Why SAP Activate
The Solution: SAP Activate
SAP Activate is a clear process of structured and solution-specific practices, carried out in a standardized environment, that puts business users in the driver’s seat. SAP Activate delivers Innovation as a Service, so businesses get access to new and differentiating capabilities, and the flexibility to innovate when and how they choose, leading to clear and sustained competitive advantages:
• Greater Value – SAP Activate accelerates the initial deployment of solutions as a foundation for growth, including cloud solutions, so your business can get more value in less time.
• Adopting Innovation – Innovation as a Service helps companies find and deliver innovative capabilities far beyond the initial system setup. SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers continue to leverage SAP Activate, adopting new innovations and extending solutions to new parts of the business at their own speed.
• Reduced Cost of Ownership – SAP Activate reduces the intensity of services needed for deployment through delivery of pre-configured, ready to run processes, a fully guided journey, and apps that support adoption and extension of innovative, differentiating capabilities.
• Business Continuity – With fast, business-driven setup and consistent standards, customers can make sure they don’t lose a step setting up new systems and bringing innovative capabilities to the organization.
SAP Activate is designed for continuous innovation. It’s essential that your business can launch new systems quickly and efficiently, but it’s just as important to enhance your business with advanced capabilities when and where you need them. Configuration and process standards support speed while setting a foundation for future innovation. And with a cycle of months instead of years between capability releases, your business leaders can choose which cutting-edge innovations − including predictive analytics, machine learning, and digital assistants − to incorporate, on a schedule of your own choosing.
Challenge the Status Quo
It’s time to challenge the status quo of enterprise software deployment. The standard model of ERP implementations cannot provide the agility needed to navigate the fast-changing competitive landscape. As a result, companies working under the traditional framework rely on systems that aren’t keeping up with the speed of business and technological innovation.
The business drawbacks of the traditional ERP implementation framework are clear:
• A slow pace of innovation, with extensive resources dedicated to a “big bang” implementation, followed by years of maintenance where new innovations cannot be integrated due to extensive customizations.
• A reliance on IT to carry out the company’s business software and process strategy, leaving business users without the ability to drive the direction or pace of improvement.
• Rigid systems with confusing interfaces, outdated information, and overwhelming complexity that create a poor user experience.
• Incomplete and inconsistent integrations that make it hard to trust data in the system, leading to limited insights, fragmented business processes, and workers filling in the gaps with too many manual tasks.
All these limitations add up to a serious challenge to the business, leading to missed opportunities for agility, growth, and value creation.
What is SAP Activate?
SAP Activate comprises multiple core elements to deploy and sustain effective software that powers your business to run at its best. Unlike a traditional approach in which IT leads a resource-intensive, “big-bang” implementation over multi-year cycles, Innovation as a Service enables businesses to self-service their solutions more frequently for fast, business-driven setup.
• Pre-configured Business Processes Delivered Ready to Run
Pre-configured processes are valuable both to jump-start your initial deployment, and to provide the foundation for frequent innovation upgrades and extensions as your business evolves. The pre-delivered business processes are chosen based on your business needs during a Fit-to Standard assessment. Bring best practices to core business processes for improved efficiencies, with solutions tailored to your company.
Ready-to-run business processes also span adjacent cloud solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Financial Services Network, SAP Ariba, and others. By delivering high-value scenarios quickly, your business sees benefits faster while minimizing disruption to operations
• Clear Solution for Adoption
Innovation as a Service gives the project teams deploying and extending SAP solutions structured and solution-specific guidance in a standardized environment. The approach is simple, with an easy-to-use interface providing users access to the right information at the right time.
Accelerators help project teams move forward quickly without interruption. SAP Activate provides accelerators for key steps along the journey. These accelerators include assets, content, and tools that support your project team members. They enable planning and execution of Fit-to Standard workshops, assist your team during configuration and extending the solution, and facilitate test automation to confirm everything works properly before bringing the functionality to a production environment.
Rather than IT leading a long, “big-bang” approach to implementation, SAP Activate enables business users to self-service their configuration and take an iterative approach to adopting new capabilities. This leads to faster setup of higher-quality solutions.
