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Understanding The SAP S/4HANA 1909 Release

IBPM Low-code RPAAnthony Cecchini is the President and CTO of Information Technology Partners (ITP), an ERP technology consulting company headquartered now in Virginia, with offices in Vienna and Herndon.  ITP offers comprehensive planning, resource allocation, implementation, upgrade, and training assistance to companies. Anthony has over 20 years of experience in SAP business process analysis and SAP systems integration. ITP is an Appian, Pegasystems, and UIPath Low-code and RPA Value Added Service Partner. You can reach him at ajcecchini@itpfed.com.

 

Intelligent ERP: SAP S/4HANA 1909 release

We have been discussing Extended Warehouse Management with Shailesh in the last few blogs, and we will return to it in a bit. This month I wanted to discuss the latest release of S/4 Hana, release 1909.

SAP S/4HANA was introduced into the market in February 2015 by SAP. It is the core of intelligent enterprises and SAP’s ERP system. Since its inception, SAP has upgraded its on-premise editions of SAP S/4HANA annually to introduce different advances and additions to the platform. The upgrades include the 1511, 1610, 1709, 1809 and recently the 1909 releases.

These upgrades are centered on machine learning and automation. In the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release, SAP went a step further and ingrained these capabilities into the platform’s core. SAP calls this the digital core. It is an innovative architecture that embeds system intelligence and automation to help companies handle different practices on the SAP S/4HANA platform.

This blog covers the elements that set the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release apart from other versions.

Foundations of the Digital Core

The digital core that sets SAP S/4HANA 1909 release apart from other upgrades is ingrained in the following aspects:

  1. An architecture with a scalable foundation to allow the highest automation levels.
  2. An intelligence system that steers and supports different functions using simulation, prediction support, embedded analytics and prediction to run a live business.
  3. An end-to-end experience which can be adopted, implemented and consumed faster than other SAP S/4HANA releases.
  4. An open architecture that allows the adoption and connectivity of microservices.

Elements That Make the Digital Core Intelligent

The SAP S/4HANA 1909 release is renowned as an intelligent ERP system. The following are the elements that make this S/4HANA version intelligent:

  • A digital age user experience: the conversational user interface of the S/4HANA 1909 and its natural language processing permits users to have a hands-free ERP platform.
  • The automation of business functions: automation in business systems is focused on the bottom line to help minimize costs while maximizing returns. The digital core’s objective is the automation of 50% of business’ ERP functions within three years of its introduction to the market.
  • The next business’ processes generation: the digital core has a streamlined design and a novel technology. It aims to increase a company’s top line by introducing an infrastructure that allows the complete rethinking of its service tasks and value creation.

Highlights of the SAP S/4HANA 1909 Release for Different Sectors

The S/4HANA 1909 release introduces fifth wave innovations in the business world. In it, SAP has expanded its core and re-designed its data model to enable clients to benefit from some of the latest changes. While the release covers all industries and lines of business, the following tidbits will focus on a few select sectors and lines of business and how the changes in the S/4HANA 1909 version have impacted them.

Manufacturing

In manufacturing, the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release has a pMRP (predictive material resource planning) application. This allows users to forecast their component demands. The primary benefit of this application is the reduction of inventory carrying expenses. The pMRP uses simple MRP logic that supports collaborative planning and comprises simulations deriving capacity and component demands on all stages.

For the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release to process simulations, it produces simplified data that mirrors your operative data for MRP. This data will be used as the reference data in the pMRP. One set of data can generate multiple simulations.

pMRP in Hana 1909

Another highlight of the S/4HANA 1909 release for manufacturing is the comprehensive functionality for aATP {advanced available to promise}. This allows additional vertical consumption approaches in product allocation structures. You can, therefore, use one product allocation object multiple times in one allocation sequence to model new consumption tactics for a product allocation check.

Finance

In the business finance line, an innovation of SAP S/4HANA 1909 release that stands out is the group reporting.  We covered this a few months back in detail HERE. We will again point out why this type of reporting is such an innovation… Most companies face issues in the group close procedure that delay the closing of their books and their financial reporting. Though the group reporting feature has been in use since September 2018, the same in S/4HANA 1909 addresses two bottlenecks in finance. These include matrix consolidation and intercompany reconciliation.

