Deciphering SAP – Part III. Other SAP products

by | 11 Oct 2020

After reviewing the SAP Modules and how the functionality of SAP can be extended with Add-ons, this is the last post of the trilogy “Deciphering SAP”.

SAP also commercializes other standalone solutions that can be integrated with the core ERP. The list of SAP products is significantly extensive, hence in this article, only selected products are discussed. These are based on my experience in projects or were highlighted in recent job openings.

But before diving in, a note of caution, the products can be confusing. With the digital transformation, changes are happening so quick. Keeping up with the raft of changes poses a challenge. Let me explain:

  • There are some traditional standalone solutions that are being progressively embedded* in S/4HANA. However, SAP still commercializes them as a standalone. Examples of this are TM or EWM. When you hear those acronyms, you first question if they are referring to the product or the module.
  • On the other hand, other traditional products have been replaced by new ones. SAP SRM has been replaced by Ariba. However, some of the functionality has been embedded* in S/4HANA. SAP BW has been replaced by BW/4HANA. Don’t think that they are the same, BW/4HANA can only run on HANA.
  • Products like SAP APO are still being commercialized as standalone. However, part of the functionality has been embedded* in SAP S/4HANA and the rest is included in IBP, another SAP product. I’ll explain better later in the post.
  • To make things funnier, with the adoption of the cloud, some products have different names for the cloud than the equivalent on-premise version. SCI (SAP Cloud Integration) is the Cloud Version of SAP PO. However, there is no standard pattern, other products such as S/4HANA keep the same name regardless if the deployment is cloud or on-premise.
  • Let me give you one last example that creates confusion. You may have heard terms such as C4C, Hybris, Gigya and Callidus Cloud. Forget them, now all those names are not used anymore by SAP. Now those solutions are integrated in the suite C/4HANA. They don’t exist in the SAP list of products. The standalone products are the ones being listed as of today. It’s possible by the time I write my next post that this is different. Such is the nature of rapid changes in SAP.

After this introduction, let’s move now to the SAP products overview:

  • Core ERP: As already mentioned in this post, besides S/4HANA, SAP commercializes other ERP solutions: SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One.
  • SAP Ariba: This product is a digital marketplace for B2B (businesses to business). A bit like Amazon in terms of a marketplace. However, in Ariba there is capability to set different prices for different customers. Businesses can place the purchase orders on the platform, track them, and receive invoices. Everything can be automatically integrated with their ERP (not necessarily SAP). SAP acquired Ariba and replaced the previous product SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management).

Image: Sample Screen of Ariba Catalog

  • SAP Fieldglass: This is another marketplace to hire external resources such as freelancers and service providers. It provides capability to manage these resources; from finding them until the payments. For example, when a company post a position, it can be sent automatically to staffing firms that can supply workers. You can find more information about Fieldglass here.
  • SAP Concur: This product is used in the management of expenses, travel, and invoices. It can be fully integrated with other ERP solutions (not necessarily SAP). You can find more information about Concur here.
  • SAP SucessFactors: This product covers the entire employee lifecycle from recruitment to retirement and offers critical compliance and metrics. The workforce can be analyzed from all angles: past, present, and future.
  • SAP IoT (Internet of Things): This product is used to model the assets and products that have sensors. The data from those sensors is modeled and integrated with the business processes to take actions on events or enable users to review situations and make decisions. Additionally, it has location-based services to make possible to automatically connect a thing to a business partner location. See video below to understand how this product can be used.

  • PO (Process Orchestration): SAP PO is the evolution of SAP PI (Process Integration). Additionally, SAP PI was the evolution of SAP XI (Exchange Infrastructure). SAP PO is a middleware on premise. This product is used to facilitate the exchange of information among a company’s internal software and systems and those of external parties. It provides a single point of integration for all systems without touching existing complex network of legacy systems. The cloud version of SAP PO is SCI (SAP Cloud Integration).
  • BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation): This product provides tools for planning, budgeting, forecasting and finance consolidation. Integrates SAP and non-SAP data. It can run on top of SAP BW/4HANA, SAP NetWeaver, or the Microsoft platform.
  • TM (Transportation Management): This product was created to help in the transportation planning, freight, and fleet management. It has advanced functionality like Gantt chart–based planning, optimization planning with package building, load consolidation and 3D load planning, driver management etc. As previously mentioned, despite it being commercialized as a standalone, some of the functionality is being progressively embedded* inside S/4HANA since version 1709. In note 2952651 you can find more details of what is inside S/4HANA 2020 and what is not.

Image: Sample Screen of Transportation Cockpit in TM

  • EWM (Extended Warehouse Management): This product was created to help in the management of complex warehouses with a high volume of goods. Some of the functionality included in this product are weigh scale integration, analytics enablement, standard voice picking… As previously mentioned, despite it being commercialized as a standalone, most of the functionality has been progressively embedded* inside S/4HANA since version 1610. In note 2806070 you can find more details of what is inside S/4HANA 1909 and what is not (there is not any not yet specific for version S/4HANA 2020).
  • IBP (Integrated Business Planning): This product is a cloud-based solution. It provides capabilities for planning operations based on demand forecasting. Additionally, nearly real data is synchronized helping to find adjustment needs in the plan.
  • APO (Advanced Planning and Optimization): This product helps to plan and execute supply chain processes. SAP APO has four modules: Demand Planning (DP), Supply Network Planning (SNP), Global ATP (gATP) and Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). The functionality of the first two has been moved to SAP IBP and the functionality of the last two has been embedded* in SAP S/4HANA. However, if you check the SAP product list, they still commercialize this product with the possibility to buy the modules separately.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): This product helps to deal with all the marketing actions oriented to win sales. Additionally, it provides capability to manage the sale and post-sale. SAP CRM is an on-premise product, for cloud deployment SAP has SAP Marketing Cloud included in the C/4HANA Suite.

Interested in learning more?  I decided to split the data processing, modeling, and reporting products such as BW/4HANA or BI in a different post.

I don’t know what you think, but I see two trends with the SAP solutions:

  • Since SAP launched SAP HANA, it looks that it is trying to streamline products by moving some standalone solutions or part of them to S/4HANA.
  • SAP is betting heavily on cloud. Some products like SAP Concur for instance only have a cloud version. However, all of the on-premise solutions seem to have a cloud version.

* Some embedded products may require additional license.

About the author:

Cristina Gil Gallo

Cristina Gil Gallo

Cristina specializes in SAP SD consulting holding a certification in S/4 HANA Sales On Premise. She started her career in SAP in 2005. She is particularly interested in international projects. She holds a BSc in Industrial Engenieering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.
ReadCristina's Full Bio

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About the author:

Cristina Gil Gallo

Cristina Gil Gallo

Cristina specializes in SAP SD consulting holding a certification in S/4 HANA Sales On Premise. She started her career in SAP in 2005. She is particularly interested in international projects. She holds a BSc in Industrial Engenieering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.
ReadCristina's Full Bio

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