• Apps for Adoption and Extensibility
With built-in flexibility delivered as self-service configuration options, SAP Activate enables intuitive and flexible configurations suited to your needs. And SAP Activate goes far beyond configuration tools, enabling you to use apps for a range of business needs.
To extend the solution, SAP Activate’s in-project extensibility includes both in-app and side-by side extensibility. This extends the standard capabilities of the product to customize the solution to your needs, with the option to build additional capabilities beyond the core service offering
Stay in Complete Control
SAP Activate structures deployment in multiple phases to keep you in control of your systems. This Innovation as a Service is designed to separate the strategic decision to move to SAP S/4HANA from the deployment question, so you can focus on what matters most – how to best manage your business challenges with innovative solutions.
Discover – Identify the business value and benefits, define the adoption strategy and roadmap Prepare – Start the project, finalize plans, enable your teams, and access system with best practice processes
Explore – Drive adoption of SAP standard with a Fit-to-Standard approach, and capture delta requirements to implement your differentiating business practices
Realize – Run agile sprints to configure, build and test an integrated environment, load data, and start enabling business users
Deploy – Set up production system, confirm business readiness, and switch business operations to the new system
Run – Drive efficient adoption of the new solution across the business, meet evolving business needs with SAP and innovations you integrate and extend on the platform
In practice, businesses using a Fit-to-Standard approach with SAP Activate can set up a business process, test it in optimized in a regional subsidiary using SAP S/4HANA public cloud, and then re-use the process in other locations regardless of the deployment model you choose.
This standard-based approach utilizing a shared data model and single code line can vastly simplify the change management issues inherent in any new process. The tangible benefit of this approach to Innovation as a Service is that instead of focusing on deployment, you can focus on business impact of your system and the innovative solutions it delivers.
Innovation driver: Speed of cloud
The pace of business change is accelerating. Businesses need an approach that enables rapid adoption of differentiating capabilities and faster cycles of innovation to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Businesses pursuing speed often run into roadblocks. They face high initial costs and long gaps between “big bang” implementations, with business leaders relying on scarce IT resources to create and execute
plans. The systems implemented often have siloed data and lack real-time visibility, leading to fragmented information and analysis performed off systems of record. Extensive customizations to meet business needs lead to fragile integrations, inflexible processes, and ultimately a poor user experience where complexity is the most consistent feature. SAP Activate provides Innovation as a Service that helps your business embrace the speed of cloud with a fundamentally different approach based on standards that both support fast setup and set a foundation for future innovation:
• End-to-End Guidance for business leaders to select, configure, and deploy the right solutions based on welldefined standards to meet their functional needs.
• Greater Value that enables you to innovate where and when you choose, and realize business benefits faster than ever during initial deployments and future updates.
• Pre-Configured Processes in line with consistent standards that bring best practices to core business processes for improved efficiencies, insights, and potential for automation.
• Apps for Extensibility & Adoption with a range of self-service configuration UIs logically grouped by their business functions, leading to intuitive and flexible configurations suited to your needs.
Solution Drivers Delivering the Speed of Cloud
Quarterly Innovation Updates: Unlike traditional approaches that leave years between updates, SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides the business with quarterly updates that feature the latest applications of machine learning, automation, digital assistant, and other innovations. SAP Activate enables your business to deliver these solutions when and where they will make the greatest impact.
Cost Reduction by SAP Activate: SAP Activate is designed to deliver greater value, faster than ever. Direct costs for ERP run-rate usually see dramatic reductions, and SAP Activate also improves your bottom line in several other ways: improved staff productivity, greater agility and flexibility to meet new business requirements, and lower G/L and financial closing costs, to name just a few.
Build & Deployment Guidance: Meet your core business needs at the time, scale, and scope of your choosing — both now and in the future. SAP Activate guides fast deployment based on standards that provide a foundation for future speed and innovation in the cloud. The detailed and intuitive guidance during the build and delivery process helps you self-service the introduction of innovative capabilities without relying on external IT expertise.
Consistent Deployment Practices: Having the right assets to deploy cloud solutions properly is essential to success. While one-time implementation assets are industry standard, the SAP Activate approach goes above and beyond to enable continuous improvement. SAP Activate provides a reliable and complete set of tools to guide ongoing innovation that adds new business benefits continuously
Innovation driver: Productivity
Every business faces demands to grow employee productivity. Productivity is a force multiplier: the more efficient and effective your teams can perform, the more you can build with the same resources.
