February 6, 2018 by Christian Pedersen
The latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud update is now available. We’re pleased to announce more intelligent functionality in machine learning, in-memory analytics, in-context collaboration, and much more.
New features will bring impact to the entire enterprise, including all-new abilities for finance, procurement, sales, manufacturing, and professional services. Here’s how your feedback shaped this release and the next generation of intelligent cloud ERP.
Crowdsourcing Improvement Requests Using Customer Influence
Starting February 12, customers can influence product innovation for SAP S/4HANA Cloud by submitting improvement requests using the Customer Influence site. In addition to submitting new requests, users can explore existing improvement requests and vote on them on the site. This engagement shows SAP which requests are of the most interest for their customers. A comment section enables customers to interact with each other as well as with SAP’s Product Management. Furthermore, SAP is planning to integrate the Customer Influence site to SAP S/4HANA Cloud software during the first quarter of 2018 by using SAP CoPilot, the company’s digital assistant software. Customers would then be able to submit improvement requests within the application.
Gathering, analyzing, and posting A/R payment information advice from files is time consuming and prone to errors. The new automated payment advice processing is powered by machine learning and SAP Leonardo. You can now turn documents into structured data in your cloud ERP with automated extraction of payment information from PDF documents.
If you’re in a company that wants to monetize IoT, cloud services, or digital content through on-demand payment, meet the SAP S/4HANA Cloud for contract accounting and invoicing. It offers compliant features to automate payments, manage high-volume convergent invoicing, and embedded analytics — all of which optionally integrates with the SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud.
For the first time, accountants can look forward with predictive accounting for incoming sales orders. This automates an update each time a new sales order is created, posting pipeline revenue to a predictive ledger.
Sourcing and Procurement
A new situation handling tool for purchase order confirmations and professional purchases requisition proactively alerts users to risks and automates proactive customer communications when delivery dates are at-risk. You can also benefit from one-click insight into risks and opportunities, and start requisition activities the moment new contracts are created.
The central SAP S/4HANA procurement hub centralizes your purchasing activities with features for contracts, requisitions, purchases, and returns. You can now create and distribute purchases among subsidiaries in a connected ERP backend system, improving conditions with on-demand, local purchases. You’ll also get a graphical overview of documented down payments on purchase orders, which allows drill-down insights to optimize your liabilities and intelligently plan cash flow. Organizations can improve the grip on purchase order spend with a single dashboard in the SAP Analytics cloud.
Sales managers can use machine learning to understand probable orders and predicted sales volume for better forecasting with the predictive quotation conversion rates calculator.
We’ve also added two new features for organizations with sales subsidiaries that don’t manage inventory on-site. Advanced shipment notifications (ASNs) eliminate a lot of manual paperwork by automated purchase orders to headquarters and client invoicing.
New two-tier ERP purchasing feature allows HQ to perform more efficient inventory management by creating automated sales orders when purchase orders are sent by subsidiaries.
The new maintenance planning overview allows you to plan work, monitor time-sensitive processes, and analyze trends time. It’s an all-in-one environment to understand maintenance health and time-sensitive follow-up needs with real-time insight into reports, maintenance orders, and potential bottlenecks.
The technical object damages app provides a 360-degree view of frequent damages and root causes, with both key performance indicators (KPIs) and drill-down features. It’s built to show you which assets have become a bottleneck, and most importantly, help you take corrective action.
Building on release 1708, we’ve also added all-new technical objects for task lists and task lists operations. Say goodbye to manual data entry and meet simpler task management with filters, advanced search, and layout management.
Manufacturing and Supply Chain
SAP S/4HANA Cloud for demand driven replenishment is now certified for compliance with the Demand Driven Institute for demand driven material requirements planning (DDMRP) implementations. Users can protect material flow with features to monitor buffer status and recommendations on replenishment actions. There’s also flexibility when you need to account for seasonality, new product releases, or discontinued products.
There are fewer surprises in store, thanks to the release of new features to track production yield, scrap, and quality in real time. You’ll also gain the ability to confirm complete or partial production, manage quantities with batched production, and record the use of components.
We listened when you said you need more simplicity and transparency over product allocation, including visibility into your sales documents. You can now check allocation against orders, change sales orders, plan quantities, and see quantities assigned to your sales orders — all without charge.
Speaking of visibility, a new statistical process control makes it simpler than ever to monitor processes using quality control charts. We’ve built a lot of freedom and flexibility into features to document, analyze, and monitor with graphs and charts. You can define KPIs, track changes in values over time, and both calculate and set warning limits for upper and lower thresholds, in addition to tools for Shewhart and acceptance stats like mean values, standard deviation, and qualitative characteristics.
Other features in this release include support for remotely monitoring of picking activities — simple, real-time insight into order status and tools for corrective action when there are deviations, delivery cancellations, or goods issues. Finally, you’ll communicate smarter with public APIs for return deliveries and automated messaging for advanced shipping notifications.
Portfolio and Project Management
Project financial controllers need visibility across teams of project managers to monitor these projects’ financial health. With the new overview page, you can understand the present and future. Controllers can easily compare planned and actual costs to date by cost component, understand commitments over time, and access an overview of planned projects.
Professional service firms often elect to offer non-billable services to accommodate use cases like onboarding, client support, meetings, or training. Resource managers now have transparency around non-billable services in the release billing proposal application. You can flexibly plan and verify non-billable hours in work packages and proposals, and automatically write-off these hours before billing the client.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud User Community
The SAP S/4HANA Cloud User Community is an interactive platform available to all SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers, partners, and SMEs to exchange information with one another about products, solutions, and best practices. Customers can gain real time access to information, crowdsourcing for Q&A, and self-service knowledge base, as well as gather advice from peers, partners and experts. Empowering customers to be successful with a new leading-edge product, community members have access to content, support, and resources to drive success through knowledge sharing and collaboration. Users can access community from SAP S/4HANA Cloud using web assistant.
1802 is the first of four releases scheduled for 2018. With three more updates, there’s much more value in store. To learn more, visit the SAP S/4HANA Cloud website or check out our high-level 1802 release videos on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud playlist on YouTube.
Christian Pedersen is chief product officer for SAP Cloud ERP.
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