SAP S/4HANA Migration Benchmark Report

To understand where SAPinsiders are with the move to SAP S/4HANA, SAPinsider surveyed 169 members of our community in Q1 of 2021. The goal of the survey was to understand where they are on their transition to SAP S/4HANA, what benefits they have gained or hope to gain from the transition, or what might be blocking their move. Continuing the steady growth from 8% who had already gone live in 2019 up to 17% in 2020, 24% of survey respondents this year indicated they were already using SAP S/4HANA.

Read the benchmark report to gain insights and top strategies:

  • Discover what drives SAP S/4HANA migration.
  • Understand how customers meet their business drivers.
  • Learn the top requirements and strategies organizations are using in their migration.
  • Gain your steps to success.

Download the report now!

SAPinsider Technology Executive Forum Magazine | 2021 | Issue 1

On the Cover

Business demands have been clarified over the past year and a half: Planning cycles have been dramatically shortened. Digitization has been accelerated. And there is a need for constant and immediate views into customer demand and supply chains. As a result, many businesses have had to make significant operational shifts, and many of these changes have been enabled by technology.

The inaugural edition of Technology Executive Forum magazine focuses on stories about the people behind the technology — IT leaders driving transformation within their organizations. These leaders say that visibility, agility, flexibility, and efficiency have become cornerstones of their strategy and technology architectures. They have found these elements to be essential to push for change and support new business models and processes. The featured thought leadership article in this issue explains how SAP is supporting organizations’ need to prioritize innovation agendas with its RISE with SAP offering. We hear from executives of companies like Ingevity, New England Biolabs, and Thames Water about how their use of technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — as well as investments in SAP S/4HANA and cloud migration projects — are helping to drive business outcomes. We also learn about how these leaders had to change their management approach to accommodate remote workforces.

Additional articles and features in this edition include:

  • How one county council is modernizing technology and its SAP landscape to deliver more to its residents;
  • A look into SAPinsider’s recent research, including where SAP customers plan to reinvest in the coming year; and
  • How one oil and gas company is transforming into an integrated energy conglomerate.

Access Now

Webinar -On-Demand

Facing widespread challenges in order fulfillment and supply planning, Rodan+Fields (R+F) needed to make a change. Rapid growth and a global reach led this skincare manufacturing and distribution company to outgrow their mostly manual processes.

Their legacy processes relied on manual input and batch transfer of data that was time consuming, suffered with data latency and was riddled with inconsistencies. The challenges mounted as orders and products moved through the fulfilment and supply management process across various enterprise systems and to partners. Add in delays from problem identification to resolution and cycle times dragged as personnel manually addressed shortfalls – they needed to find a better solution.

So how did they do it? In this 30-minute session, we’ll examine how R+F transformed their supply chain and order fulfillment processes quickly and efficiently.

You will learn:

  • How to identify specific operational challenges especially as they relate to your own order fulfillment, supply planning, supplier collaboration and inventory management.
  • How to measure, monitor, and monetize risks and opportunities the way R+F has
  • Build a business case and ROI roadmap to transform your operations
Watch Now


Vikas Rajput OpsVeda, Inc
Read More

Expert in Supply Chain and Business Process Management. Lead large- and small-scale digital transformation initiatives for companies in Consumer Products, Food & Beverages, Fashion/Apparel, Hi-tech, Life Sciences, and Manufacturing industries. Focused on improving efficiency, business results and customer experience through innovation and meaningful use of existing and emerging technologies. Leverages real-time analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation to help businesses monetize data, uncover risks/opportunities and make optimal operational decisions.

Neil Calderon Rodan+Fields
Read More

Neil Calderon has worked in eCommerce, Risk Management and Supply Chain in various industries including gift cards, software, hardware, and skin care for 24 years. Neil is the Director of Infrastructure at Rodan and Fields and is a father of 3 who enjoys biohacking, BJJ, reading, and various podcasts.

