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Following the success of our previous release, SAP S/4HANA 1610, SAP has released SAP S/4HANA 1709 as of September 15th, 2017. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the architectural evolution of the new release, the latest tools which are now available for SAP S/4HANA adoption, and the functional innovations and enhancements.

Watch my video below to gain quick insights into the innovations and enhancements of SAP S/4HANA 1709:


Architectural evolution

The SAP S/4HANA 1709 release is now generally available. This release runs on SAP HANA 2, the second generation of SAP’s in-memory database platform, which supports scale-out and usage of active-active for added performance. This enables customers to benefit from the latest innovations in the database system.

Expanding the core

With SAP S/4HANA 1709, we’ve expanded our core by including, for example, embedded transportation management. Previously, customers had to use two systems and the corresponding integration. Now, all transportation processes come together in one system. This helps to reduce data redundancy enabling customers to run simple.

SAP also added Catch Weight Management. With this feature, customers use a parallel, variable quantity in inventory management to valuate goods’ movements independently of their logistic quantities. Catch Weight Management is specialized in covering the needs of the consumer products industry in general, and the food processing industry in particular, making it easier to convert their existing systems. Therefore, Catch Weight Management provides customers with processes and functions to manage materials in two independent units of measure throughout the main inventory management.

Figure 1: At a glance – The key innovations and enhancements with SAP S/4HANA 1709

Innovating the core

With the new release, there are also some brand-new capabilities. Let me share some favorites, like demand-driven replenishment. With the demand-driven buffer level management, customers can now plan and manage supply chains more efficiently. Providing decoupling points with strategic stock positions, manufacturers can now avoid the so-called “Bull-Whip-Effect”, where the variation in demand increases as you move further up the supply chain from customer to supplier.

Figure 2: Manage buffer levels to avoid “Bull-Whip-Effect”

Another new process is advanced variant configuration. Variant configuration is for manufacturing complex products. The manufacturer must always offer new variants of his products. Often, new variants are created by modifying existing product designs as you process the order. It is important to react quickly to customers' requirements. With the new functionality in SAP S/4HANA 1709, customers are provided with efficient and transparent application support throughout the business process (end-to-end), which is key for their companies.

Figure 3: Advanced variant configuration

New tools for SAP S/4HANA adoption

If a customer wants to move from an SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA, we distinguish between three transition scenarios:

  • New Implementation: When customers migrate from a legacy system to a greenfield implementation or a net-new installation

  • System conversion: When customers want to change their current SAP system to SAP S/4HANA

  • Landscape transformation: For customers who want to consolidate their landscape or carve out selected entities (like a company code) or processes into an SAP S/4HANA system

Figure 4: Three transition scenarios

To improve the experience when adopting SAP S/4HANA, SAP recently launched a new set of tools. The SAP Transformation Navigator helps customers determine their go-to solutions.

Customers can also take advantage of the SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA before making an S/4HANA decision. This tool is available for all customers and included in maintenance. You can initiate the SAP ERP system analysis, getting an overview of the most important aspects and potential requirements of an SAP S/4HANA system conversion (e.g. simplifications, custom code, business functions, add-ons, and transactions).

Figure 5: Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA

Next, customers can leverage the “SAP S/4HANA Migration Cockpit,” exclusively shipped with SAP S/4HANA. This cockpit supports the transition process for customers who are newly implementing SAP S/4HANA. The tool is based on proven migration technologies and is available for SAP S/4HANA as well as for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. As part of the Migration Cockpit, we have included the SAP S/4HANA Migration Object Modeler, a design tool for enhancements and modifications of pre-defined migration objects for SAP S/4HANA. This will provide more flexibility during the migration process by adding customer specific enhancements.

If you want to get a more detailed overview of our SAP S/4HANA 1709 release, read the "SAP S/4HANA 1709 in 20′" blog by Yannick Peterschmitt or watch his video where he's guiding you through the key innovations per line of business and industry.

SAP S/4HANA 1709: Where to find out more

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