March 23, 2017

Lets Figure Out How to Get the Best Returns from SAP S/4HANA

Modern enterprises generate, collect, and store a ton of data. They also invest heavily in tech-projects that automate and integrate business functions. Despite these efforts, many struggle to generate timely insights, optimize processes and improve their operating income. All of this makes tech investments harder to justify in boardrooms that are incentivized to chase numbers and seek immediate ROIs.

SAP S/4HANA suite now available on cloud or on-premise uses big data and analytics, and harnesses the power of mobile devices, business networks and third-party systems, to provide real-time decision support. The suite simplifies and improves businesses processes in ways that improve operating performance.


Capturing those gains requires the suite to be integrated into an existing business. What that journey looks like will depend on current infrastructure and desired state. Each company's objectives will vary and therefore the route to a successful implementation of SAP S/4HANA will be determined on a case-by-case basis. One development that will make the solution appealing is that Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure are now offering S4 on their platforms. This expands significantly the cloud options available to customers and creates opportunities for S/4HANA.

The benefits of better decision-making and improved performance will be felt across many functions where SAP S/4HANA can play a starring role:

  • Supply chains, for example, can quickly react to deviations, new trends, and emerging opportunities if they have visibility about operations, customers, and markets. SAP S/4HANA acts as the core solution that connects stakeholders across the supply chain to provide the necessary visibility. More specifically, the suite can help develop capabilities for demand-driven business planning, response and supply orchestration, intelligent logistics, and order fulfillment. As a result, enterprises are able to accelerate the material requirements planning process to reduce days in inventory, build advanced available-to-promise checks that lead to improved order fulfillment capabilities, and do a whole lot more, all of which increases efficiencies and reduces operational costs.
  • As a customer-facing function, marketing is becoming more and more complex. An increasing number of layers, platforms, and components are being added to the mix every day. SAP S/4HANA simplifies all this. The suite lets business partners and customers exchange data, and provides advanced consumer and customer profiling options. Its editable flow-based campaign designs and end-to-end customer journey manager help managers spend more time strategizing campaigns instead of managing tasks.
  • While supply chain and marketing functions create, promote, and deliver the products, it is the finance function that connects the various departments and divisions. SAP S/4HANA accesses a wide pool of data to seamlessly create reports that help make decisions about purchasing, production, and pricing. The suite automates reporting and controlling processes and saves managerial resources. It also provides a holistic picture of the business, in real-time.

I've highlighted the impact that SAP S/4HANA can have on a few business functions, but its role across the enterprise as a digital core connecting and simplifying processes is significantly greater. Implementing the suite does require a bit of planning. Having an experienced partner to guide you will help you figure out how to get the best returns and give your business the competitive edge it needs. Meet with our experts at SAPPHIRE NOW in 2017 to determine your implementation strategy.

Akhilesh Tiwari is the Global Head of the SAP Practice at Tata Consultancy Services. He is responsible for driving the business growth and strategic direction of the SAP team – a dedicated group of talented consultants who work in close collaboration with SAP and TCS industry experts to design, implement and execute enterprise-wide projects for many Fortune 500 companies. Under his guidance, TCS has strengthened its long-standing relationship with SAP and delivered market-leading results for clients.