SAP on Tuesday debuted its new Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. The application is built on SAP’s in-memory platform SAP HANA and sports a number of new features and workflows, as well as a newly-designed user interface.
“It is basically a new iteration of the business suite,” Simo Said, VP and global head for SAP Enterprise Applications and User Experience, told CRM Buyer.
“It has a new code line, new user interface and experience, and a simplified data model,” he said. The features, on top of the in-memory platform HANA, is a major shift for SAP and the larger industry, he added — similar to the same shift caused by SAP’s introduction of R/3 in the 1990s.
Many of the changes were simplifications of certain functions. For example, Said noted that some of the accounting processes were trimmed to two steps from eight for certain tasks. In general, “customers have much more flexibility to change business processes as they go along.”
Planning, execution, predictions and simulation in most business environments, by necessity, are done quickly. Business Suite 4 SAP HANA supports that — in part due to the real-time processing provided by HANA.
At the same time, Said continued, “customers are still, while they are moving through the process, getting detailed insights from the data.”
The end result, he concluded, is a steady stream of real-time insights about the business that is further leveraged by the business suite tools and features.
There were also important upgrades made from an IT perspective, Said also noted. Previously, the user interface was heavily focused on transactions. “In this version we have shifted to a modern user experience — but one that is role-based and personalized.”
SAP S/4HANA is available on cloud, on premise, and with hybrid deployment options. The new release is currently generally available.
The application is also mobile friendly, with a mobile-specific user interface and an application that renders on almost any device.
Building on Past Innovations
This release follows SAP’s debut of its Simple Finance in June 2014. There too, SAP leveraged its HANA in-memory platform so users could benefit from instant insights in the finance function.
Then, later in 2014, SAP released SAP HANA service pack 9, which included a number of innovations, including multi-tenancy that simplified provisioning and management of multiple database workloads on premise and in the cloud; dynamic tiering, a scalable, integrated tiering option to manage very large data sets; and smart data integration and smart data quality features.
Last month it rolled out a SAP HANA Big Data Intelligence rapid-deployment process, aimed at helping companies implement SAP products in the cloud, on-premise or in hybrid landscapes as quickly as possible.
It also recently collaborated with Raab Associates, Inc. to create a marketing gap analysis tool to give marketers personalized recommendations on focus areas of investment for their organization.
Going forward, SAP plans to expand its portfolio of cloud solutions, including those from SAP companies such as Ariba, Fieldglass and SuccessFactors.