Everything You Need to Know About SAP S/4 HANA (in 5 minutes or so)

SAP (simple, generation 4) S/4 HANA is an entirely new generation of SAP Business Suite that is characterized by simplifications, massively increased efficiency, and compelling features such as planning and simulation options in many conventional transactions.

SAP S/4 HANA signals a move away from the transactional system that merely records data (Systems of Data) toward giving end users active decision support in real time that is based on data from both internal and external sources (Systems of Engagement).

In SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, our customers already have the option of calculating business cases enabled by TCO savings and optimizations. These calculations are equally valid for SAP S/4HANA. But the simplifications created by SAP S/4 HANA bring other benefits too – which the business value calculator will take into account – such as the use of new user interfaces, reduced data volume, greater flexibility, and higher throughput. Finance departments, for example, will profit from more efficient shared services and accelerated financial closing. We will show this benefit later on in this article.

TTCS will offer SAP Rapid Deployment solutions that enable a fast migration to the SAP HANA platform and thus also to SAP Simple Finance. These pre-defined implementation packages are delivered to enable fixed-price implementations in some cases.

We at TTCS will take particular care to ensure that there will be “backwards-compatible”. By that we mean that the customer can keep customizations and continue to use them after the migration. However, this will not be the case with modifications made to the SAP systems.

SAP’s desire to radically simplify the implementation of SAP S/4 HANA is borne of their desire for the SAP customer to enjoy rapid success and quick payback. The next frontier for TTCS is the cloud, where our customers expect to deploy a preconfigured system. In line with SAP’s growth strategy we provide ready-to-run business processes based on best practices that can be activated on deployment, simple activations of the software will allow the system configures itself. Using SAP S/4 HANA Guided Configuration, the customer will be able to personalize the processes delivered by SAP, using the “Manage your solution” mobile application (app) easy SAP Fiori UI´s can be used to maintain e.g. the organizational structure, approval spend thresholds or other individual settings.

The standard practice has always been that a conventional financial document is stored in one or two tables. However, in the past, aggregates and indexes were required to map the various views of the document. In this new architecture, these aggregates and indexes are obsolete. SAP’s aim is to shrink and simplify the underlying data structures, because an in-memory database works best with wide tables. Tables that used to be nested are now compressed. Fundamental data structures that determine what a financial, material transaction, or inventory management document look like remain the same. SAP has left the document in almost the same way it was, which makes it easier for our customers to move from a conventional ERP system to the new technology. In the past a new data structure would leave the customer with no option but to perform a full migration. In terms of effort, that’s comparable with implementing a new system.

The path that SAP has chosen is simpler because it merely involves an upgrade to a new system. In a nutshell: The “old” data model was fundamentally okay. TTCS promises to make a slightly adapted data model that we, that will not force our customers into the disruptive process of switching to a completely new data model.

SAP Screen Personas is a critical part of the SAP S/4HANA user experience strategy. It is the ideal solution for scenarios not yet covered by Fiori applications or for an organization’s custom transactions. Customers can use SAP Screen Personas to simplify their existing SAP GUI screens or WebDynpro ABAP applications to meet their unique needs and increase productivity. SAP is providing design guides and SAP Fiori-inspired sample content for SAP Screen Personas.The SAP Fiori UX strategy aims to transform the transactional operational model to a role-oriented one, similar to the cloud based role-orientations.

SAP will continue to deliver additional exchange innovations that replace the existing SAP Business Suite code with the new SAP S/4HANA code. At the moment, the customer will receive the code for the new accounting solution and SAP has a plan to have incrementally switched the customer’s entire system without subjecting it to the upheaval of a big-bang migration, by the end of this journey.

The situation is different if the customer opts to deploy SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. In this case, the customer gets the entire solution at one go.

The Bottomline
SAP S/4 HANA is a revolutionary new product which is designed to simplify business processes by increasing data availability, through lightning fast real-time analytics and as a functional core for new dimension solutions which integrate business processes and devices.

TTCS is currently offering, SAP Simple Finance that gives our customers a simplified finance system. We also have SAP Simple Logistics, which offers simpler inventory management and valuation, along with simplifications in supply chain management, notably demand planning. Logistics involves some of the most complicated ERP processes of all, but this is the area in which customer demand is strongest.

The SAP S/4 HANA offer of SAP Simple Finance and SAP Simple Logistics, will cover most of the functional areas of a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. These products are a simplification of the core processes however since the core ERP solutions of most companies have other modules, SAP has made intergration easy for the non-SAP S/4 HANA modules into the SAP S/4 HANA business suite. SAP is planning and actively working on a program to simplify further elements of its ERP business solution, such as the Project System (PS), Quality Management (QM), and Sales and Distribution (SD) functions.

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