Date: November 13th, 2018
Companies are increasingly turning to the cloud for traditional ERP workloads from finance to supply chain and more. The shift to the cloud enables faster innovation cycles, increased scalability and greater business agility. It is also a change in overall approach for many companies with a history of on-premise ERP solutions.
Read this transcript to get advice on your SAP S/4HANA Cloud questions. Experts from SAP shared the latest developments around SAP S/4HANA Cloud including new capabilities in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 release and answered questions about the transition to cloud ERP, including.
- What are the key considerations to determine whether SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the right choice?
- What are the security differences between running SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition or a hybrid version?
- How does SAP S/4HANA Cloud fit into the Intelligent Enterprise?
- What are the new finance and supply chain capabilities in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811?
- How can an SAP Basis professional work on this product?
What is new in the tax area in this version?
Matthew Shea: Hello, and thanks for coming to today’s live Q&A on SAP S/4HANA Cloud. I am joined by a panel of experts from SAP to answer your questions on the latest product developments.
Please welcome our panelists:
- Yannick Peterschmitt, Senior Director of Product Management, SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- Gerhard Welker, Topic Expert, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Product Management and Co-Innovation
- Ulrich Hauke, Product Manager, SAP S/4HANA
- Mark Labedz, Senior Director and Head of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Product Marketing
To start out, where can SAP customers get a single source of truth about SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
Mark Labedz (SAP): You can find the latest news, content, and product information at http://www.sap.com/s4hanacloud.
Comment From D.XU: What are the key considerations to determine whether SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the right choice? Are there conversion tools available to convert SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition to SAP S/4HANA Cloud or vice versa?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): First, I'd recommend that you take a look at the Best Practice Explorer (https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#) to identify the existing best practices and see if they are a good fit for your organization. The next step is to have your account team organize a discovery workshop.
Mark Labedz (SAP): Hi, D.XU. Let me share a post from a colleague. It’s getting a little old now, but I think it is still a very good starting place when it comes to determining your path: https://blogs.sap.com/2017/05/08/strategic-choices-in-sap-s4hana-deployment/.
Comment From David Sweetman: It seems that intelligence was once thought of as being on the edge (analytics and insights). However, it seems that it is now firmly at the center of the business applications. What do you see for the future of this core with SAP S/4HANA and the movement of things that were on the edge into the core?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): To enable the Intelligent Enterprise, we rely on three core technologies that you will find systematically in the current and future product update:
- Digital assistants supported by native language integration and SAP CoPilot
- Machine learning, powered by SAP Leonardo intelligent services
- Predictive analytics, leveraging the SAP Predictive Analytics Integrator capabilities
Comment From SN: We have had earlier attempts at doing a GUI versus SAP Fiori approach, and people or consultants are still comfortable with the GUI recommendation. What are your thoughts on this?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): The SAP Fiori concept and design principles are key components in SAP’s design-led development process that ensures the delivery of SAP Fiori innovation through all SAP products.
Comment From Stephan: In your point of view, what are the security differences between running SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition or a hybrid version?
Ulrich Hauke (SAP): For the SAP Cloud solutions, SAP takes a proactive, predictive approach to help ensure compliance and data security in the cloud and within an on-premise data center. Regarding products, secure operations, and so on, here is more information on the security of SAP Cloud products:
Comment From Sean: How does SAP S/4HANA Cloud fit into the Intelligent Enterprise?
Mark Labedz (SAP): Hi, Sean. SAP S/4HANA Cloud sits in the middle (the "digital core" if you will) of the Intelligent Enterprise. It serves to connect your departments with one another and with the outside world. Bernd used his keynote at TechEd to dive into the Intelligent Enterprise a bit further: https://youtu.be/SxUYY1sw4XY.
Comment From Ben: What are the new finance and supply chain capabilities in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811?
Gerhard Welker (SAP): For supply chain processes, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 offers:
- Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
- Transportation in SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
For more information on handling supply chain processes with SAP S/4HANA 1811, watch my video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIHtHqc9i2Q. You can also read my new blog, which will be published on November 14. [Editor’s note: The blog is now available, here.]
Ulrich Hauke (SAP): For finance processes, SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 offers functionalities such as Accruals Engine for Purchase Orders, TRM Overview Page for Interest Rates, and Group Reporting enhancements. For more information watch this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIHtHqc9i2Q.
Mark Labedz (SAP): If you're looking for a one-stop shop with video highlights from the release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811, go to http://sap.lookbookhq.com/l/s4hc-release-latest.
Comment From shashi verma: How can an SAP Basis professional work on this product?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): Basis skills always will be necessary for SAP ERP projects. Integration, extensibility, two-tier ERP, and hybrid landscapes are just a few examples where those core skills are necessary.
Comment From Gyani: What is new in the tax area in this version?
lrich Hauke (SAP): Here are a few areas where SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 offers functionality pertaining to taxes in various regions:
- Brazil: Integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Tax Declaration Framework, Tax Reporting Enablement for Cloud ECF, Reporting Enablement for Cloud – ECD
- Poland: SAF-T (on Request) JPK_MAG for S/4HANA Cloud, Overdue Invoices report, VAT Register Report
- United States: LC US 2018 IRS tax print-forms 1099s and 1042-S
Comment From shashi verma: What are the tasks handled by the customer-side Basis team for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811? Could you share some examples?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): I have included some examples already in my previous answer, but let me be more accurate: In the cloud SAP provides extensibility options, mainly in the SAP Cloud Platform. SAP also offers these extensions for integration: cloud to cloud, cloud to on-premise, etc. A lot of customers are looking at a hybrid landscape today. These are a few examples.
Comment From shashi verma: How about regular activities for SAP Basis professionals in the systems, such as moving transports, client copy, language installation, remote function call (RFC) creation, and so on?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): The cloud approach for this is different, of course, as SAP provides all this as part of the subscription.
