5 Reasons To Be Thankful for S/4HANA

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NTT DATA Services SAP Advisor SAP S/4 blog post

The digital core imperative

Today’s digital imperative is driving unprecedented change in enterprise technology. What began as isolated, one-off departmental projects has exploded into an enterprise-wide, mainstream endeavor. Piecemeal edge innovations of past years no longer pass muster. Core business processes that drive operations must be completely re-imagined — from the consumer to the core — if your business is to remain relevant and viable in today's digital economy.

First announced in February 2015 (followed in May 2015 with the announcement of SAP S/4HANA, Cloud Edition) S/4HANA is a complete ERP system, covering the core, mission-critical business processes across lines of business, such as finance, sales, service, marketing, commerce, procurement and sourcing, manufacturing, supply chain, asset management, research and development, and human resources.

SAP customers have spent years assembling complex systems in a compute- constrained world. S/4HANA ends this, and the promise of a digital core holds unbridled and unprecedented opportunity.

For net-new SAP customers, S/4 HANA is a no-brainer. For existing SAP customers, S/4 HANA is your future. Even though mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite extends to 2025, SAP S/4HANA, the first digital core for digital business in the industry, is sure to impact ERP landscapes in a big way in the years ahead, so laggards increase their peril as the years of “wait-and-see” tick off.

S/4HANA business benefits

S/4HANA improvements over prior SAP ERP systems or competing, non-SAP systems include lower TCO, improved user interface, easier maintenance, better integration with other applications (especially cloud apps), faster reporting, real-time analytics, new business processes and business models, deeper customer interaction and improved customer service, and most importantly, simplification, simplification, simplification…

As determined by SAP Value Engineering, benefits of shifting from SAP Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA include:

  • A savings of 400 working hours for each quarterly closing
  • 86% faster reporting
  • 26% faster year-end closings with a 61% cost reduction
  • 24% revenue growth through new customer acquisition
  • 30% increased market share
  • 22% reduction in human effort
  • 50% production acceleration
  • 90% increase in speed of processes

S/4HANA is backed by SAP Partner power

For established, global businesses, strategic migration to S/4HANA will be an extensive journey that necessitates the support of a leading IT service provider -- a trusted partner such as NTT DATA with comprehensive planning capabilities, deep technical and business-process expertise, proven industry experience, a structured migration methodology, and an ample repertoire of proprietary tools and accelerators that mitigate risk, reduce project cost and duration, and speed time-to-value throughout all phases of your S/4HANA migration.

SAP partners currently manage more than 80% of all projects focused on SAP S/4HANA, according to SAP, and play a major role in selling the software and helping customers plan, run and optimize implementation and digital transformation projects.

SAP S/4HANA goes a long way toward ameliorating the confusion and concerns of business and IT leaders grappling with the challenge of eliminating ERP complexity and digitizing core operations.

Nonetheless, the onus remains on SAP partners to identify for SAP customers where S/4HANA can provide the most value and develop best practices for achieving this value again and again.

At NTT DATA, we continue to see widespread interest in S/4HANA migration as customers seek gain speed and agility while reducing complexity and hardware costs, improving their user experience and increasing growth opportunities through re-imagined business models, business decisions, and business processes.

5 reasons to be thankful for S/4HANA

If the lore of a digital core, clear-cut business benefits and massive partner power aren’t enough to convince you of S/4HANA’s value, here are five additional reasons to be thankful S/4HANA is in your future.

1. It’s proven
S/4HANA continues to be adopted by the most forward thinking global companies. In Q3 2017, approximately 600 additional customers signed up for S/4HANA (of which more than 40% were net new), bringing the total number of S/4HANA customers to more than 6,900, making S/4HANA the fastest-selling product in SAP’s history. In September of this year, SAP announced Daimler AG as the 1,000th customer to go live with SAP S/4HANA, an important milestone for the real-time intelligent ERP suite.

2. It’s flexible
Many core enterprise systems today — think of the ERP boom in the ’90 — are flirting with overdue replacement cycles and/or upgrades, extensive and expensive customizations, rising maintenance costs and, most critically, a lack of flexibility needed to meet today’s changing business demands. It also goes without saying that companies of all sizes and across all industry are rapidly migrating core processes to the cloud. Available on-premise, in the cloud or as a hybrid deployment, S/4 HANA enables SAP on-premise customers to begin shifting more IT into the cloud, leverage advances in big-data analytics and ubiquitous mobility, and step up the pace of innovation throughout their organization. Also, adopting S/4HANA can be done incrementally, providing the freedom to move at the right pace for your business.

3. It’s intelligent
Officially launched in July of this year at SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP Leonardo combines Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), blockchain, Big Data in a comprehensive digital innovation system that enables customers to innovate at scale and redefine their business. In September SAP announced SAP S/4HANA 1709, a new release of SAP’s next-generation ERP suite that incorporates SAP Leonardo Machine Learning capabilities and predictive analytics into core business processes to help organizations stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. The new applications powered by SAP Leonardo and included in SAP S/4HANA 1709 provide real-time insights and business context while simultaneously freeing resources from repetitive tasks. Examples include: SAP Cash Application software that automatically pair invoices with incoming payments, and the SAP Fiori apps for contract consumption that predict contract expiration or goods consumption ahead of time. With a new release coming every quarter, we can expect S/4HANA’s intelligence to grow by orders of magnitude in the years ahead.

4. It’s user friendly
According to SAP, in 2010 the company had a veritable spaghetti of user interfaces, with over 300,000 different input screens built during the past 15 – 20 years using more than 20 different UI technologies. User experience is critical to the adoption of enterprise software, and consumerization is rapidly redefining the enterprise software experience. Across its entire roadmap, SAP is redefining the user experience, replacing complexity with simplicity, consistency, intuitiveness and mobility. First announced in May of 2013 and designed in SAP’s branded version of HTML5 (SAPUI5), Fiori is a collection of role-based apps that support the most frequently used software functions and make them available in a homogeneous experience across a variety of device types – desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Using modern UX design principles, SAP Fiori delivers a consumer-grade user experience across all lines of business, tasks, and devices.

5. It’s powered by HANA
With business-process speed improvements up to100,000x, SAP on HANA is fast, empowering businesses to run live — to transact, analyze and predict instantly on a single platform at the moment of opportunity. In addition, HANA simplifies IT landscapes by eliminating redundancy-driven server sprawl and, ultimately, the need for multiple, separate business intelligence systems, but that’s just the beginning. HANA also makes it far easier for non-techie business users to perform ad hoc analytics by significantly simplifying the modeling process, which allows organizations to draw down their army of data specialists.

Contact NTT DATA today to begin or advance your S/4HANA journey.

Post Date: 03/11/2017

NTT DATA Services Raj Bansal Raj Bansal

About the author

Raj Bansal is a Solutions Director in NTT DATA’s SAP applications practice. He has 14 years of experience providing full SAP implementations, upgrades and production support. Raj’s expertise includes Order to Cash, Pricing, Logistics Execution, Shipping, Variant Configuration, Material Management, Service Management, and Supply Chain Management. Raj pioneered and designed SAP SD (Sales and Distribution) and Variant Configuration (VC) solutions under the SAP Business All-in-One software packages, which are now certified by SAP and are popular with small and midsized businesses.

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