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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
1. S/4HANA has Arrived. Now it’s more than the Suite, that the conversation is about

Last several Sapphire events, Hasso presented what an in-memory columnar system means for the enterprise. He summarized what this trans-analytical approach means to the renewal of the ERP world – The S/4HANA.

This year, Hasso did not give a long explanation of why S/4HANA and why HANA. This is a statement. It says “we have arrived” and that the S/4HANA world is here, and is here to stay. Customers get it, and are adopting it well. No need to go deep and explain why and how. It’s become a question of ‘when’.

Rather the focus was on the new ‘intelligent’ part. There are a lot more ‘why’s’ that make the case for adoption of S/4. Underpinning this new era of the intelligent enterprise are the Leonardo technologies. E.g. automated Account payable that leverage ML to help finance teams solve issues.

2. ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ – The next wave of automated, ‘in the know ERP’

Availability of new technologies has enabled new frontiers. Automating using ML and AI, are creating new best practices.

Building new processes need an Extension framework on one side and a continuous enhancement in the Core. SAP Cloud platform provides the Application extension and S/4HANA Cloud provides the core.

Delivery of S/4HANA Cloud functionality is done quarterly, the highest priorities being:

  • Hands free ERP

  • Automate everything that can be automated

  • Rethink best practices

3. A bold move on the CRM market. Here is C/4HANA

A 4th generation customer experience suite.

SAP redefined the word ‘Legacy’. The new generation of CRM integrates across the core lob areas in the CRM space. It also connects to the world of execution of the order and fulfillment in an efficient supply chain.
“When it comes to CRM, SAP was the last to accept the status Quo and SAP will be the first to change it” - Bill McDermott.

Here comes C/4HANA. And it is not only a branding exercise but much more.

The new customer experience suite includes GDPR capabilities, marketing, sales, commerce, and services. These come from SAP Hybris portfolio. SAP Hybris included Highdeal, Callidus, Hybris, Gigya as well as the acquisition that SAP announced During Sapphire week – Coresystems.

SAP Leonardo and SAP Cloud platform address the innovation areas of C/4HANA.

Also, relevant – the customers user experience. C/4HANA will use a consistent user experience based on the Fiori paradigm.

4. SAP Leonardo for Industries – adoption at various industries is in full swing

The Innovation space crosses over the entire SAP Portfolio. New generation business processes or ‘next processes’ come into play as industries and customers transform the way they do things.

Adidas was on stage explaining how ML is embedded in their strategy. One way is a ‘speed factory'. It brings creative people and manufacturing capability together. This is a paradigm shift. A trend like color observed in the market is now closer to both design and manufacturing. This makes including color in products seamless.

COSTCO was on stage on providing their strategy - ‘right item, right quality, right price’. They explained that providing this is important to have a delighted customer.  COSTCO had their data but wanted to understand what AI and ML can bring to the table.  They added weather data and events (sports event nearby a store location) data to their existing data. With this, COSTCO had insights on customer behavior on a much more granular level. A huge step in adopting advanced technologies into existing strategy and enhancing the business.

SAP pursues innovation for industries on 3 approaches:

  • Optimize: intelligent technologies embedded in SAP standard applications

  • Extend (Industry innovation kits): Pre-integrated capabilities repeatedly speed up solving common industry problems.

  • Transform: open innovations that lead to entire new business process with intelligent technologies powered by SAP Cloud platform.

Already 195 Leonardo scenarios available at various innovation stages across several industries. Look out for the ‘sneak peak’ in Juergen Mueller’s (SAP Chief Innovation Officer) demo of the kaleidoscope project. (an SAP internal ‘boardroom of the future’ for having a holistic view of which innovations are available and which are in the works)


5. Full Data Management Suite

Several technologies are available in the data management suite. We are at a transition from digital era to the intelligence era. Advances in data handling and applying areas of ML and AI tech to data is becoming main stream. Chat bots and voice enabled interaction are augmenting the engagement UX.

