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What is SAP S/4HANA?

The SAP HANA platform has been available since 2010. SAP applications such as SAP ERP and SAP Business Suite can run on the SAP HANA database or other supported database systems. 

Here, let's briefly talk about what SAP ERP and SAP Business Suite mean. 

SAP ERP stands for “enterprise resource planning.” ERP software includes programs all core business areas, such as procurement, production, materials management, sales, marketing, finance, and human resources. SAP Business Suite is a bundle of business applications that provide integration of information and processes, collaboration, industry-specific functionality and scalability. SAP Business Suite is based on SAP's technology platform called NetWeaver. S/4HANA is SAP's most influential update to its ERP strategy and platform in over two decades. 

What are the main advantages of SAP S/4HANA? 

First of all, SAP designed S/4HANA to drive instant value across lines of business and industries with the ultimate sophistication. SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to reinvent business models and drive new revenues and profits. 

First opportunity, enterprises can now easily connect to people, devices, and business networks to deliver new value to their customers on any channel – the Internet of Things and Big Data have become accessible to any business. 

Second, enterprises can dramatically simplify their processes, drive them in real-time and change them as needed to gain new efficiencies – no more batch processing is required. 

And finally, business users can now get any insight on any data from anywhere in real-time: planning, execution, prediction, and simulation – decisions may be made on the fly with a high level of granularity for faster business impact. 

From an IT perspective, SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to simplify the environment and help reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) with SAP HANA as the major simplifier. 

First, organizations can now reduce their data footprint. Thus, they work with larger datasets in a single system and save hardware costs, operating costs, time. As a result, independent industry or application functionality is reintegrated with SAP S/4HANA. 

Second, innovation is also made simple by leveraging an open platform like SAP HANA Cloud Platform to drive advanced applications – for example, predicting, recommending, and simulating – while protecting existing investments. 

Third, users can benefit from a simple, role-based user experience based on modern design principles that increase efficiency where decisions are made. 

And finally, enterprises get a choice of deployment: cloud, on-premise, and even support of hybrid scenarios to drive quick time-to-value and reflect the current reality of customer solution landscapes. 

What is new in SAP S/4HANA? 

In November 2015, SAP delivered a massive wave of simplification and innovation in the core of SAPS/4HANA. With this delivery, enterprises can drive unprecedented business value with innovative use-cases – in core financial and operational areas such as logistics – taking full advantage of a simplified data model and a responsive user experience. 


Key innovations 

  • Optimized working capital with new accounts payables and receivables cockpits 

  • Decreased stock buffers with the simplified data model in inventory management for real-time, high-volume processing 

  • Increased visibility with real-time stock and material flow insight 

  • Reduced manufacturing cycle time with the streamlined material flow for internal requirements (MRP) 

  • Augmented reactivity with real-time monitoring of production orders regarding flow and critical issues 

  • Improved operational decisions with a simple simulation of supply alternatives 

  • Lower procurement costs with standard integration to the Ariba Business Network 

  • Better customer service with new sales order fulfilment cockpit for instantly identifying bottlenecks and issues 

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