Companies seeking greater employee productivity often hit roadblocks. Systems don’t streamline the business but instead add to complexity with difficult user interfaces, lack of collaborative tools, and information overload that presents incomplete or questionable data. Customized systems implemented at great expense cannot be updated without major costs and business disruption. In cases of incomplete integrations, workers end up filling in the gaps with manual data entry and calculations; these low-value administrative tasks distract them from their core mission.
SAP Activate helps your business boost employee productivity with business-driven, self-service tools that cut complexity and bake in the most efficient practices by design:
• Fast, Business-Driven Set-Up that lets the business deploy new systems and capabilities at its own speed based on its needs, without relying on IT to drive the pace.
• Reduced Complexity for Tasks and Processes with end-to-end build guidance and full transparency on the deployment process.
• Mandatory Best Practices with the SAP Content Repository delivering the Best Run SAP by default, helping you learn from the successful business processes and approaches of market leaders.
• Self-Service Configuration that provides process diagrams and test scripts so the business can see how the processes carry consistently through setup and upgrades.
SAP Best Practices as Content Repository: Your business deserves to learn from the best performers in your industry and leading companies around the world. SAP Activate provides access to SAP Best Practices in a Content Repository, where you can find components of content such as specific deployment solutions and Fit-to-Standard business processes that enable fast, business-driven setup.
Full Transparency on Deployment Process: No more unwelcome surprises to hold you back. Before you start deployment, before you even become a customer, you can see exactly how SAP Activate works during initial deployment and regular upgrades. Test the solutions for yourself in process flows and test scripts, and explore trial systems with preconfigured content so you’re ready to embrace the SAP Activate solution fully and deploy without a hitch.
Guided Implementation Journey: SAP Activate’s self-service capabilities and personalized end-to-end build guidance boosts productivity during deployment. Customers gain access to business process content and setup practices in a personalized task list specific to the context of the task each user is ready to perform. In addition, customers and partners can take a guided journey to explore documentation and assets on their own.
Self Service Configuration/ WYSIWYG with Test Scripts: SAP Activate makes it efficient to deploy the right processes with self-service configuration that ensures the solutions match your business needs. Self Service Configuration User Interfaces (SSCUIs) are flexible configuration entities that help you to adapt pre-configured SAP S/4HANA Best Practice processes. Test scripts, process flows and other SAP Best Practices documentation reduce complexity for fast, business-driven setup. What you see is what you get!
Innovation driver: Scalability
Scalability is one of the greatest strengths of cloud solutions. The ability to drive rapid growth, with the flexibility and responsiveness that comes with resources on demand, can help companies expand while maintaining total insight and control over their systems.
The traditional “big bang” approach to ERP implementation limits scalability. IT teams require lead time to provision equipment, and systems are rolled out with rigid governance rules. Customization and extensive user training take additional time that could otherwise be spent delivering innovation to the business. IT often needs to customize integrations due to non-standardized architectures and business processes that vary across the organization. All this adds up to a system that might work well in its current state, but poses challenges when the business needs to respond to strategic changes quickly.
SAP Activate is inherently scalable to power growth and flexibility, while keeping you in full control:
• Cost Reduction via Self-Service Deployment so your business can drive its own future, without relying on costly consultants or resource-constrained IT departments.
• Solution-Specific Deployment Guidance that enables the business to configure and deliver capabilities it needs, when it needs them. Intuitive user interfaces and the Configure Your Solution App help with groups of configuration, including access to documentation for each SSCU. You can also use embedded features to document configuration for future reference.
• Cloud Implementation Portal (CIP) that accelerates delivery of solutions with pre-packaged business apps, scope-aware task list, and guidance for each next step of the process.
• Localizations that help your business operate in multiple jurisdictions, currencies, and regulatory regimes without missing a step
Solution Drivers Delivering Scalability
E2E Deployment Guidance for Business-Led Configuration: End-to-end deployment guidance gives you a detailed set of instructions for your entire innovation journey based on SAP’s expertise in business process best practices. A personalized task list with business process content specific to each task during deployment, plus self-guided access to documentation and assets, help you configure systems for current performance and future growth potential.
