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Navigating SAP Roadmaps – Some Tips for Mill Products Companies

The curse of impatience

Do you know that feeling when someone’s presenting, and you would like to fast-forward – either to a specific section or to Q&A? Unfortunately patience is not my strength, so I experience this quite often.

Online (or even in person) roadmap sessions still have their place – and having the chance to discuss one-on-one with expert is hard to beat. But they also have their challenges.

I, of course, still hold individually crafted customer-specific roadmaps when we meet in person and discuss e.g. the journey to S/4. Also, I offer my yearly session at SAPPHIRE or as part of the ASUG Special Interest Group for Mill Products & Mining, nowadays known as thinktank.

To address your needs better, we have decided to offer a more direct & consumable access to roadmap information. To do this, we are offering two self-service tools, and the “classic” pdf-roadmap by product and industry:

  • the innovation discovery tool. This is a self-service repository of all SAP innovations that is constantly filled by our product managers.
    I use this to search for a specific topic, and I find this especially powerful when something is “available today”. Not so good to see how a product evolves.
  • the new interactive roadmap explorer. This is a visual self-service tool to explore the future on a “Kanban-Board”. Currently in BETA as we complete the content.

Let’s say we would like to know more about the new SAP Advanced Variant Configuration in SAP S/4HANA. Let’s explore what the two tools can do for us.

SAP Innovation Discovery

Link: https://go.support.sap.com/innovationdiscovery/#

As mentioned before, use this to search for individual innovations, and get loads of details on when and where this is available, and individual product features. In many cases, you may also find a product video or a pdf-presentation with many more details.

This is excellent, especially if you are looking for. something specific and know how it is called at SAP. Please note that I highlighted the search feature. This is in 80% how I “discover” innovations.

Here, I was looking for “SAP Advanced Variant Configuration” and found 43 innovations.

In the results, I found a specific topic, the AVC engine enhancement with the SAP S/4HANA1909.release. First, I get a bit of introduction…

…and scrolling down I can deep dive into the product features. What I highlighed is the new extensibility feature in AVC that replaces the variant functions we had in LO-VC.

From here, you can dive down even deeper into the rabbit hole with videos, presentations, and link to documentation. I will not do this here.

SAP Roadmap Explorer

Link: https://roadmaps.sap.com/index.html#/

The roadmap explorer is a very different tool, much more visual, and is very helpful to understand how a specific product area evolves over time.

It can be a little overwhelming if you enter this only with the industry (e.g. mill products) as a selection. If you search here (e.g. for advanced variant configuration), this gets much more manageable.

I highlighted in below screenshot one item that is especially interesting to me:a (planned) possibility to work better with variant tables. From here, I can mark this as a “favourite” that I would like to return to, and I can drill down further.

For each of these tiles you can drill down to details, you can share the link to a specific roadmap item with a colleagues. You can also add a roadmap item to your favourites, and thus create your own list of roadmap items, and save (and share) this as your very own custom roadmap.

Your Roadmap Challenge

I use these special days and weeks of remote working to explore new tools. How about you try out the new Roadmap Explorer.

  • Tell us what works, tell us what you miss.
  • Try entering only with your industry
  • Try searching for a specific topic or application
  • Select your 10 favourites
  • Create an own map and share it with a colleague.

 

Stay safe and hope to hear from you.

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