clour ERP, where we have the following four key innovations with 1908:

  • Centralised management of pricing master
  • Centralised financial closing
  • Procurement of Project Services in HQ-Subsidiary model
  • Monitoring of integrations across Hybrid Solutions with SAP Cloud ALM

For more information, you can check out the blog Intelligent ERP Update: Hybrid Cloud Deployment in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 bySrivatsan Santhanam.

 

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:

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