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There is an inherent conflict with all SaaS implementations…how standard is standard?

We all know the benefits for a customer to stick as closely as possible to the best practice standards delivered with cloud solutions. In fact, this is a key aspect to a couple of key aspects - the cloud mindset, achieving the rapid implementation time, reduction of total time to value and even more important the innovation speed promised with a cloud solution.

Does the same approach hold true for a cloud ERP solution where a customer’s core business processes are shifting to the cloud and the willingness to accept only a standard approach maybe more challenging to accept?

With SAP S/4HANA Cloud we have a clear strategy to support our customers both with their desire for standardization via pre-configuration, as well as an ability to differentiate and add their own “secret sauce” to specific business process. Pre-configured is key to have a head start and fit2standard, rather than fit2wish. In the cloud there should be no traditional customizing, and with this nothing you can do to complicate it.

Naturally our Cloud ERP allows in-app and sied-by-side extensibility - check out the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extensibility Explorer here - a normal that you expect today. but what if you want more, or even need more?

To off board the complexity and keep the core clean for continuous consumption of innovation, in our case 4 times a year where we upgrade thousands of tenants at a Saturday - we offer THE extension platform to allow S/4HANA Cloud solutions to be integrated and extended: SAP Cloud Platform with all its services and capabilities offering our partners and customers want to extend our standard SAP applications using a single, consistent approach. And of course we use this PaaS ourselves - proven by many applications already but there - connecting with API´s to the S/4HANA solutions - no matter in which deployment model.

To support this extensibility approach, we have developed the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK to simplify and accelerate the application development experience. The SDK provides out-of-the-box capabilities, such as an abstraction of the underlying cloud platform implementation (SCP Neo, Cloud Foundry), fault-tolerance, cache management, and tutorials and project templates.  This ultimately lowers the barrier of entry for customers and partners to develop their own differentiating apps on SAP Cloud Platform that integrate into S/4HANA Cloud.

What if a customer already has an existing cloud investment in a 3rdparty SaaS solution that is a key, differentiating part of their business process? How can this remain part of their business process going forward, with a Cloud ERP implementation?

With S/4HANA Cloud we are constantly investing in opening the solution up through APIs. In fact, you can have a look at these yourself on the SAP API Business Hub and see we currently have over 1700 API operations documented, open and transparent to the full ecosystem to take advantage of, with many more provided with each release.

This topics will be a key theme for the upcoming SAP TechEd events, where we will have a dedicated learning journey for SAP S/4HANA Cloud CNA5: Get to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and many sessions for the SDK mentioned above. Stay tuned while I will share more soon.

Helpful links:

SAP Extensibility Explorer

SAP API Business Hub

SAP Roadmap Viewer  Check out SAP Activate Methodologies

SAP Jam for Methodology , not a member in this 26k community?  Request access

SAP Best Practice Explorer

For more information now on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:

Follow us via @Sap and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken