S/4HANA Cloud: leveraging intelligent cloud ERP within Professional Services organisations

Nordin Sahil |

Building on dozens of years of experience delivering ERP functionality, SAP has brought a highly intelligent cloud-based ERP system to the market just a few years ago. S/4HANA Cloud has subsequently grown to become a very comprehensive ERP solution for Professional Services organisations at a low Total Cost of Ownership thanks to its SaaS (Software as a Service) subscription model.

For its Professional Services Line of Business solution, SAP distinguishes between 2 main topics, which are Customer Project Management and Resource Management.

Customer Project Management

Within this section of the Line of Business solution, S/4HANA Cloud offers the possibility to create new Customer Projects which can receive a high level of scheduling and different resources can be assigned to the various phases identified for the project. Against each of those phases and tasks, employees are able to register time, expenses, and more. Besides customer projects, it is also possible to create and maintain company internal projects in the same manner.

Of course not every project is the same in its agreements with a customer. Some are offered at a fixed price, while others involve the customer invoicing for each hour spent and all materials used (Time and Material). Both business models are supported and, on top of that, different billing plans can be used to manage for example a periodic form of billing or billing related to certain milestones in the project. For the internal projects, there are various possibilities for (Resource-related) Intercompany Billing.

For collaboration purposes, you can use the SAP Jam social software platform. You can achieve better team engagement where all project team members can drive and coordinate planning, implementation, and project execution.

Both these customer and internal projects can then be monitored from a financial perspective, to assess aspects such as planned revenues, costs and margins, versus the actuals during and after the project.

Resource Management

At the heart of a Professional Services organisation is its ability to match the right talent with the right project. With the so-called “suitability matching” feature during project staffing in S/4HANA Cloud, an overall match percentage is calculated automatically for resources and resource requests, based on their skills and availability. This helps you to easily find suitable requests for resources with free capacity as well as suitable resources for open requests.

Before creating, changing, or deleting an assignment, you can simulate how this would affect key figures, such as resource utilisation and staffed hours. A project manager can then follow this up by actually making the suggested staff assignments.

S/4HANA Cloud delivers state-of-the art, intelligent and user-friendly overview apps to track the resource utilisation and project staffing. This gives project and operational managers insight into the over- and under-staffing of projects, the extent to which resources have any available hours left, which skills are available or required and much more. On top of that, these overviews allow users to go into more detailed views of each piece of information, as well as act upon them.

Thanks to the integration of Customer Project Management and Resource Management, it is very intuitive to execute the resource assignments required for newly planned projects as well as projects that are in progress.

Quarterly Innovations and extensibility

Because Professional Services are a key line of business for which specific capabilities are directly available in the S/4HANA Cloud core package, you are ensured of quarterly innovations that improve your efficiency and quality of work continuously.

SOA People has made it a mission to offer the best possible intelligent Cloud ERP solutions available to Professional Services companies like yourselves. Therefore, we have put together a package that does not only entail the core S/4HANA Cloud solution, but also integration with a SuccessFactors HR package, our own IP such as the Advanced Planning Board and Credit Management solutions, and many more possibilities coming from the SAP Cloud Platform. 

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