Another SAP S/4HANA Cloud release full of exciting innovations, enhancements, and features supporting your intelligent enterprise is here! Today, I am proud to announce the general availability of our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 release which our team of experts has worked eagerly on. As usual, we offer our valued cloud customers the best of the best – a large variety of innovations supporting your intelligent enterprise and helping you to run your business smoothly.
Let me walk you through some of my highlights of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 release in this blog post. But before that, have a look at my video to get an overview of the innovations this release brings to you.
In Finance, we introduce in-house banking for SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced payment management, centralizing and streamlining all payment transactions within a group or company. Here, we minimize the need of external bank accounts by letting subsidiaries keep internal bank accounts that have the same capabilities as external ones, such as bank statements, account settlement, etc. The maintenance of these internal bank accounts has never been this easy! You can settle intercompany payments without using cash, process and monitor all payments centrally, and easily report balances and volumes of payments while also saving bank connectivity costs.
Find out more in Ulrich Hauke’s product release video.
Figure 1: In-house banking for SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced payment management centralizes all payment transactions within a group or company and minimizes the need of external bank accounts.
Another asset worth mentioning in this area is the Group Financial Statement review booklet, which allows group accountants to achieve more transparency in group financial statements. Adding to the first booklet which was shipped in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202, we now build the next review booklet for margin analysis, making it fully configurable with the review booklet designer. Latest updates can be consumed by early adopters, so make sure to sign up here to not miss anything.
For more information about the review booklet released in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202, see here.
Figure 2: The review booklet for margin analysis provides more transparency into the group financial statement.
This release brings a flexible scheduling solution in Supply Chain: Business Process Scheduling supporting a flexible and configurable scheduling framework that is decoupled from a concrete scheduling application and can be used to schedule logistical activities of different business processes. For each logistical activity, the duration, calendar, and time zone are defined within the ‘Configure Activity Attributes’ SAP Fiori application, offering a more granular definition of durations and working times of logistical activities for specific use cases. The integration into business processes in Sales, Stock Transport, Outbound Delivery, and Available-to-Promise helps you to create freely configurable business processes. This way, it enables increased scheduling precision and allows optimized resource utilization.
Markus Oertelt talks more about this in his product release video.
Figure 3: Business Process Scheduling supports a flexible and configurable scheduling framework.
SAP User Experience
In SAP User Experience, we introduce a new integration with Microsoft Teams, supporting collaboration among all SAP S/4HANA Cloud users. The ‘Share to Microsoft Teams’ option allows users to share content based on SAP Fiori elements apps directly to Microsoft Teams. Here’s an example of how this works: A sales manager checks the orders of an important customer and realizes that one of them cannot be delivered on time. In order to quickly resolve this problem, they simply use this new feature to share SAP S/4HANA Cloud data with their co-workers and can easily explain to them what needs to be done through a message in Microsoft Teams. Their co-workers can then directly navigate to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system via the shared link and remove the issue. It doesn’t get easier and more efficient than this!
In SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, this innovation is not yet generally available but is being released as part of the Early Adopter Care Program which enables you to test it first-hand and provide your feedback early on. Sign up here for the program and be the first to use this amazing new feature.
Check out Maria Silipo’s product release video to learn more about this.
Figure 4: The integration with Microsoft Teams provides a smarter way of collaboration among all SAP S/4HANA Cloud users.
Developer Extensibility allows you to create development projects in an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system and enables cloud-ready and upgrade-stable custom ABAP code directly on an SAP S/4HANA Cloud stack, combining the benefits of custom ABAP code with the required restrictions for Cloud readiness and the SAP S/4HANA programming model to build SAP Fiori apps. It supports various use cases such as custom apps calling cloud-released SAP APIs, extension point implementation (cloud BAdIs), and custom CDS views, and delivers flexibility beyond key user extensibility patterns, custom applications, and packaged solutions.
Figure 5: Create development projects in an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system with Developer Extensibility.
