Improve Business Process Experiences with SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management | SAP TechEd 2020
[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello, and welcome to this TechEd session, improved business process experiences with live process content packages my name is Stephan Schluchter, and I have the big pleasure to introduce you today to this very important topic. What I would like to tell you in the session today, in this lecture, is on the one hand side, give you more guidance regarding the importance of processes, of business processes. I also would like to show you how the Extension Suite would support you there, and then of course, very particular need here, also SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management.
Then we will talk about the notion of live process content packages, what it is all about. I also have a short demo here for you. And then we are already at the end of this session. Processes run the world. Well, when we take a look at the Intelligent Enterprise, we see more or less three areas.
On the one hand side, we need to have a very stable, solid technology foundation underneath. This you will get with the Business Technology Platform. And of course, SAP Cloud Platform is a very integral part of it. On the other hand, we have the applications in the Intelligent suite, SAP S/4HANA in the cloud and on-premise. And of course, they are supported with the underlying technology stack to run then also all the business processes. So business processes, we will find them across all functions.
They are including different stakeholders. Think of processes where you would like to include your supplier or where you would like to include your customer-- very important. But also think of processes which are running in-house, and where you also need to include probably different kinds of organizations. So this all comes together into a business network. And of course, you need to ensure that everyone in this business network is connected. That your processes are running as you have designed them, as you have thought about them.
And also that they really bring value to all the participants at the end. And of course, you need to ensure that you are able to react on changes. Whenever there are other requirements coming up, that you are able to flexibly adapt these business processes. When we talk about processes, you probably think about the big four, like lead to cash, or recruit to retire, design to operate, or even source to pay. Of course, these are the, let's say, the four big processes we will find in most of the companies, but isn't there more? There is much more. We know around 80% or so, these are really covered within standard processes within the applications.
But of course there are also nonstandard workflows. Business processes which you use, for example, to extend standard business processes, or workflows which you are setting up from scratch, where you really would like to also probably differentiate and really fulfill the requirements you have within your organizations. And this could be workflows in very different areas. Of course the whole area of approval is a big ground where you would use workflows which you would like to digitize also certain areas. But on the other hand, of course, there are areas in HR, for example, which you would like to use.
There are also areas which you will find, for example, when it comes to master data management or something like that. So we see standard processes, but also we have the need to enhance these processes, to extend these processes, or create net new ones. And wouldn't it be great to go this last mile of automation with digitalized workflows? Yes, and we will show you how you can do this. Processes run world.
I think you all agree to this because we see processes in different areas. I have just mentioned a few examples. I mean, in fact, even for this event, there was a process behind it. But sometimes processes are often complex. And I mean, complexity itself is not a bad thing.
But you need to be able to handle this complexity. You need to be able sometimes also to hide this complexity before the end user. On the other hand, what we see that a lot of business processes, or sometimes part of processes, are still manual.
And I think we all have experienced more or less how this could really hit us. So when processes are manual, and when you are from one point to the other, not even be able to really work with these manual processes anymore. And of course, as long processes or parts of them are manual, this also leads to more errors, to inefficiencies, and also then at the end, to higher costs. And this we need to avoid. Talking about the Cloud Platform Extension Suite, which is more or less our environment where we are in. So the Cloud Platform itself, I've told you before, part of the Business Technology Platform, stands more or less on two big legs.
On the one hand side, we have the integration suite which you can use to-- yeah-- connect to each and every system. This could be SAP, non-SAP system, in the cloud, on-premise, you name it. So there are really a lot of possibilities available which you could use to really ensure that also the landscape you have within your organization can be connected and integrated.
On the other hand, we have the Extension Suite. And there the main goal is really to simplify the extensions. So whenever you want to build up new applications, when you would like to create a new set of user interfaces, and of course, if you want to extend business processes or create net one, then you will find the right toolset in the Extension Suite. Let's take a close look now into the Extension Suite. In fact, it's built up on three pillars. On the one hand side, we have the digital experience.
So whatever is about user experience, how people get access to the task, for example. And also if you would like to build up a digital assistant with conversational AI, you will find us all in the digital experience capabilities. On the other hand, it's also about becoming more efficient with your development. So therefore, we are providing a set of tools-- for example, the SAP Business Application Studio, and also other low-code or even no-code tools which you could use to really create net new applications or extensions of existing ones. And then the topic for today, digital process automation.
So in this area, you are really able to tailor your business processes to your needs. You are able to also do some kind of deep dive analysis with the process mining capabilities. Think about any kind of tasks you would like to automate, any kind of unstructured activities, then probably you would like to use intelligent robotic process automation. And then the topic for today, of course, the workflow management and live process content packages.
