Client Landscape in the SAP S/4 HANA Roadmap—Where does it fit and what‘s the direction?

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A deep dive into a sample client landscape understanding the processes in line to the latest SAP S/4 HANA Product updates

SAP S/4 HANA buzz is already around with clients, preparing for S/4 HANA Journey understanding the “Why,” “What,” “Paths,” “Value,” etc. considering the current RDBMS (Relational database management systems) product portfolio support by SAP till 2025 only. This blog shares my point of view taking sample client landscape (new dimensional modules) where each SAP Module or business process fits into the S/4 HANA Product roadmap.

Intended audience: SAP Consultants, Architects, SMEs

Let us deep dive into a sample client landscape understanding the processes in line to latest SAP S/4 HANA product updates with respect to features, solutions and capabilities with all its direction, limitations, and advantages so that we get an idea about how to position SAP S/4 HANA to clients in the right path.

After careful evaluation, we need to advise a step-by-step approach considering the client’s digital strategy in order to have a smooth transition to SAP S/4 HANA.

SAP S/4 HANA digital strategy or approach varies considering the client requirements, business processes complexity, future business roadmap, innovations supported by leadership, competitive pressures and last but not the least value generation by adopting SAP S/4 HANA.

SAP S/4 HANA product support with respect to the client landscape:

Let us assume client landscape consists of new dimensional modules: SAP TM, SAP EM, SSM, MDG, GRC, SOLMAN, APO, SRM, EP, BW, BO, BPC, etc. We need to understand if these processes are optimized within SAP S/4 HANA or not and its future innovations. Below are the findings but kindly note continuous product updates from SAP flowing in as we speak that needs to be tracked from time to time to serve clients with utmost attention:

1. SAP Transportation Management (TM): Integration of SAP S/4HANA with embedded transportation management (TM) and with embedded extended warehouse management (EWM)—Future direction (2017– 2019).

2. SAP Event Management (EM): SAP EM, an optional module can be used with SAP TM. We need to understand the extent of the client usage and its processes. SAP EM can also be used within SAP SCM (APO).

  • No direct deployment on S/4 HANA is possible. No plans to integrate EM into S/4 HANA as on today by SAP.
  • But the application interface is available in SAP HANA, i.e. we can integrate it with an external EM system (as add-on to ERP) for projects like SAP HANA live/analytics for EM which SAP currently supports.

3. SAP Business Objects Strategy Management (SSM) 10.1Latest:

  • Standalone platform (any DB)—No need HANA DB.
  • This application can be integrated with:
  1. SAP Business Objects Planning and Consolidation (BPC) to extract budget and financial information for strategic initiatives and KPIs
  2. GRC risk management module to obtain key risk indicators
  3. BW to obtain any required information
  4. Business objects BI reporting tools to complement the strategic information with advanced dashboards and reports functionality
  • Used for KPI modeling, performance scorecard management, benchmarking, strategic planning, objective modeling, goal-setting, etc.

4. SAP Master Data Governance (MDG):

  • SAP MDG 9.0 EHP8 ECC 6.0 SPS02 (latest) integrated with SAP S/4HANA 1610
  • Deployment architecture of SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) is based on the following main technical components:

Option 1: Deployment based on SAP ERP/suite on HANA:

i. A SAP ERP application system (ECC Server) based on SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP that contains the SAP MDG application

ii. A SAP HANA system that serves as database for the SAP MDG application data (or any other supported database) and also used for searching and matching scenarios. The SAP Landscape Transformation (SLT) replication server for replicating master data for MDG scenarios (only if a separate SAP HANA system is used).

Option 2: Deployment based on SAP S/4HANA:

i. SAP S/4HANA application system (S/4HANA Server) containing the SAP MDG application.

Depending on the aimed business scenario, additional SAP or NON-SAP application systems need to be integrated.

5. SAP Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC):

  • At least GRC 10.1 needed (supports HANA as well as HTML5 and UI5—Fiori capabilities) with at least SAP NW 7.4 system to integrate this with SAP HANA live DB for user provisioning
  • Supported with SAP S/4 HANA Finance 1605 OR SAP S/4 HANA 1610 with a future direction (2017 – 2019) for GRC sub-components as part of planned and future innovations

6. SAP SOLMAN 7.2 on HANA (Application Lifecycle Management Tool):

  • SAP Solution Manager 7.2 (latest) is the right choice for SAP S/4 HANA (SUM SP19 latest)
  • Ensuring SAP Solution Manager system is upgraded to version 7.2 with the Software Update Manager (SUM) of DMO (Data Migration Option)
  • With SUM of DMO SPS19, part of SL—Software Logistics toolset SPS 19: important to combine update of SAP Solution Manager to 7.2 with migration to SAP HANA database.

Key summary:

The above detailed analysis is just one part of SAP S/4 HANA products assessment in line to the client landscape. Much more detailed analysis needed to understand the client use cases with respect to each module, systems details, transactions usage, associated business processes, customizations, and integration with SAP/non-SAP systems so that we can lay the right roadmap with approaches, recommendations, prerequisites, etc. for the client’s SAP S/4 HANA journey. There are tools in place to do the S/4 HANA assessment but some crucial details will be missed and those details should be captured by us to stay on top of that and to provide value to clients.

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