Welcome to the Q2 2021 product update of the intelligent Cloud ERP series, where we share insightful information on how technologies such as robotic process automation or machine learning transform an ERP to an intelligent ERP. This series enables you to fully understand how the end-to-end integration between different SAP solutions makes you run with a unique suite of best of bread.
In this blog post, I will share with you the key innovations coming with our latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2105 release and give you a glimpse into the innovations planned for the future.
Watch my video below for an overview on my key highlights of this release:
And let me just tell you, we have quite a lot of them in store – Let’s get right into it.
Innovations with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation is a strategic area for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and a technology that allows us to embed intelligence and automation in end-to-end processes in a scalable way to facilitate processes for customers. Robotic solutions are offered as standalone solutions – Robots or Bots – or built as combined solutions with other services such as Machine Learning or Situation Handling. With our new bot environment, SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation 2.0, we can build bots directly in the SAAS application with the Cloud Studio, reducing the need to install several software packages. We are currently migrating a selected set of the already existing bots and releasing brand-new bots developed with our Cloud Studio on a monthly basis. Let me just mention one example of the many bots coming in this SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2105 release:
Mass Asset Retirement by Scrapping in Finance. In their month-end close process, large organizations with several company codes have the necessity of mass retirement for their fixed assets. In order to make sure that the financial reporting identify their expenses in retirement correctly, they need their posting in the appropriate date. This bot provides a mass retirement capability running the required steps across all relevant company codes automatically. Whenever assets like laptops or mobile phones are retired, they need to be unregistered as assets. In case of loss or defects, the assets will be disposed of without any revenue, resulting in the depreciation to be recalculated for the disposal date and preventing further depreciations.
Visit the new SAP Intelligent RPA Store
Governance, Risk & Compliance
In Governance, Risk and Compliance, we have embedded analytics SAP Fiori app for Trade Compliance Issues. Trade Compliance Specialists can leverage the app Analyze and Resolve Blocked Documents to analyze the documents and select their workload by filtering blocked documents based on different categories. By assigning missing licenses and classifications, you can process blocked documents fast and transparently.
Innovations powered by Machine Learning
This release offers a number of enhancements for Machine Learning scenarios. As artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a necessity to future-proof any business, we at SAP are putting our efforts into ensuring our intelligent enterprise reality is infused with AI capabilities. As part of AI, Machine Learning uses algorithms that improve through experience and by the use of data in order to make automatic predictions and decisions.
With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102 release, we have introduced Automated Creation of Sales Orders from unstructured data, accelerating sales by intelligently extracting relevant data from unstructured source formats such as PDF files with the help of Machine Learning. With this innovation, we already reduced efforts by removing the need to manually type in the required data into the system. Now we have taken it a step further! With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2105 release, we offer a set of various languages such as Chinese, French and Spanish, and we even make it possible to upload multiple files at the same time – Now this is what I call full comfort!
In Asset Management we ship the machine-learning based suggestions for object part code in notifications to maintenance technicians. As a technician, you need to always maintain the condition of the technical object in order to ensure an adequate maintenance. If a malfunction occurs, the Malfunction feature in the Perform Maintenance Jobs SAP Fiori app allows you to share observations about the condition of the technical object and report any damages, associated causes, and activities performed. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102, we already launched machine-learning based algorithms proposing appropriate damage codes based on the short and long text of a maintenance notification to facilitate this process. With this newest release, we have now extended them to also suggest the object part code. Not only does this increase data quality, it also decreases the time needed to find the proper damage and object part codes.
But we don’t only offer enhancement for already existing innovations; we also deliver a variety of new use cases, facilitating processes in various LoBs and industries. Let me just pick a couple of them to demonstrate how valuable this release is for different scenarios:
Situation Handling at the heart of key innovations
Situation Handling is a concept for bringing business issues to the attention of specific user groups. It helps the user to recognize, understand and resolve the situation by gathering all relevant information and recommending solution proposals. Let’s have a look at new scenarios.
Let’s start with Sales, where we have Mass Change of Sales Documents: Job Completed. Here, you can submit mass changes as a background job and will be notified when a mass change of sales documents job is completed through notifications on the SAP Fiori launchpad. You can navigate through the mass change requests to view the processing log and trigger a follow-up action if necessary.
Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Let’s move to Supply Chain, where we complement the Supply Protection app with the Multiple Matches Alert. The Supply Protection app allows you to define protected quantities for groups based on specific characteristics. Sometimes, it might happen that one demand falls into multiple protection groups unintendedly. Now this is where the Multiple Matches Alert comes into play: by indicating when a demand element matches multiple Supply Protection objects or groups immediately, it helps maintain Supply Protection consistently.
