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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


Last week, SAP announced availability of RISE with SAP (see Figure 1 below) that, as Christian Klein states in his blog, “bundles everything companies need to holistically transform their business with a fast time to value”. Specifically, this offer includes following components bundled under one contract for unmatched TCO:

  • Business Process Intelligence: Process Discovery,

  • Consumption credits for SAP Business Technology Platform,

  • Embedded tools and services,

  • SAP Business Network Starter Pack, and

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud

All deployed on infrastructure as a service of the customer choice.  In this blog I will focus on what content, methodology and tools our customers, that subscribe to Rise with SAP, can use to gain unparalleled speed and guidance in their deployment projects.

Figure 1 - RISE with SAP

Over the past several years SAP continuously invests in ready-to-run business process content and continuously refines the deployment guidance in SAP Activate methodology that have been a staple for deployments of SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions. Our customers receive access to structured guidance for execution of key activities on their SAP S/4HANA Cloud journey in SAP Activate methodology that they can access on SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer or in their SAP Cloud ALM tenant.

Fit-to-standard: flexibility where needed and speed where it matters

The principles that customers apply during their deployment projects are at the core of accelerating the time to value by maximizing the re-use of standard pre-delivered business processes where differentiation is not desirable, while allowing customers to tailor their business processes in areas where they differentiate from their competition. The process SAP Activate use is called fit-to-standard and as the name implies it emphasizes the re-use of pre-delivered business processes to accelerate time to value, but at the same time allows companies to tailor their business processes where needed using the available configuration, extensibility and integration techniques.

Figure 2 - SAP Best Practices Explorer ready-to-run business processes

The fit-to-standard approach is empowered by SAP-delivered pre-configuration (ready-to-run business processes - example shown in the Figure 2 above) content that is deployed into customer’s system very early in the project. It then allows the project team and business users evaluate the standard business processes in a working system. SAP currently delivers two types of pre-configuration depending on the deployment option customer choses. The SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud are available for customers deploying their solution in the public cloud setting and SAP Enterprise Management Layer for SAP S/4HANA Cloud is available to customers that chose the private cloud deployment route.

This approach of using working system has the benefit of allowing the business users to experience the business processes on a subset of organizational, master and transactional data before the design decisions are firmed up. That way, the users learn how the solution behaves and what capabilities will be available to them when the system is set to productive use. Which allows for better decision making than the approach that would be paper based (traditional design process used in the past). The fit-to-standard workshops are detailed in SAP Activate methodology in this guide and follow the six steps process shown in the Figure 3 below. In case your organization needs to execute them in remote setup, you can use playbook for planning and execution of remote fit-to-standard workshops using collaboration tools and videoconferencing. I have blogged about this playbook earlier in 2020 when we released it in SAP Activate.

Figure 3 - Six steps applied during the Fit-to-standard workshops

Strong governance sets you up for success

During the deployment of SAP S/4HANA Cloud organizations and project teams face many design decisions and sometimes it is hard to adhere to the “standard first” mindset. Organizations and teams are encouraged to establish a strong governance that helps drive the standard first mindset in the organization. Customers should leverage the project-based governance board we have detailed in the Solution Standardization Board governance framework (see example of recommended governance for extensions and integrations in Figure 4 below) and supported with additional guides that help steer the design decisions to use the modern technologies supporting sustainable build of the system. This blogprovides more details for customers taking the route of more flexibility on their SAP S/4HANA Cloud journey.

Figure 4 - Solution Standardization Board decision tree

SAP Cloud ALM helps you stay organized

SAP has introduced SAP Cloud ALM for cloud-centric customers last year and many of our cloud customers are already using the capabilities of the tool in their implementation projects and for their cloud solution operations. While we will not be discussing in detail the SAP Cloud ALM capabilities, it is important to understand that customers using Cloud ALM in their organization will gain access to the SAP Activate methodology and Ready-to-run business processes when they use SAP Cloud ALM. The SAP Activate methodology and SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud are embedded into the SAP Cloud ALM and are used during the implementation project as the project team completes the tasks like business process scoping, fit-to-standard workshops, capture requirements, confirm design, configure the solution and test it. You can learn more about SAP Cloud ALM on the SAP Support Portalwhere you will find many resources, including a demo system that you can use to experience the SAP Cloud ALM first hand.

Figure 5 - SAP Activate in SAP Cloud ALM

How to get started?

The best place to start exploring your path is in the SAP Activate JAM (request access) and in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer. To explore the scope of the ready-to-run business processes, best way is to access the SAP S/4HANA Cloud packages in the SAP Best Practices Explorer here.

As we outlined about, SAP Activate covers all critical aspects of your deployment journey and every project team member will find information that will help them execute their job during the deployment project. The methodology is structured into hierarchy of phases, deliverable and tasks, and each deliverable and task are assigned to at least one work stream. Think of work streams as threads of work effort in logical areas like Project Management, Data Management or Application Design and Configuration that provide users all deliverables in their area of expertise with appropriate tasks. I recommend you to browse through the “How to use” tutorials in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer that will show you how to use these powerful filtering features to zoom-in on the methodology content that you need (in this context “Filter Roadmap Content” tutorial is the best).

Stay tuned for more

Stay tuned for follow-up blog posts in the next weeks where we will go into more details on the ready-to-run business processes, SAP Activate methodology for deployment of your solution and enablement assets you can use to gain better understanding of the content, methodology and tools available for your deployment journey. We will update this blog with links to these subsequent posts when they are posted below.


Follow us on Twitter via @Sap and #S4HANA, or myself via @janmusil

Links and References from this blog post

This is a convenient list of key links and references we have used in the blog above, in case you wanted to save them for future reference: