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February 10, 2017

SAP puts a fresh face on S/4 HANA Cloud with analytics & AI

Continuous integration and plenty of updates coming to the ERP suite.

By James Nunns

Cloud, machine learning and digital assistants, are three of the hottest topics in the tech industry at the moment and SAP has decided to go after all three of them in a raft of updates to the S/4 HANA Cloud.

For those wondering what S/4 HANA Cloud is, it’s basically S/4 HANA with Cloud added onto it. The ERP suite could already run in the cloud but the idea seems to make this a little bit clearer with a slight change of branding.

SAP is rolling out a number of updates that should effectively help to provide more automated insight into all the data that a company is collecting in the ERP system.

The company says that it has a new architecture of in-memory technology that in combination with things like contextual analytics, digital assistant capabilities, machine learning and SAP Fiori, the S/4 HANA cloud will enable customers to, “instantly adjust and adopt business processes and models and act on real-time insight and advice.”

SAP say’s that the ERP suite is now ready for the upper midmarket and large enterprises to run in the cloud, suggesting that perhaps it wasn’t ready beforehand, or that it could but the company has now made it better at doing this.

S/4HANA Cloud Finance.

S/4HANA Cloud Finance.

Darren Roos, president of SAP S/4HANA Cloud said: “SAP S/4HANA Cloud encompasses the latest architecture and technology innovations, along with SAP’s proven set of business management expertise to usher in a true new generation of intelligent ERP in the cloud.”

Updates to the suite include things like the Professional Services Cloud, which is aimed at being able to deliver end-to-end project management, and the Finance Cloud, which SAP is calling an easy-to-use modern finance solution that includes procurement and order management capabilities in addition to being able to support large enterprises and subsidiaries.

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The final update is the Enterprise Management Cloud, this element is designed to combine professional services and finance capabilities for “comprehensive real-time business management.”

Although SAP may have a bit of an image of an old world tech company it’s been making significant efforts to change this. The addition of the latest ‘hot’ tech innovations is one sign of this, another is that it’s going to change for continuous integration.

This will take the form of quarterly updates, with some adding vertical editions and also various new functions.

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