Cloud extensibility provides a standard methodology in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, to extend your solution and thereby differentiate your business processes from standard processes. All these scenarios are lifecycle compliant, which means they are built to last and require no adaptations during innovation cycles. SAP provides these scenarios to help customers differentiate and gain competitive advantages.
There are three extensibility techniques that we cover in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. Two of them come out of the box like in-app extensibility “SAP S/4HANA Cloud key-user tools” and developer extensibility (also known as “SAP S/4HANA Cloud, ABAP environment”), which is only available if you are running a 3-system landscape. The last one is side-by-side extensibility, and this last scenario is enabled by a subscription to the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). While the Public APIs provided by S/4HANA Cloud do not restrict your side-by-side extensibility to SAP BTP, SAP BTP is the preferred and encouraged platform and will provide better extensibility options as SAP continues to delivery new services to help extend your SAP Systems.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition – Extensibility Portfolio
Per the figure above you can also see the personas that can make use of the extensibility scenarios to help differentiate and meet your business needs. Picking the right extensibility scenario is key when addressing your business requirements.
As indicated above, cloud extensibility allows cloud lifecycle-compliant innovation and differentiation whilst retaining the benefits of a clean digital core.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition – extensibility portfolio – A versatile platform to speed innovation
If we look at each of the extensibility options, each of them has specific characteristics that you need to evaluate before addressing your business needs.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition – extensibility options
Before I go into more detail and explain some of my experiences driving differentiation, it is very important to remind ourselves that, in Public Cloud, we follow a Cloud Mindset, and the Cloud Mindsetis one of the most important guiding principles to keep in mind when implementing and operating SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. I have seen significant delays, unnecessary escalations, and failed implementations in cases where customers did not commit to a Cloud Mindset. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, will help you to transform your business. Therefore, it is imperative to think differently and not to try to replicate things as they were done in the past. It is key that all stakeholders, starting from the C-level suite and main sponsors for the project to all the team members, actively live the Cloud Mindset. The Cloud Mindset is one of the most critical success factors when implementing and operating SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. In practical terms, the Cloud Mindset, in my view, includes:
Adhering to the Fit-to-Standard and Agile deployment, as detailed in SAP Activate.
Use of modern, cloud-like integration technologies, enabled by the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and cloud APIs included in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
Drive business differentiation using cloud configuration capabilities and cloud extensibility (in-app extensibility, developer extensibility and side-by-side extensibility using BTP).
Now that I have set the stage, let’s go into some examples, but it is my recommendation to look at addressing differentiation using cloud configuration capabilities first. That means, before you decide to use cloud extensibility, I advise you to determine if the business requirements can be addressed using the “Manage your Solution” app or the “Central Business Configuration - configuration activities”. This last point is key, before exploring any extension, you may be surprised by the powerful configuration activities included in the SSCUIs, which can save you time and effort.
In closing, you have now seen how to use Cloud Extensibility techniques to differentiate and to provide you with a competitive advantage. I hope these examples have brought new ideas to you. It is also important to mention that dispositioning and addressing specific business requirements might require a combination of different techniques. In other words, you might use one or potentially a combination of the three to help you address your specific business needs.
Cloud Extensibility is also a topic that is well covered in SAP Activate. If you need to get a quick overview on how this is included, I invite you to read Kiran Bose’s blog.
I hope these topics are helpful and I look forward to hearing from you about your learnings and experiences on your current or future SAP S/4HANA, public edition, implementation and ongoing operations.
I want to thank the following colleagues for reviewing the blog and providing content and feedback based on their own experiences and knowledge: Boris Gebhardt, Mario, Camille, Ilya Bibik, Hardeep Tulsi, Jai Srinivasan, Sampath Ramanujam, Esther Vrieze, Barbara Bitterle, Dennis Leslie, Vincent Zhu and Jerry Lowery.
More Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition:
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, release info here
Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, release blog posts here and previous release highlights here