SAP S/4HANA Cloud: the roadmap

15 August 2016

Julien Delvat

Julien Delvat

SAP S/4HANA Consultant

In order to sustain a rapid innovation cycle, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Edition is SAP’s first application to break from the traditional yearly release schedule to follow a quarterly innovation cycle. In that context, knowing what’s on the horizon and how to stay informed becomes much more important for customers looking at an implementation project.

Keep up with the schedule!

As a true SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), one of the key characteristics of S/4HANA Cloud Edition is the constant delivery of new features. As we speak, version 1605 (i.e. May 2016) has just been released and version 1608 (for August 2016) is around the corner.

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SAP S/4HANA Delivery Schedule. Source: SAP

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The features are published regularly on the SAP service marketplace [1]. These are divided between:

  • Today (already released) “Recent innovations for our solutions that have been launched in the past weeks or months and can already be activated”; 
  • Planned (usually delivered in release +1 ) “Planned innovations for our solutions that are expected to be launched in the short term or midterm”;
  • Future (usually delivered in release +2 or more)  “Future direction provides a long-term perspective on high-level development plans for innovations for our solutions – inspired by your requirements."

Note that all features planned on the road maps are not guaranteed until officially released.

What’s new in 1605?

For the S/4HANA Cloud Edition, select “Cross Topics” and “SAP S/4HANA Cloud” [2]. The current edition supports the following processes:

  • Streamlined Procure to Pay
    • Sourcing and Contract Management
    • Operational Procurement
    • Inventory Management
    • Invoice and Payables Management
  • Accelerated Plan to Product
    • Project Control
    • Basic Production Planning
    • Basic Production Processing
    • Inventory Management
    • Maintenance Management
  • Optimized Order to Cash
    • Order and Contract Management
    • Inventory Management
    • Receivables Processing
  • HR Connectivity
    • Time Recording
  • Core Finance
    • Accounting and Closing Operations
    • Cost Management and Profitability Analysis
  • Project Services
    • Contract to Cash
    • Time and Expense Management
    • Project Management

The detailed scope varies depending on the edition you have selected, either Marketing Cloud, Professional Services Cloud, or Enterprise Management Cloud. Detailed information can be found on the SAP User Assistance website [3].

Influence what’s next

S/4HANA Cloud Edition is still a young solution that may not already cover all your functional requirements. SAP solution management and developers are working very closely with early customers and Lighthouse partners, like Bluefin Solutions, to prioritize the relevant features. If you identify a critical feature that isn’t already part of the published road map, contact a Lighthouse partner and work together with them to make sure they are delivered in line with your project plans.

 

About the author

Julien Delvat

SAP S/4HANA Consultant

With over 15 years’ experience of developing cost management applications at SAP Labs France, coupled with significant experience of architecting, designing and implementing these systems for clients across the globe and industries, Julien is perfectly placed to offer Bluefin’s customers unrivalled expertise in the colliding worlds of finance and technology. It’s not with good reason he’s known as a ‘Costing Geek’!

When it comes to collaborating with clients, Julien likes to get under an organisation’s skin. He wants to know what makes a company tick, what their priorities are and what the reality is on the ground. Doing this assists him to build information systems that reflect their true business needs.

Julien’s contributions to the SAP Financials community have been recognized through publications in professional blogs and journals like SCN.com and SAP Expert, as well as multiple speaking and panel opportunities at conferences like SAP Financials, SAP Controlling, Sapphire / ASUG, and SAP TechEd. He is most passionate about his roles as an ASUG volunteer for the Financials community and as an SAP Mentor, working as a trusted advisor to build new communication channels between SAP and its customers.