SAP S/4HANA – the next generation business suite for digital businesses
In a digital world, information can be measured and made available across the globe instantaneously. Sailing on the backwind of new technologies, this is a key enabler for redefining business processes. Fundamentally, it means that a digital business needs to deliver on the ubiquitous promise to truly serve a segment of one: The end consumer. The whole value chain becomes a highly flexible organism to be run in real time – it becomes a LIVE Business.
Since the launch of SAP S/4HANA two years ago, it has firmly established itself as the next generation business suite to support digital businesses. It has the ability to unite enterprise-wide processes into a synergistic digital core. At the core of the innovation with S/4HANA is the revolutionary in-memory capabilities of SAP HANA that allows both transactional and analytical data to reside in one system, which in turn provides our customers with the ability to analyze, report, simulate and predict in real time, to make smarter and quicker business decisions. In addition, with SAP Fiori we offer a role based user experience that looks great and really delivers intelligence to the user in an intuitive.
Clearly, this has resonated well with the market and S/4HANA now boasts over 5400 customers, making it the fastest growing product SAP has launched.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud – the next generation, intelligent ERP in the cloud
This brings me to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the Intelligent Cloud ERP offering from SAP and the announcement on Feb 9th at the SAP Capital Markets Day. At this event customers, partners and SAP executives showcased the new S/4HANA Cloud solution from the trusted global leader in ERP. S/4HANA Cloud is our ERP cloud offering that benefits from the same game changing innovations we delivered with S/4HANA, but now via a SaaS delivery model, all managed and delivered by SAP. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the cloud ERP solutions best suited for organizations with more than 1,500 employees, and for subsidiaries and operational units of larger enterprises.
Why ERP Cloud and Why now?
Moving a company’s core to the Cloud enables a fast deployment and decreases time to value. Additionally, it fosters rapid innovation cycles and reduces TCO and TCI, matching a Fit to standard and enabling agility in consumption. The end to end experience is at the heart of it. But for customers and partners there are new rules of the game to adapt and digitally transform as well. Technology induced innovation to change the Corporate fundamentally goes along with business changing capabilities for each Line of Business. Enterprise customers expect SAP to re-define, renovate and innovate its core asset – ERP, and deliver it as a SaaS deployment model.
We have seen for some time clear indicators that the market is shifting to consume ERP in the cloud and that this is set to grow rapidly in the coming years. There is a significant amount of evidence out there that points to the growth of the cloud, but for me there are a number of leading indicators from the analyst firms that show how fast things are moving. Most analyst firms predict up to 20% growth rates in the next 24 months for the Cloud ERP market. According to the analysts, Finance is leading the charge as the next LOB already shifting to a SaaS approach, especially for more service centric companies.
We are confident that, using our heritage, knowledge and expertise built up as the ERP market leader over decades, and our leadership with S/4HANA supporting our customers managing their digital transitions, we can support our customer’s journey to Cloud ERP.
What is different with S/4HANA Cloud, a closer look…
It’s easy to imagine that a Cloud ERP solution is simply a watered down version of a full blown ERP on premise system, compromised in technology or ability in some way. With S/4HANA Cloud, this is not the case. With end to end processes supporting finance, plan to product, and order to cash and procure to pay we offer enterprise-ready functionality for digital businesses.
However, more importantly S/4HANA Cloud shares the same in-memory architecture as S/4HANA and so offers the same benefits. With analytical and transactional data together in the same system, you have the performance to run a truly “live” business, run on the fly aggregations to slice and dice data to provide immediate insights based on real time data. This provides the trusted information it needs to make fast decisions across the business.