Flexible Build with Self-Service-Configuration UIs: Once you make decisions about your highest business priorities, it’s time to configure the system to deliver the greatest value. Self Service Configuration User Interfaces are simple to use and guide you through the entire configuration process. This helps you deploy the applications you need, when you choose them, for truly business-led innovation.
Partner Extensibility: Scale and extend the solution to meet your needs by working with partners who can extend solutions and processes most important to your business. Extensibility includes the side-by-side extensibility with SAP HANA Cloud Platform and in-app extensibility inside SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which partners may choose to add custom fields and queries, change the UI, or extend business objects to enhance end-to-end processes.
Fit-to-Standard Execution Guidance: SAP Activate Fit-to-Standard means you can fulfill core business processes with pre delivered scenarios and processes that maximize your efficiency and effectiveness at every scale. With Fit-to-Standard execution guidance, you gain step-by-step support for these pre-configured processes while leaving room for enhancements, extensions, and additional configuration as your
business needs grow and evolve.
Innovation driver: Business impact
Cloud solutions enable businesses to make a greater impact and drive their own futures. In fast-changing competitive environments, businesses need a way to stay agile and take advantage of emerging opportunities to create value.
The standard approach to ERP deployment limits the potential for business impact. Businesses are forced to use systems that follow rigid processes and add to complexity rather than providing real-time insight into the business.
Extensive customization makes the business reliant on IT instead of driving its own future, while also limiting the ability to upgrade with new innovations. Because systems lack documented data governance structures or consistent rules, it’s challenging to adopt best practices from industry leaders. And rigid implementations make it especially challenging to comply with evolving regulations or adequately protect sensitive data.
Innovation as a Service maximizes your business impact by providing the agility you need to create value in a fastchanging competitive and regulatory landscape:
• Integration and Extensibility that connects data and processes across core business systems while enabling you to extend the solution to new apps and partners’ products.
• Innovation as a Service that provides you with the ability to choose and deliver innovative capabilities when and where your business will gain the greatest benefits.
• Test Automation during initial setup, and even more importantly during quarterly regression testing, so you can be confident your systems will deliver the capabilities you need.
• Latest Features Ready-to-Run with managed integration for deployment of proven, pre-configured processes based on a common set of consistent standards
Solution Drivers Supporting Business Impact
SAP Extensibility Explorer: Extend your business capabilities with a full view of pre-built sample extensions from SAP, including custom UIs, fields, reports, business objects, business logic and analytics available to be readily downloaded and deployed. The SAP Extensibility Explorer is the central hub for extensibility with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. You will find extensibility tools such as the SAP Cloud SDK to simplify the way you build and implement innovative capabilities.
Access to Partner Ecosystem: All partners supporting SAP Activate use standardized guidance from SAP, which is updated with every quarterly release. The approach standardizes consistency, maintains
a quality ecosystem and always provides its partner network with up-to-date information, so you gain the agility to create value at the speed you identify business opportunities.
Natively Integrated Solutions: Keep your focus on running your business, not integrating your applications. When you need a seamless connection between the SAP systems integral to your business, let us make it easy and cost-effective to integrate with verified APIs. You’ll gain all the benefits of the SAP products you rely on, including SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP Concur, SAP Ariba, and SAP Fieldglass, with integrations that are loosely coupled but tightly connected through APIs.
Task Tutorials for Solution Implementers: Customers responsible for deployment can review dozens of tutorials to get started with SAP Activate. These tutorials are self-paced, in modular pieces, and designed for business users rather than IT experts. Many tutorials feature try-it-yourself mode so you can prepare and ensure your new processes and solutions advances quickly, when you need it, with minimal business disruption.
Launching new systems quickly and efficiently is important. So is the ability to continue your journey and improve your capabilities on a regular basis, rather than waiting years to incorporate new functions.
The traditional approach to systems implementation works on a cycle of years, not months. In that time, your competitors have access to innovations in the fast-moving fields of business process automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital assistants. Long upgrade cycles risk leaving you behind. At best, your business will miss out on opportunities to outperform the competition.
