With SAP Simple Finance, you can transform financial management through instant insight, leveraging the power of SAP HANA. By using innovative technologies, finance organizations can drive one common view of financial data to ensure enterprise-wide consistency to minimize reconciliation and errors; enable real-time processes for instant insight to make timely, relevant decisions; and use prediction, simulation, and analysis to evaluate financial implications of strategic business choices.
Companies have various options when it comes to deploying SAP Simple Finance. Whether your business is entirely on premise, wants to run finance in the cloud, or uses hybrid deployments, SAP Simple Finance has the flexibility to fit any situation.
What Is SAP Simple Finance?
SAP Simple Finance includes all of SAP’s solutions for finance, powered by SAP HANA. Figure 1 shows the value map of processes and supporting capabilities that are available for finance, leveraging the portfolios of SAP ERP Financials; SAP solutions for enterprise performance management; SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance; and SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence solutions. Let’s look at these processes in further detail:
- Financial planning and analysis: Managing performance is an iterative, ongoing process that allows companies to forecast, plan, and budget on an ongoing basis. With predictive analytics, finance can model and simulate multiple scenarios with what-if simulations to calculate the expected financial impact of business decisions.
- Accounting and financial close: Streamlining the financial close processes enables companies to close the books quickly — both from a legal and a group perspective — with accuracy and in full compliance with global regulatory standards. Streamlining the financial close also provides stakeholders with vital decision-making data faster.
- Treasury and financial risk management: Companies must optimize cash flow and manage liquidity, and integrate these processes with multiple banks. In addition, finance monitors investments and borrowing activities across multiple geographies and currencies to secure the best possible investment rates.
- Collaborative finance operations: Core services provided by finance include credit checks, collections and dispute handling, invoice management, bank transactions, and travel expense processing. Streamlining these processes results in lower costs and fewer errors, and frees up finance to pursue activities that add greater value.
- Enterprise risk and compliance management: To protect valuable financial data, processes must be tightly controlled to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive corporate assets, while detecting fraud and abuse. Finance can proactively balance risk and opportunity across all financial processes, from transactions to analytics.
Simpler IT with Choice
SAP Simple Finance marks the first step of s-innovations, which are a new line of modular solutions for lines of business and industries natively built on the SAP HANA in-memory platform, fully designed with the SAP Fiori user experience. As such, SAP Simple Finance is offered in a variety of consumption models, including on premise, in a managed cloud, and a hybrid of cloud and on-premise deployments (see Figure 2). Let’s look at the deployment options for customers.
Some customers may prefer to continue to run their SAP implementations on premise, meaning that the software is installed in their own data center in one or more of their own sites. An on-premise implementation involves having full control over the system and its implementation, including functional configuration and the ability to make modifications. The company’s IT team also manages its own security and governance. Each company maintains the software with any applicable enhancement packages and hot fixes, and chooses the timing of implementing any upgrades.
With this option, companies license the software, which is typically financially managed on the balance sheet as a capital expense that is depreciated over time. They also must use SAP HANA to leverage the new functional capabilities of SAP Simple Finance, such as SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA1 and SAP Cash Management powered by SAP HANA,2 which were natively built on SAP HANA.
Companies that want to deploy SAP Simple Finance in the cloud can use SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. With this managed service, SAP maintains the servers and the software of an organization’s implementation. The software is installed on servers that are dedicated to a single customer, allowing each customer to configure unique functional business processes; however, modifications are not allowed. The customer still manages the applications and governance rules, and has the ability to be on a different release than other customers, again since customers are assigned their own hardware servers. As part of the managed service, SAP takes care of implementing technical maintenance, handling hot fixes, and performing upgrades.
Companies still need to license the software capabilities, and then purchase the infrastructure and application management on a subscription basis. The systems in the managed cloud are run on SAP HANA, which gives organizations the ability to use the latest innovations of SAP Simple Finance.
An increasingly attractive model is the combination of on-premise and cloud implementations. Ideal candidates for these scenarios are point processes that can be easily carved out and do not require close integration with the remaining SAP Business Suite — for example, companies can use Ariba Network for invoice management, or solutions for cloud-based travel and expense management.
Alternately, large companies that have an on-premise implementation may choose to run specific organizations — remote sales offices, subsidiaries, or recent mergers and acquisitions, for example — in the cloud, with an integration into their on-premise systems for consolidated reporting and disclosures.
The Next Step in Your Move to SAP Simple Finance
SAP has created an adoption journey map for SAP Business Suite customers that are planning their move to SAP Simple Finance (see Figure 3). The journey map outlines five key steps to help companies plan their adoption and project scope:
- Explore: Organizations can explore the entire value map for finance and drill down into each module to see the capabilities of, and applications that support, each function. They can also read customer success stories.
- Identify: As part of a scoping exercise, organizations can identify the most relevant processes that need to be implemented or accelerated to provide more business value. This customized report provides recommendations about the most relevant applications that will support these goals, as well as the specific transactions that will be optimized.
- Try: Companies can run SAP Simple Finance in the cloud, using the SAP Fiori interface, on a 30-day trial. Finance organizations can also see how they can benefit from the use of the same database for both transactions and analysis with the new architecture built on SAP HANA.
- Deploy: SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA drastically simplifies the architecture of the financial accounting (FI) and controlling (CO) modules by eliminating indices and aggregates tables, and providing one logical view that includes both FI and CO documents. This step provides the details about migrating to SAP HANA as part of the implementation of the application.
- Experience: Listen to a webinar that provides an overview of SAP Simple Finance, the benefits for both finance and IT organizations, and several quotes and initial ROI results from SAP Simple Finance customers.
For more information, as well as an interactive version of the value map, visit us at http://simplefinance.sapjourneymap.com.
1 For more information about SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, read Stefan Karl’s article “Instant Insight, Real-Time Processes, and Dynamic Planning” of this issue of SAPinsider. [back]
2 For more information about SAP Cash Management powered by SAP HANA, read Christian Mnich’s article “Boost Cash Management Decision Making Using SAP Cash Management powered by SAP HANA” of this issue of SAPinsider. [back]