Matthew Shea: Yannick, can you share more details around the intelligent ERP roadmap?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): For the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 release, we ship a few new skills in the area of finance with apps such as Manage Cost Centers or Monitor Payments.
As another example for this quarter, we have shipped another innovation based on machine learning in the area of procurement. A reliable delivery lead time for materials will be predicted during the creation of a purchase requisition or purchase order. More details can be found here and on the public roadmap.
Matthew Shea: Gerhard, what is the difference between the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management functionality and the functionality available with the SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) integration?
Gerhard Welker (SAP): Warehouse management functionality in SAP S/4HANA is technically based on SAP EWM, but it is not the same because SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management is tailored to cloud use. Roughly speaking, SAP EWM on-premise is the right solution for really complex warehouses with high volume, whereas SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management addresses the needs of warehouses with less complexity because in SAP S/4HANA Cloud access to the customizing IMG is not available. There is a long list of differences between SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management and SAP EWM, but here are a few examples: material flow system (MFS) integration, radio frequency (RF) framework, and Labor Management.
Comment From David Sweetman: How do SAP S/4HANA Cloud updates get communicated to end users to provide them with additional functionality that they can take advantage of?
Ulrich Hauke (SAP): End users are auto-notified about new features when they log on to the system. In addition, we provide what's new documentation in the SAP Help Portal.
Comment From Sal: We have the SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition, and we have some very specific SAP products, such as SAP Linear Asset Management, and we are going to set up SAP Environment Health and Safety Management (SAP EHS Management). Are these modules available on SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): SAP EHS Management is not part of the scope now. Some SAP EHS Management capabilities are included. You will find the scope in details in this tool: https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#
Comment From shashi verma: If any company opts for a complete cloud landscape for all systems, then does the future of the SAP Basis professional vanish?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): If a company decides for a transformation of its ERP landscape, it implies a transformation of the IT skills and competences, too.
Matthew Shea: Does Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud have any scanning integration options?
Gerhard Welker (SAP): Barcode scanning is available via keyboard emulation.
We will not deliver device-specific RF transaction solutions, but in the 1905 release, we will offer an application programming interface (API) that allows customers to implement a customer-specific RF transaction solution implemented on the SAP Could Platform. See innovation discovery: https://go.support.sap.com/innovationdiscovery/#/innovation/40F2E9281A631ED8979ADD75DA3980DD.
Comment From Wes: Where can we find SAP S/4HANA Cloud roadmaps?
Mark Labedz (SAP): Hi, Wes. You can find the latest one here (this is gated content). Additional roadmaps are available here.
Matthew Shea: Are there SAP CoPilot use cases you can share?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): There are many already out there, such as in the procurement area (purchase requisition) and in sales. With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1811 update, we ship four new skills in the area of finance that come with the following apps: Manage Cost Centers, Supervise Collections Worklist, Monitor Payments, and Display Correspondence History. On the roadmap, for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1905 release, we are planning to leverage the Quick create command again to create customer material information records within the SAP CoPilot digital assistants.
In the 1905 release as well, in Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management, we are planning to extend the conversational enablement of project management. This enhancement will result in improved project collaboration and project transparency.
Later, for SAP S/4HANA 1908, yet another quick create functionality for sales orders will be available.
Comment From Brittany: What is the scope of SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): You will find the scope described here. Search for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and then the line of business to understand the best practices available.
Comment From Vitalii: Why might cloud ERP be the right choice for my business?
Mark Labedz (SAP): Hi, Vitalii. At its core, the cloud enables shorter time-to-value, constant innovation, and ease of scale. You can check out more here.
Comment From Mike: What are the fundamental principles of cloud ERP?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): Here they are in a nutshell:
- Fully integrated, enterprise-wide scope for core business processes to deliver digital transformation through the cloud
- Bring together business process and analytics in real time to be smarter, faster, and simpler
- Effortlessly scalable, easily managed, fully secure
- Manage multiple geographies, divisions, subsidiaries, and ledgers with global and country-specific content
- Drive operational efficiencies and comply with regulations
- A personalized, role-based user experience with SAP Fiori
Comment From Boris: Where can I find a collection of innovation highlights in finance?
Ulrich Hauke (SAP): I've put together a collection blog, including a reference to the quarterly release highlight blogs in finance as well as additional background blogs on specific questions such as IFRS 15, IFRS 16, reporting, etc. To read the blog, click here.
Matthew Shea: What are the future enhanced capabilities planned for warehouse management and transportation functionalities in SAP S/4HANA Cloud?
Gerhard Welker (SAP): The following planned innovations are published externally in Innovation Discovery (the innovations that are planned for future releases beyond SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1905 are currently not published externally):
a.) SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management
b.) SAP S/4HANA Cloud. S/4HANA Cloud Transportation
Comment From Gerardo DallOrso: Where can I find all the new features and differences between SAP S4/HANA 1709 and 1811?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): You will find the latest feature for 1811 here. Look for the release highlights. The latest on-premise shipment is the 1809 version, and you will find information here.
Comment From Gerardo DallOrso: We would like to use SAP Solution Manager to design and document business processes. Is SAP Solution Manager part of the SAP S/4HANA best practices?
Yannick Peterschmitt (SAP): The cloud implementation is based on the SAP Activate methodology, the Roadmap Viewer. To manage the application, SAP is planning to launch the Cloud Implementation Platform early in 2019.
Comment From Boris: Where can I find a collection of innovation highlights in manufacturing and supply chain?
Gerhard Welker (SAP): Read my blog, “SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Manufacturing and Supply Chain - The Link Collection” (a logon is required).
From this blog you can navigate to the specific release blogs.