SAP group Reporting Hana 1909

SAP also delivers financial planning with their analytics cloud in the S/4HANA 1909 release. This single access point allows finance experts to analyze non-financial and financial information transparently. No solution beats the SAP analytics cloud in getting real-time and actionable business insights in a user-friendly manner.

Sales and Distribution

The S/4HANA 1909 enables the workflow of your sales documents in sales and distribution. This new feature boosts the efficiency of the sales process by generating workflow for credit memo requests, and sales quotations and orders. The feature also allows the display and management of approval displays in” my inbox”. Users of the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release can also receive notifications when approving their workflow processing and adjust the same for credit memo requests and the new approval of sales documents. Moreover, they can easily navigate from the approval workflow to their sales order document.

The S/4HANA 1909 release has also made the sales and distribution process intelligent. Users can now monitor delivery performance using the predictive analysis of the release. This allows the in-time sourcing of procurement procedures ranging from transportation planning, packing, picking and shipping.

Extended Warehouse Management

With its focus on extended warehouse management, the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release eases the integration of warehouse and production procedures. As such, users can now have a continuous integration between warehouse management and repetitive manufacturing.

The S/4HANA 1909 also adds a new embedded replenishment strategy named Kanban that eases stock transfer. With the policy in place, your warehouse tasks associated with the replenishment of kanban containers are automatically handled when a user sets his/her kanban container to empty. S/4HANA 1909 users also have a choice of confirming their warehouse tasks on the extended warehouse management or a kanban app.

Hana 1909 Kanban

Environment, Health and Safety

There is a new emissions forecasting feature in the SAP S/4HANA 1909 version. This helps those in the environment, health and safety sector to visualize their environmental risks. The system will forecast a process’ emission statistics value using machine learning predictive models. These models are based on the historical data of the process in question. The values will be graphically shown in the US for a defined period.

Product Compliance

There is a new analytics Fiori App known as the ‘impact of monitoring lists’ available on the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release. The products compliance sector can use this feature to track substances and their effects on suppliers, production and sales. Users can integrate the dangerous goods management feature into their sales and distribution process. In so doing, they can check their relevant classified goods during their sales order processing and quotation. If they do not have any compliant transportation for the goods, the sales items are blocked.

Inventory Management

SAP S/4HANA 1909 also has a new Fiori App for non-moving or slow materials’ This enables the inventory management department to display the prediction for their slow-moving or non-moving items in relation to the upcoming production of materials.

The S/4HANA 1909 also has a new app for the inventory management sectors that displays obsolete stock. It is called the” deadstock analysis” app. It supports the daily operations of inventory managers to achieve the highest levels of inventory accuracy while optimizing inventory situations in stocks.

Engineering and Research and Development

The access control management feature of the S/4HANA 1909 release will boost compliance with external and internal regulations and guidelines. It also allows users in the engineering and research and development sectors to protect their data while controlling its access in the initial and detail-design phases. These include the 3D and 2D design parts, product structures and documents that should be confidential.

Procurement and Sourcing

Intelligence in procurement and supply is introduced by the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release as the SAP CoPilot digital assistant. Intelligence is also available in the needed help for the execution of procurement processes. In procurement and sourcing, the 1909 release uses machine learning algorithms that resolve issues while automating processes.

Industry to Core-Utilities

To decrease data redundancy, SAP has expanded its core with the S/4HANA 1909 release. In the utilities sector, for instance, the company has introduced the ‘Utilities Product Simplification’. This comprises new energy products that give product managers a centralized product management tool and a spontaneous user experience. The managers can hence define and control their energy products.

The ‘Simplified Management of Sales Contracts for Utilities’ feature in the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release is also crucial for the utilities sector. It eliminates the replication of data and removes middleware to streamline a system’s architecture. In so doing, the user has an all-round view of his/her utilities sales contract management and a simplified process configuration.

Summary

With the 1909 release of SAP S/4HANA, SAP continues to focus on delivering leading-edge value in three key areas: intelligent automation, insight and prediction, and next-generation best practices. SAP S/4HANA 1909 is the Intelligent Enterprise Foundation and brings many new and innovative capabilities to the market.

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