Lessons Learned from Irvine Company’s Successful Automation of Supplier Payments

Webinar -On-Demand

Go inside Irvine Company’s automation journey and learn how they went beyond simple automation of AP invoices to build a solution that enabled them to streamline approvals and handle exceptions in an intelligent and efficient manner. For a company like Irvine this approach is necessary when you see 50% of invoices that need some form approval and up to 15% require exception handling.

In this session you will understand the challenges many companies face with expanding the value of their automation solutions and learn how build a long-term solution that can keep pace with the complexity and nuances of typical supplier payment processes.

You will:

· Learn how Irvine Company was able to scale their original AP automation project to process hundreds of thousands of invoices per year.
· Understand how they used a balance of cloud-based automation with tight integration with their core SAP system of record.
· Discover how Irvine Company was able to build “millennial-friendly” web and mobile experiences for their end-users that enabled them to accelerate processing and gain buy-in for their project.
· Identify new ways and opportunities for your organization to intelligently automate AP invoice processing based on your unique business and technology landscape.

Watch Now


Brian Shannon Serrala
Read More

Brian Shannon is the Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, Americas at Serrala. He focuses on business processes and financial solutions to help clients maximize return on investment.

Brian has a proven track record in SAP since 1994 where he has demonstrated expertise in the areas of thought leadership, knowledge management, process design, project management and SAP consulting. He has extensive experience in the automotive and manufacturing sectors as well as oil and gas, retail and utility verticals. Brian has held many C-level positions in the past, including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Strategy Officer. He has also served in other leadership positions including National Credit Manager, International Finance Manager and Financial Strategist. Brian holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Manitoba, and a MBA in International Finance from the University of South Florida. He is a sought after speaker on the topics of business process optimization and digital transformation.

Torey Schuldt Irvine Company
Read More

Torey Schuldt oversees the accounts payables department for the Irvine Company. She joined the Irvine Company in 2008 and has been in accounts payables for most of her 12 year career with the organization. Torey has led many technology projects and process improvement initiatives in order to gain efficiencies, implement best practices and minimize risk.

Torey has a bachelor’s degree in Law, Sociology, and Education and an associates degree in Accounting. She also has an active Accounts Payable Manager Certification through Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM).

Rizal Ahmed SAPinsider
Read More

Rizal (Riz) serves as Wellesley Information Service’s Chief of Content. He oversees content and business planning, helping WIS’s global customers and partners discover new ways to leverage content for competitive advantage. Prior to WIS, Riz was a Research Associate with Forrester Research and a reporter for the Manila Times in the Philippines. Riz earned dual degrees from Dartmouth College in History and Economics.

How SAP S/4HANA Drives General Ledger Account Optimization

The universal journal is a single table incorporating all financial information and select logistics and operational information. While many finance controllers, system implementors, and accountants acknowledge the reporting benefits of having information stored in a single table, the recent combination of the Finance and Controlling tables into the universal journal in the latest version of SAP S/4HANA significantly impacts the chart of accounts. This article explains how finance professionals can navigate this impact and utilize SAP S/4HANA functionality to reduce the number of general ledger (G/L) accounts in their existing chart of accounts.

Read this article and learn:
• How to achieve G/L account optimization using SAP S/4HANA functionality;
• An overview of the universal journal and its impact on the G/L; and
• Usage of dimensions in the universal journal and reporting capabilities.

This content is available to SAPinsider Members(complimentary).
Please click below to log in or create an account

Login Now »

Create Acount »

Leveraging Advanced Analytics to Create Smart Factories

by Kumar Singh, Research Director, Data & Analytics, SAPinsider


Harnessing the true value of Industry 4.0

The promises that Industry 4.0 foundational technologies bring to the world of supply chain and manufacturing are many and are attractive. Smart factories and smart manufacturing processes will be an integral component of almost all Industry 4.0 networks. Embedded seamlessly in an Industry 4.0 network, these smart factories will not only help realize optimal, flexible, and agile manufacturing within new deployments, they will also share important data points with the overall network. This seamless exchange of information will ensure that the entire network leverages the full value of having Industry 4.0 capabilities in place.

