Product Lifecycle Management Blogs by SAP
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Since my last product update, we made good progress in the execution of our cloud acceleration strategy in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). In this new blog post, I want to summarize the highlights of our recent Cloud PLM release with SAP Enterprise Product Development and explain why the new Intelligent Handover capability is critical for our customers to establish the digital thread. I have structured the post along our closed loop product lifecycle: Define, Develop and Deliver.

Define: Collect ideas, prioritize needs and define product requirements based on the voice of customer and market insights.

Over the years working as a Product Manager, I have learned that good ideas could come from everywhere. With idea management, crowdsourcing and voice of customer programs becoming the norm, it is more important than ever to enable Requirements Engineers and Managers to effectively manage product requirements and roadmaps. Therefore, we have introduced user experience enhancements to enable the mass maintenance of requirements.

Develop: Develop and industrialize innovative and sustainable products across the extended enterprise.

In Systems Engineering we focused on user experience improvements as well. For example, Systems Engineers can now view a block diagram in a matrix, and objects can be linked more efficiently. In addition, object constraints can now use formulas to determine specification values and verify constraint expressions. These enhancements increase the productivity of users and extend the functionality of the systems modelling tools.

Deliver: Leverage product information across the extended enterprise to support digital thread initiatives and closed loop feedback processes.

As products move from idea to market, data is created by various teams across line of businesses. Each persona has different requirements when working with product data. To ensure that products satisfy requirements, each stakeholder in the idea to market process needs access to up to date and accurate product data. We call the entirety of product data, the "Enterprise Product Structure" and in this view the Bill of Material (BoM) is an essential business object in the digital thread.

Today, many line of business functions use BoMs to drive their respective business processes, but the challenge we have observed is that BoM views are frequently managed in different systems. Storing BoMs in separate landscapes across teams is inefficient and introduces the risk of costly mistakes. Imagine downstream experts in Manufacturing would work on outdated BoMs. One way to address this issue is to manage BoM handovers in a way that keeps record of everything what happens when a new BoM view is created. Therefore we have developed a new Intelligent handover capability in SAP Enterprise Product Development.

One of the first scenarios in the new Intelligent Handover is the ability to transform an engineering BoM into a plant specific manufacturing BoM. Production engineers can use this new capability to define component allocations and the effectivities of the manufacturing BoM components, uncoupled from ongoing engineering releases. An integrated change process with conflict handling features ensures consistency across systems.

Additionally, we have ensured that the new handover capability seamlessly integrates with SAP S/4HANA through a brand-new synchronization service. In the upcoming releases we plan to extend the integration with Asset Management and enable the usage of 3D visuals in the handover process.

Additionally we have delivered following innovations in the deliver area:

  • Machine learning to recognize and create hot spots in static 2D diagrams

  • Use 3D models as visual context to the IoT time-series sensor data

  • Visualize time-series results for functional locations

Looking for more detailed information?

If you want to learn more about SAP Enterprise Product Development, follow our new SAP Enterprise Product Development community. All our upcoming innovations are available in the SAP Roadmap Explorer. If you are interested in influencing the roadmap, we invite you to create an improvement request via our Continuous Influence program.