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Today marks the general availability of SAP S/4HANA 2020 – the most comprehensive and intelligent ERP out there. This blog covers the key aspects that bring intelligence to our Digital Core, and some selected highlights of our SAP S/4HANA 2020 release which I’d like to share with you.


To get a quick overview of some of my personal highlights, check out my video below.


The Intelligent ERP Difference


Modernizing your ERP provides the foundation to connect your data, automate key functions, and constantly improve your products & services. In order to successfully modernize your ERP, you should keep the following three aspects in mind:


  1. Digital Age User Experience: Intelligent digital assistance and instant insights deliver value-adding experiences

  2. Modern Driven Automation:Machine learning, AI and predictive analytics for increased automation and efficiency. For further information on SAP’s intelligent Robotic Process Automation (iRPA) find here the link to our bot store that shows the pre-delivered iRPA content which is available as part of SAP S/4HANA.

  3. Next-Generation Processes: Reinvent and redefine processes with applied best practices built on the latest innovations



Highlights in SAP S/4HANA 2020


With SAP S/4HANA 2020 we have further expanded our capabilities enabling customers to benefit from the latest innovations. With the following, I’d like to share with you some of my personal highlights across different lines of business and industries.





As part of the Manufacturing industry we have been working on several enhancements for Predictive Material and Resource Planning. We are reducing data maintenance efforts by assigning a default material requirements planning (MRP) area in the material master when posting materials for storage locations.

Moreover, we’re enhancing several apps, e.g. the “Schedule pMRP Simulation Creation” app which now comes with a new job template to create simulation data using material component data, or the “Process pMRP Simulations” app that entails a number of simulation views such as the Demand Plan & Capacity Plan Simulation and the Multi-Level Material Simulation. The new issue list shows a prioritized list that helps you solve the most important issues first.

Figure 1: With the new Capacity Plan Simulation functionality users can shift capacity demands of top-level materials. 





In the line of business Finance, we’re reducing the use of general ledger (G/L) accounts as bank accounts by simplifying bank relationship-management processes. Using the same sets of bank reconciliation accounts and clearing accounts for house bank connectivity significantly reduces the number of G/L accounts needed for your payment processes. It also comes with the benefit of an easier maintenance of chart of accounts.

In the area of corporate close, accountants can generate multiple group currencies in a single closing process. This Increases efficiency and automation when working with multiple group currencies or multiple currency translations such as for translation at constant currency rates for comparison reporting.

Figure 2: Accountants can generate multiple group currencies in a single closing process.


If you want to learn more about the Finance innovations as part of the SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, read this blog from Benno Eberle which includes several product update videos or also check out this highlights blog from Ulrich Hauke.




SAP S/4HANA 2020 has numerous great innovations in store for you when it comes to sales processes. One of them is in the area of Sales Order Management and Processing and improves sales force efficiency: Intelligent Product and Quantity Proposals. This feature provides product and quantity recommendations based on historical data, while considering product listings and exclusions for the product proposals.

In addition, the intelligent product proposal allows you to predict whether the quantity of products ordered will increase or decrease. Ultimately, faster sales order creation helps you to increase potential profitability.

Figure 3: Improved sales force efficiency by using product and quantity proposals for faster sales order creation.



Extended Warehouse Management 


In the area of Extended Warehouse Management, we have enhanced analytical capabilities to improve warehouse visibility. For companies dealing with warehouses it is crucial to have the right insights into inbound activities in order to adjust priorities in time. The new capabilities come with new core data services (CDS) views and an improved navigation, allowing you to resolve possible bottlenecks.

On top of this, the newly integrated just-in-time supply to production into extended warehouse management enables you to reduce stock figures which has cost saving effects on your company.



Supply Chain


The next-generation Extended Service Parts Planning solution is moving into the SAP S/4HANA system. Having a single logical system in place saves efforts as all master data objects are maintained in one system and all planning steps can be performed in the same system. While maintaining a high service level, you can still lower your inventory costs by using functionalities like forecasting, analytics, or distribution requirements planning (DRP).



Sourcing and Procurement


Intelligence is also brought to our line of business Sourcing and Procurement. As part of central procurement analytics in SAP Analytics Cloud we are increasing real-time visibility and transparency. Real-time dashboards provide insights into consumption of central purchase contracts.

