Today marks general availability of SAP S/4HANA 1909 – the most comprehensive and intelligent ERP. This blog covers the aspects which build the foundation for a Digital Core, the three categories which make it intelligent, and some selected highlights of our SAP S/4HANA 1909 release which I’d like to share with you.
Watch my video for a first glimpse to find out which highlights our latest release has in store for you.
Foundation of a Digital Core
Before I share my top highlights from our SAP S/4HANA 1909 release, I’d like to shed some light on the product fundamentals. What is the foundation for a Digital Core? We consider these four aspects:
- An architecture that delivers a scalable foundation to transact at the highest possible automation
- A system of intelligence that supports and steers the business using embedded analytics, simulation, prediction, and decision support to run LIVE business
- An end-to-end experience that can be faster implemented, consumed, and adapted
- An open architecture to allow connectivity and adoption of micro-services
What makes the Digital Core intelligent?
- A digital age UX: Conversational UI´s and natural language processing allows us to target a hands-free ERP by 2020.
- Automation of business processes: Automation mainly addresses companies´ bottom lines and helps to reduce costs. We strive for an automation of 50% of all ERP business processes within the next 3 years.
- The next generation of business processes: We provide a streamlined architecture and a technology that did not exist before. We aim to increase the top line by providing an infrastructure which allows us to completely rethink value creation and service tasks.
Highlights in SAP S/4HANA 1909
With SAP S/4HANA 1909 we have Innovations in the 5th wave. We’ve further expanded our core and continued to re-architect our data model enabling customers to benefit from the latest innovations.
We bring innovations in all Lines of Business and Industries, but this blog covers only selected innovations for selected LoBs and Industries. You find the entire overview of innovations in the What’s New Document published on the SAP HELP Portal.
In the area of Manufacturing, we now deliver a new predictive material and resource planning (pMRP) application. With this, you are able to forecast component demand with predictive material and resource planning. The benefit here is to Reduce inventory carrying costs. With pMRP, we are using a simplified MRP logic which supports interactive planning with simulations deriving component and capacity demands on all levels. In order to process simulations, the system creates simplified data based on your operative data for material resource planning. This data is used as reference data in pMRP. A set of defined reference data can be used to create multiple simulations.
Figure 1: Forecast component demand with pMRP.
Another highlight is the extended functionality for advanced Available to Promise (aATP). The latest release allows further vertical consumption strategies within product allocation sequences. Users can use the same product allocation object several times in a product allocation sequence so that they can model further consumption strategies for the product allocation check. In the backorder processing, we support re-evaluation of alternatives in backorder processing.
In our Line of Business Finance, I’d like to mention group reporting as the first key innovation. Companies typically face a number of bottlenecks in the group close process which delay the time to close the books and report the financial results. SAP S/4HANA for group reporting has been available since September 2018. The latest release addresses two of these hurdles: intercompany reconciliation and matrix consolidation.
Figure 2: Group Reporting in SAP S/4HANA supports intercompany reconciliation and matrix consolidation.
As a second highlight in Finance, we ship financial planning with SAP Analytics Cloud. This single point of access helps finance professionals to analyze financial and non-financial information in a transparent way. It has never been easier to get real-time, actionable business insights, and all of that in a user-friendly way. With SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) being integrated with the SAP S/4HANA environment, we’re delivering a future-proof finance architecture.
If you want to read more about Finance in our SAP S/4HANA 1909 release, please read the Finance blog by Benno Eberle.
Sales and Distribution
With SAP S/4HANA 1909, we enable workflow for sales documents. The key benefit of this new feature is to increase sales force efficiency by providing the workflow for sales quotations, for sales orders and for credit memo requests. It is now possible to display and manage approval workflows in “My Inbox”. In addition to this, you receive workflow notifications during the approval workflow processing, and you can adjust the workflow, for credit memo requests, to the new approval status for sales documents. An easy navigation to the sales order document from the approval workflow is now also possible.
Moreover, we also add intelligence to our Sales and Distribution processes. Monitoring delivery performance using predictive analytics in SAP S/4HANA allows for in-time supply of procurement processes to transportation planning, picking, packing, and shipping in the delivery process.
Extended Warehouse Management
As part of extended warehouse management, we now provide a better integration between production and warehouse processes. With this feature, you can have a seamless integration between repetitive manufacturing and warehouse management.
Via kanban, a new replenishment strategy is available for stock transfer. Having this replenishment strategy in place, warehouse tasks to replenish a kanban container are automatically created when you set the kanban container to empty. You can confirm the warehouse tasks either in a kanban app or in extended warehouse management.
Environment, Health & Safety
The new emissions forecasting capability as part of environment, health & safety helps to visualize environmental risks. Based on historical data, the system forecasts the emission data values via machine learning time-series predictive models. The values are shown graphically on the US for a given period in the future.
With the new analytics SAP Fiori app “Impact of Monitoring Lists”, you can monitor substances and analyze their impact on sales, suppliers, and production. This integration of dangerous goods management into sales and delivery processing helps you to check relevant classified products during sales quotation and sales order processing. In case no compliant transport is possible, sales items will get blocked.
Further, we have enhanced the SAP Fiori app “Slow or Non-Moving Materials” enabling users to display a prediction for slow or non-moving materials with regard to the future development of a material.
Additionally, we have also released a new app for inventory analysis displaying obsolete stock. The “Dead Stock Analysis” app supports you in your daily work, for example, as an inventory manager, to achieve maximum inventory accuracy and subsequently to optimize the inventory situation in your stock.
R&D / Engineering
Access-control management helps to improve compliance with internal and external (customer provided) guidelines and regulations. With this, you can protect data and control access in the early and detail-design phases, such as 2D and 3D design documents, parts, or product structures, which are confidential or strictly confidential.
Sourcing and Procurement
Intelligence is brought to our Line of Business Sourcing and Procurement by our digital assistant the SAP CoPilot and the help to execute procurement processes. On top, the LoB also makes use of new machine learning algorithms to automate processes and resolve issues. It’s all about intelligence!
Industry to Core – Utilities
In order to reduce data redundancy, we have expanded our core. Let me point out the sector Utilities. With SAP S/4HANA Utilities Product Simplification we bring new energy products. This provides product managers with an intuitive user experience and a central product management tool to define and manage energy products.
Another feature in this area is the simplified management of sales contracts for utilities. By eliminating the need to replicate data and removing middleware you can easily simplify your system architecture. The feature allows for simpler process configuration and a 360-degree overview of utilities sales contract management.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA 1909, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA release info: sap.com/s4hana
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA here
- Help Portal Product Page here
Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken