Jul 31, 2018

Insider Buzz from SAP Sapphire 2018

SAP® CEO Bill McDermott announced his Top 10 highlights for the SAP Sapphire 2018 experience:

  • Data foundation
  • Platform for innovation
  • Single view for the consumer
  • Intelligent ERP
  • Total workforce management
  • Industry 4.0
  • Business networks
  • Advanced analytics
  • Augmented
  • Humanity Integration

Empowering through automation and intelligent enterprise

A fundamental theme of SAP Sapphire 2018 centered around SAP being the best run business that will make the world run better. This will be accomplished through empowering employees through process automation. Automating complex processes like matching invoices with payment matching, approvals and many others. This automation allows the employee to focus on more meaningful work.

SAP reviewed the enhancements to their intelligent enterprise. SAP wants to enable customers to use the intelligent enterprise as a means of effectively using data assets to achieve desired outcomes faster.

SAP is creating personalized and unique customer experiences using chatbots and voice technologies. The intelligent enterprise is the first hands free ERP with predictive analytics that improve decision making. This includes a whole new level of optimization that includes automatic adaption and learning based on successes and failures.

The artificial intelligence is embedded in the entire SAP platform to include the following applications:

  • C/4HANA
  • Concur
  • Fieldglass
  • SuccessFactors
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Shifting from IoT to Artificial Intelligence

The transition to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology from the Internet of Things (IoT) was announced and will reside under the Leonardo release umbrella. They have embedded the intelligence into the business itself.

SAP has connected the demand chain to the supply chain. They have announced an open enterprise where they can launch non-SAP applications as well. This allows business networks to extend the processes so companies can save millions of hours of productivity. Machine learning is connected from the design, to engineering, to the manufacturing, and then the operation of the products. SAP has made this real for customers today. It will make recommendations based on past successes and failures. This is built on the foundation of the HANA data management suite.


The key to SAP’s success with the intelligent enterprise is tightly tied to the S/4HANA adoption.

SAP started with S/4HANA as the core and integrated with both CRM and commerce solutions from Hybris. This gives SAP more intelligence about what the customers need.

With the new release of C/4HANA, SAP is moving from a 360-degree view of sales automation to a 360-degree view of the actual customer. It addresses today’s revolutionary forces that trust is not given but it is earned. This solution puts people, not transactions at the center of your business.

The world of enterprise business suite applications for SAP is changing. They will no longer have data in memory organized in columns. SAP’s vision is focused on S/4HANA Public Cloud, and the future of SAP resides in the three following product offerings:

  • S/4HANA Public Cloud
  • S/4HANA Private Cloud
  • S/4HANA on premises
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Additional SAP product solutions announced

SAP Fiori is a role based, consumer grade user experience across all lines of the business. This allows the user to have the same design for all applications across the on-premises and cloud solutions.

SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration was part of the training on the main floor. It covered the cloud based marketplace for business to business transactions. The network provides one network for buyers and suppliers to do business.

SAP SuccessFactors is an HR module that helps with job matching, resume matching, and career planning.

The SAP Fieldglass product assists with job normalization, job seeker resume ranking, and total workforce insights.

The SAP Concur offering helps with itineraries, expenses, invoice processing, and expense approvals.

SAP held demonstrations of their SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service which provides the easiest lowest risk gateway to distributed ledger technology in the cloud. It allows you to prototype, test, and build blockchain applications and smart contracts.

SAP’s Manufacturing and Supply chain highlights the ability to do demand sensing, predictive maintenance, and advanced forecast accuracy. Other benefits would be smart worker enablement on the shop floor and predictive overall equipment effectiveness.

SAP indirect access and the ERP pricing model

SAP licensing and Indirect Access took a back seat at the conference this year. The few sessions that addressed the topic, presented indirect access using the document based ERP pricing model released in April of 2018. SAP has also agreed to separate audit and sales.

The goal of SAP is to have a fair licensing model that customers understand and support to win their trust back. Overall this is not just a new pricing model, it is an overall change in how SAP licensing is handled.

Some of the biggest questions are understanding the rules behind the generation of documents, and what circumstances are counted and how that is tracked by SAP. The real challenge for customers is how to differentiate between a mix of on-premises and cloud licenses. SAP has agreed to find a solution for this by the end of July 2018.

The ERP pricing model describes how indirect access occurs when a non-SAP system triggers the creation of a process or document inside of SAP. SAP will allow you to purchase a package of licenses for the following 9 document types:

  • Sales
  • Invoice
  • Purchase
  • Service & Maintenance
  • Manufacturing
  • Quality Management
  • Time Management
  • Financial
  • Material Documents

The license is calculated based on the initial document create date. The Read, Update, or Delete Documents are not counted. The named user model is still in play for the human to machine access, and no additional license is needed when an SAP application accesses SAP.

Moving forward, there are three main options for existing SAP customers:

  • Option 1 is to do nothing and keep your current contract.
  • Option 2 is to do a license exchange to document based licensing.
  • Option 3 is to do a contract conversion. This is helpful for customers who want to consolidate and simplify their old contracts. SAP will be offering tools that will measure and monitor indirect access in the fall of 2018. This will be certainly helpful concerning with the release of all the data intensive scenarios that the SAP Leonardo could potentially bring into the picture.
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Topics: Industry News + Events, SAP