Extend Your ERP using Clean Core Approach

Need to extend your SAP Application ? Here is what you need to know about ‘Clean Core Extendibility’

SAP S/4HANA Cloud operates in the cloud and is managed by SAP, making it distinct from traditional software products. All customers share the same base code, and updates are applied to everyone at the same time.

This setup makes it impractical for individual customers to implement custom enhancements as they could in previous on-premises systems. However, customer-specific enhancements are still essential. The methods and procedures for making these enhancements must be entirely reimagined and redesigned to suit the cloud environment.

The “Clean Core” Concept: Strategy and Implementation for SAP S/4HANA Cloud

The phrase “keep the core clean” was introduced by former SAP CTO Björn Goerke at TechEd 2018. He explained how SAP Cloud Platform Functions and Enterprise Messaging can develop agile, responsive applications while keeping the system’s core clean. Over the years, new methods and techniques for maintaining a clean core have emerged. I will outline these in detail.

The “clean core” concept is both an idea and a strategy for a modern, adaptable, and cloud-compliant SAP S/4HANA Cloud environment. It involves integrating and extending SAP S/4HANA Cloud to align with cloud standards, maintain high-quality master data, and optimize business process governance. By following this methodology, customers can enhance system maintainability, improve performance, and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions.

Maintaining a clean core is crucial for several reasons.

  • Ensures core system stability and reliability for smooth business operations.
  • Allows easier upgrades and updates with fewer customizations to manage, enabling faster implementation of new SAP features and capabilities.
  • Improves overall system security by minimizing vulnerabilities from extensive customizations.
  • Supports better data management and governance, maintaining accurate and consistent master data for informed decision-making.
  • Enhances compliance with regulatory requirements by maintaining high standards of data integrity and quality.
  • Increases business agility and responsiveness to changing market conditions.
  • Enables quick adaptation to new business needs, scaling operations, and leveraging emerging technologies without the hindrance of a heavily customized and fragmented core system.


What is the ‘Core’?

The core of SAP S/4HANA Cloud encompasses its fundamental elements, which can be considered as dimensions or components. These include:

Processes: These are the sequences of actions or steps taken within SAP S/4HANA Cloud. They cover the entire journey from start to finish, ensuring that an outcome is delivered or a result is achieved. These processes are designed to handle end-to-end (E2E) activities efficiently.

Data: This refers to all the information stored and used by SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Data is crucial for the system’s operations and is divided into three main types: configuration data (settings that define how the system operates), master data (core data essential to business operations), and transactional data (data generated from business transactions).

Integration: Integration involves connecting SAP S/4HANA Cloud with other software systems. This connection allows for the seamless exchange of data, which is essential for supporting various processes and ensuring they run smoothly.

Operations: These are the necessary maintenance tasks performed within SAP S/4HANA Cloud to keep it running efficiently. Operations include managing software releases, scheduling background jobs, handling user permissions, and setting up monitoring and alert systems to keep an eye on the system’s performance.

Extensibility: Extensibility is the ability to expand SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s functionality. This allows businesses to add features and capabilities that meet specific organizational needs not covered by the standard software.


How to achieve a Clean Core?

How can we extend your ERP with clean core?

The clean core methodology is designed to ensure that any extensions made to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system do not interfere with upgrades, and upgrades do not disrupt the extensions. Here are the key guidelines to follow:

Fit-to-Standard: Always strive to use SAP’s standard processes as much as possible. This means adopting the predefined business processes provided by SAP instead of creating custom ones. By doing so, you ensure that your system remains aligned with SAP’s best practices and is easier to upgrade in the future.

Zero-Modifications Policy: From the very beginning of your project, commit to a policy of making no modifications to the standard SAP code. Modifications can complicate future upgrades and maintenance. Instead, look for ways to meet your requirements using standard configurations and extensibility options provided by SAP.

Utilize Extension Options: Take full advantage of the various extension options available, such as In-App extensions, Developer extensions, and Side-by-Side extensions. Choose the option that best fits your specific needs. Ensure that you use only whitelisted and approved APIs to maintain system integrity and compatibility.

Remove Redundant Enhancements: Review any existing enhancements and remove those that duplicate standard SAP functionality. Avoid creating “clones” of standard code, as these can cause conflicts and issues during upgrades. Streamlining your enhancements helps keep the system clean and easier to manage.

Cloud Transition Mindset: Approach your project with the mindset that you are transitioning from an on-premise SAP S/4HANA system to a cloud-based SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. Leverage the capabilities of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) Extension and Integration Suites for application development and system integration. This will help you take full advantage of cloud features and ensure a smoother transition.

Different Ways of extending the ERP with clean core includes the following.

ABAP Extensibility on Stack

Extending an SAP ERP using ABAP on the stack is a key method. Even though there’s a focus on keeping the core clean, ABAP still allows for tightly integrated expansions. This means you can add new features without cluttering the system.

This option connects the primary user with side-by-side extension possibilities. On-stack developer extensibility allows you to create personalized ABAP code. It also accommodates partner extension projects that need integration with SAP S/4HANA data, transactions, or applications, using a limited ABAP version. This option suits extension projects that surpass the capabilities of key user extensions.


Key User (In-app) Extensibility

SAP Fiori extensibility apps enable business experts or citizen developers to customize user interfaces, processes, email templates, and forms using a low-code/no-code approach. Consequently, these users, knowledgeable in business processes and configuration, can easily incorporate extensions without needing extensive coding skills. Moreover, this approach democratizes the customization process, allowing more users to contribute to the development of business applications.

