Intelligent Situation Automation – The next big step in Digital Transformation
What is Intelligent Situation Automation?
Intelligent Situation Automation is an extension of Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA (Cloud and On Premise 2021 FPS0 onwards) on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). If you’re not familiar with Situation Handling, see this blog post. Intelligent Situation Automation, which has been generally available since July 22, 2021, complements the vision of Intelligent Situation Handling by providing analytics, automation, and insights for business situations.
Inform – Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA proactively informs specific user groups about urgent business issues and proposes the course of action users can take to react to issues immediately.
Analyze – Intelligent Situation Automation lets you monitor and analyze situation data. This enables you to discover patterns and do deep-dive, root-cause analyses.
Automate – Intelligent Situation Automation allows you to configure rules to automate the resolution of business situations in SAP S/4HANA. Automatic resolution is configured using SAP API calls, email reminders, or custom API calls (REST).
Optimize – Intelligent Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Graph models can be used to leverage the extracted data to optimize business processes, to increase the efficiency of business rules, and to derive intelligent business insights.
How does Intelligent Situation Automation work?
The graphic below gives you an overview of the entire solution. It depicts the different components that are involved in the automatic resolution of a situation and in situation analytics.
In SAP S/4HANA, changes to a business process trigger a business event (1). Situation Handling processes this business event so that the user is informed about the business situation (2) via notifications and the in-app situation display.
If automated processing is enabled, Situation Handling routes the business events in SAP S/4HANA via SAP Event Mesh service (3) to Intelligent Situation Automation service in SAP BTP (4). The Intelligent Situation Automation service lets you configure business rules for automation, powered by the SAP Business Rules service (5). Based on the configured business rules, the business situation is resolved automatically in the target SAP S/4HANA system (6) using SAP API calls, email reminders, or custom API calls (REST).
The situation data context is extracted using the SAP Data Intelligence service (SAP BTP) and is stored in the data stores, such as the Object Store and SAP HANA. The extracted data is leveraged in the Situation Dashboard app in Intelligent Situation Automation to provide deep-dive, root cause analyses for monitoring patterns and deriving the automation scope.
What are the benefits of Intelligent Situation Automation?
Increased process efficiency – simplifies processes, frees up resources, and improves operational efficiency and accuracy, reducing human error.
Employee empowerment – frees employees from repetitive mundane tasks, giving them more time to focus on more important tasks.
Reduced costs – high speed automation helps save time and resources.
Improved business performance – Analytics and Insights help you make better decisions
Improved customer experience – Faster, more accurate & consistent results help improve customer experience.
Where can Intelligent Situation Automation be used?
The application of Intelligent Situation Automation spans varied business areas, such as Manufacturing, Procurement, and Finance. Intelligent Situation Automation supports the following business situations.
- Physical Inventory Monitoring
- Contract Is Ready as Source of Supply
- Pending Supplier Confirmation
- Low Number of Quotations Received
- Stock Transport Order Overdue
Physical Inventory Monitoring
A business that sells goods and materials, needs to take stock of its materials from time to time to compare its inventory system records with what is in stock.
To do so, a warehouse clerk creates a physical inventory document and enters the number of items for each material. If there’s a difference between the physical number and the system count, it is reported to the inventory manager. An inventory manager either approves the difference and posts the document or requests for a recount. Whether this is done depends on the cost of the material and the tolerance limit for the difference in the count.
In an SAP S/4HANA system, a situation is raised when a physical inventory document has to be reviewed and an inventory manager is notified. Then the manager needs to open the Physical Inventory Document Overview app and manually post the document or trigger a recount. Usually, this takes 3-4 minutes per document, making it a time-consuming process.
With Intelligent Situation Handling, this manual effort by an inventory manager is eliminated by posting the document or triggering a recount automatically. This is done by creating rules in the Manage Situation Automation app. You can specify for which business condition (either material-based or cost-based) you want to automate document posting. Sample rules are available to help you create the required automation rules.
An inventory manager can use the Situation Dashboard app to see the volume of situations generated over the last six months, observe patterns, understand how situations are resolved, and see the time saved with automation.
How can you onboard?
Intelligent Situation Automation is offered as a service on SAP Business Technology Platform. You can find out all the details in the SAP Discovery Center. For subscribing to the service, SAP BTP CPEA license is required or the service could be bought directly in SAP Store. For Partners, Intelligent Situation Automation (SKU 8011518) is offered under PAYG model. Refer to the Administration Guide for the technical prerequisites, onboarding activities, and user management.
Intelligent Situation Automation is now available to try free of charge on SAP BTP free tier.
Custom Situation Use Cases are not supported in Intelligent Situation Automation yet. It is planned to be available in the future.
Where can you find more information?
Exchange knowledge: SAP Community | Blogs
Explore: SAP Product Page | Product Demo | User Guide | Administration Guide
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I like this all the technology behind intelligent(iERP) coming together , like situation handling, RPA and Machine Learning.
Very interesting blog. Thank you Ranjitha 🙂
I have seen that it is now possible to create custom situation cases using situation handling extended framework, which is great.
2 questions regarding that new feature:
Is it compatible with BTP service “Intelligent situation automation” so we could trigger automatically resolution using iRPA or ML for example ?
How does monitoring works for situation handling "extended framework" ? Is it following same as standard framework ? ("Monitor situations" app for identification and "Situation dashboard" app for automation)
Thank you for your feedback.
As mentioned in the blog, Custom Situation Use Cases are not supported in Intelligent Situation Automation yet. It is planned to be available in the future.
Meanwhile, we are happy to hear the use case for custom situation with situation automation using iRPA/ML from you. Please reach out to email@example.com with details. Thank you.