The journey to smart manufacturing revolution

Building smart manufacturing capability is not easy though. It is a journey that needs to be carefully planned and orchestrated across a diverse set of data inputs like people, processes and technology. Each of these elements need to be in complete sync with each other to realize the vision of a true smart factory. As mentioned previously, a true smart factory will not only completely transform the manufacturing paradigms of an organization but also transform related functions like marketing, engineering, and operations.

One very critical aspect of starting your journey towards building smart factory capability is to understand what exactly that capability means. Often, manufacturing automation and smart manufacturing are used interchangeably by organizations when highlighting these capabilities. However, it is critical to understand that automation, while it may lay the foundation, is not smart manufacturing. Then there is another notion that smart manufacturing is about getting near real time visibility of your manufacturing operations. Again, while this may be an essential component of developing smart manufacturing capability, on its own, it is not an indicator of smart manufacturing capabilities. Smart factories are combination of many aspects like automation, near real time visibility, and most important of them all, inferring something useful out of that data,  aka analytics. SAPinsider recently had the opportunity to sit with Intel’s Industrial Edge Insights Director, Bridget Martin, to discuss the key aspects of smart manufacturing platforms and how data science plays a key role in developing smart manufacturing capabilities.

The real value is in the data

The value of insights generated from data is not new in the world of manufacturing. Best of breed companies have been leveraging analytics on data generated and captured by their manufacturing operations to minimize manufacturing related risks, improve manufacturing efficiency, reduce manufacturing waste, improve product quality, and at a strategic level, make better business decisions. However, a key aspect of these analytics approaches in the past was that they were performed on latent data and hence, many actions that companies took based on the insights generated, were reactive. As businesses evolve rapidly in today’s digital age, organizations can no longer afford latency. Consider the example of product quality. If a product quality issue goes undetected and the product gets in the hands of customer before the data driven insights identify the issues, the impact on brand and customer loyalty can be huge. In the “Amazon age”, customers are extremely demanding, and products are getting commoditized so fast that it may not take much for your customers to switch to your competitors. And this is where the need for near real time monitoring and analytics of data generated by manufacturing processes comes into prominence. What organizations need are solutions that can not only help them get near time visibility into their data, but also be able to leverage the data to transform processes and business models.

As Bridget Martin, states: “There is a need for ready-to-deploy reference software platforms designed for near realtime, minimal latency video and time series data analytics that enable factory owners to automate and advance their operations—without replacing existing machinery, production lines or processes (“plug and perform”). Factory upgrades can be delivered via software updates that factory owners can manage remotely and deploy automatically, potentially reducing costs, saving time, and expanding capabilities more easily.” Organizations realize this need, and so do the solution providers. More and more platforms are emerging in the market that promise to help companies realize their smart manufacturing vision. But one aspect that is obvious is that not all of them are the same in terms of capabilities. And the most significant capability that differentiates these solutions is the “smartness” that the solution contains, which is in the form of algorithms built into these solutions.

Smart manufacturing platforms fueled by algorithms

As mentioned above, an ideal platform should not only aid in automation but should help take the capabilities significantly further, by embedding algorithms in the platform that organizations can use to gain insights, optimize processes, and even develop new capabilities, like smart quality management programs. These algorithms can range from conventional optimization algorithms to advanced deep learning algorithms. Since these platforms cover end to end manufacturing processes, the portfolio of algorithms available in these platforms need to be diverse as well.

Bridget highlighted this in her quote: “The ideal software reference design should include sample algorithms for various use cases or easily plug in third-party/open source developed algorithms, and even enable customers to develop their own algorithms if needed with its built-in training and learning tools. Designed exclusively for manufacturing environments, the platform should have unlimited manufacturing use cases—whether discrete process applications like electronics or auto manufacturing or process automation applications in the Oil and Gas sector.”

Interoperability adds to the complexity of Industry 4.0 world. To develop a true Industry 4.0 network, platforms need to “talk” to each other and hence this is a feature that is very critical. Bridget quoted some example features like: “Capability to push and publish AI analysis to local applications or the cloud. Should have containerized microservices which are easy to modify and customize for a factory owner’s unique applications. It should be easily adapted, extended, and scaled across operations.”

