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Author's profile photo Rudy Subramanian

How can business and IT get early and often wins on the path to S/4?

It’s been a little over 4 years since the release of S/4HANA, and many organizations have adopted the new digital core, with dramatic effects. When HANA and subsequently S/4 were released, they were transformational technologies. ERP was no longer limited by memory and other hardware considerations of traditional databases, and this simplicity would enable new business models and revenue streams, taking advantages of new technologies like IoT, data science, and machine learning. S/4 would create a much more open ecosystem, where operational data can be combined with other forms of data – experience data, sensor data, etc. – to drive better insights and more agile decision-making.

However, many of SAP’s customers are hugely complex organizations that aren’t digital natives and have spent years implementing last generation ERP. And now, while the advantages of S/4 are obvious and plentiful, these organizations are grappling with the complexity of making another enterprise transformation.

  • What are the steps to prepare for S/4?
  • Can we take an incremental journey that will deliver results at every step?
  • How can I get often and early wins for the business and IT?

These are the questions we will try to answer in this blog series.

Part 1: Develop Process Excellence with SAP Process Mining

 We call business processes by many names – procure-to-pay, hire-to-retire, etc. And there are many ways to get from the beginning of a business process to the end. However, some of these paths are more direct and more efficient. Every organization starts their ERP journey by idealizing the existing business flows. But after facing real life cases, each and every enterprise breaks these rules. Every business leader knows this truth, however none can document it with evidence and identify root causes.

Until now.

SAP process mining uses logs and metadata to map transactions to show you exactly how closely your organization follows best practice.


It shows the number of transactions that are out of compliance, the timeline for a business process to complete, and the financial impact of deviations.

Once you’ve identified bottlenecks and deviations in a process, you can now start eliminating these root causes of inefficiency. Because these deviations and risks can be analyzed in real-time, you can now check whether processes are actually complying with internal procedures of your organization and with external laws and regulations. Auditors no longer have to execute long-lasting data analyses or carry out interviews, as the actual process data is instantly and easily comprehendible.

As your organization identifies these deviations and returns these business processes to the standard best practice, this process will also begin simplifying your ERP, making the eventual move from ECC to S4 much less complex.

Next week, I will release part 2 in this series.

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