It has not been more than a few months since I suggested to put SAP S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud on our shortlist. I call myself a lucky guy being part of SAP implementations from first inception to go-live several times, but this was a special one. The leap of faith we took as was stated by Björn in his blog: "No guts, no glory – co-innovation with SAP" has never been part of my SAP implementations before so let me share some of our experiences with you.
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As an early adaptor in the world of SAP Fiori we know the power of the beauty and simplicity of the new SAP user experience. And then what a treat you get when you start using S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud. Most joy and pleasure comes to the users. The new Fiori2.0 screens just invites you to dive into it. You can even customise in the ‘Manage your solution’ app. No ‘back-end’ access, but who needs that when you have all of this!
Now I can hear you say: ‘Okay, it looks fine but can it really do something for my business?’ And again, we were not disappointed. It’s true that it takes a whole other approach; from the earlier ‘your business wish is our command’, adopting cloud software is all about fit to standard. We will tell you what this means for our SAP consultants in another blog.
Professional Services is our business, we live it and S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud was founded to support the way we want to do our business. We have better possibilities than ever before to follow the performance of our project. The users have never had a better way of time writing and our project finance KPIs are visible in real-time, providing the instant insight SAP has promised the HANA technology would bring.
Of course, the pace in which SAP is developing S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud also causes some areas being more mature than others. Take integration. We integrate our S/4HANA solution as the digital core in a cloud-only landscape. We will also explain more of that later. The release strategy for S/4HANA APIs is mainly focused to support the integration within the SAP product portfolio first, so when connecting to SuccessFactors, Ariba or Cloud4Customer you will get the job done with standard, white-listed integration content. However, we have made other choices for the HR, CRM and Service Desk domains. Then finding, mapping and activating the right APIs takes some more effort. We managed to connect our most important dataflow, the time sheets, and will do more.
Reporting is another challenge. Where SAP has designed the product around projects we also want to report from the organisational angle. Are the different business units doing well on their KPIs and what about the teams or even individual employees? This requires to dig around in the views that are provided and combining them to our needs. Good thing is that you can expose them as services and report in all common tools including Excel.
The good thing of the 3-month innovation cycle for the S/4HANA Cloud products is that it provides opportunity to grow each quarter. But also in the current functionality we can still find room to improve on the support that is delivered for the business processes. Especially the extension tools provide room to expand and tailor the solution to our changing needs. We are looking forward to the next release and are constantly triggered to improve. We are proud to tell we are using S/4HANA Professional Services Cloud and are willing to share more. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org