And now we will take a look at the details here. SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management. This is a service offering which is combining different capabilities into one strong, unique offering for you. So on the one hand side, we have workflow.
So think about digitization of workflows, think about automation enhancements of business processes, then you would go for this. Of course when it's about workflows, about business processes, you also need to ensure that the policies, any kind of regulations are also implemented there. And this you can quite easily quite nicely do with the help of the business rules capability.
Having end-to-end process visibility is really key to improve the performance of your processes, but also to ensure that a process execution is really providing business value-- a value add at the end. And then of course, there must also be some kind of environment where the end user would get access to all the tasks, and this you will find in My Inbox application. But as you can see in this big picture, that's not all. In fact, we are connecting, for example, to the outside world by a REST. So to these business applications from SAP, for example, but probably sometimes you also have the need to connect to other applications on-premise, in the cloud, third-party applications, and therefore, we are making use of SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Intelligent RPA and also conversational AI, I've touched them before.
There we also have a very tight integration. You will find also at TechEd some lectures around this. Very interesting stuff there. But of course, on the one hand side, it's how end users get access. Therefore, we are connecting also with mobile services.
But what we like to focus in today's session is really how we can enable you to create net business processes or extend existing processes in an environment which is also catered for the business process expert-- for an expert user, and not typically for a developer role. And the good news here, you don't need to start from scratch. We are providing you content which you can use a starting point, and how this works, I would show you right now.
Live process content packages-- so this is the content which we are providing to you, and we see there are more or less for different areas. So on the one hand side, we are working together here within SAP with different LOBs with different stakeholders, and they are delivering, they are creating content which you can use as accelerators for certain business areas to solve certain business problems. For example, in the utilities area or product lifecycle management, and others will follow. On the other hand, of course we in the Cloud Platform Workflow Management department, we have a lot of experience. Based on the interaction with you, with our customers and also partners, we have seen sometimes similar problems at customer sites. And this was also for us a trigger to say, we need to provide there a kind of a common templates to really address these business problems, and really not let you alone, but really help you that you can really have here also a good starting point, and really accelerate also your activities there.
On the other hand, we also have a big ecosystem of partners. And also there, we want to be able to really define content packages and also bring them out, bring them to the customers. And finally, most likely at a certain point in time, and also you as a customer, you would be able-- because we are providing the toolset for you, that you can create these content packages on your own, define different kinds of variants which can then be used in the different organizations, really catered to the needs at the end. When I talk about live process content packages-- and I've mentioned them now several times-- what it is all about.
So in fact, we are providing you here templates which you can use. Templates, process steps, including different set of workflows, business rules, decisions you can define there, process visibility scenarios, and so on. So everything what you need to really start now when it comes to the extension of business processes or the creation of net new ones. And good news, you will find all of them in the SAP API Business Hub. Here are just some selected use cases that are not all of which out there.
There are much more. But just to give you kind of an understanding a first introduction, what is possible, and what we are aiming for. So on the one hand side, for example, capital expenditure approval process. Think about any kind of investment decisions you have within your company. Of course, that also needs to be guaranteed that there are several approval mechanisms available. And this you can do with, for example, with this content package.
Then we have content packages in the area of S/4HANA, like vendor onboarding, for example, or the maintenance of purchase info record. But also we have content packages that we would like to help you when it comes to extension of processes within SAP ERP, for example, purchase requisition, approval, and release. But now enough with them. I would like to show you now these examples and also more details in the demo.
In this demo about live process content packages, I would like to show you where you can find these process content packages, how you can make use of them, and also how they have been built, actually. But let us just start where you will find them. The best starting point is here really the SAP API Business Hub. You can see there, there are several content packages, and also they are grouped by different content types. And the one we are interested in is workflow management. So if we click here, we can also see here that there is a few of them.
But if you click a few more, you can see that there are different live process content packages available. For example, capital expenditure approval process, or also content packages which are extending processes running in SAP ERP, for example, and some others where we are providing visibility scenarios. For this demo, let us check out what's going on in Business Partner Payment Data Change Approval. So what we can do there and also what is delivered there. We'll, first of all, think about business partner payment data. These are very important datas.
You will maintain them in SAP S/4HANA. But also, of course, if there are changes going on-- probably changes in some attributes, but also probably if someone wants to delete certain information, there needs to be a proper approval process. And with the help of this live process content packages, we are providing you such kind of an extension of a standard SAP S/4HANA process. So when we take a look, what we will find here in the API Business Hub, of course they are different kinds of artifacts available. So for example, you will get there in visibility scenarios. So this means you can really measure the performance end to end of this business partner payment data changes approval process.
