Welcome to this year’s third product update of the intelligent Cloud ERP series, where we share insightful information on how technologies such as robotic process automation or machine learning transform enable our customers journey to the "intelligent enterprise".
As part of this roadmap, this product update series enables you to fully understand how the end-to-end integration between different SAP solutions makes you run with a unique suite of best of bread.
Let me share with you the key innovations coming with our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108 release in this blog post and in the video below:
Automation with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
What other way to start this blog post than with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation! With the last release we introduced our new bot environment SAP intelligent Robotic Process Automation 2.0, where we build bots directly in the SAAS application with Cloud Studio. In addition to releasing brand-new bots on a monthly basis, we convert already existing bots to fit into this environment to ensure an even more convenient usage. Since our launch in 2019, we have released a total of 241 bots around Asset Management, Sales, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, and other project-based service areas. With this release, we are launching 7 new bots inAsset Management automating the acquisition, transfer, and retirement process via various SAP Fiori apps, as well as several other bots in other LoBs. Let me just mention two of them:
In Professional Services, we ship mass download of billing documents output for commercial projects. What does this bot do? When an audit takes place, it may be required to collect a large number of billing document printouts. In such cases, the billing clerk needs to download each document individually, making it a very time-consuming and arduous task. This bot facilitates this process by allowing the billing clerk to mass-download billing documents for project-based services and even define the output settings like the naming convention for the PDF files.
In Sourcing and Procurement, we introduce the bot to create purchase requisitions from excel. Creating purchase requisitions manually is not only a time consuming, but also a tedious and monotonous task. With this bot, customers can provide details about the purchase requisition by compiling them into one template excel file. The bot then reads this input, creates purchase requisitions and sends out the report email to the recipients, simplifying the whole process of creating a purchase requisition.
In Sales, we deliver a new SAP Fiori app with the ability to create sales orders through spreadsheet upload. With this innovation, we improve the process with a new option to create sales orders by uploading XLSX spreadsheets with the required data. You can use this process when creating sales orders as a result of mass upload capabilities and add conditions and texts to the spreadsheet for sales order creation.
Innovations Powered by Machine Learning
In this SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108 release, we again offer a number of innovations and enhancements for machine learning scenarios, designed to facilitate your processes with the best decisions and predictions by trained algorithms. Let’s take a deeper look into what we have in store here:
Finance Use Cases
In Finance, we offer SAP S/4HANA Cloud for intelligent intercompany reconciliation. Companies need to match the intercompany documents to ensure transactions be properly booked in both parties, which can be partly achieved by user-defined rules. For the rest of the unmatched documents, accountants spend a lot of time on manual matching. By leveraging machine learning, this innovation helps to further automate the matching process. This increased automation in intercompany document matching improves process efficiency and increases the document matching quality.
Machine Learning at the Heart of Two-Tier ERP Scenarios
Directly tied to that, in Two-Tier ERP, we ship intercompany reconciliation automation for headquarters running on SAP S/4HANA Cloud and subsidiaries running on any external SAP or non-SAP system. Here, the intercompany posting documents will be initially matched by predefined rules within SAP S/4HANA Cloud, with the remaining unmatched documents being sent to the intelligent intercompany reconciliation (ICR) service on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) for further matching. The matched proposal will then be sent back. The advanced machine learning technology increases matching accuracy and provides transparency between headquarter and subsidiary – all this while saving operation costs and speeding up and streamlining the local closing to corporate closing.
Machine Learning and Lifecycle Management
In the area of Technology Topics, we support end-to-end lifecycle management with a standardized framework for common consumption and lifecycle operation of Artificial Intelligence artefacts consumed by SAP S/4HANA solutions. Here, we offer support for new SAP S/4HANA machine learning scenarios using SAP BTP machine learning services, batch inference, and authentication for SAP S/4HANA connectivity to SAP BTP machine learning services. It also lets you create schedules for training runs, with the planned tasks being created to schedule training runs based on previous successful training executions.
Understand Your Data with Embedded Analytics
Now to Embedded Analytics, the smart way to understand your operational data. Here, the integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud with through the ‘Manage KPI and Reports’ SAP Fiori app now gives you the possibility to analyze a story, which is the place where you explore and visualize your data. End users can leverage the integration into the SAP Fiori launchpad, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud role, and screen variant management. This offers a smooth navigation between analytical and transactional apps with intent-based navigation.
Run Faster with Cloud-to-Cloud Integration
Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Speaking of integration, I would again like to highlight two important integration scenarios, connecting SAP S/4HANA Cloud to other cloud scenarios.
First in in the field of Manufacturing and Supply Chain – with the supplier collaboration with Material Requirement Planning (short: MRP) Change Request, connecting SAP S/4HANA Cloud with the Ariba Network. MRP is a process which enables you to guarantee the availability of materials and to ensure that both customer and production demands be available on time by avoiding any disruptions due to missing parts. With the integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the Ariba Network, we offer a highly automated exchange between the Material Planner and the supplier. This means, you can now easily exchange additional information with the suppliers and automatically receive an answer from them, for example, inform them about exceptions occurring in an MRP run such as changes in quantity or purchase order dates.
Sourcing and Procurement
Last but not least, in Sourcing and Procurement, we ship a new guided sourcing UI for an improved sourcing integration flow which intuitively runs a sourcing event with a single page event creation. This innovation drastically reduces event creation time while simultaneously improving usability. The sourcing manager can copy all relevant information from the sourcing request to the sourcing project to quickly identify the best suppliers and award the bid.
Now you have gained an insight into some innovations in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108 that support your transformation journey to the intelligent enterprise.