The new features of the SAP S/4HANA 1909 release

7 November 2019, 10 min leestijd

SAP S/4HANA grows with each new release, but it is hard to determine how you are moving forward. In this blog, Jeroen Zijderveld – SAP Solution Architect at Ctac – examines some of the most important improvements for your company, from the new possibilities for buyers to the integration of Analytics Cloud into your finance processes.

The 1909 release is SAP's fifth update of the S/4HANA platform. Like previous releases, the name refers to the date of issue. SAP has improved a number of things and has also added new functionalities in the 1909 release. With over 800 new features, it would take you almost a day to identify the most important aspects for your business. However, we are happy to do some that work for you. We have listed a few important improvements here.
If you are interested in more new features in S/4HANA 1909, take a look here. 
1. User interface indicates actions 

The most visible improvement of the release is the user interface (UI). Fiori now focuses even more on matters that really require action. The system shows users where the problems are and where they need to intervene. This allows them to intervene much sooner. They will spend considerably less time searching for the causes of any issues. Personal dashboards can also be put together in a much more flexible way. For example, sales representatives can add financial figures that are relevant to their position. It is also possible to add news, stock prices and other external information. The user interface therefore serves your goals and needs even more.

 Fiori User Interface

2. Predictions of dead stock 

Another new feature of the user interface is the prediction of stock turnover. This will help you to produce or repurchase more successful products on time. The predictions will also help companies to identify goods that are selling slowly or not at all. Based on historical and current data, the platform can predict exactly which stock is not going to sell. This allows you to write off those products sooner to make room for the products that do sell.

3. Voice recognition in purchasing 

Machine learning is gradually taking on a greater role in SAP S/4HANA. This technology was already important in finance and now it is purchasing's turn. The platform is gradually moving towards intelligence initially expected from users. The combination of machine learning with Co-Pilot makes the system even easier to use. This SAP variant of Siri offers voice recognition for purchasing. Buyers only need to indicate which products or services they are looking for. Co-Pilot then searches for the most suitable solutions based on certain specifications. Buyers can then also use a simple voice command to indicate how many products Co-Pilot should buy. These are only two examples of the possibilities.

4. Finance integration with Analytics Cloud 

The big change for finance is the integration with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). Although SAP S/4HANA offered similar functionalities for analytics, they were too limited for any financial planning, for example. The new release makes it possible to exchange data between the platforms. You can now use current data from SAP S/4HANA for detailed planning in SAC. This results in more extensive functionalities, such as advanced formulas, allocations and scenario comparisons. You can also edit data in real time in Analytics Cloud and restore it to SAP S/4HANA. This is a big step forward in our opinion.

5. Workflow for quotations, orders and credit notes 

Supporting the workflow is key element of SAP S/4HANA. This update mainly focuses on simplifying the sales processes. You can now set up the entire workflow for quotations, orders and credit notes if they need to be approved by several people. SAP S/4HANA allows you to determine exactly who has to give approval and at what time. This ensures that a notification is sent to the right people at the right time. They can give their approval at the push of a button. You can even choose to have SAP S/4HANA send the approved documents directly to the customer.

SAP lowers the threshold 

SAP has also announced two aspects of this release that are extremely relevant if you have not yet switched to SAP S/4HANA. SAP S/4HANA will offer a solution to set up your stock management in the same way as your current ECC system. Stock Room Management is the modern version of stock management with Warehouse Management. SAP's objective is to make it easier to switch to S/4HANA. With that in mind, SAP Human Capital Management in S/4HANA will also be made available one year sooner. The personnel and payroll administration module will now be available from 2022.

Ready for the future  

SAP S/4HANA is really evolving into a mature product with this fifth full release. More than 10,000 customers worldwide are using SAP's latest ERP system. The experiences of all these customers are reflected in the system. Every release brings improvements and enhancements on every functional level with real impact. All smart technologies are developing rapidly to make things easier for companies. SAP S/4HANA is ready. Are you?

If you want to find out what the latest release of S/4HANA has to offer your company, contact Ctac.

Experience S/4HANA live

On 26 March Ctac organises together with SAP the Business Simulation Game. The assignment? Make as much profit as possible in a realistic business environment. You will discover for yourself how the real-time information from SAP S/4HANA helps you to win. 
Let's play! Read more about this session.