The process itself, you would get there. So if we take a look here and we are logged on, then we can see, for example, that there are certain process steps available in a template which you can use to really build up also your own variants at the end. If we go back then of course, it's not only about processes, not only about a visibility scenario, but also we have here, business rules predefined for you which you can use, which are important during the execution of this process. In addition to that, you get also access here, for example, to the setup guide. So in this document, you get a clear description what you need to do to actually import this live process content package into your environment. And by the way, this is true for all the content packages you will find there in the API Business Hub.
So each and every time, you get here a really nice documentation which helps you to do so. If we go back now, we have seen here in the API Business Hub, there are several live process content packages available. I would like to invite you to also take a closer look on them on your own.
But now let's take a look how we can actually use them. And therefore, we are now here in this launchpad. And what we can see here of course in My Inbox application, some development tools, monitoring tools, which you probably also know from the workflow area. But here is one tile which is very interesting because it really is a kind of an door-opener to a lot of functionality, to a lot of capabilities, which we are providing with SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management. So here, the Process Flexibility Cockpit.
Designed for a business expert user who has, of course, a lot of knowledge regarding the processes itself, but also is capable to adapt his processes based on the actual business needs. So when we take a look here-- so we are here in the Process Flexibility Cockpit where you can configure the process variants you would like to have. You can also monitor them here. But also you can discover them here. So this means you can directly start here, go into the Process Hub, which is connected to the API Business Hub, and there you can see actually also the same live process content packages.
You get your information, for example, if you have already imported them into your system, whether there is probably also an update available. And then of course, you can also update your process packages in your environment. So we are now here in the area of My Live Processes. So what do we have here? So for example, Capital Expenditure Approval, but as I said, today, we would like to take a close look at the Business Partner Payment Data Change Approval. So let's take a look here.
First of all, what you can see here are these four areas. So we have here Process Variants, we have here Decisions, we here the Visibility Scenarios. And in this area, you can actually configure the different process variants you would like to have, the decisions which you need during a process, but also you can configure your visibility scenario itself.
And then you can consume this information quite easily within this Live Process Insights dashboard. And I will come to this later. Well, we are now here in the configuration phase, so to speak. And as you can see, they are already three variants available for us.
If we take a look here in the process variants, you can see that we can also create a new process variant, for example, and this is quite easy. You just need to click here, and then, for example, give it a name. Take the template here, Payment Data Change Approval Process, and create a new variant on your own. So let's take a look what's in there.
And we can see, oh, actually, there are already some predefined process steps available. And probably if you remember at the beginning, I showed you also these steps in the API Business Hub. So this is actually the first template/first variant which you can use, and then really define them based on your business needs.
And this you can easily do here with drag-and-drop functionality. And as you can see here, the system also gives you an information where you could actually add certain steps, or you could also, for example, easily delete such steps. So as you can see, the process itself, we are providing here three levels of approval. So for example, the manager-- local manager could be an approval level here. Then the area manager, and probably then VP or SVP depending really actually on your business needs. And then finally, the last step would really to actually commit these changes into the SAP S/4HANA system.
And this is very important. So we are providing here really integration into the back end system, so that once these changes has been triggered and everything got approved, that is also ensured that these changes will make it into the underlying back end system. And as you can see here, we cannot change this process step.
So what else can we do? For example, when we take a look at this, we can see, hmm, this we cannot include here. Why is this the case? Because there are certain constraints behind this model. And in this case, it has been defined that this request for change can only occur one time, and we only have it here. So you could either remove this one, or change this one, really actually based on your needs.
Once you are done with your definition, the only thing what you need to do, actually, is to save and activate it. And then the business user can use it in their process. If we go back-- so I don't want to save this now.
So if we take a look, for example, in a predefined process variants or predefined already by a business process expert, we can see, so again, we start with the data change request here. Then we have approval from the GPO. Then actually a review is happening.
And then finally, as I said again, mandatory step, to provide these changes into the SAP S/4HANA. And here of course, you are also able to do the changes, as I have shown you before. So for example, you can add here another approval step if this is necessary actually really based on your needs. And as you can see, there is no coding possible, so really focusing on the business process expert to do the changes here on the variants.
So that's about the variants, the process variants. But as I have said, it's also good that you have certain rules. So think about, for example, if you want to determine who are the approvals in your approval process. So if we take a look here into the decisions, whether they are available, we can find that actually there are two rules available. So on the one hand side, we have text rule.
And if you take a look here, so we can see that there it will be checked, for example, what kind of information will be changed, or what kind of action should be done with the change. So for example, if it should be deleted, then of course that's, let's say, a different level, a different priority, also when it comes to approval, and for example, if we compare this, if they are just data available which need to be changed at the end. So when we take a look then into the rule itself-- so we have here then also the point where it will be determined which approvals should actually be involved into the process. So and therefore we have a different kind of rule. So before, I have showed you this text rule, but in this case, we have actually a decision table. So this means here, based on the business partner details and also country details, it has been decided which approval level is necessary.
So I showed you before we have these three different levels of approval. So for example, if it is this area like the US, and the data need to be changed, approval level would then be 1. Then also there is the recipient group ID, where actually the approval then should happen. So this means the people who are included in this recipient group will actually get then the task to do the approval.
And of course, you can adapt and change these business rules and also the variants, as I showed you before, actually based on your needs. So we have had now the variants, we have the decisions, now let's take a look in the visibility scenario itself. So what you can do here is you can define, configure what kind of information should be measured, what kind of information then, and also in which format should be displayed to the end user.
So there are different events we are taking care of. So for example, when processes has been completed or a where the process has failed, or is canceled, or something like that, then of course the context information which is coming from the actual process here, and we are using there. And then, for example, we can define different state and status information.
We can include certain attributes which are important for us. And of course, we can define what kind of performance indicators we would like to measure, but also what kind of performance indicators we you would like to represent then also in which formats. So for example, bar chart, donut chart, table, whatever is required in your process here.
Besides the some performance indicators, there's another thing which you can define here. And this, I think, is great-- really great. So when we see here what we can do, actually, we can define actions. So imagine something's going wrong before a particular process instance and you need to act on this.
This is how you can define what you could do. For example, you could send out an email notification. So in this case, we would just trigger another workflow with one step, in fact, so a mail task, where we will then send out an escalation mail. Or as we are-- as I said before, this process is about an approval of changes in SAP S/4HANA system, we can also directly navigate with this navigational action into the related business partner data in the SAP S/4HANA system.
And I think this is also great because it shows you quite easily-- so on the one hand side, you have one area where you are running your approvals, where you are measuring your performance, but then you are also able to directly jump into the underlying back end system. Good. You have seen now how to manage the process variants, how to manage the decisions, how to change the visibility scenario, now let's take a look at the result of such a kind of a configuration, in fact, here of the visibility scenario.
So within this dashboard, you can see certain KPIs which have been defined. So for example, the open payment data change approvals by step, whether they are in review, for example, or whether they are currently in the step for the CFO approval, whether they are in the step for the approval of the GPO. You can take a look at the step cycle times. This is also quite interesting to know.
So how much time is spent in the different areas? So for example, how much time does the CFO need to do the approval, and also of course, then you can check whether this is really based on the internal benchmark which you have, the internal SLAs or whether you already find here an area where you would need to improve your process itself. So cycle times, you can measure, and you can really actually slice and dice this information. So for example, it is also possible that you dive into-- in the instances which are underneath this different dashboard information. So we can go here, we can also take a look, for example, at the ones which are on track. So let's take a look here.
So one example, this one here seems to be on track. Let's take a look, what's going on. We can actually take a look at a current path. So what kind of actions have been done? So it has been submitted, and now we are waiting for the approval from the GPO. So this means you have, on the one hand side, a very nice overview, an aggregated view on all the important KPIs.
But also you are able to drill down into the details. Oh, I forgot one important thing. You remembered before I was so fascinated regarding the actions you can do, and I didn't show this to you right now. Let me do it now. So here are now the actions.
So this means you can here now, for example, send an email notification or directly go into the business partner data in the SAP S/4HANA system, and I think this really great. So I have shown you now where you can find the live process content packages. I have also shown you now where you can adapt these content packages really to your needs.
Now let's take a look how this really looks once such a process is really live and in action, so to speak. OK, for demo reasons, I'm using here the same user. Of course, in the real world then, someone else would probably take a look in the inbox. So really, the central access to all the tasks which are created here within a SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management, for example.
And we can see here, there is already one task reserved by me. So Rufus Martin Payment Details Change Request is coming in there. We find here's some sample data from this bank, for example. And then, of course, it's up to the one who is doing this task either to approve or to reject it really based on this need. So this is really the point where then the business user get access to the tasks and really can interact with them.
Good. Now let's go under the hood, so to speak. Let's take a look now at how this has been built. So I have mentioned before, the content packages I have shown you in the API Business Hub, or which you can discover within the Process Flexibility Cockpit, has been, for example, built by us, or also by partners. And I just would like to show you what we have done because probably you would think, hmm, this was just a simple step there. So if we go back here-- so for example, we just had here one simple step, and probably there is not too much activity behind it.
But if we take a closer look here, we can see that also such a tiny step can have several activities, several tasks, for example-- for example, service tasks in this case. We are retrieving the approvals from the business rule. Then, of course, we also have then the first approval task, where it comes really to the approvement of the changes what we have here, for example, for the business partner bank detail.
So we can see behind the scene, there is some kind of complexity. But of course, we are hiding this complexity before the business user, and really let them focus on the business value they can create, they can generate, and really adapt these business processes here based on their needs. So this was for the approvement, and of course, also for the commitment of this change. So we leave what I have shown you, which could be the start of such a process, or also when we have here request, as mentioned before. So we have the steps, and the steps, they will go into such a template.
So the Payment Data Change Approval Process, the process steps has been defined here. For example, which coloring they have, how often they could occur. So for example, the approved payment data change, we need at least one.
I mean, that's clear, because it's an approval process, and then you should have at least one approval process step here. But you remember probably, this Commit Payment Data Change. So actually, when we transfer the information into the SAP S/4HANA system, there it's a must-- this must be there. So there we have at least one, and maximum one, because we are feeding here one system. And in addition to that, so we here the Request Payment Data Change show.
So this means in this case, we could actually also start this process without such a request itself. So based on this information-- and there are also certain attributes which we give here. But based on this information, actually the first variant has been created. And probably, you remember when I started to create my own process variant, this was my starting point.
So we have here, the three level approvals, which we also have defined here. And then based on this, based on this information, which is available based on this content in the live processes here, then the business user can start to change this information. Good.
Now finally, so as I said, you will find all these live process content packages here in the SAP API Business Hub, quite easy to find. Or if you will, you can also take a look into our community topic page, Digital Process Automation, and there you will find also directly a link to the live process content packages. And I just would like to invite you to take a look at them, make use of them.
And for example, you can also start with a sample. So here the Capital Expenditure Approval Process is available as a sample. You can use your trial environment and really figure out what kind of benefits you can gain if you are able to adapt processes, to extend business processes, or to actually create net new business processes based on predefined content packages coming with workflows, coming with processes and the process steps you have seen with the business rules and also with the visibility scenario so that you have really a fully fledged content package, which really makes your life easier and really accelerates also your digital process automation projects.
That was the demo about live process content packages. To summarize what you have seen, also what you can do with the Process Flexibility Cockpit. On an one hand side, it's the place where you can also discover the live process content packages in the Process Hub, import them, and then configure also certain variants based on your needs. And you have seen it's quite easy, just drag-and-drop functionality. Of course, you need to know what you would like to do-- that's clear.
But then it's quite easy at the end to actuate and then also deploy these new business processes variants. So within this low-code, no-code environment, we really enable to business user to really get control of any kind of changes what you would like to do there. So to summarize, what you have seen, what I have talked about, of course I've introduced you to SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management itself.
There we have workflow, decision capabilities, process visibility, and also the inbox. Focus was live process content packages. So you have now kind of an understanding what content packages are available that you can really use them as accelerators, as a starting point for your activities, and with the help of you Process Flexibility Cockpit, really the LOB user is able to do these changes on his own without the help and the need for the inclusion of the IT department. So with all this, you are really able to improve the business process experiences.
What are the key benefits? So on the one hand side, using SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management in combination with the live process content packages, you can do more with less, really free up your employees through the help of process automation. Ensure compliance-- so ensure that all the regulations you have are also covered within your business processes. And probably, also you are able then to really respond on any kind of audit trails because all the information is stored in the log files.
And very important, and I think this is what it's all about, what I've also mentioned at the beginning, we need to be able to really flexibly adapt on any kind of changes in the environment when new requirements are coming up, or even when it is necessary to fix broken business processes, and this you can do with SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management. You will find more information in some of our related TechEd sessions. I also would like to recommend to go to the hands-on session, for example, build a workflow from scratch. Probably if you haven't signed up now, you can also do this afterwards. Also the deep dive is very interesting for the ones who really-- have a more common understanding already. And then I also would like to invite you to take a look on our community site, get in contact with us via the chat functionality, and so on and so forth.
Of course, you can continue your learning experience. Just sign up here in the learning room and then you get all the information, access to all the content, and it's really highly recommended that you do so. Having said this, now we are already at the end of the session.
It has been a pleasure to introduce you to this topic, and I think now you know everything what needs to be done to really improve business process experiences with live process content packages in SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management. Thanks a lot. Take care, and I hope we will stay in contact. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]