You might have seen Sven Denecken’s blog, featuring selected highlights that are part of the SAP S/4HANA 2020 Release, which is available since early October.
Are you wondering what’s in there for the utilities industry? And which are the most recent innovations part of SAP S/4HANA Utilities 2020? If you answer “yes” to one of these questions, you should continue to read.
While SAP’s overall history in the utilities industry has started a few decades ago, the first release of IS-U as part of SAP S/4HANA goes back to November 2015.
Since then, we have continuously added value to the solution through a new user experience (FIORI), embedded analytics, an Interaction Center embedded into SAP S/4HANA, Machine Learning (ML) and several other topics.
A list of these innovations delivered during the last five year is available on SAP Help Portal (help.sap.com/utilities)
Let us put the focus on some of the most recent innovations that are new with the latest release SAP S/4HANA 2020, that emphasize the importance of this industry-specific solution and its integration into cloud solutions:
- We have integrated Business Process Exception Management (BPEM) into our FIORI user interfaces related to metering, billing and invoicing – allowing both meter data specialists and billing specialists to resolve exceptions efficiently and increase user productivity.
- In addition to the “classic” IS-U invoicing, we offer the new option to invoice IS-U billing documents jointly with other billing documents with SAP Convergent Invoicing. Of course, this allows utility companies as well to take advantage of numerous recent and future innovations in this area.
- SAP S/4HANA Utilities for customer management was earlier this year renamed to “Customer Engagement” as part of SAP S/4HANA Service. While it used to be an add-on in the past, it was fully embedded into the SAP S/4HANA stack with the 1909 release (see the previous blog ) .
- While new APIs for sales contracts and interaction records facilitate that integration, we incorporated them into the set of OData service delivered under the umbrella of the SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector (available under SAP S/4HANA since the 1610 release already), in order to allow customers and partners to leverage them as well for customer self-service scenarios.
- We further enhanced the Utilities Product Integration Layer (UPIL) , the interface to automate the translation of commodity products, which are defined by a product manager in an external system, into billing master data of SAP SAP S/4HANA Utilities
- Some more APIs allow replication of relevant SAP S/4HANA Utilities data (utilities sales contracts, IS-U-installation data, and consumption details) to external marketing systems such as SAP Marketing Cloud and thus support marketing campaigns. A very nice example is the Calculation of a customer’s financial health score for use in marketing campaigns
- From the numerous innovations in the area of FI-CA (you can find them all listed in SAP Help Portal in the section Contract Accounting / FI-CA ), we would like to highlight the new SAP Fiori apps and in particular the new SAP Cash Application add-on for contract accounting, leveraging machine learning for improved accuracy in payment allocations.
You can also find more details about the SAP S/4HANA Utilities 2020 release in our SAP Help Portal: https://help.sap.com/utilities
Moreover, we are happy to offer a webinar on the topic for all our customers and partners. Please find the details here.
Michael Ernzerhoff & Holger Schweinfurth