SAP Activate takes a different approach: Innovation as a Service designed for continuous improvement. Its consistent, structured and solution-specific practices deliver three key benefits:
1. The ability to deploy incremental improvements
To power your continuous improvement, SAP Activate provides pre configured business processes that help your organization embrace best practices, and end-to-end guidance on how to deploy these processes across your organization. This approach to self-service configuration enables fast, business-driven setup with minimal complexity. Pre-built apps for extensibility and adoption help you integrate data and standards in areas where they will have the greatest impact, with minimal disruption to business continuity.
2. Localization for new business units, offices, and acquired organizations
When your business is growing rapidly, you need to ensure you meet local requirements while keeping data and processes integrated across your organization. SAP Activate provides self service configuration capabilities and solution-specific guidance that helps you maintain the flexibility to work in local currencies, adhering to regulatory and reporting standards, while keeping processes consistent with best practices everywhere you operate.
3. Continuous updates delivered on a quarterly cycle
Business software capabilities are advancing at a faster pace than ever, and companies that lag in adoption risk losing a step to the competition. SAP Activate helps you deliver the latest applications of business process automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital assistants, and other innovations in ready-to-run features. The upshot to Innovation as a Service: your business can choose when and where it wants new capabilities, with the confidence that moving quickly will minimize business disruption.
Extending The Solution
Extensibility in SAP Activate helps you adopt best practices as found in the Fit-to-Standard processes, while enhancing what makes your business unique. Extensibility projects have to be fast and efficient in times of quickly changing business processes, so SAP Activate supports multiple approaches of extensibility for your SAP S/4HANA Cloud deployment, both for directly within the software stack (in-app extensibility) and on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud platform (side-by-side extensibility).
SAP Cloud Platform provides multiple extensibility services The core benefit is that you can expand the value of your system by building your own innovations that extend the core SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution. SAP supports your journey with a set of extensibility patterns for both in-app and side-by-side extensibility.
SAP Cloud Platform provides multiple extensibility services
In-App Extensibility: Extend the features of SAP S/4HANA Cloud with patterns that enable business experts and key users to extend the functional scope of SAP S/4HANA Cloud applications – no deep technical knowledge required.
• Adopt the User Interface to suit your team and your needs
• Create custom fields, reports, business objects and forms
• Add custom business logic and analytics capabilities
Side-by-Side Extensibility: Develop your own applications and business logic that feature the SAP Fiori user experience on SAP Cloud Platform. The SAP Cloud platform is an open platform that provides in-memory capabilities, core platform services and unique business services. It can be used for building personalized, collaborative, mobile-enabled cloud applications. SAP Cloud Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) offers convenient APIs to consume CDS artifacts from a SAP S/4HANA database, or any OData V2 or V4 service, with applications for a range of tasks.
• Connectivity to establish and manage connections to instances of SAP S/4HANA Cloud
• Typed data model of SAP S/4 HANA Cloud services
• Easy access to SAP Cloud Platform audit logger
• straction of SAP Cloud Platform security concepts
• Easy access to tenant information for multi-tenant applications
• Resilience and fault tolerance via Hystrix integration
• Multi-tenant aware persistence
Two ways to extend: deploy or build
Deploy: Customers have access to high-value applications developed by partners on the SAP App Center, a fully digital, enterprise marketplace where users can discover, try, buy, manage, and deploy trusted partner applications that extend your existing SAP technology and solutions.
Build: The SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK reduces the effort and expertise needed to develop an application extending SAP S/4HANA. You’ll have access to all the necessary libraries and project templates to extend capabilities at the speed and scale of your choosing.
What can Innovation as a Service provide your business?
With SAP Activate’s solution of clear, structured practices, carried out in a standardized environment, you can choose how to deploy innovative capabilities across your organization.
Choose the solution that keeps your business in control. Choose a self-service approach that enables you to adopt and extend new and differentiating capabilities at your own speed, so your business gets the greatest value and can truly run its best.
Ready to gain the benefits of SAP Activate? Engage your current SAP partner or SAP Digital Business Services team to support your guided journey.
Want to learn more about deploying SAP S/4HANA Cloud for access to continuous innovation? Contact SAP to request a Discovery Assessment service, where you can work with seasoned SAP Activate experts to define the business scenarios, processes, and scope that will deliver the greatest value for your business.
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