In the area of Manufacturing, we ship SAP Quality Issue Resolution, an interactive platform which supports you in solving and preventing quality issues. It offers a consistent, transparent, and standardized way of handling problems based on the 8D methodology and lets you work with customer 8Ds in a user-friendly framework. This way, we move away from disconnected and siloed solutions and enable collaboration between customer and supplier within just one tool. The Quality Notification in SAP S/4HANA Quality Management functions as the starting point from where you can trigger the creation of a new 8D. Information such as material number, defect details, and supplier are then transferred from the quality notification to SAP Quality Issue Resolution. In other words, the problem resolution process is moved from a Quality Notification in SAP S/4HANA to an 8D on SAP Business Technology Platform.
Watch Gerhard Welker’s product release video to learn more.
Figure 6: SAP Quality Issue Resolution supports you in preventing and solving quality issues.
Service in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 offers the capability to trigger the return process in In-house repair. When a customer needs to send a device for repair, customer service representatives have now an option to create a return order by simply using the ‘Return Order’ tile and this triggers the logistics process. It is beneficial for service reps to track the status of device transport. The possibility to start working on the creation and management of a repair quotation while the device is transported to the repair shop reduces efforts and overall processing time.
Find out more in Young-Hwae Koo’s product release video.
Figure 7: In-house repair in Service enables to trigger the customer return process for devices from In-house repair by customer service representatives.
Governance, Risk, and Compliance
With this new release, compliance specialists now benefit from a brand-new service, the GRC Asset Service. It allows you to maintain an inventory of your IT-related assets as part of your cybersecurity risk management. Regarding your asset types, you have the flexibility to either select predefined asset types to be used out of the box or to create custom asset types which you can tailor to your needs. Moreover, the service allows you to assess the criticality of assets by running risk analyses regarding threat and vulnerability analyses.
See Katrin Deissner’s product release video for more information on this.
Figure 8: The GRC Asset Service facilitates your cybersecurity risk management.
Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management
After the introduction of project stock for investment projects with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108, we now enable project stock for revenue projects. The integration between enterprise projects and procurement allows you to plan, trigger, and monitor the procurement of materials and services. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, projects with the profile “project with revenue” are automatically enabled with valuated project stock which can either be directly procured or produced in-house based on material configurations. Here, we offer better visibility into project procurement-related planning and full flexibility to procure or produce material. For projects with revenue which have been created before SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, project stock will be disabled.
This and more is explained by Corina Kinzel in her product release video.
Figure 9: The option to enable project stock for revenue projects offers better visibility into project procurement-related planning.
In Professional Services, we ship approval workflow for project billing requests. The approval workflow can be defined in a way that allows sending the approval to one or multiple business users. This approval workflow is based on different contract types and item usages such as accounts and down payments and supports to-be-billed or to-be-written-off items as well as items that were postponed to the next billing cycle. If possible, the subsequent billing document request is created automatically in order to speed up the end-to-end billing process. This helps ensure accuracy and correctness of bill preparation and establishes a four-eye-principle for project billing.
Watch Katharina Stopf’s product release video to learn more.
Figure 10: The approval workflow for project billing requests allows sending the approval to one or multiple business users.
Solution Order Management
In Solution Order Management, we’ve introduced further features to support you in your business transformation towards higher-margin and higher-revenue solutions. Flexibility is crucial to this transformation, and with the 2208 release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, this is a central theme. With this release, for example, we enable configurable products to be added as sales items, service items, or fixed price service items using advanced variant configuration. It is now possible to add and configure a product in solution or management directly, selecting from characteristics and values defined in the product master data and then view the impact the new configuration has on the price of a solution order.
Check out Greg Hutcheon’s product release video below to find out more
Figure 11: Further features support you in your business transformation towards higher-margin and higher-revenue solutions.