Transformation example: smart quality management at Audi

During the discussion, Bridget highlighted an example of the transformative capabilities of a smart manufacturing platform. The example was around how Audi was able to leverage a smart manufacturing platform to develop a smart quality management process. “At Audi, an individual car has a significantly large number of welds. Using a smart manufacturing platform, Audi was able to automate and expand its quality inspection processes to inspect 100% of welds in the factory and more efficiently, with an estimated 30-50% immediate reduction in labor costs. For welds outside the quality guardrails, Audi can easily tell where they are in the factory and act more quickly to address them. “

What does this mean for SAPinsiders?

The road to building smart factories is not straightforward. Careful planning and strategic selection of tools and external partners will be critical to developing this capability which most manufacturing organizations are aiming to build to successfully compete in the digital age. Some aspects that you need to be cognizant of are:

  • Evaluate your foundations. At the core of smart manufacturing capability are four key ingredients-Connectivity, automation, visibility, and analytics. These four key ingredients must come together, building the foundation so it is imperative that you evaluate your current state in these areas, to understand where you stand, what is the delta and what needs to be done to cover that delta.
  • Invest in your people and business processes. People and processes are as important as technology in any initiative and more so when you want to build any new capability enabled by technology. While it may not always be required, sometimes you may need to redesign your processes to ensure that you will be able to leverage the full value of any smart manufacturing platform. Human machine collaboration is going to be a critical aspect of Industry 4.0 networks, so you need to ensure that your manufacturing talent has the skills to leverage the fill value from these platforms.
  • Take time to evaluate solutions. The smart manufacturing platform that you leverage will be one of the central components of your smart manufacturing capability to you must put together a comprehensive evaluation criterion in order to select an optimal solution.


Kumar Singh, Research Director, Data & Analytics, SAPinsider, can be reached at

About Intel® Edge Insights for Industrial (Intel® EII)

Intel® Edge Insights for Industrial (Intel® EII) is a pre-validated, ready-to-deploy reference software designed for near realtime, minimal latency video and time series data analytics that enables factory owners to automate and advance their operations—without replacing existing machinery, production lines or processes. For more information, visit Intel Edge Insights for Industrial

Automated SystemCopy: The next generation of SAP Basis Operation

Webinar - On-Demand

It has never been easier to automate SAP system copies to production support systems than today. Refreshes can appear to be a very complex process with over 150 manual steps per refresh per system. Today, refreshes can easily be automated from beginning to end, and doing that automation provides an immediate return on investment within your SAP operations.

During this session we will cover conceptualizing a software-defined system refresh, and discuss the components of an automation framework including refresh orchestration and workflow. We will talk about what is possible for SAP HANA in private and public cloud environments, and will introduce and demonstrate Libelle’s SystemCopy Automation Tool.

Join this webinar to learn why automation makes sense, and how to achieve a fully automated process.

By attending the session you will:
• Improve your understanding of the structural challenges of the refresh process
• Learn generic approaches to refresh automation
• Gather know-how so you can assess refresh automation solutions
• Make better decisions around tool selections

Watch Now


Bernd Baier Libelle
Read More

Bernd Baier is a Senior Solution Architect and VP at Libelle. His responsibilities around system refresh automation include technical architecture and go-to-market strategies. In this role, he has overseen hundreds of automated refreshes and aided countless customers in the transition from manual refreshes to fully automated system copies.

Webinar - On-Demand

Manual business processes in Purchasing and Accounts Payable are leading to enormous inefficiencies and are often why those in A/P are unable to work remotely, an especially difficult position to be in, given the restrictions the pandemic has placed on the workplace this past year.

