Highlights of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 Release (February 2021)
A new year always means a new start – and what better way to start off this year than with our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 release! As the COO of SAP S/4HANA and Head of Product Success, I am proud to announce the general availability of our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 release today, bringing to you amazing innovations and enhancements in all Lines of Business and industries and as always, supporting the Intelligent Enterprise with quite the set of new features and improvements.
As announced last week, by introducing RISE with SAP we’re providing Business Transformation as a Service. Regardless of your business size or complexity of processes and platforms that you’re using: Together with our ecosystem, we are providing everything companies need to holistically transform their business with a fast time to value in ONE bundle – from business process redesign to technical migration services and cloud infrastructure up to our Business Technology Platform, access to the Business Network, and our market leading intelligent ERP, SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Today I have the pleasure to walk you through my favorite innovations of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 release in this blog. Watch the video below to get a first impression of the features it brings to all of us.
First off, let’s start with my highlight in Finance: Flexible assignment of accounting principles to ledgers. In order to run parallel accounting processes in your SAP S4HANA Cloud system, you need to use several accounting principles for example German commercial code and accounting standards (HGB) as corporate accounting principle for the group, and the local GAAP in the company’s subsidiaries. With the innovation we bring in this release, it is now easier than ever to flexibly assign the required accounting principles to respective ledgers. Only one configuration activity is required to update the assignment of the ledger to the accounting principle throughout the Finance applications. This means new customers can change the previously fixed assignment of accounting principles to ledgers according to their business needs.
Figure 1: Flexibly assign your required accounting principles to your respective ledgers (note: no audio voice available)
Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC)
Staying in the Finance area, with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, we introduce a brand-new innovation in Governance, Risk and Compliance: With the first version of SAP Financial Compliance Management, we offer an effortless way of maintaining your compliance processes. Whether it be documenting the processes in place for your organization or setting up checks and controls, the tool enables you to ensure your organization follows local laws and regulations – and this, fully automated. Thanks to this innovation, manually analyzing every single document generated by your financial operations processes is no longer necessary. Here we offer the automated and continuous monitoring of financial transactions and processes to automatically detect activities which potentially cause financial loss and give you the opportunity to immediately react to them, eliminating problems before they even emerge
Figure 2: The first version of SAP Financial Compliance Management provides an effortless way of maintaining your compliance processes (note: no audio voice available)
This and more topics are covered in Katrin Deissner’s latest blog post.
Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Another great innovation comes from the field of predictive Material and Resource Planning (pMRP) in Manufacturing & Supply Chain: As part of the Define Flexible Constraints app, you can now create and maintain flexible constraints for multiple materials and production lines and directly use these in the pMRP application. This way, future constraints such as a limited supply of a group of purchased components or a limited output of production lines can be anticipated, making it easier for you to consider these constraints and their implications early in mid-term and long-term planning. Additionally, selecting the constraint scope and selection mechanism, as well as defining affected materials and conversion factors give the full user experience.
Figure 3: The ‘Define Flexible Constraints’ app allows you to create and maintain flexible constraints for multiple materials and production lines which you can directly use in the pMRP application (note: no audio voice available)
Sourcing & Procurement
Sourcing & Procurement in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 brings an innovation to the area of Purchase Requisition: Up until today, the approval process in Purchase Requisitioning limited approvers to either approve or reject purchase requisitions without the possibility of reaching out to requestors in case of any queries. With the new release, we deliver the inquiry option in the approval process of purchase requisition documents through workflows, giving approvers the possibility to communicate with requestors before approving or rejecting the purchase requisition. You can take advantage of this improved interaction between requestors and approvers and reduce the chances of purchase requisition rejections, leading to a seamless user experience.
Figure 4: The inquiry option in the approval process of purchase requisitions provides approvers with the possibility to communicate with requestors before approving or rejecting the purchase requisition (note: no audio voice available)
Check out Katharina Doerr’s blog post to find out more.
