The power of One SAP
Posted by Eva-Maria Fahrer on 19/11/2019 09:40
The Power of One SAP
SAPs strategy for the coming 3 years.
I, Eva-Maria Fahrer, have headed a Customer User Group, listened to SAP, partners and customers for more than 20 years.
This article is my interpretation and summary of the information I gathered at the SUGEN meeting 12-13-14 November 2019. I must make it clear this is not necessarily SAPs official message, but my interpretation of SAPs message based on my long experience.
In 1972 SAP started as a system where logistic transactions generated the financial accounting. “Automatic accounting” created by integration was at this time revolutionary. (Picture copy from pinterest)
In recent years, SAP has acquired a collection of Best of Breed solutions. Fantastic solutions with state of art functionality. However, the benefits of tight integration forming a suite of systems has unfortunately been lost to a certain extent on this journey.
In May 2019, Christian Klein, now the Co-Chief Executive Officer (Co-CEO) in his SUGEN presentation very clearly focused on the need for easy to install, out of the box integration so SAP could become "One SAP" again. He said SAP had not only identified the need for solid integrations but also the necessity for master data harmonisation. The integrated information in a timesheet, a sales order, a business partner etc has to hold the same information, be defined in the same way and be acknowledged in the same way in all SAP systems.
Now in November 2019 all presenters talked about the value of integration and the harmonisation journey. The SAP organisation from top to bottom has not only rediscovered the “Power of One SAP” as a differentiator but they have also realised the difficulty in achieving integration and harmonisation.
SAP is going back to basics and will focus on their main competence which is high quality system development. SAP has acquired the Best of Breed programs for an excellent Customer Experience and the job that is left to do, is to integrate them and secure quality. For SAP to return to high quality system development is a natural result of all the re-write work they now have to do integrate solutions. The journey towards One SAP is well under way but not easy.
To bring S/4, C/4 etc together as a suite of systems and "One SAP" is demanding even for a large organisation like SAP. The SAP Cloud Platform which SAP even offers as a Pay-as-You-Go (PAYG) solution is the essential building block for best possible "One SAP" integration.
C/4 is an integrated Suite of Best of Breed solutions for Customer Experience and found in the Lead-to-Cash in S/4. The best Solutions in each area have been combined to a suite and the remaining solutions will sooner or later get end of life dates. SAP CRM is an example of a solution wich now will be moved into S/4 functionality and functionality in C/4. That predecessors of the selected solutions will become discarded is unfortunat for those customers who are using these solutions but will to my understanding be very beneficial for the customers moving to the "One SAP" standard.
To leave a solution and move to a new creates off course work for a customer but the "Power of a One SAP" a tightly integrated S/4 - C/4 enables customers to benefit from analytics integrated in the process and cross solutions. Machine Learning, Qualtrics etc smart functionality will be integrated into the processes. It is not possible to enable this in SAP CRM as example and the same logic is valid for non SAP solutions. For these solutions customers have to do the arduous integration work themselves. Employing process analytics in transactions cross over SAP and thirdparty solutions is difficult. The real power of One SAP is in the embedded analytics.
One code line which translates into "the same program code" is the basis for all SAP Solutions. This means On Premise solutions as well as Cloud versions use the same program code and logic.
SAP has pushed and assisted customers to remove in house developed code additions and use standard code without modifications for many years. The value of using unmodified standard code is higher than ever. Customers who are able to run on standard S/4 solutions without modifications to the core will be able to adapt and evolve their processes faster and with more agility than customers who do not.
Unchanged standard Public Cloud versions of SAP will always utilise the last technology for Integration, Machine Learning, Artificial intelligence and Analytics. On premise systems often have additions of in house developed code which create an extensive, extra workload for each upgrade. They are therefore in most cases not very frequent upgraded and left behind in respect of innovation an agaility.
The future is One SAP (the suite of intelligent business solutions). Maybe the solution will be deployed temporarily as a hybrid landscape where customers in some areas can benefit from the cloud and easy upgrades and still keep parts of the on Premise installation until they are able to adopt new technology in alla areas. Here SAP Cloud Platform is an essential building block for development of the future landscape.
The pictures are from presentation with Michael Lamade, Global S/4HANA Solution Manager at SAP SE presenting on SAP S/4HANA Strategy and Outlook. See Michael Lamade on LinkedIn. The article goes beyond this presentation and covers also areas covered in other presentations.
PS: I'm impressed by all the work wich is done also for sharing knowledge. There are many webinars you can play on many different topics related to making the best out of your SAP installtion. See this link as example
Next week, I will present a few role-based screens with embedded analytics which support the new way of working. These are cockpits for key business roles like sales, purchases, projects, etc which will a provide operators and their managers with real-time visibility. I believe the time savings and new insights generated from these cockpits will for many customers in an calculable and clear way justify the investment of the move to S/4HANA.
Article by EM.
Do you have ideas or wishes or comments?
Contact information em(at)sbn.no +47 922 52 539.