Why move to S/4HANA? The second post in my Migration to SAP S/4HANA series focuses on why comapanies are moving to SAP S/4HANA. The go-to answer to that question always starts with Business Value. The only problem is that the term ‘Business Value’ can be vague and typically something that can’t have a true calculated dollar value. In a previous life, I worked as a Business Relationship Manager where my role was to work with different parts of the business to understand the estimated ‘Value’ of projects on the front end, to be used as a measurement post-project to calculate success. My favorite discussions typically were with our HR groups when they wanted to update internal websites. There were a couple of times where they would attempt to calculate ‘Value’ based on perceived time savings for employees where a simple change to a website that could ‘in-theory’ save 5 minutes over the course of a year would have a ‘Value’ derived from a formula dealing with the number of employees times the average salary factored down to 5 minute worth of savings. With 20k employees, that would seem like a big number for ‘Value’. I would always challenge that line of thinking to actually say that the ‘Value’ is not based on employee time savings, but rather the ‘Value’ of whatever efforts they do with the extra time (example: more time to focus on fantasy football). I’m going to pick out a few ‘TOPIC’ areas where I feel companies should be looking as ‘Business Value’ areas with SAP S/4HANA in this why move to S/4HANA post.
Why move to S/4HANA – Business Value
When the SAP HANA database was first released, the talk was heavily focused on SPEED. Surprise, surprise, in-memory databases are very fast. With speed comes the ability to have information available in REAL-TIME. My favorite saying for this is to “Imagine a world with no batch jobs!”. What would your users change about their daily work routines if they never had to wait for information to be available? How would you change your approach if you had the ability to almost immediately know the impact of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ as they make business decisions?
This topic ties in nicely with REAL-TIME. What would you change about your approach to reporting if you never had to wait for information? Until recently, it took some special acts to be able to have real-time (or near real-time) reporting in SAP environments. With SAP HANA, your approach to reporting will (or should) change. Your users should never have to wait for operational reports again (although, there is still a place for Data Warehouses (like SAP BW…or BW/4HANA) for true analytical reporting). Important terms to research here are going to be HANA Live, Virtual Data Models, BOBJ Lumira (Visualization Tool) and Core Data Services.
As I’ve said in other messaging, thank you Millennials for putting pressure on SAP to finally change the UX/UI approach. The ‘same’ view on any device (PC, Laptop, Tablet, Mobile Device, etc.) approach has cleaned up the UX/UI and given SAP a needed update to the look and feel of the transactions. The FIORI (FIORI 2) approach has opened up the door for SAP to show that it is a now-generation product that is backed by the SAP HANA database for the speed to support the fast look and feel screens and searching ability.
You are able to see benefits from the above ‘why move to S/4HANA’ items just by having the SAP HANA database….so, think SAP Suite on HANA (SoH). The issue now is that SAP is really only investing in the SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management environment moving forward. Having recently seen a presentation delivered only to SAP Partners, it is exciting to see the new functionality that SAP continues to build out from release to release. The SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management 1709 version will have a bunch of new bells and whistles like Advanced Variant Configuration and updates to Consumer Products – Catch Weight Management and updates to SAP Fiori Overview Pages! My point is, SAP Suite on HANA (SoH) is already getting old. To stay current, you need to be on SAP S/4HANA so that you and your company are prepared to take advantage of the next great technology that SAP develops and integrates. While we are on the topic of DIGITAL-CORE, it is also important to mention the SAP Cloud Platform. In very simple terms, this is really the spot where SAP is delivering more of a PaaS (Platform as a Service) location to allow for old and new technologies to integrate in with your Digital-Core system. IoT, Hybrid Cloud and custom DevOps all have a place to run through the SAP Cloud Platform….oh, and by the way…SAP is moving heavily to the Cloud…just keep that in mind when thinking about integration for the future.
Why move to S/4HANA – Conclusion
In summary, there are many reasons I could give you on “why move to S/4HANA” and you have three choices. (1) do nothing, (2) move away from SAP, or (3) MOVE FORWARD. There are multiple paths for moving forward with different time-lines and price tags and we will start to dive into this topic in my next blog in this series. I want you to move forward and I want you to know that there is a business value story for every industry on why move to S/4HANA now. We have industry experts that can help in that discussion…SAP Advisory experts that can help with your current situation…and SAP S/4HANA experts to help with the future of the product. My guidance is to talk to people that have walked the walk and we can help! Get started here.