The S4 HANA 2021 release – Top innovations for Sales
There are some major innovations for Sales in the S4 HANA 2021 release for on premise edition. In this document I’m going to highlight the top innovations and changes in the Order Management area that I’ve shortlisted and finds them relevant for most industry segments.
The first highlight that I would list out is the major change in the Sales Order Fulfillment app, which is a widely used and useful app for business decision making. The now existing multiple tiles such as Sales Order Fulfillment – Analyze issues or Resolve Incomplete Data etc under the Sales Order Fulfillment category will be deleted in next release and is being replaced with the Sales Order Fulfillment – Analyze and Resolve issues.
While the existing Sales Order Fulfillment app and tiles continue to function and can still be used, it is now marked as Deprecated and SAP recommends to stop using them and instead switch to the new app.
The second highlight is the new Sales Order creation apps, which automatically creates sales order by taking input data from different medium –
- Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction
- Import Sales Orders
These apps are released in both the cloud and on- premise edition, and is a powerful way SAP has used Machine Learning and automation concept into a SAP document creation process.
With the Automatic Extraction, an internal sales representative can create sales orders from files they receive in unstructured data format by uploading them in the S4 HANA system. This is useful in cases where they receive the orders in the form of attachments like PDF. The manual task of mapping the file into the master data available in S4 HANA and creating a sales order is eliminated since the system automatically extracts file information and maps the relevant data like Sold to Party and Material number.
With the Import Sales Order app, sales representative can create sales orders from a consolidated XLSX spreadsheet file which they have from various sources such as external order entry tools or a manual field data collection consolidation etc, which gets consolidated in an excel file for multiple orders or multiple order items. The best part is that the excel format supports custom fields as well.
You can see both these new Sales order creation apps in the Fiori dashboard now.
Next is the Sales Order creation app which was originally released in cloud edition, and is now being made available in the on premise edition. This is the first transactional Fiori app for creating Sales order wherein the traditional SAP GUI for VA01 order creation is transitioning into the new Fiori programming platform.
While this is not a fully functional app for order creation and not meant to replace the Create Sales Order – VA01 app, at least for now, since it does not support all order types by default as in the Create Sales Order-VA01 app and need configuration setup for supported document types and other limitations, the business benefit is clear in terms of ease of navigation, graphical process flow and extensibility to manage KPIs in the same screen etc bringing business user’s delight.
This app can be accessed using the Create Sales Orders tile in the Fiori dashboard or from within the Manage Sales Orders app. Within the Manage Sales order app, now you will see this new app in addition to the Create Sales Order-VA01 app.
Other major changes in the 2021 release are detailed below –
The other major changes in the 2021 edition is the changes related to BP (Business Partner). Multiple address handling for BP is now enabled so that you are able to maintain address-dependent data, and to enable SD documents to consume these addresses and their address-dependent data for a single BP record. To enable this feature, you must activate the following two business functions –
This will get reflected in various sales processes for example during the creation of sales documents in the Create Sales Orders – VA01 app or outbound deliveries creation in the Create Outbound Delivery – Without Order Reference app, the system prompts you to select the relevant address of a BP.
This is another very useful app for mass change of sales document fields. It is available now for all sales document categories including quotations and sales orders without charge with enhanced features in the 2021 release. Now a new field profit center is made available on the item-level for Sales Orders. This field is not available for Quotation level yet.
The mass change can now run as a background job and the status can be checked in real time with easy to view tiles. Another useful feature of this job tiles is that the failed jobs shows the details and can be re-run with ease without the need to set up another job.
The final highlight for the 2021 release I would like to list is on the functionalities for Preliminary billing documents. One of the important features missing in the previous release regarding Preliminary documents and Billing documents creation was not having ability to filter the documents based on user id and date of creation. Now with the 2021 release both these fields – ‘Created by’ and ‘Created on’ are available for both Preliminary and Billing due list.
Also automatic workflow for approval is enabled for job scheduling for Preliminary documents having Finalized status.
I must say that innovations in Sales in the 2021 edition has been significant, and i have covered only the major ones. There are other interesting innovations and changes in the existing features and Fiori apps for Sales in SAP’s portal. I hope you find this article helpful and please feel free to leave a comment or questions if you have.