SAP S/4HANA public cloud blog series-article 1
Hope you are doing well, after a few stop and start and change of platform for the blogs, I am back now on SCN and I wanted to cover the topic of SAP S/4HANA public cloud.
I know the solution has been around for a while but during a recent implementation I did feel there is lack of information out there and this is me & my firm’s way for helping the clients and consultant on their journey on S/4HANA public cloud.
So what is public cloud?
SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud is an intelligent, next-generation ERP solution that combines cutting-edge technology, industry best practices, and cloud capabilities. Built on the SAP HANA in-memory database, S/4HANA Public Cloud allows businesses to digitize and integrate their core business processes while harnessing real-time analytics and insights. It offers a comprehensive suite of modules covering various functional areas, including finance, procurement, sales, manufacturing, supply chain, and more.
Unlike most of the implementation where you have a on premise or a private cloud ( more on that later), in a public cloud you actually share the infrastructure with others.
So the same instance of public cloud may support a services firm and a SME manufacturer and each client can configure system to a certain extent.
So why should you consider SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud
- Scalability and Flexibility: SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud offers businesses the flexibility to scale their operations according to their changing needs. The cloud-based infrastructure ensures that resources can be easily adjusted, enabling organizations to adapt to growth, seasonality, or market fluctuations seamlessly.
- Rapid Deployment: Compared to traditional on-premises ERP systems, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud significantly reduces the time required for deployment. The cloud-based nature of the solution eliminates the need for extensive hardware and software setup, enabling businesses to get up and running quickly and efficiently.
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership: With SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, organizations can benefit from reduced upfront costs associated with hardware, maintenance, and infrastructure. The cloud-based subscription model allows businesses to pay only for the resources they need, making it a cost-effective option for both small and large enterprises.
- Continuous Innovation: As part of the public cloud offering, SAP ensures that customers receive regular updates and access to the latest features and functionalities. This eliminates the need for costly and disruptive upgrades, enabling businesses to stay at the forefront of innovation and take advantage of new capabilities as they become available.
- Enhanced User Experience: SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud features a modern and intuitive user interface, designed to improve user experience and productivity. The solution leverages SAP Fiori, a responsive design system that offers role-based, personalized access to business processes across devices, ensuring users can work efficiently and access critical information anytime, anywhere.
- Advanced Analytics and Insights: With SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud’s embedded analytics capabilities, businesses can gain real-time visibility into their operations. By leveraging the power of SAP HANA, users can generate actionable insights, run ad-hoc queries, and perform predictive analytics, empowering decision-makers to make data-driven decisions quickly.
Now leveling down a bit to the details, so what does a public cloud S/4HANA architecture & landscape look like?
This is a interesting bit, as an ERP, public cloud is no different to how your on premise solution would look like, so it will have HANA as a DB, an application server and presentation layer and Fiori for users.
Some key distinction, you dont have SAP GUI and this would be a big shift for the users and consultants in the project
Now coming to landscape, you have an option of :-
- Two tier- i.e. Quality & Production- yes you read it right, no development. Again let me repeat it is a public cloud and there is only so much you can change.
- Three tier- This is pretty similar to standard approach of having build-test- production.
There are lot of implications of either and I will cover more later or get in touch if you need more details.
Check this link for SAP documentation on this topic.
An additional point to call out, there are multiple factors to consider when deciding the landscape including the size of your organization and complexity of your processes.
So how does the implementation design the system for the end client need?
The public cloud implementation can sometimes be very restrictive and feel very different to how typical implementation are done.
You dont do fit gap, you simply fit to standard and the standard is what is provided by SAP, which you can configure for your need.
You have to follow activate or a methodology similar to it and there is lot of documentation which you can refer to.
Once you have an approval and set of key configuration, you then start this (based on your landscape) in the Dev / Q box.
This is one of the most important tile and you enter here to manage / configure your solution.
The link opens to CBC (Central Business configuration) tool and you login to configure your system-
Once in, you will find below link where you have an option to pick the configuration which you intend to do ,e.g. set asset classes.
Now you will notice this layout is not like SPRO and that is a shift which you should get used to.
Once done, you will then have to test and release your transport to production for the solution to be available to end clients. There are limitation to things you can change so be sure before you commit to a client during design sessions.
There are a lot of changes in how you implement a cloud solution and lot of it has to do with the mindset too. Cloud ERP is the focus from both SAP and Oracle (Fusion) and it is imperative for the consultants to build their skills on this.
I will cover a few more aspects in future blogs, do comment and let me know your feedback.