HerberthNathan & Co recently released a Market Update for SAP Business One with their own point-of-view and "Key Considerations" (you can download it here), mainly based on the SAP Eauropean Analyst day about SAP S/4 HANA. It was an interesting read. However, their advice seems to be defensive, and does not completely reflect the actual development on the market. I will now share some of my thoughts.
They state that customers should lay back and wait for a more firm development plan unless they have performance problems in their current ERP platform, or anyway have planned “a major upgrade”. This conclusion leads you to think that HerbertNathan & Co has focused a bit too much inside the traditional ERP processes and issue lists, and missed to combine this with all the possibilities and benefits that are given by the SAP HANA platform in general. The potential advantages are in addition more to find within the following three areas:
1. IT landscape simplification
The architecture of SAP S/4 HANA in itself leads to a database compression which can free up resources in the landscape. Also current applications such as SAP BW can be considered for a stepwise removal since its capabilities are less needed. The ability to integrate and model data with high performance also potentially can reduce the need for other data warehouses and middleware.
2. Usage of automated intelligence such as predictive analysis
The inbuilt statistical capabilities can be applied to find different irregularities in the data, with example use cases such as preventive maintenance, fraud detection or profitability optimization.
3. Customer and Supplier Interaction
The performance in combination with the adaption to mobile interfaces enables a better and more spot on communication in the entire business process.
What HerbertNathan & Co is right about, is that development remains and that there is a complexity and effort in getting all the above up and running. But by comparing the shining from the eyes of the early adopters that have started to see the new technology up and running, with the uncertainty of those who have not yet analyzed the possibilities from their own organization point of view and taken the first steps, you can tell that this technology shift is for real. Having these technical capabilities working for you can be a decisive competitive factor in many businesses within soon, and the advice should instead be to grip this area, identify the individual business opportunities and start to prototype the first steps that you find most relevant to your business.