In Sales, the automatic creation of sales-orders from unstructured data has been a popular feature since its shipment in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011 release – now the side-by-side view of uploaded documents enhances the usability of this innovation by letting you open the purchase order file of a sales order request in an embedded split-screen alongside the sales order request data in the ‘Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction’ SAP Fiori app. The embedded file view highlights extracted data by default, and you can hover over a highlighted area to show an extracted field or click on the eye icon to show all extracted fields. Previously, it was only possible to open the file in a new window. With this enhancement we increase salesforce efficiency and accuracy.
Christian Vogler tells you all about it in his new product release video.
Figure 12: See everything you need at one glance with the side-by-side view of uploaded documents.
In Asset Management, we enable material searches for planners through external catalogs with Open Catalog Interface, making it possible for you to call up external catalogs that have been connected to your system using the Open Catalog Interface directly from a maintenance order and to copy components and services from them. To use this, a new ‘Select from Catalog’ button has been added to the ‘Process Maintenance Order’ application. A simplified planning process to purchase parts and services is given through the automated completion of purchasing details from the catalog such as price information, the catalog ID, and supplier details, leading to an improved collaboration between maintenance planners, buyers, and suppliers.
Watch Gerhard Welker’s new product release video for more information.
Figure 13: Material searches for planners through external catalogs with Open Catalog Interface makes it possible to call up external catalogs connected to your system.
Sourcing and Procurement
In Sourcing and Procurement, we have an intelligent scenario: Recognizing situations on purchase contracts with situation handling extended. In an increasingly complex and fast-paced world, situation handling helps you to ensure the quality and efficiency of your business processes. It does this by automatically detecting, tracking, and informing the right users about exceptional circumstances and issues that require their attention. The new situation handling extended framework allows you to create situation types from the pre-delivered situation handling template for expiration of purchase contracts and to reuse situation objects, situation scenarios, and situation templates for custom use cases.
Find out more in Katharina Klug’s product release video.
Figure 14: Situation handling extended helps you to ensure the quality and efficiency of your business processes.
As part of the application running on the SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Product Footprint Management is now able to calculate the footprints for products that have been manufactured within your own company. This includes the emissions related to the materials (purchased goods/ GHG Protocol Scope 3.1) that are acquired from suppliers or from other plants within the company. Calculation is automated by re-using cost estimate results from SAP Product Cost Planning and also supports retrieval of footprints by analytical applications via the OData API.
Figure 15: SAP Product Footprint Management is now able to calculate footprints for products manufactured within your own company.
With the automated determination of transport permissions based on enclosure-specific list data we bring intelligence to Dangerous Goods Management in Product Compliance. With this feature, the system automatically determines the transport permission for packaged dangerous goods based on enclosure-specific dangerous goods list data provided with the compliance requirements for dangerous goods. This way, we enhance dangerous good packaging and provide support in determining transport permission in order to comply with dangerous goods regulations.
Christian Vogler explains this and more in his product release video.
For more intelligent topics, check out Yannick Peterschmitt’s product release video.
Figure 16: With automated determination of transport permissions based on enclosure-specific list data you can automatically determine transport permissions for packaged goods.
Environment, Health, and Safety
With intuitive management of safety instructions for equipment in Environment, Health, and Safety, you can centrally manage your safety instructions for equipment to inform your employees about health-, safety-, and personal protection-relevant aspects of the equipment they use. This enables the use of intuitive and compliant creation and validation processes for safety instructions and provides proper instructions to employees about safety-critical work conditions and thus, avoids any incidents and occupational illnesses.
Check out Christian Vogler’s product release video here.
Figure 17: Manage your safety instructions centrally with intuitive management of safety instructions for equipment.
Human Resources – HR Connectivity
With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, we ship local maintenance of workforce data in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. With the new SAP Fiori ‘Manage Workforce’ app you can create and update workers (employees as well as contingent workers) with and without a work agreement in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and are also able to change their employment situation directly in the app. In addition, the new ‘Manage Workforce’ app supports navigating to the ‘Maintain Business User’ app in order to assign a business user to your worker, as well as to the ‘Business Partner’ app to enter address and bank details of each worker. On top of that, you can navigate to the ‘Fact Sheet’ object page to view the worker at one glance and check out project or bank details. This ensures a simplified business user provisioning process for the onboarding of workers and business users.
