SAP Aims to Bridge Digital and Physical Reality Gap


Beyond simply making it possible to run ERP applications faster on top of the SAP HANA in-memory databases, SAP is now starting to deliver new capabilities in its ERP suite that can only be made possible using a platform that can support real-time transactions and analytics simultaneously.

To enable that convergence, Sven Denecken, senior vice president of product management, co-innovation and packaging for SAP, says the SAP S/4 HANA 1610 release of the company’s ERP suite has now embedded support for a new SAP Fiori 2.0 user interface making it simpler for end users to consume transaction and analytics data side by side.

In addition, the ERP suite now includes an advanced available to promise (ATP) capability, making it possible to match incoming orders with actual availability in real time alongside a revamped rescheduling methodology that can be applied when supplies of a specific item are constrained.

In another use case of real-time data, environment, health and safety works can now employ data in real time within the context of incident management, chemical management, operational risk assessments, industrial hygiene/exposure monitoring, regulatory compliance and emissions management.

Other new capabilities include enhancements to inventory management, materials requirement planning and warehouse management.


Denecken says SAP thus far has 4,100 customers signed up for SAP S/4 HANA, with 350 of those customers already live. Denecken adds that SAP can now deliver a cloud-ready implementation of SAP S/4 HANA in about eight weeks versus the months previously required to implement an ERP suite.

 SAP, notes Denecken, also expects those numbers to increase significantly as organization move to upgrade their backend office applications to support digital business initiatives that require real-time processing capabilities.

“We want to bring physical and digital reality closer together,” says Denecken.

Just how quickly organizations will upgrade their ERP applications to deal with the new realities of being a digital business remains to be seen. But it’s now a matter of when, rather than if. However, making a general ledger application run 10 times faster is not all that compelling. The real issue is going to be just how many business processes SAP can automate in new real-time ways that make funding upgrades pay for themselves much sooner than later.