Modernizing Your SAP S/4HANA Analytics

When Home Depot wanted real-time analytics from its SAP data to manage inventory, the company turned to cloud-based analytics to avoid stockouts and increase sales. Like many SAP users, the home improvement retailer relies on the power of SAP S/4HANA to create an intelligent enterprise and drive digital transformation. When it comes to increasing business efficiency and agility (and achieving measurable cost savings), SAP’s value is unquestioned. However, there’s an opportunity to enhance the data analytics aspect — thus, accelerating outcomes and delivering greater value.

Modernizing Your SAP S/4HANA Analytics

An Opportunity for Agile Analytics

Although S/4HANA features embedded analytic tools, it lacks agile, integrated analytic capabilities using data from external sources. And while the native SAP tools — including forecasting capabilities and dashboards — suffice for tactical analysis using application-native data, they don’t support complex analysis integrating other data sources from internal sources or external third-party providers to create a comprehensive picture of consumer behavior. 

In S/4HANA, the application is the source of the data. The embedded analytic tools provide fast analysis using data residing in the application. When S/4HANA users want to create advanced analytics using other applications from SAP (or different vendors), the complexity increases significantly. Expanding the capabilities within SAP requires complicated, time-consuming custom programming, which many companies don’t invest in because it ultimately fails to solve their problems.

For companies like The Home Depot that need to move faster than SAP allows, the solution lies in third-party tools that support both strategic and operating decisions based on real-time analytics from internal, non-SAP, and external sources. Modernizing SAP analytics accelerates your organization’s digital transformation and helps exploit the full value of your SAP investments.

Analytics Modernization Solutions

As mentioned above, for sophisticated analysis like predictive analytics, the embedded tools in S/4HANA don’t support ingesting data from other SAP applications or external resources. The answer? An SAP analytics solution that blends data from multiple sources with your core SAP data in the cloud.

Typically, this requires migrating the SAP data to the cloud on a hyperscaler platform (e.g., AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud). However, this operation doesn’t require a full SAP migration to the cloud as the analytics solution only requires data ingestion — though it could open the door to cloud migration for your entire S/4HANA estate in the future.

Enhanced Analytics for Retailers and Manufacturers

The multi-source data solution from Maven Wave / Atos is an analytics connector that leverages Google BigQuery as well as similar functions on other platforms. This allows access to valuable insights from a variety of data sources using:

  • built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) functionality
  • predictive and analytical capabilities
  • dashboards for visualization

With this system, you can integrate data from all sources to support strategic and operational decisions through an analytics dashboard and visualization tools. It’s particularly effective for pricing and supply chain SAP modules by providing real-time information in the manufacturing and retail sectors. The dynamic foundation can accommodate AI platforms to build, deploy, and manage ML models and use AI modules to add functions for sight, language, conversation, and structured data into your applications — as well as training for high-quality custom ML models.

This solution pushes real-time analytics to the point of use. The tools can provide analysis from all data sources without the need for custom queries. As a result, informed decisions can be made in real-time at critical decision points in the process flow with ad hoc queries, which are complex with the embedded SAP analytics.

Real-Time Analytics with S/4HANA

The cloud-based, multi-source analytics solution decentralizes S/4HANA data analysis by making it much simpler to create ad hoc and specialized reporting. Moreover, introducing intelligent analytics for SAP with cloud integration helps transform your analysis, prediction, and advanced visualization capabilities. Using our pre-built SAP data models and cloud reference architecture, you can turbocharge your efforts to get data out of SAP and into the cloud. 

The accelerators span use cases that include the following:

  • FCM: General ledger, accounts payable/receivable, fixed assets, and trial balance
  • Order to Cash: Per sales activity, order processing, shipping, and billing
  • Procure to Pay: Procurement planning, vendor selection, purchase orders, good receipt, etc.
  • Pricing Prediction: Predicting pricing based on demand vs. pro forma margins
  • Inventory and Supply Chain: Predict shipping costs and optimize inventory based on velocity

These proven rapid deployment accelerators enable access to cross-siloed data sources, helping deliver a wide range of business, technical, and financial benefits.

Cloud Computing for S/4HANA Analytics

Thanks to the power of machine learning and cloud-based analytics, The Home Depot doubled predictive accuracy — reducing revenue losses due to shelf-outs and increased incremental revenue — by having more items available on the shelves for consumers. 

The cloud is assuming a strategic role in the technology estates of most manufacturers, but transitioning to the cloud isn’t just about technology — it’s about migrating the business to the cloud and following the cloud services value stream. Transitioning your SAP estate to a true multi-cloud vision delivers clear and measurable benefits. 

And as a hyperscale cloud service partner, Maven Wave / Atos (along with your preferred cloud provider) can help support your infrastructure modernization and digital transformation agendas by offering a complete solution for building, deploying, and managing applications across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

S/4HANA enterprises can connect with full-stack managed services for managing SAP applications on private and public clouds. Maven Wave / Atos offers the ability to unify the management of infrastructure and applications across on-prem, edge, and multiple public clouds.

If you’d like to learn more about modernizing your S/4HANA analytics, contact us and schedule a time to meet with our experts. We’ll share our experience and demonstrate proven solutions — and help you create and manage a cloud migration plan for your SAP estate.

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About the Author

Chris Daniel
With over 20 years of large scale management consulting and retail business transformation experience, Chris leads the Retail and Consumer Goods practice at Maven Wave. Chris brings his innovative and collaborative approach to solving complex business challenges to ensure that the client is at the center of the solution. Prior to his current role at Maven Wave, Chris was the founder and president of CPG Cloud Partners – a management consulting firm helping CPG and Retailers build and deliver on roadmaps to becoming Agile companies. Chris is a give-back champion, an avid Chicago Cubs fan, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
March 24th, 2022
DATA ANALYTICS

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2022-03-24T13:01:13-05:00