For the professional services scenario, the new flexible aggregation of data on customer invoices brings great benefits for our customers. With this functionality, you can modify the corresponding output-form template according to your business requirements and define your own criteria for aggregation, for example, by product, employee or work package. Additionally, you are given the possibility to benefit from full flexibility in determining the group hierarchy to up to three levels. With this increased control over how the relevant billing data for project-based services is displayed we are meeting your expectations to the full extent.
Figure 5: Decide how billing data is aggregated and displayed on your customer invoices for project-based services (note: no audio voice available)
Katharina Stopf gives a detailed overview in her latest blog post.
Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management (EPPM)
The integration of enterprise projects with sales orders enables you to account-assign sales order items to billing elements. When account-assigning sales order items, you can derive profitability characteristics directly from the sales order. This automation can save an enormous amount of time as you neither have to maintain profitability characteristics manually, nor is there a need for manual revenue as well as revenue recognition postings anymore. In SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, we have introduced the N:1 object relationship, which is implemented as the “Multiple Sales Order Items Scenario” check box against Project with Revenue at the time of project creation. Selecting this check box enables the assignment of one billing work package to multiple pricing and billing relevant sales order items in sales, provided the revenue recognition key is the same across sales order items.
Figure 6: Selecting the “Multiple Sales Order Items Scenario” check box allows you to assign one billing work package to multiple pricing and billing relevant sales order items (note: no audio voice available)
Read more about this and other innovations in Corina Kinzel’s blog post.
The Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction SAP Fiori app enables internal sales representatives to create sales orders from PDF files. How does this work? When a purchase order file in PDF format is uploaded, the system automatically extracts data from the file and determines master data. This data is then saved in a sales order request which you can later convert into a sales order. This process reduces manual efforts and ensures a highly user-friendly handling. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, the app has been enhanced to simulate order creation and to show these order simulation results, as well as to enable you to create custom logic (BAdI) to overwrite changeable sales order request fields based on your custom proposal rules.
Figure 7: With the enhanced SAP Fiori app ‘Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction’ you can create sales orders from PDF files and simulate order creation (note: no audio voice available)
Read Christian Vogler’s latest blog post to dive into this topic.
Solution Order Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 includes Subscriptions for consumption-based business. The integration to SAP Subscription Billing enables Solution Orders to offer subscription services as well as sales and service products in a single order. This capability allows you to create subscriptions through Solution Order orchestration and to visualize the process flow in the Solution Order Progress app. Not only does this support the transformation of products to higher-margin solutions, it also increases your cash-flow and lowers your revenue leakage with near real-time rating and invoicing.
Figure 8.1: Overview: Integration of Solution Order Management with SAP Subscription Billing
Figure 8.2: Solution Order Management now supports consumption-based business and enables Solution Orders to offer subscription services as well as sales and service products in a single order (note: no audio voice available)
Young Hwae Koo gives some interesting insights into this innovation in her blog post.
We leverage Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to provide system support in maintenance notifications. As a maintenance technician or supervisor, you can use these Machine Learning algorithms to propose the most probable damage code by automatically analyzing information which has already been collected during the maintenance process. With this, you are able to improve your data quality for later breakdown analysis while simultaneously decreasing the time needed to assign the correct damage code to a maintenance notification.
Figure 9: Training of a ML model to provide system support in maintenance notifications (note: no audio voice available)
With regards to Product Compliance, we have the continuous content delivery for phrases. Phrases are used as a value for specific fields like World First Aid Measures or Colours, containing standardized text strings in different languages, which allow you to transport and sell your products in many different countries. They are provided as SAP content for complying with regional, national, and international regulations. With this feature, we enable you to continuously consume phrases using SAP regulatory content and to simplify the process to receive fast and frequent updates. Additionally, the tool offers an automated update of these phrases whenever there are changes and enhancements, ensuring you to stay up to date with the latest set of phrases.
Figure 10: As part of the ‘Manage Phrase-Enabled Fields’ app you can continuously consume phrases using SAP regulatory content (note: no audio voice available)
Find out more about this topic in Christian Vogler’s blog post.
