With the year coming to a close, SAP unveiled SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111 release, the final release of the year. Like most SAP S/4HANA Cloud releases, this newest one includes a litany of updates and new functions that span many different industries.

“What we are always trying to do is look at how we can improve business processes by influxing technology and intelligence,” Sven Denecken, senior vice president and COO of SAP S/4HANA. “How can we help our customers, based on the data they’ve gleaned using our systems and others, to make the right decisions in real-time?”

Denecken recently sat down with ASUG to discuss the release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111 and what customers can expect from future releases.

AI and ML in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111

Denecken spoke about the importance of AI, ML, and automation in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and how these intelligent technologies are helping SAP customers.

“The entire notion of automation has gotten so much more important,” he noted, underlining how the scarcity of resources and the way supply chains function can be improved by leveraging these technologies.

He also spoke about a few of the AI and ML-focused updates in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111. He noted the majority of the innovations in this release have AI and ML capabilities included. Denecken used lifecycle management and manufacturing as an example, noting that automation is a key part of “managing production,” and highlighting the importance of predictive analytics.

Key Highlights

Denecken took time to highlight a few of the innovations in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111. Here are some of the solutions he discussed:

  • Registration for Indirect Taxation Abroad (RITA): a tool that can be used to manage the different taxation regulations for organizations operating in multiple countries. Denecken said this innovation will allow users to “create and maintain foreign currency information and apply it to your legal entity.” This allows users to keep track of changing taxation rules and apply them to their business.
  • · SAP Intelligent Real Estate: this new tool not only help organizations evaluate their leased space (which is going to be helpful as organizations begin figuring out how to safely return to their offices), but also gives them a broad look at their real estate portfolio. Denecken noted that organizations need a single source of truth for all the data and information on a piece of real estate—including building efficiency, lease management,

Looking to the Future

Denecken also spent some time discussing the future. Right off the bat, SAP S/4HANA Cloud will begin having only two major releases a year—as opposed to the quarterly releases we are used to, this accompanied with smaller monthly innovation drops – increasing the flexibility. This was done for a variety of reasons. SAP customers provided feedback to the company indicated that they preferred larger incremental updates a few times a year than smaller, quarterly updates.

Looking to the next SAP S/4HANA Cloud release, Denecken told us to expect intelligent technologies to be applied to certain lines of business. He also indicated that the next update would have “significant advances” in the user experience. Denecken said the team is looking at ways data can steer users.