SAPInsider, Prague: Conference in Review

(By Claudio Gonzalez)

We are happy to announce that we have just completed our 8th annual SCM Insider Europe. This year, the conference brought us to the beautiful location of Prague. This is the third time that the event is held on this Bohemian city. Here is a short recap of the week.

As is always the case in both US and in Europe, Hans Thalbauer from SAP delivered the keynote address. Not much new to report on his delivery, compared to what we heard in SCM Insider Las Vegas, except for what seemed like a bigger push towards the new S/4 HANA business suite. SAP is really getting behind this initiative; it will be interesting to see how they convince existing client to do a ‘painless’ migration.  An interesting session was held in which SAP led a panel discussion covering a variety of topics and IBP was one of them. Here are some of the highlights of what was said:

80 customers currently have paid subscription to IBP.  Of that, 77 are existing APO customers.
– Being that there are over 2000 APO customers active today, it promises a lot of potential for future IBP implementations.
– SAP continues to deliver the message that APO is not going away and in fact, Ehp4 is scheduled to come out sometime next year.
– Due to the upcoming S/4 HANA, it was referred that BI on HANA’s days may be numbered, which makes sense if reporting can be done on a single instance instead.
– It was also said that at some point SAP APO will be integrated with S/4 HANA, so stay tuned.
– In terms of IBP, which currently resides on the Cloud, SAP stated that IBP on S/4 HANA will be available as a co-deploy.
– Even when PP/DS is available in ECC, it will run under S/4 HANA.  CIF simplification was mentioned, which means that it will not go away, but should be simpler to use.
SAP expects that IBP releases will continue to happen on a quarterly basis, so expect tons of new functionality multiples times a year.
– When it was time for questions, 95% of all questions were IBP related. It was clear that the audience was engaged and interested and they want to know more.

Our SCM Connections presentation on How to Implement Subcontracting Planning in APO was a major success. It’s always eye opening to see how much subcontracting is becoming a bigger player in the overall supply chain strategy for a lot of companies. The presentation gave people a glimpse on what it is needed for APO to successfully plan with subcontracting demand.  Overall, the conference delivered as always. What I like about these conferences is that they are niche in nature and a lot of great information is presented not only from SAP, but also from case studies and other consulting companies that have done it and now want to share the knowledge like in our case.  We’re looking forward to next year’s round of conferences.

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