Top five reasons to consider SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition as your ERP application

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Key Takeaways

⇨ SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition solution has many ‘accelerators’ that rapidly put organizations on the path of process excellence.

⇨ Customers get the ‘standard’ functions and capabilities across various lines of businesses and multiple industries with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

⇨ SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition solution is embedded with intelligence and automation and has over 200 intelligent scenarios that include Machine Learning (ML), intelligent Robotics Process Automation (iRPA), Internet of Things (IoT), and situation handling

Continuous innovation with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is a ready-to-run cloud ERP that delivers the latest industry best practices and continuous innovation. It was first introduced into the market over six years ago and has evolved rapidly in capabilities and coverage in the recent years. Regarding functional capabilities, it covers every major end-to-end business process and twenty industry verticals. The technology foundation for this application is SAP HANA, and therefore, S/4HANA Cloud, public edition leverages this appliance’s speed, storage, and processing capabilities. It is a cloud-based application solution that:

  • enables running operations efficiently and intelligently
  • meets global and local (country-specific) business needs
  • flexible and adaptable
  • provides rapid insights into data for real-time decision-making
  • elevates experience as a user with its consistence, friendliness, and intuitiveness
  • reduces total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • built on and embodies SAP’s steadfast commitment to sustainability

Independent analysts have rated SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, favorably. International Data Corporation named SAP a leader in the 2022 Market Scape for worldwide SaaS and cloud-enabled operational and manufacturing ERP applications. Gartner named  SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition a leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for service-centric enterprises. This article will give you five reasons why companies should seriously consider SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition to rapidly transform themselves and remain globally competitive.

Reason #1: Process excellence through standardization and best practices

For over 50 years, SAP has incorporated capabilities, learnings, and best practices for delivering applications to customers into this solution. This means customers get the ‘standard’ functions and capabilities across various lines of businesses and multiple industries. It allows customers to minimize their time traditionally required for blueprinting and configuring the solution to meet their needs. An added advantage is that it helps companies standardize their processes and imparts operational discipline. This is particularly important when a company is undergoing heavy mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities. The existence of and adherence to a minimum standard set of business processes makes the integration process much less painful.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition solution has many ‘accelerators’ that rapidly put organizations on the path of process excellence. Organizations can refer to the Best Practices Explorer where they access all the best practices (organized under lines of businesses at the highest level and ‘scope items’ at the business process level) and multiple ‘accelerators’ such as process diagrams, test scripts etc. The landing page is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition best practices site

Reason #2: Insight, Intelligence, and Automation

Companies need to be nimble and adaptable to the ever-changing market conditions. The need for this agility was painfully obvious during the Covid-19 pandemic – a kind of ‘black swan’ event that forced organizations to be constantly reactive, unless they could quickly pivot to newer operational models. The companies that survived the pandemic unscathed could pivot through the organization widespread usage of automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, and speedy and superior decision-making via smart analytics.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition solution is embedded with intelligence and automation. Currently, over 200 intelligent scenarios that include Machine Learning (ML), intelligent Robotics Process Automation (iRPA), Internet of Things (IoT), and situation handling are available in the software. Additionally, process automation is enabled across all mission-critical processes. These capabilities help organizations to run smartly, minimize the time spent on manual activities, and maximize their ability to glean insights into and analyze current and past performance. Furthermore, ‘embedded analytics’ capabilities help in transforming insights into foresight.

The above attributes generate a collateral benefit that is worth highlighting. They help organizations to run in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. With automated workflows, processes, and the ability to analyze in a real-time and visual manner, organizations can contribute to sustainability in multiple ways.

Reason #3: Flexibility and Adaptability 

Although business process standardization (or ‘fit-to-standard’ in our parlance) is a key tenet of this application, it is also flexible. Customers often raise questions about the paradox between standardization and flexibility. To that my response is, both can co-exist. Organizations can make the application as flexible as they want after exploring every possible avenue to use the standard capabilities. This recommendation does not restrict customers from meeting their specific business needs but ensures that they maximize the usage of what they have paid for and not get burdened with maintenance of custom objects that could be redundant.

Enablers of flexibility and adaptability with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition include:

  • Simple and guided configuration capabilities.
  • Plug-and-play integration capabilities with many applications leveraging the SAP API Hub and a modular and open architecture. The API Hub currently over two thousand white-listed APIs that will serve various integration needs. (Access the SAP API Business Hub here.)
  • Extensions to the standard solution that meet all needs. The techniques include:
    • Key user extensions for UI/personalization types of needs and follows a low-code/no-code paradigm.
    • Developer extensions for tightly coupled and complex business logic.
    • Side-by-side extensions for decoupled extensions, typically for those built by our partners.
  • Strong localization capabilities: As of the current (2302) release, the solution is available in 51 countries/regions. If an organization has business operations in a country that is currently not covered by this application, the Configuration Localization Tool (CLT) enables the organization to rapidly create that country version based on an existing one that best matches the target country.

 Reason #4: User experience

User adoption is the ultimate measure of success for any software application. An engaging user experience (UX) strongly correlates to user adoption. A most elegantly and comprehensively engineered application can fail to capture the user’s imagination if it does not provide a consistent, engaging, intuitive, and productive UX. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition’s UX satisfies all these aspects. SAP Fiori is that single UX for this application (See figure 2).

Figure 2: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition User Experience

 Key attributes of SAP Fiori that make for a memorable UX are:

  • Each discrete business process is offered as an app that mimics how regular users interact with any app on their device.
  • You can run any app and therefore your business (activities and tasks) with little to no training.
  • It provides contextual navigation. This means that similar business activities are packaged logically, minimizing the need to navigate to other apps. This feature enhances user productivity.
  • Fiori apps have been designed to look, feel, and behave the same across all platforms and devices. 

Reason #5: Affordability

We come across affordability (encapsulated in the Total Cost of Ownership or TCO metric) as a key deciding factor for choosing any software application, unsurprisingly. However, it is one of the deciding factors and often-times, not necessarily the most important one. We can confidently assert that SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition has a low TCO and therefore is affordable for the following reasons:

  • Licensing is based on an annual subscription model and not a long-term contract. That helps customers benefit from ‘cloud economics’ that is predicated on a move from capital expenditures (CapEx) to operational expenditures (OpEx).
  • The application is ‘deployed’ as opposed to ‘implemented’. Therefore, the benefits to the business accrue faster than they would with a conventional implementation model.
  • Organizations incur minimal maintenance costs. Because this is a pure SaaS model, SAP maintains this application. The implications are two-fold. Firstly, a customer does not need to make any direct infrastructure investment. Secondly, all upgrades (currently twice a year) and innovation updates (monthly, currently amounting to ten per year) are pushed to all customers concurrently. This reduces customer’s responsibility for testing (primarily regression testing). And here too, it is made affordable and speedier by embedding a test automation tool that does the heavy lifting on the customer’s behalf.
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is designed to minimize shelf ware. Why? Because it is modular in design. This means you only pay for what you need, and most importantly what you use.

In conclusion, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is the cloud ERP solution you should consider if you are looking to transform into an agile, intelligent, and sustainable enterprise that is well prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

If I have piqued your interest, I encourage you to:

Sign up for our free 14-day trial of the software here.

Browse the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition here.

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