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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

A few weeks ago, the German SAP user group held their focus topic day: “Your path to the cloud”.  We from Cloud ERP Product Success had the pleasure to share our experiences and engage in very vital and interesting discussions on concrete tasks as well as dos and don’ts for customers who embark on their journey to the public cloud. The good thing is – after a few hundred activations guided by our advisory service, we have a repository of known questions and answers / recommendations and are more than happy to share, as adoption is our primary goal.  

That is exactly what this blog post series is all about: sharing knowledge with a broader community, building confidence in the journey to the public cloud and making product adoption a successful and delightful experience. 

A close-up is a tightly framed image of a person or an object. It focuses on the object and disregards the bigger picture to sharpen the focus. If you are looking for concrete insights, you have come to the right place: We share insights based on hands-on experience. The series complements many other available sources of information and requires a certain set of pre-knowledge to digest it properly. In return, we are confident that we can accelerate your understanding of the solution capabilities and give proper guidance on deployment insights. Instead of going release per release, we are going function by function to address the domain experts. 

Last time we looked at engineer to order. If you missed it, you can find it here!

Today, we are going to focus on cloud ERP for product-centric companies. We are going to look at some basics before I have the pleasure to share the interview with SAP’s new Product Management Lead for Product-Centric Cloud ERP, axel.herrmann. In a special episode of the Inside SAP S/4HANA podcast, Axel Herrmann talks about his new role, Rise with SAP and GROW with SAP from product management perspective, how product-centric companies can start their cloud ERP transformation and change management, his strategy for the future, and many other interesting topics. 

But first, let’s start with some basics: 

The Three Main Dimensions of Public Cloud Adoption Pattern 

If we reflect our public cloud installed base adoption pattern, public cloud ERP falls into three main scenarios: 

  1. Service-centric and finance-led companies 

  2. Product-centric companies 

  3. Two-tier or hybrid scenarios 

Cloud ERP for Service-Centric and Finance-Led Companies 

According to Gartner, a service-centric cloud ERP solution is a suite of integrated products that provide functionalities for at least three of the following areas: financial management, order to cash (O2C), human capital management, procure to pay (P2P), and administrative ERP. 

Alongside those functionality requirements, Gartner defines cloud ERP solutions for service-centric enterprises as serving companies in the healthcare, software, financial services, media, non-profit, telecom, professional services, and real estate markets.  

Cloud ERP for Two-Tier or Hybrid Scenarios 

When a company implements different ERP systems for parts of the organization, the industry calls this a two-tier ERP strategy. This strategy is driven by the realization that the needs of large, complex organizations are very different than the needs of smaller, simpler organizations. A smaller organization, typically a subsidiary, can be much more effective when it runs an ERP solution that fits its needs, and is not burdened by the overly complex solution needed by its larger HQ. 

In a digitally transformed economy, two-tier ERP attempts to solve the perceived paradox of seamlessly integrating this multiple ERP landscape. The two-tier ERP approach with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is a key aspect for multinational companies (MNCs) where managing all subsidiaries in one central ERP is not a first choice.

From specific line of business functionality to an enterprise-wide solution, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition provides a variety of options to innovate with digital core in subsidiaries while simplifying the relationship between headquarter and subsidiary and balancing cost, efficiency, and innovation. 

Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Companies 

Product-centric organizations physically manufacture, sell and/or distribute products. Gartner defines a product-centric ERP suite as comprising: 

  • Administrative ERP: Financials, HCM and indirect procurement.  

  • Operational ERP: Demand planning (order management and material requirements planning [MRP]), inventory management, supply chain/direct procurement, manufacturing control capabilities (shop floor), and distribution/logistics.  

  • Specialized, industry-specific modules or applications: Including but not limited to modules such as enterprise asset management (EAM), configure-to-order (CTO) or make-to-order (MTO), product lifecycle management (PLM), and field service management (FSM).  

Now let’s take a closer look at cloud ERP for product-centric companies. In this special episode of Inside SAP S/4HANA, podcast host m.oertelt talks with axel.herrmann, Product Management Lead for Product-Centric Cloud ERP. 

Some of the questions that Axel touches on: 

  • What is product management’s role in the cloud transformation? 

  • How does Axel’s background in SAP Services and experiences from implementation projects motivate him? 

  • What does Grow with SAP actually mean for customers? 

  • What are the plans to deliver end-to-end business scenarios to our customers in the future, specifically in product-centric companies? 

  • … and much more.


Click here to listen in!


I hope to see you as a frequent follower of our Cloud ERP Close-Up – stay tuned and discover more product highlights after the summer break in September. 





Follow us on @SAP and #S4HANA, and myself on bert.schulze. 


Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast 

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openSAP microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA 

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If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Community – now fully integrated with SAP Community. The community brings together customers, partners, and SAP experts and has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions. We invite you to explore the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Community ‘one-stop shop’ as the central place for all resources, tools, content questions, answers and connect with experts to guide you through your journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. 


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