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Why SAP HANA or S/4HANA? Key Enablers That Will Drive Value to Your Business

by Dirk vanderMerwe, Solution Architect, SAP Practice, HCL Technologies

October 15, 2015

With the announcement of SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA), SAP has asked its customers to take a leap of faith. Emphasizing the suite’s benefits, SAP has shared with customers how this latest generation of ERP will address their needs — with SAP S/4HANA you can run simple and reduce the complexity of your SAP landscape with this centralized, streamlined business suite run on the in-memory SAP HANA platform. Yes, this sounds great. But what does it actually mean for your business? What are the real benefits that can be realized with this new, revolutionary ERP?

The IT community recognizes S/4HANA’s potential as a driver for reducing the TCO based on the savings from reduced databases, the speed, simplifications, and consolidation opportunities. From a business perspective, however, the question remains: How can our business experience real value from an SAP S/4HANA implementation? This “so what” question is a topic that HCL Technologies often discusses with its clients. Not just about what SAP S/4HANA is, but what is the real value from a business perspective — why should our clients take this leap?

HCL has identified key enablers that will create value from SAP Suite on HANA and S/4HANA. HCL has developed a value-based program from our in depth analysis of the new technology and the feedback from our clients to make their HANA journey non-disruptive and outcome based. HCL helps clients migrate to Suite on HANA and S/4HANA to start realizing the initial benefits offered by the speed and simplification that is inherent with the new technology. The migration will then unlock the enablers to allow businesses to realize the real high-value drivers through an agile approach. This approach allows businesses to take on these drivers in small sprints and thereby fund each project off the value realized from the previous project and, in essence, reduce your initial direct investment and limit the impact on internal resources.

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HCL has broken out the enablers into the following key areas:

  1. Speed/agility for faster access to your data with agile tools. SAP S/4HANA’s agility allows companies to do more with the data as well; for example, a finance team can run batch jobs in real time, meaning no more waiting for jobs to finish. The ability to run in real time will allow users to run jobs multiple times if needed to refine results.
  2. Operational reporting with SAP HANA Live and SAP Lumira. This gives businesses the ability to report directly from the native ERP system database and hence avoid data export delays that could bring your data integrity into question. With SAP HANA Live and SAP Lumira, you have the ability to report in real time with improved visibility to make faster decisions.  Additionally, standard available HANA predictive analytics tools allow for better and faster decision making support. Users can once again be allowed to create their own queries to extract data as needed, something that in general is restricted in non-HANA databases.
  3. Productivity is enhanced through the new Fiori SAP UX , now powered by SAP HANA, as the new user interface. Yes, you may point out that Fiori is not new, however the speed and processing power provided by HANA has unlocked Fiori’s full potential. This benefit goes across SAP SoH HANA and SAP S/4HANA and provides real-time KPIs that give users access to multiple transactions from a single app. Transactions are not only processed with less clicks and screens to be populated, but can also be role based and customized to further enhance the user experience.
  4. Cross-functional transparency, a benefit of SAP HANA as well as SAP S/4HANA, means a more seamless workflow. The ability to work cross-functionally and access information in different areas of the system further enables real-time analytics and insights into data across the enterprise.
  5. Simplification, which is a benefit more specific to SAP S/4HANA and is particularly important because it reduces issues with reconciliation and instead fosters a single source of truth. Transactions from FI and CO are now stored as a single line item thus improving the reliability of the data across functions.
  6. Digitalization is the final enabler to mention. SAP HANA and the Fiori UX provides the horsepower and flexibility to form a solid foundation to develop and implement a digital strategy. HCL provides end-to-end digital solutions to drive value, improve productivity, drive innovation, and dramatically improve your user and client experience.

Traditionally, innovation and transformation are associated with long, painful, and let’s not forget, expensive programs. HCL’s Agile Benefits Creation approach delivers benefits in shorter agile sprints that is aligned with a client’s internal resources and funding with minimal disruption. HCL evaluates your critical and high volume processes and will help build a business case that drives value through these enablers.

Read Part 2 of this blog, "Drive Benefits and Future IT Projects with an Agile Approach to SAP S/4HANA," to learn more about how to achieve maximum benefits from a migration to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA.

For more information on HCL’s SAP practice, visit www.hcltech.com/systems-integration/sap.

Or to contact HCL, email integrated.applications@hcl.com.

All New Content for October on the SAP Customer IT Hub!
Get quick and easy access to the wealth of knowledge, resources, tools, support and services that are available to all SAP customers.

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