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Continuing the Conversation: SAP S/4HANA and RISE with SAP

In Part 2 of our conversation, SAP instructor Kate Wilson expands on the concepts around SAP S/4HANA, and RISE with SAP.

Let’s bring it back to the beginning: What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA is an acronym for the SAP Business Suite 4 the HANA database. We call it the “next generation” business suite because it’s the new version of SAP’s ERP software that will ultimately replace SAP ECC. It’s just like if you get the latest generation of your mobile device.

SAP S/4HANA consists of the SAP Fiori Launchpad user interface, the SAP S/4HANA software, the Core Data Services (CDS) analytic layer, and the SAP HANA database. Think of it as a burger, with the launchpad as the top bun where business users use the apps to complete their daily job tasks. The cheese is the software layer where SAP completes maintenance activities, such as installing a release upgrade. The burger patty is the CDS views analytics layer, which was previously referred to as VDM (Virtual Data Model), in SAP ECC. Last, the bottom bun is the SAP HANA database, which provides the foundation for the other layers.

How does SAP S/4HANA make it possible for customers to run an Intelligent Enterprise?

An Intelligent Enterprise requires a lot of data processed quickly to generate insights, such as predictions or forecasts, in real-time. On the front-end, applications are designed to generate proactive information with an easy-to-use, visually pleasing user interface based on the SAP Fiori design guidelines. On the back-end, SAP HANA is the in-memory, column-oriented database engine processing the data. In layman’s terms, it allows you to process large amounts of data quickly because it does not use disk storage and is structured in an easily searchable way. Intelligent technologies, such as Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation require this type of database to function at an optimal level.

For example, SAP Conversational AI is a machine learning technology that enables you to build and monitor intelligent chatbots. Think of Siri or Alexa; these are chatbots using artificial intelligence and machine learning to respond to your questions and requests with the purpose of simulating a conversation as if you were talking to a human. Through the collection and analysis of a significant amount of data over time, your chatbot will provide better responses and anticipate your requests.

Public Cloud package

Private Cloud package

What are the “enablement services” in RISE with SAP?

The enablement portion of RISE with SAP provides a clear path for our installed base and new customers to transition their businesses into the cloud and move toward running an Intelligent Enterprise.

The first choice a customer makes is the deployment of SAP S/4HANA: Public Cloud or Private Cloud. Public cloud is RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and private cloud is RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. This choice determines which RISE with SAP enablement resources are relevant to support the customer’s transition. For example, the Readiness Check tool provides a detailed assessment based on a customer’s actual system usage data. This information helps them prepare for the system conversion from SAP ERP (ECC) to RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. In the assessment, a customer will find information like which SAP Fiori apps can replace the transaction codes they’ve been using, and the custom code that will not convert successfully with links to corresponding SAP Notes with business impact explanations and recommended fixes.

Why won’t some of the custom code in the customer’s SAP ECC system convert successfully to SAP S/4HANA?

The SAP HANA database has been simplified and restructured – think if Marie Kondo came to your house and helped you purge what doesn’t bring you joy and reorganize your remaining items into clearly defined containers. Your time can be used far more efficiently when you know exactly where to find and access an item.

Fun fact: The average person spends 12 weeks a year “looking for things.” We could all use a little simplification!

Read the first part of our interview with Kate here.

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