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Tomorrow SAP’s CEO will make an announcement around its new product S4HANA. You can find the link and further information in the post below:

SAP S/4HANA launch next tuesday broadcasted live

Please join SAP executives CEO, Bill McDermott, Co-Founder and Chairman, Hasso Plattner and Executive Board Member for Products and Innovation, Bernd Leukert for details on the next step in SAP's innovation journey.

Please join online here: Feb 3rd SAP S/4HANA

Feb 3rd SAP S/4HANA Launch

Based on what is already known (many posts out there…), S4HANA is:

  • ERP on HANA;
  • With simplified data model (à la SimpleFinancials, but across all modules);
  • With Fiori based UI;
  • With Guided configuration;
  • To run on premise or in the cloud;
  • Releases targeted by industry based on Best Practices;

Touted as the successor (or the evolution of) SAP ERP, this is not a minor/unimportant piece of software.

I believe it has the potential of being the most important and relevant announcement in a long time. My reasons being:

HANA delivers

Lots have been talked about HANA. Big BUZZ, lots of marketing dollars. Sure an incredible solution. A revolution in fact. It sets the foundation to completely transform all we work with and the way we design and use applications in the future.

However, until now, customers have been having a hard time justifying the Jump onto HANA. “Fast is great but what is the value of speed? What is the real return to me?” (asks a customer).

ERP Running on HANA is the most compelling HANA business case. Not all see it yet, but that is what it is.

ERP Simplification and Guided Configuration

One of the 2 most clear complaints from customers (see the other below) is that SAP is so feature rich, so deep that it gets complex. That it is heavy to run and costly. Even if that is majorly a misconception (cause it depends who implements it. It simply makes all the difference in the world between having an army of juniors or a small team of Seniors….), it is still one of the strongest arguments today against SAP. SAP loses deals in the SMB space due to this perception.

ERP simplification will make the application simpler and with Guided Configuration, simpler to use/deploy. This is direct increase in ROI. This makes the SAP ERP business case a lot more compelling.

UI renovation

The second strongest argument against SAP today is that it doesn’t look as good as others. SAP always had a challenge in delivering UI renovation as it is not a small undertake. It means a lot of transaction redesign. But one day, that would need to be done. That is being done now! Fiori experience for S4HANA (to be confirmed the scope) will help a lot in changing the perception of this. The beauty of this initiative is that, under the hood, you have the most powerful engine that exists, that is the depth of functionality of SAP ERP. The UI is HTML5, fiori like, user-centric, good looking.

In short, you deliver a much better piece of software that potentially will address the 2 most important pain points of SAP ERP? OF COURSE I AM LISTENING!!!

What I am looking forward to hearing more about tomorrow:

  • Cost – I know it is not realistic that we will hear specifics about this, but some guidance on licensing would be great;
  • Path forward for existing customers. While this is clear for new accounts (jump on it directly), what happens for existing ERP customers? And what about their licenses?
  • IS Roadmap – Professional services is supposed to be one of the first Industry packages. I really would like to see dates and which Industries will come next.



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