To build an Intelligent Enterprise Suite, it is important to streamline and simplify implementation of all SAP Cloud solutions. SAP Central Business Configuration is a new tool that will help us in achieving this simplification and also help our customers implement all SAP Cloud solutions centrally. As a first step, SAP S/4HANA Cloud is connected with SAP Central Business Configuration.
All SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers, who have signed the contract post December 2020 will be provisioned with SAP Central Business Configuration.
In this blogpost, I would like to give you an overview of SAP Central business Configuration.
Limitations with “Manage your Solution”
From the time SAP S/4HANA Cloud was released, Fiori application “Manage your Solution” was used for system set up. This application acted as gateway to set up SAP S/4HANA Cloud i.e. to manage configurations, test cases and test plans for the business processes. Furthermore, phases in “Manage your Solution” was closely linked to SAP S/4HANA Cloud Quality and Production System provisioning.
Figure 1: Screenshot of Fiori Application “Manage Your Solution”
Though “Manage your solution” simplified the concept of ERP implementation, there was a huge dependency on SAP Support Teams. System provisioning (including organizational structure definition) and Solution extensions (i.e. addition of new countries and scope) are 2 main areas where this dependency was highly visible. Now let’s understand the process followed for customers using “Manage your solution” for system provisioning and solution extensions.
System Provisioning with “Manage your Solution”
Customers raise the request for Q system from the Fiori application “Manage your Solution” in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter System. Once the Q system is received, the IT Administrator from customer creates the preset configuration user to complete the system set up. This user driven initial implementation is based on one country/region and scope bundle. Customer must select one Country/Region, Scope bundle, Leading Ledger (IFRS/non-IFRS), Organizational Structure, Group Currency and Fiscal Year Variant during the Preset phase.
This content maintained in the system is also updated in the Q-System provisioning questionnaire and Organizational Structure Definition template. These templates are then updated in the incident, raised on the component XX-S4C-OPR-SRV for system activation.
Many of SAP’s customers have multi-country rollouts. With “Manage your Solution” approach, there is limitation of activating only 3 countries at the time of setting up Quality system. The organizational structure definition template is updated for all 3 countries and is then shared with SAP Service Center via incident for activation.
Overall, approximately 3-5 business days was required for the Q system provisioning and content activation (per country/region).
Solution extension to include more countries/regions and scope
Again, the customer or their implementation partner had to raise an incident, specifying the country and relevant organizational structure definition template to SAP Service Center. As per the standard SLA, each country activation took approximately 3 days.
Customers/Implementation partners also had dependency on the SAP Service Center to enhance the scope i.e. activate non-standard or priced scope items.
The effort put in by SAP Service Center to get the system provisioned and content activated is very high. Also, in case the project manager missed to factor in the dependency on SAP Service team, the complete project plan would get derailed, causing delays. Our customers and implementation partner have raised this as one of their concerns with cloud implementation.
SAP Central Business Configuration will now replace the Fiori application “Manage your Solution” and give our customers/implementation partner more control over the project so that they have flexibility to enhance the scope and define organizational structures as per their need. Not to forget, the entire implementation process is further simplified.
Empowering SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers with SAP Central Business Configuration
SAP Central Business Configuration is aimed to make SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation customer- driven.
Let’s understand SAP Business Configuration first. It comprises of four pillars, built on the foundation of SAP Best Practices and Business Adaptation Catalog (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Components of SAP Central Business Configuration
- Project Experience: gives guided approach towards implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It clearly outlines the different steps to be followed by customer/implementation partner in sequence.
- Scoping: provides flexibility to choose Countries/Regions and Scope depending on customer requirement
- Central Configuration: ability to configure End-to-End Business processes.
- Business Configuration Workspaces: ability to manage parallel projects and company roll-outs via templates. This functionality is planned in the future release.
The baseline for all four pillars is SAP Best Practices pre-configuration content and Business Adaptation Catalog (BAC).
To summarize, though Manage Your Solution helped customers in their implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the desired flexibility for customers was missing and SAP Central Business Configuration is expected to fulfill this expectation.
In the next blogpost, I will explain about Project Experience and Scoping. I will also detail out how SAP Central Business Configuration is helping customers in their SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation.