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The Digital Core Unraveled: How SAP S/4HANA Is Evolving

by Amr El Meleegy | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 2

April 26, 2016

In a manner of speaking, companies have been “digital” for a long time: Few enterprises still use paper-based processes. But simple automation barely scratches the surface of the digital transformation. Enterprises are looking to seamlessly integrate their automated processes across the enterprise, eliminate all manual processes, and enrich business with embedded insights. And SAP S/4HANA is the digital core that will help organizations to do so. Discover how SAP S/4HANA is revolutionizing how organizations do business by leading them further along their digital transformation journey.

Digital has become a ubiquitous term, used in nearly every facet of our consumer and business lives. We use digital technology to communicate information, learn new skills, buy and sell goods, and much more. For decades, enterprises too have incorporated digital technologies to streamline and automate business processes, such as financial close and material requirements planning. If that’s “digital transformation,” then enterprises boarded that train long before anyone else. So why are we talking about digital transformation as if it were new? 

When executives talk about digital transformation, they don’t just mean digitizing antiquated, paper-based business processes of the past — they mean seamlessly integrating these processes across the enterprise to eliminate residual manual interventions, enriching the processes with embedded insights that can predict outcomes and propose actions, and extending processes beyond the organization to connect with networks of suppliers, devices, and machines.

SAP S/4HANA is the digital core that embodies these characteristics to help enterprises digitally transform their businesses for the future. Since its launch in February 2015, SAP S/4HANA has evolved into an end-to-end solution that enables businesses to modernize existing systems as well as develop new innovations. This special report provides in-depth coverage of SAP S/4HANA and sheds light on some of the new lines of business, use cases, and capabilities included in the November 2015 release.

The report begins with an exclusive executive interview with Markus Schwarz, who highlights the solution’s customer momentum, details the significance of the latest release to enterprises pursuing a digital transformation, and discusses the future vision and the new simplified licensing model for the solution. 

In “Agile, Integrated, Real-Time Business Operations,” Sven Denecken details the concept and significance of the digital core, examines the simplifications and innovations in SAP S/4HANA, and looks at a specific use case for how a line of business can leverage a digital core in transformative ways.

Then, in “How SAP S/4HANA Enables Digital Transformation in Supply Chain and Manufacturing,” Michael Lipton takes a deep dive into the latest innovations of SAP S/4HANA in the areas of supply chain, manufacturing, and product lifecycle management. He demonstrates how with SAP S/4HANA businesses can be agile enough to produce and distribute personalized products with shorter lead times and smaller runs.

Next, in “Digital Innovation in Sourcing and Procurement,” Christine Hofmann looks at how SAP S/4HANA lessens the burden on procurement leaders by providing new and simplified requisitioning processes, real-time supplier visibility and analytics, advanced global search capabilities, and native integration with the Ariba Network to identify and resolve supplier issues.

In “Extending the Digital Core for Your Business,” Sindhu Gangadharan highlights the out-of-the-box integrations that connect SAP S/4HANA to SAP’s cloud solutions and to the social media world of tweets, news feeds, and real-time consumer sentiment, while Wolfgang Weiss explains how companies are building new customer-facing mobile applications on top of SAP S/4HANA to deliver tailored promotions based on a customer’s previous buying behavior.

Shawn Reynolds then demonstrates how SAP S/4HANA has evolved the Internet of Things (IoT) conversation from one that primarily focused on IT storage and connectivity issues to one focused on tangible business outcomes in “Moving From Connectivity to Outcomes,” and finally, in “Navigating the SAP S/4HANA Journey with the SAP Partner Ecosystem,” Claus Gruenewald provides insights together with our partners itelligence, Capgemini, and Deloitte about the role that our partner ecosystem plays in supporting companies through their SAP S/4HANA journey, sharing examples of customer successes.

Together these articles capture the unraveling of SAP S/4HANA as it has expanded beyond the finance line of business to encompass supply chain, manufacturing, procurement, IoT, and more, demonstrating how yesterday’s back-office systems can be transformed into a new digital core for the future.

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Amr El Meleegy, SAP
Amr El Meleegy

Senior Director, Product Marketing, SAP S/4HANA

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