Additionally, you can leverage key performance indicators to analyze and monitor the automation rate of a purchasing document, e.g. purchase order or supplier invoice, and get better insights into the number of documents which were processed manually instead of automatically.



R&D / Engineering


In the area of project management, we are replacing the Java-based multi-project Gantt chart with a new Gantt chart based on SAPUI5. This new chart improves visualization of project-related information, and project stakeholders can make use of a simplified architecture while lowering TCO at the same time.

In Dangerous Good Management as part of Product Compliance, we reduce compliance costs through enhanced dangerous goods classifications for regulations concerning ADR, IMDG, 49 CFR, UNRTDG, IATA, TDG, NOM, ANTT and NCh382. The new SAP Fiori apps entail classification data based on integrated regulatory content and allow you to dynamically show or hide additional information.

Figure 4: Reducing compliance costs through enhanced dangerous goods classifications. 





The most current SAP S/4HANA release also provides some major updates around Service Management. One of the highlights is the capability to plan recurring services with maintenance plan. To support planned-service business scenarios, we have brought maintenance plan features in SAP S/4HANA. This enables to plan services and workforce on regular intervals. Regular servicing of assets will certainly help to avoid customer escalations and increase asset uptime.

Figure 5: Increase service effectiveness with recurring services via maintenance plans. 



Industry to Core – Retail / Fashion


In order to improve operational efficiency, we’re providing insight-to-action capabilities through a store merchandising cockpit. A new SAP Fiori overview page enables store associates and store managers to view operational key indicators on store operations and respond appropriately. Having insights early in time allows them to act immediately on any upcoming issues. This doesn’t only lead to an overall increased efficiency, but also to an improved satisfaction.

Figure 6: The SAP Fiori app “My Store Overview” provides relevant key indicators on store operations in a single view. 



Industry to Core – Automotive


As part of the automotive industry we have released several innovations for the Just-In-Time (JIT) Processing. The demand analysis of customer JIT calls in comparison with delivery schedules is just one of many innovations. You can also analyze demand from customer JIT calls compared to the material requirements planning (MRP) relevant demand from sales scheduling agreements using the MRP demand view. The table-based and chart-based analysis increases transparency on any deviations and allows you to classify the criticality using deviation profiles ensuring best-possible consumption.

Figure 7: The app “Demand Analysis of Customer JIT Calls” increases transparency on deviations. 



Industry to Core – Consumer Products


As part of the consumer goods industry we have released the complete new component Last Mile Distribution for SAP Direct Distribution to manage distribution of goods directly to stores from a distribution center. Customers are able to plan their distribution routes with SAP Transportation Management and then execute the routes with Last Mile Distribution (LMD). LMD provides delivery of goods, handling of empties and returns, cash collection and creation of invoices. The complete settlement of the driver’s activities during the day can be executed in the new SAP Fiori app “Settle Route Data”.

Figure 8: The new SAP Fiori app “Settle Route Data” provides transparency on the driver’s activities.



SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA


Last but not least, we have released fit-to-standard as part of our SAP Activate Methodology for SAP S/4HANA.  This covers all aspects of fit-to-standard in the deliverables, tasks and related accelerators which help guide users. Additionally, we have created a new accelerator to make it easier for you to follow the “Fit-to-Standard” approach in your implementation project – even remotely. You can join the SAP Activate community for further information.



As mentioned, this blog covers only selected innovations for selected LoBs and Industries. You find the entire overview of innovations in the What’s New Document published on the SAP HELP Portal.

To get further insights into our SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, watch the deep dive of Release Highlights provided by my colleagues.

Please make sure you also check out Yannick Peterschmitt’s blog & video further discussing selected highlights across lines of business and industries.


For more information on SAP S/4HANA 2020, check out the following links: 

  • SAP S/4HANA release info: com/s4hana

  • SAP S/4HANA Community here

  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here

  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here

  • Join the SAP S/4HANA Movement

  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA here

  • Help Portal Product Page here

  • Feature Scope Description here

  • What’s New here


Follow us via @Sap and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken