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Intelligent ERP - Part 1: What is SAP S/4HANA public cloud?

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Operating in the digital age requires simplification and agility in your IT systems. The new breed of intelligent ERP in the cloud with innovative technologies can give you what you need to gain business advantage, from increased employee productivity, improved governance and compliance to lower TCO and greater scalability.

S/4HANA Cloud is an intelligent ERP that enables you to make data-driven decisions with predictive analytics, turning your real-time data into actions. It can simplify your consolidation and integration between headquarters and subsidiaries with 2-tier deployment and extends easily with native integration to other SAP solutions and open interfaces.

In the public cloud there are four main areas that S/4HANA is focused on:

Professional Services

SAP’s Professional Services offering is extremely strong and with S/4HANA Cloud you get all you need from an ERP system with end-to-end process coverage for Professional Services. From initiating and running a project, acquiring and assigning internal and external resourcing, project delivery, as well as financial monitoring for expenses, time sheets and so on, you will be able to improve your performance.

With the real-time financial management capability you can increase efficiency with end-to-end global project control and operational visibility. You can also simplify and enhance the management of cost rates with flexible cost-rate maintenance features based on SAP Fiori

Resource optimisation is a real benefit of the Professional Services capability as it allows you to find resources with free capacity quickly and staff them for suitable projects. A graphical assignment board provides transparency on resource assignments, and simulation of key figures shows how assignments would affect utilisation.

You can gain increased transparency on profits through enhanced profit-centre reporting with the flexibility to assign multiple profit centres on a billing-item level.

And finally, you get enhanced timesheet approval so you can check and ensure that the consultants or employees staffed to specific projects or reporting lines are recording their time entries correctly, using the “Approve Timesheet – My Inbox” app.

Component Manufacturing

The Component Manufacturing option lets you build world class customer centricity, production excellence and manage your supply chains based on real-time customer demand.

It is targeted at component suppliers in high-tech and industrial machinery and components industries and mills. It provides high-level insights that enable engineers to understand why lots are accepted or rejected based on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as quality scores. They can then drill down and analyse manufacturing lots by additional parameters such as plant, material, or supplier.

The scope includes make-to-order production for semi-finished goods planning and assembly, quality management, manufacturing with Kanban supply into production, SAP Fiori analytical apps for production planning and make-to-order production with variant configuration.

Component Manufacturing helps you increase inventory turnover and reduce days in inventory by using a predictive analytics model that forecasts the delivery date for a stock transport order, based on accurate supply and demand data. This helps you achieve more reliable planning and scheduling of goods-in-transit processes.

The advanced variant configuration achieves greater transparency into configurable product options by providing detailed insights on product variants during the ordering process, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.

Demand-based supply chain management is also enabled letting you plan and manage supply chains efficiently based on customer demand, rather than through traditional material requirements planning. You can also streamline your high-volume warehouse operations with business process integration between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Extended Warehouse Management.

Two-tier deployment

Two-tier deployment simplifies your consolidation and integration between your headquarters and subsidiaries. In the two-tier scenario your HQ could be running on premise and your subsidiary running on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, so the sales process at HQ could be integrated to procure the goods directly from your subsidiary. It also simplifies centralised and localised financial planning and cash positions, reduces connectivity costs and provides central visibility of procurement and sales.

This capability enables the integration of transactional steps such as the creation of sales orders at subsidiaries and the creation of inbound delivery and vendor invoices at your HQ. It reduces data entry points from business users and increases visibility of your stock position at HQ, helping make better decisions.

Administrative ERP

The administrative ERP gives you the core fundamentals of administering your organisation, covering finance, purchasing and HR. It brings together financial accounting and information control into one pool of relevant business data making it available as one source of truth.

Within the purchasing component you gain full transparency with a single point of access for purchase requisitions and purchase orders to streamline business processes across headquarters and subsidiaries, while achieving lower costs based on scaled purchasing activities.

With HR you get core HR components covering activities such as payroll, time and attendance management.

Intelligent Cloud ERP

SAP S/4HANA Cloud combines S/4HANA capability with SAP Leonardo leveraging machine learning, Internet of Things and predictive analytics to deliver an intelligent ERP. Combined into the SAP Cloud Platform it provides the innovation foundation for S/4HANA Cloud enabling you to better predict and plan for outcomes.

Many IT companies offer these new technologies in isolation but SAP is pioneering this next generation of intelligent ERP by actually embedding these services seamlessly. As an extension platform it also allows you to extend, modify and enhance with your own SAP and non-SAP apps.

The user experience of SAP S/4HANA Cloud incorporates personalisation and the SAP CoPilot digital assistant to deliver assistive, collaborative and conversational styles driven by advances in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration across the SAP product range

With the public cloud version for S/4HANA you can extend and work in other areas of SAP and combine the capabilities of products like SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba. While SAP S/4HANA gives you access to core business processes you may want to extend your capability in HR for example with the addition of SAP SuccessFactors. The same applies with C/4HANA.

What about pricing?

S/4HANA Cloud lets you run the most intelligent cloud ERP solution with predictable monthly pricing. It is available for a flexible monthly subscription and is priced on a per user basis.

It has 5 components of pricing:

  • User based
  • Add-ons such as running apps on the SAP Cloud Platform, for example cash management
  • 3rd party use including integration, digital access, etc.
  • Storage
  • Additional support, preferred care for S/4HANA Cloud (optional)


SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the next-generation business suite that will power your journey to the intelligent enterprise, giving you the ultimate business advantage and helping you gain a competitive edge more quickly and effectively. Contact us to find out more.

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