SAP has been continually developing SAP S/4HANA since its release. With SAP S/4HANA Version 1610, SAP is bringing in many new features and improvements across multiple industries.
- Manufacturers will benefit from Integrated Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (SAP PP/DS) in a number of ways. SAP PP/DS integrates capacity planning and material planning into a single system, with a single database, simplifying setup and SAP Basis administration. The system will help companies improve planning and production, making it easier to work with products with long lead times, navigate resource bottlenecks, optimize purchase orders by transport capacity, and more.
- SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) provides major gains in efficiency — particularly for companies with high volume and throughput warehouses, and multiple warehouse types. It provides better utilization of resources and assets, with high visibility, control and tracking.
- Advanced Availability to Promise (ATP) in S/4HANA Version 1610 improves backorder processing. Companies can move beyond first-come, first-served and prioritize order fulfillment around your company’s own needs — for example, by prioritizing orders that are bound by contract over other orders.
- S/4HANA Version 1610 also brings SAP Fiori 2.0 with it. SAP Fiori 2.0 has a rich array of features to streamline the flow of business processes and data, and organize information in a more user-friendly way — particularly for mobile users and multi-screen applications like SAP Digital Boardroom. It also has a number of industry-specific enhancements.
SAP S/4HANA Version 1610 — Changing Upgrade Strategy
In many ways SAP S/4HANA Version 1610 is just another SAP application enhancement, however, it does represent a major change in its upgrade strategy. For one thing, SAP is trying to get a little more regular about releases. Historically, SAP has not always been regular about a release strategy for their applications.
With S/4HANA, SAP is switching to a regular update schedule: one major update per year, and three quarterly updates. The quarterly updates, called Feature Pack Stacks (FPS) will include minor, but not mandatory functionality enhancements. SAP will continue to release Support Packs (SPS) as needed, but those will only include bug-fixes, with no new functionality. Both FPS and SPS are still SAP upgrades that require business buy-in, but they’re relatively less taxing compared to the major annual update.
Getting Ready for SAP S/4HANA Version 1610
Companies should strive to approach SAP HANA upgrades as a regular, repeating schedule, rather than a series of isolated projects. With regular upgrades starting with S/4HANA Version 1610, this will be an easier task. The amount of work that goes into upgrading HANA varies by company, but it is predictable. A qualified SAP partner can help you develop a consistent strategy that fits your company’s needs and minimizes downtime.
Companies that haven’t been upgrading regularly should take a deep look at the functionality they need. Although SAP continues to support older versions, new versions of third-party apps and interfaces may require S/4HANA Version 1610 features. Conversely, your third-party products may need to be adjusted or updated as part of your SAP HANA 1610 upgrade. If it’s been awhile since you upgraded your tech stack, your SAP S/4HANA Version 1610 upgrade is a great time to modernize.