Additionally, during this disruption, executives are prioritizing the preservation of working capital, and that’s why optimizing P2P has become even more important to all businesses. The decentralized organization of information (that’s usually the standard scenario for manual working environments) creates the challenge of missing information throughout process. Many companies have some automation in place, but often do not have true end-to-end solutions for workflows and information management. In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • The latest SAPinsider research on automation in finance including why companies are prioritizing key processes like P2P
  • How automating your P2P processes revolutionizes the way we work, allowing operations to continue from wherever we are
  • Why optimizing your P2P processes will allow you to increase efficiency, gain stability, and minimize costs
  • To leverage the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA to build a more intelligent and automated ERP system
  • To understand when you should implement your automation solution and whether you should do it before or after you complete your SAP S/4HANA project
  • And much more
Watch now


Danny Schaarmann xSuite
Read More

Danny Schaarmann is a successful entrepreneur, a serial optimist, and a strategic go-to-market manager. Growing up as an athlete, Danny approaches his clients and colleagues with team-driven, collaborative mentality. Early in his career, he successfully transitioned his family-run business into a popular platform before a fruitful exit. Driven by innovation, Danny co-founded TIM Solutions in 2008, Matonu in 2014, and ILC Technologies in 2015, acting as CEO across all of his business properties. Since 2016, Danny is the CEO and President for Boston-based xSuite Solutions and strives to help SAP customers with their digital transition.

Rizal Ahmed SAPinsider
Read More

Rizal (Riz) serves as Wellesley Information Service’s Chief of Content. He oversees content and business planning, helping WIS’s global customers and partners discover new ways to leverage content for competitive advantage. Prior to WIS, Riz was a Research Associate with Forrester Research and a reporter for the Manila Times in the Philippines. Riz earned dual degrees from Dartmouth College in History and Economics.

A Cyber Risk Framework for the S4 Journey

Webinar - On-Demand

Organizations are heading into an unknown territory where both the technology platform they secure and threats to those platforms are getting more complex. Operational, Technology, and Compliance drivers introduce complexity even as customers expect companies to protect their data better. The cyber risk for the SAP solutions is a journey and should follow a maturity model aligned to your corporate risk appetite and enterprise solutions. Unlike SAP’s other tools that can be utilized with your existing organization, Deloitte works with the clients to appropriately leverage existing enterprise solutions to empower a seamless solution.

In this session, Kevin Heckel, Managing Director at Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory, and Tyler Lewis, Principal at Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory, will discuss Deloitte’s perspective of the cyber domains to secure data, applications, and platform, including cyber governance, application security, data privacy and protection, controls and compliance, identity and access management, infrastructure security, operational security, and monitoring and response.

Attend this session to:

  • Learn to drive business value by enabling digital transformation
  • Get a high-level understanding and be able to discuss cyber risk domains impacted by the S4 journey
  • Understand how to implement cyber capabilities with industry-leading practices, and increase the cost-efficiency of cyber functions without sacrificing outcomes
  • Know how to detect and respond to breaches and security incidents to enable a safe and secured user experience
Watch Now


Kevin Heckel Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
Read More

Kevin is the Deloitte US Cyber Application Leader with Deloitte & Touche/Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory organization more than 25 years experience in cyber, application security, risk management, business process controls, information technology controls design & implementation and assessments of policies and procedures. In addition to developing/configuring secure and compliant solutions, Deloitte's Cyber Application practice brings the strength of Deloitte comprehensive Cyber practice to include cloud, data protection, scanning, identity and more to offer holistic and

Tyler Lewis Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
Read More

Mr. Lewis has over 17 years of IT experience, 15 of which are in client service providing management consulting services to primarily the Consumer and Industrial Products industry, specifically within the Consumer Products and Retail sectors. Tyler is focused on business insight and value, delivered hand in hand with technology. Over the course of his career, Tyler has been involved in numerous SAP and component implementations, business transformations, outsourced provider contract negotiations, and cyber risk projects. Tyler is recognized globally for his Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) knowledge and experience, and he is currently active in a number of innovation teams, including Deloitte’s Safe Food program and Internet of Things (IoT) for Consumer Products. Mr. Lewis is responsible for managing Deloitte’s national SAP GRC center of excellence as well as portions of Deloitte’s alliance with SAP.