Sourcing & Procurement
With Proactive Delivery Insights for Ordered Items we have another Situation Handling scenario, enabled by SAP IoT within the Manage Purchase Orders SAP Fiori app for Sourcing & Procurement. How does this work? Usually, purchasers do not receive any information about the condition of ordered goods during the delivery, meaning that they can only notice if the goods have been damaged after they have already received them. With SAP IoT, the handling units of ordered items are equipped with sensors giving out information on the temperature, humidity, or overall condition of the item during the delivery. If then any critical situation occurs during the delivery, the purchasers are notified immediately, allowing them to react fast and anticipate any quality issues. This way, we offer a holistic and transparent view of the entire delivery process.
Innovations fueled by SAP IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an internet-like structure. This means devices automatically talk to servers with little to no human interaction, fusing the digital and the physical world by bringing together different concepts and technical components such as pervasive networks, smart items, and new models for business processes. We offer a flexible and customizable infrastructure that extends SAP IoT with Automatic Identification (Auto-ID) technology. Auto-ID technology tracks the movement of business objects and provides accurate, real-time information about items as they move through your supply chain.
Manufacturing & Supply Chain
In Manufacturing, we leverage the SAP IoT RFID-enabled Kanban. Kanban is a procedure for the production and material flow control based on the physical material stock in production. Material that is required on a regular basis is continually kept available in small quantities in production. With Kanban, status changes trigger the replenishment or production of a material when a certain quantity of the material has been consumed. As the registration of the status change often still involves manual tasks, it is prone to errors and a high lead time. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2105 we offer a flexible and customizable infrastructure that extends SAP IoT with Automatic Identification Technology (Auto-ID) which minimizes the manual effort to capture process steps, update the IT systems, and trigger subsequent processes. This increases transparency and improves process efficiency.
Run better with an enhanced integration
Last but not least, let me move to an essential enabler of business processes across systems: Integration. From on-premise to cloud, building the hybrid ERP model, as well as the cloud-to-cloud integration, This latter and specific “Line of Business” to “Line of Business” integration allows you to connect multiple cloud environments together, making it easy for you to access your data through multiple devices, and run end-to-end business processes.
Hybrid ERP or 2-Tier ERP model
In 2-Tier ERP, customer will find a new Business Partner Replication using Cloud Integration. Naturally, the integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Master Data Governance supports a direct replication of master data without any middleware, but since a variety of customers need to involve a middleware for their interfaces as per their policy, this accelerator helps to replicate business partners from our SAP S/4HANA on-premise offering to SAP S/4HANA Cloud using cloud integration. The benefits of this are very clear: this accelerator reduces the implementation timeline drastically and offers a master data harmonization across the entire enterprise. Another plus: it is easy to enhance based on your individual requirements and offers trouble shooting based on the Application Integration Framework Monitor.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Ariba
Next on, we have Central Sourcing for Quote Automation with Ariba Network, where we connect the SAP S/4HANA Cloud with SAP Ariba Discovery, which is a part of Ariba Network, enabling you to pool or aggregate purchase requisitions which are created in multiple, connected back-end systems to create a single, central RFQ in central SAP S/4HANA Cloud System and get the support for better scale pricing. You can leverage the Ariba Network to enable access to more than two million companies providing quotations and a quick and intuitive supplier discovery. This helps you to source the best supplier by simultaneously reducing manual processing steps.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors integration: Hire-to-Retire
Let me finish this Integration topic by mentioning H2R and Master Data Integration with SAP One Domain Model. H2R is the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration to SAP S/4HANA Cloud which offers you predefined content for data integration to enable end-to-end business processes across your core Cloud HR – SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central – and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. While the most important thing in H2R is the maintenance of master data, the data models between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central were not aligned in the past, causing multiple complexities in the process. Now with the H2R and Master Data Integration with SAP One Domain Model, all LoBs have aligned on one data model for people and cost center data across all SAP business applications, enabling consistent and semantically understood data. With this innovation, you can benefit from a fast, efficient, and compliant integration, ensuring an easy maintenance.
Now you have gained insights on how SAP S/4HANA Cloud will take you on the transformation journey to the intelligent enterprise.
Are you curious to learn more?
Dive deeper by checking out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info here
- Jan Gilg SAP News Center article 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 @ypeterschmitt