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Will S/4HANA have features that ECC 6.0 is missing ?

This is possibly a stupid question but it has been bugging me for quite some time and I don't really see a non-marketing answer anywhere.

We all know that S/4HANA's power "is exceeded only by its mystery", it's the fastest, cutting-edge, can do a month close in 3.5 seconds, blah, blah, blah. But the platform or UI aside, will it actually have better features than ECC 6.0 when it comes to running the business process?

As we know, there are "missing features" in ECC (just one random example), some of which are acknowledged in the SAP Notes. There are also some things that, let's be honest, ECC could do better. So the question is: will (are?) these missing features or better ones be delivered in S/4HANA then?

At least some of the missing/underdeveloped features seem like legitimate business needs, which I doubt will go away regardless of The Cloud.

Thank you.

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4 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Aug 07 at 08:26 PM

    Hi Jelena,
    Good to see you ;o)
    Yes, there's unfortunately quite a lot of missing features in S/4HANA.

    There's multiple reasons for this:

    - The feature is still underdevelopment
    - The feature is not required by enough customers based on industry / geography / environment
    - The feature is available or will be available in a product other than S/4HANA, some even non-SAP
    - The feature is no longer relevant

    Examples include:
    - External tax engine supported by Vertex (especially in the US)
    - Product Costing and Simulation with incomplete master data is now supported by Product Lifecycle Costing

    One good way to identify them it to look for "target architecture" in the S/4HANA Simplification List:
    https://help.sap.com/doc/4698ca4ad85a4a24994b2016f366cc77/1709%20000/en-US/SIMPL_OP1709.pdf

    I hope this helps.

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  • Sep 18 at 05:28 AM

    Hi Jelena!

    Thanks for the shout out from Jeremy Good ! You can also find it via this link https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/Fiori/SAP+Fiori+for+S4HANA

    I hope you have come across this one that answers many of your questions? https://blogs.sap.com/2018/04/20/fiori-for-s4hana-top-10-myths-misconceptions-to-avoid

    Generally speaking there is a crazy amount of new stuff in SAP S/4HANA that was never possible in ECC or Business Suite - and a crazy amount of new Fiori content only available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud or SAP S/4HANA. While in some respects S/4HANA Cloud is a more careful journey into existing business processes and traditional SAP industries, it's also a more rapid journey into new innovation possibilities, e.g. Fiori apps are usually available first for Cloud, and innovation features like CoPilot were available for S/4HANA Cloud a year before they were available for the on-premise SAP S/4HANA.

    The new stuff is largely covered in Simplification and also in the Transformation Navigator, Roadmap Viewer etc.

    That's also why we created the Fiori Lighthouse scenarios deck - to point to some of the best and brightest new apps - you can find that at https://blogs.sap.com/2018/01/21/fiori-lighthouse-scenarios-in-sap-s4hana-cloud-and-sap-s4hana ... And yes we plan to update it for 1809 soon. We generally recommend considering a few high business value innovations that you want to include as part of your first wave and then take the roadmap conversation from there.

    IMO a simple place to start if you are converting from ECC that adds business value with minimal change impact on current processes is SAP Fiori apps that contain the words: Manage, Monitor, or Overview Page. These give you a kind of centralised and very flexible dashboard that helps your people and is an easy step-change for end users.

    You may also have already seen a lot content (e.g. on openSAP, Youtube, and SAP sites) coming out under the banner Intelligent Enterprise which gives more of an idea of how S/4HANA is the core enabling the innovation across the enterprise. E.g. Machine Learning, CoPilot, etc.

    Looking at it from a replacement approach (i.e. "missing" features) is not always that helpful - sure it's part of the process but if you are looking at S/4HANA as an upgrade it's really coming from a worst case perspective. The reason not every feature has been automatically put back in is multi-faceted:

    • The new stuff (especially the over 1K Fiori apps - and expect several hundred more in 1809) is mostly rewritten from scratch - so it's not just cleaner it's usually adding new features not just echoing old ones.
    • You can't simplify if you drag all the deadwood with you - so where there's duplication or "bells and whistles" features these are often ditched in favour of a simpler cleaner process.
    • Sometimes those perceived missing features are steps in the roadmap.
    • Or they get added back in because we get customer feedback telling us that yes people really do need that and why, i.e. business impact.
    • If you want to minimize the immediate changes, a lot of the old transactions are still there... as you can find in the Fiori apps reference library under the filter "All Apps for S/4HANA" and many of the Fiori apps even navigate to the old tcodes. If you do find you need the old one, calling a Tcode from the Fiori launchpad, the SAP Easy Access Menu or SAP Menu from the App Finder, or from another app using intent-based navigation is the easiest way to do that.
    • Realistically most business roles will still use a mix of Fiori and GUI for some time. Each S/4HANA version and release increases the amount of Fiori available and reduces the amount of GUI needed.

    Hope that helps. Happy to discuss at Teched Vegas!

    Cheers

    Jocelyn

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    • Thanks for a reply, Jocelyn! Well, we've had mixed success with selling "simpler cleaner process" even with R3, so not holding my breath this time. :)

      I've certainly noticed your blog, it was a very good one. Personally, I suspect I'll be working on the "back end" mostly (automation and interfaces) for a while, so actual business functionality is just more near and dear to me.

  • Aug 07 at 08:37 PM

    Forgot another source: roadmaps.

    If you look into the roadmaps either for S/4HANA or by Industry,
    you'll notice some features that you would except to already be in the system.

    Examples for S/4HANA:
    https://www.sap.com/registration/protected/default-overlay.html?gated_asset_path=/documents/2017/06/b4f98b5d-c37c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa.gate.html#pdf-asset=b4f98b5d-c37c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa&page=6

    - Basic Shipping and Data Harmonization
    (transportation management used to be a separate system and is being retrofitted into the core)
    - Asset Management Breakdown Analysis
    (because of the new Asset Management infrastructure)
    - Recipe Management and Recipe Finder
    (process manufacturing is less frequent than discrete manufacturing)

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  • Sep 14 at 01:32 PM

    Hi Jelena - I guess you are a good 'question asker', because your simple questions are just as thought provoking as the difficult points you raise ;)

    If SAP Fiori for S/4HANA is an interesting aspect for your company evolution/transition from ECC, then I would like to draw your attention to the amazing work done by Jocelyn Dart and her extended team in the collection of content provided within the lesser know SAP Community wiki: https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/x/BBjRGg

    Stay safe in the crazy weather!

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