Watch Claudia Rosbach’s product release video for more.
Figure 18: The local maintenance of workforce data in SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides a straight-forward, easy business user provisioning process.
Managing intercompany projects with the Two-Tier integration facilitates project execution between headquarters and subsidiaries for Professional Services companies. For better cost, quality, and time benefits, these companies usually execute their customer projects in a multitier mode in headquarters and multiple subsidiaries. The headquarters execute a customer order for delivery of services and the subsidiary usually delivers a part of the customer project executed by the headquarters and then invoices the headquarters for the services. With this innovation, we offer tightly integrated purchase and sales of services across the headquarters and subsidiaries and reduce manual intervention and revenue leakage through real-time automation of project creation and invoicing.
Watch Swati Balani’s product release video for more.
Figure 19: Managing intercompany projects with the Two-Tier integration facilitates project execution between headquarters and subsidiaries for Professional Services companies.
To help our customers succeed in the international marketplace, we provide four new SAP-delivered local versions to meet local requirements considering diverse legal frameworks and different languages and complying with a wide range of local financial reporting standards, tax calculations and laws. This way, we enable you to steer business operations globally with ease, utilizing SAP-delivered localizations and to address increasing legal changes and compliance requirements on time. Local versions provided by SAP are designed to help you meet these requirements. With the new release, we add four new SAP-delivered local versions: Chile, Colombia, Qatar and Bulgaria.
Figure 20: Four new SAP-delivered local versions help you meet local requirements within diverse legal frameworks.
SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud
SAP Activate continues to stay in step with the product and solution adoption practices. Here, we have focused on improving the guidance in the Solution Adoption area. The entire work stream has been re-designed to put emphasis on key activities and steps that are necessary to drive strong adoption of the new solution in the business. As part of this work, we have added new deliverables for Learning Needs Analysis for Project Team and several new accelerators to drive strong Organizational Change Management Processes during the deployment. We invite you all to use these new accelerators from SAP Activate on the Roadmap Viewer.
Figure 21: The SAP Activate Methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers new deliverables for Learning Needs Analysis for Project Team and several new accelerators to drive strong Organizational Change Management Processes during the deployment.
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
For users starting on SAP Process Automation, there are 15 cloud studio bot templates available on SAP Process Automation leveraging machine learning which customers can further extend with workflow elements such as if-else conditional statements, business rules, and input or approval forms. This allows greater flexibility for business users to automate larger, more complex business processes and involve more stakeholders beyond individual use cases. Check out our SAP iRPA Store and SAP Best Practice Explorer to find out how hundreds of bots can help you meet your automation goal.
Figure 22: SAP intelligent Robotic Process Automation helps you to meet your automation goal by providing hundreds of bots facilitating your daily tasks.
Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast
As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA product experts, partners, and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practice. There is no customer success without product success and project success – we help you get to the next level and make your SAP S/4HANA projects a success. Subscribe now and benefit from the shared knowledge.
Your Voice Matters!
If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community – now fully integrated with SAP Community. The community brings together SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers, partners and SAP experts and has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions. We invite you to explore the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community ‘one-stop shop’ as the central place for all resources, tools, content questions, answers and connect with experts to guide you through your SAP S/4HANA Cloud journey.
Watch the Replays of Our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 Early Release Series!
We’ve hosted a series of compelling live sessions from the heart of the SAP S/4HANA Engineering organization. Missed the live sessions? Watch our replays on demand!
Here, you can find 21 replays and presentations as well as demos for the topics listed in this blog post and many more as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 release. For more information on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Early Release Series and how to sign up for it, see this link.
More Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blog Posts here and previous release highlights here
- Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Early Release Webinar Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- openSAP Microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community: here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Implementation Portal here
Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken