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Over the last few years, we’ve gotten accustomed to a plethora of intelligent or smart devices that alert us when a person approaches our front door or that remind us when it is time to replenish our dish soap, toilet paper, etc. before we literally have a situation. But, automation or intelligence doesn’t stop with a notification. Rather, this event is just the trigger for an action you want to take - especially, when this situation occurs repeatedly. For example: Maybe you want to automatically submit an order when you’re running low instead of creating this order and it’s details yourself.

Increased level of automation available for Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA Cloud: Intelligent Situation Automation

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the Situation Handling framework delivers notifications about business situations to you and your users. SAP is now increasing the level of automation via Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA Cloud in order to automatically execute so-called resolutions. For a summary of Situation Handling, see the bottom part of this post.

This new service, called Intelligent Situation Automation, helps your business process configuration experts increase the level of automation in a business process in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Expert users can accomplish this by monitoring and analyzing situations, and defining automation triggers that will be executed to resolve a business situation in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Intelligent Situation Automation is now generally available on SAP Business Technology Platform. You can find out all the details on the SAP Discovery Center.

SAP Discovery Center - Intelligent Situation Automation


Measure the value of increased automation and get a view of situations in your business process

When done properly, automation adds tangible business value - and SAP has been automating business processes for almost five decades. So, what’s the business impact? Only if you can quantify the improvement, you can quantify the added value. That’s why, in this release, Intelligent Situation Handling comes with a Situation Dashboard app which provides information at a glance about the time saved due to automation, the number of situation templates with automation in use. This enables you to keep track of key information - whether it is time saved or the number of open/ automated situations.

Situation Dashboard for Intelligent Situation Automation

As businesses strive for continuous improvement in their processes, knowing that something has been automated a certain number of times is only half of the value equation. Because, only if you can determine where and why a business situation has occurred, you can work towards addressing it at its root and preventing it for re-occurring in the future. And for this purpose, we provide an application called Analyze Situations. Based upon the analysis of patterns, you can derive corrective actions to resolve re-occurring issues.

Full circle: Information - Analysis - Improvement

Configure your automated situation resolution

Using the Manage Situation Automation application, you can define how a situation should be resolved.

With this release of Intelligent Situation Automation, we have enhanced the following situation templates to help you get started with increased automation of resolutions:

If you are new to Situation Handling, the following section provides an initial overview.

What is Situation Handling?

When it comes to adding intelligence into business processes, one analogy that resonates well is that of a car. For several decades, we have now been used to driver assistance features – be it anti-lock brakes, park distance control, or most recently brake assistants and collision warning systems. And most recently, these technologies are helping prevent accidents before they occur.

In the world of ERP, SAP has been natively embedding the equivalents of collision warning and brake assistants for businesses in SAP S/4HANA. The framework to accomplish all this is called Situation Handling and it is included in a customer’s subscription or license for SAP S/4HANA Cloud or release 1809 and newer.

Take the example of a business situation in procurement in which a supplier is unable to deliver the quantity you (as a customer) have ordered. In the days of legacy ERP systems, you would typically lack visibility and notifications about this situation and would most likely find out about the supplier delivery deficit when the shipment arrives and you look at the packing list – depending upon the impact on your production, that can have the impact of a fender bender or, worst case, mean you’re totaled.

Using Situation Handling in SAP S/4HANA, you can now configure more than 90 pre-built situation templates that aim to make business users aware of business situation before the impact on your business compounds. You can find the complete list of available use cases here. Configuring a situation type usually only takes about 30-45 minutes, making this literally a quick win for your business.

Whether you are new to Situation Handling or looking to get even more value out of your existing situation types in SAP S/4HANA Cloud — be sure to learn more about Intelligent Situation Automation to accelerate your automation journey even further! We love getting your questions and feedback! Please leave a comment below.


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Andreas Welsch is VP & Head of Intelligent Processes, SAP S/4HANA Product Management at SAP