‘Full’ being the SAP Cloud platform enabling an enterprise software load in production. The SAP Data Hub will orchestrate and provide access to other data sources for insights and analysis.

The SAP Cloud Platform is also the extension framework for SAP Applications. As shown in picture below, there are a lot more services and functionality that the SAP Cloud Platform provides.

Brief Stats: Roughly 10K SAP customers of SAP Cloud Platform. Operating in 40 Cloud environments.  Being updated every two weeks. (!!)


6. SAP Supports Multiple Cloud Environments

SAP has a multi-cloud strategy, a key differentiator for SAP. It can can deploy production workloads in both SAP owned Data Centers and all the major hyper-scalers. (Google GCP, Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS).

SAP is also a company that works with several Key SI’s. Several support SAP workloads in their data centers as private cloud offerings for their SAP customers.

Announcement include works with IBM for a private edition of SAP Cloud Platform.

Also announced – works with Deloitte on Deloitte’s re-imagine program focused on new extension use cases on SAP Cloud platform.

7.SAP Leonardo – lets do Design thinking together for your use case and leverage existing capabilities

Not all SAP Leonardo projects do end up as a product. Some end up as capabilities. New use cases can reuse these capabilities.

SAP Cloud Platform will have all these new capabilities.

A perfect example is the utility industry use case. The utility company had all the pieces in place, and the build that was required was the new electric grid planning application and orchestration which was done as below.



8. Fiori comes to the Android platform

SAP and Apple made a splash 2 years ago to bring enterprise apps to the iOS store by building Native apps for SAP Applications. There is a lot involved including bringing the Fiori paradigm into iOS with dedicated SDK. Since the announcement, a lot of applications have became available.

This time, SAP and Google have announced and will bring Enterprise Apps to Android. As such a new SDK for Google's Android Platform came to be.

9.The SAP Cloud Platform: Re-useable services and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC).

SAP Cloud Applications engage 150milion customers. These are Successfactors, Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur. Extending the applications to address unique circumstances need that the Applications talk to each other as well as talk to the core.

The concept of reusable services in the SAP Cloud Platform to share data and table is one of the most important aspects for this.

The Objects in use are not owned only by the specific product category, but rather also residing in the SAP Cloud Platform to be reused by different Apps. The more attributes each Object has, the more Applications that can be built to address various use cases.

Board room of the future is one use case amongst many that uses the application SAP analytics cloud in the SAP Cloud platform.

A very good example of a way to extend the Cloud Applications by making a very important table, 'Business Partner Master Data' reusable by new Apps. Below, the Business partner data as ‘Master data as a service’.

10.Blockchain and the Enterprise

SAP approached Blockchain in two areas. Investing/Joining Blockchain groups & technology and Leading through industry consortia.

From a technology stand point: SAP is either a primer member or engaged in the following Alliances. Hyperledger, Blockchain research institute, BITA (Blockchain in Transport Alliance), ALATRIA, and in China – Trusted Blockchain Alliance.  In each, there are a number of engagements underway. The approach is to leverage the consortia (private) Blockchain approach rather than the public once. Protocol wise, current supported are hyperledger and multichain with more on the pipe.

On the industry side, SAP is leading with several industry specific advisory councils to bring use cases to reality.

Tate & Lyle is part of the SAP Agri-business advisory council (consisting 24 companies) and described on stage the Farm to consumer use case. Idea is to target food tracing and waste management. The two basic problems – don’t make bad food ... and pull back bad food in the supply chain are the challenges to address.
“To have a Blockchain to share information back and forth is just brochure-ware, but real important is to act on that. So, if we have a receiving transaction, we can block that receiving transaction such that we don’t receive bad product.  It is the hook in the business process knowledge and be able to automate business at the speed of thought...  that is what draws us to SAP versus just data sharing.”

Stephen J. Byers, Group VP & CIO, Tate & Lyle



Finally, will like to thank one of our SAP Alumni - Muthu Ranganathan for allowing me to borrow his theme title "Top 10 takeaways..." that he did over the last couple years.