Environment, Health & Safety
In times of global warming and in midst of a global pandemic, the topic of Environment, Health & Safety seems more important than ever. In the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 release, we have therefore dedicated a new feature to the fight against these environmental issues. With the monitor and analyze environmental emissions-relevant data feature we offer predictive learning algorithms and statistical methods to forecast emission data based on before known emission data. This forecasted emission data can then be compared to the environmental limits with the help of the Emission Forecast app, indicating future deviations or noncompliance at an early stage. Through the additional use of the Monitor Data app, you can analyze the environmental data of a single data set either graphically or in a table view, benefitting from all relevant information at one glance. This helps you to actively manage environmental data through approval, replacement, invalidation or triggering of deviation subprocesses based on the analytical insights in order to then proactively plan to avoid potentially unwanted events.
Figure 11: Compare the forecasted emission data against the environmental limits with the ‘Emission Forecast’ app and avoid potentially unwanted events (note: no audio voice available)
The integration of Financial Planning in SAP Analytics Cloud for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 leverages the interconnected nature of the different parts of integrated financial planning to provide a driver-based simulation considering the logic and data of the included scenarios, such as by transferring sales quantities into product cost simulation, breaking it down to needed resources, and using it for cost center activity price calculation. This procedure supports the proactive business steering through efficient and integrated planning processes and facilitates the access to business-relevant key figures in order to understand whether the business is performing according to plan or any corrective action is needed, leading to an overall consistency in planning through the use of the SAP Analytics Cloud solution as the main planning tool.
Figure 12: The three simulation cases allow you to 1) change the sales quantities, sales prices, and sales deductions; 2) adjust your expenses; 3) adjust purchase prices.
Swati Balani covers this innovation in her new blog post.
The SAP Activate methodology uses SAP Best Practices for implementations and uses the agile methodology for quality control and rapid delivery. Adapting this methodology to our ever-changing environment is a crucial step to success. Therefore, again in this new year, we continue to focus on improving the experience for SAP Activate users in the SAP Roadmap Viewer. Recent innovations here include a new design and interaction with the tool such as the ability to pre-select your favorite SAP Activate Roadmaps, as well as a new guided experience for faster navigation and the translation to Chinese and Japanese. We invite you to join our SAP Activate JAM Community to engage directly with my team and other SAP Activate users.
Figure 13: Create and schedule test plan using the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer (note: no audio voice available)
Check out Jan Musil’s blog post to find out more about this.
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
Additionally, we continue to invest in our product’s intelligence and automation, using SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, we provide new automation contents around Finance, Manufacturing, Data Management and Project based services, to automate various business processes within SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Some key innovations include: Create and mass update of batch master data, automated generation of GL re-class postings, automatic update of business partners based on the employees’ master data, and so on.
Read more in Hardeep Tulsi’s blog post.
Figure 14: Filter options as part of the intelligent RPA Store make it easy to find the bot you’re looking for
We have another intelligent technology called Situation Handling, which not only informs users proactively about issues requiring their attention, but also provides related data for informed decisions and actions to solve a situation. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, we have delivered 11 new use cases in Finance, Service, Supply Chain and R&D Engineering. Click this link to the help portal for more information.
Additional Technology Topics
If you’re interested in Extensibility, Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Localization, read Katrin Deissner’s blog post.
Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast
As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our new podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA product experts, partners and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practice. There is no customer success without product success and project success; we help you get to the next level and make your SAP S/4HANA projects a success. Subscribe now and benefit from the shared knowledge.
Your voice matters!
If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community – now fully integrated with SAP Community. The community brings together SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers, partners and SAP experts and has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions. We invite you to explore the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community ‘one-stop shop’ as the central place for all resources, tools, content questions, answers and connect with experts to guide you through your SAP S/4HANA Cloud journey.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- My article on SAP News here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here and previous release highlights here
- Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Early Release Webinar Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- openSAP Microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community: here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Implementation Portal here
Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken