Run Your Business In Real Time

Sven Denecken

Continuing with our series, we drill deeper into the moves you need to make to simplify your business. You need a solution that enables process optimization coupled with instant Business people working in officeaccess to insight. And this is ultimately important, as you need to bridge between your system of record and your system of engagement.

Outlined below are high-value use cases that utilize a modern business suite as the platform to enable the digital value chain with integration across all business processes.

Your people:

  • Integrate strategic plans with workforce planning, including training.
  • Drive comprehensive workforce analytics (internal employees and contingent labor), including spend analysis at all levels of granularity: country, region, category, and individual.

Your customers:

  • Match high-value inventory with customers that are willing to pay a premium if certain conditions are met.
  • Enable a real-time, demand-driven supply chain by leveraging customer order history, forecasts, social data, and product sensor data.
  • Base promotions on truly understanding in-stock levels, purchase trends, and customer preferences in real time.
  • Enable flexible fulfillment across all channels by matching customer orders with total landed cost associated with products, inventory availability in each channel, and other granular details.

Your suppliers:

  • Eliminate the need for AP and AR reconciliations with immediate alignment between suppliers and purchasing organizations.
  • Offer discounts based on real-time understanding of liquidity and cash flow.

Your resources:

  • Ensure availability of necessary technical resources and materials in the required quantity and quality by immediate sourcing through the network and understanding where and when materials are needed.
  • Monitor resources as mapped to business processes in real time to reduce bottlenecks.

With these use cases as an example, you can demonstrate how to form a backbone and a central nervous system that integrates, simplifies, and evolves the digital value chain.

This orchestration is critical to supporting global business processes, reducing complexity, and maximizing return on data.

This all requires a simplified, connected and open architecture. You can define such a platform with three key aspects:

Simplified, real-time data foundation

Bring transactions and analytics together into a single in-memory, column-based platform.

  • Single source of the truth
  • No aggregation of data
  • Real-time calculations, no batch jobs
  • Transaction-level granularity
  • Vast simplification of data model/architecture
  • Reduced infrastructure and maintenance
  • Simplified functionality enhancements

Interconnected and flexible

Achieve real-time integration across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid applications.

  • Native on- premises/cloud and cloud/cloud integration
  • Integration across domains like:
    ‒ People
    ‒ Procurement
    ‒ Customer
    ‒ Contingent workforce
    ‒ Travel

Open platform for innovation on any device

A platform that provides the data and tools to rapidly extend, build, deploy, and manage cloud-based enterprise applications to complement existing solutions.

  • All enterprise data available in the same business platform (e.g., IOT, ERP, social media)
  • Build new or extend existing business processes in the cloud or on premises
  • Quick and simple application build with a native cloud platform application and database services
  • Applications enabled on any device with platform-based mobile services

And last but not least, empower the user


The user experience must be centered around people and their goals or tasks rather than transactions. It’s important that the user experience be role-based, personalized, responsive, intuitive, and work seamlessly across devices and deployment options. The user experience must unleash the true power of the digital value chain.

It will have to change from transactional and functional-based interactions to role-based applications.

The digital value chain redefines how business will be able to achieve enterprise value. Businesses have stated that they will adopt new technologies (e.g., cloud) at their own pace. A modern digital business platform will enable customers to adopt innovation in alignment with their business strategy, system complexity, change management, and risk profile.

Throughout the journey, businesses will want to be able to:

  • Reduce unnecessary steps with a common process mode, resulting in reduced workload.
  • Increase throughput to enable faster consumption and reaction to growing demand.
  • Complete analysis “on the fly” without aggregates, so questions can be answered flexibly.

Ultimately, this new business suite enables innovation without disruption to your business, with the goal of creating an end-to-end digital value chain to support digital business. Each individual business will measure success differently, but ultimately, it’s about aligning where you see yourself in the maturity curve in relation to your short-, mid-, and long-term business strategy.

Looking forward to your feedback and stay tuned for more. Meanwhile follow me via @SDenecken.

This blog originally appeared on the ZDNet ÜberTech blog.

Sven Denecken

About Sven Denecken

Sven Denecken is Senior Vice President, Product Management and Co-Innovation of SAP S/4HANA, at SAP. His experience working with customers and partners for decades and networking with the SAP field organization and industry analysts allows him to bring client issues and challenges directly into the solution development process, ensuring that next-generation software solutions address customer requirements to focus on business outcome and help customers gain competitive advantage. Connect with Sven on Twitter @SDenecken or e-mail at