While some development skills are helpful for creating custom objects and implementing logic with the cloud ABAP web editor, they are not strictly required. Therefore, even those with minimal programming experience can still achieve significant customization. Additionally, the intuitive design of SAP Fiori extensibility apps further simplifies the process, ensuring that users can make changes efficiently.

Side-by-side Extensibility

For other loosely-coupled extension scenarios that integrate with the extended SAP S/4HANA system, extensions operate on the separated SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). This model, therefore, is the favored choice for developing extensions that are both loosely coupled and seamlessly integrated with SAP S/4HANA data, transactions, or applications. Consequently, it offers a robust framework for creating extensions that enhance the functionality of SAP S/4HANA, ensuring smooth integration with minimal disruption.


At Intellect, our experienced consultants specialize in maintaining a clean core ERP system in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. We implement strategies such as fit-to-standard practices, zero-modifications policy, and various extensibility options to ensure your ERP remains agile, secure, and cloud-compliant. Trust Intellect to enhance your system’s performance and governance effectively.

Navigating SAP outsourcing

Mastering obstacles and attaining success

SAP serves as the foundational platform for various business functions, encompassing ERP, logistics, financial, and human capital management. SAP implementation holds significant potential for driving the digital revolution in industries like manufacturing, automotive, telecommunications, healthcare, and more. Nevertheless, without proper management, SAP adoption may fall short of delivering the expected outcomes.

Many enterprises face challenges in managing large-scale projects due to either a lack of expertise or time constraints. As a solution, they opt for SAP outsourcing firms, which can efficiently handle such projects within their budget and schedule limitations. Outsourcing can be from the onshore or it can be done in the offshore. Outsourcing can occur either onshore or offshore. Offering remote options meets consultants’ expectations for location independence and work-life balance, while also providing companies access to a broader pool of resources.


Therefore, if you are considering any aspect of SAP-related work within your organization, such as implementation, rollout, application support, or improvement, outsourcing could offer the most advantageous approach. Let’s delve into navigating this process, selecting the optimal vendor for your needs, and overcoming the challenges of SAP adoption with a reliable partner by your side.


Navigating SAP Challenges Through Tech Collaborations

SAP stands as a globally recognized and highly effective solution for enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management, customer relationship management (CRM), and various other business functions. However, it also represents a complex ecosystem requiring significant investments in time, resources, and effort. Among the most pressing challenges of SAP outsourcing and adoption include:

  • Time – SAP initiatives frequently demand extensive dedication and effort. It’s essential to set realistic expectations and brace for potentially prolonged periods of development, spanning months or even years.
  • Expense – Introducing a new system is commonly perceived as a means to save costs. Nevertheless, the implementation expenses must be carefully evaluated against the benefits derived from the new system.
  • Transition management – Remember that deploying a new system often necessitates alterations in business operations. This could entail adjustments in processes, roles, and duties.

Well experienced consultants can tackle all these challenges. Specializing in SAP outsourcing services, these experts possess the requisite expertise and skills, which is precisely why enterprises prefer collaborating with a trustworthy vendor rather than embarking on such endeavors independently. However, it’s important to note that these are not the sole challenges associated with SAP adoption.


Aligning Technology with Business Processes and Requirements

A frequent challenge in SAP projects arises from inadequate comprehension of existing business requirements and the technology to support them. To seamlessly integrate SAP within your enterprise’s complex ecosystem, you require a partner capable of delving deeply into current systems, data flows, processes, and user needs. This process, known as Product Discovery, enables SAP outsourcing experts to assess the current system specifications and outline the necessary technical tools for meaningful transformation.


The complexity in designing the system

Once the existing processes and requirements are grasped, the subsequent obstacle involves crafting a system that aligns with the business’s needs. The system must be tailored to fulfill both the current and future requirements of the business.

A careful analysis of the current state of the system should be conducted and planned for the desired one. The design process encompasses technical and business aspects, including workflow, user interface, security, scalability, and data integration. Only after thorough design can we proceed to the development stage.


Integrating with Current Systems

Another challenge in SAP projects involves merging the new system into the existing infrastructure. This often entails intricate data mapping and the integration of various third-party solutions. Moreover, specialized tools like middleware and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools may be necessary to streamline the integration process. While SAP provides its native middleware solutions such as SAP PI or CPI, in certain scenarios, third-party offerings may be more suitable.

Creating interfaces between various systems can be intricate and time-intensive. Therefore, it is essential to collaborate with a trustworthy technology partner who possesses a deep understanding of SAP and other third-party solutions commonly integrated with it.


Key factors to consider prior to outsourcing an SAP project

Deploying SAP solutions provides numerous advantages for enterprises, such as enhanced efficiency, better asset management, improved customer service, heightened security, cost savings, and more. However, it is essential to recognize that SAP implementation is a costly, intricate, and time-consuming endeavor. The project may span years and require substantial investment to complete. A reliable consulting and development partner will highlight the following considerations:


Business requirements

Initially, you must identify if SAP aligns with your business requirements. Industries such as manufacturing, retail, finance, and logistics often benefit from SAP solutions due to their complex supply chains, financial operations, and inventory management needs. For such companies, SAP can prove to be an indispensable solution for addressing significant challenges.

Some businesses may find SAP offerings to be excessive, particularly small and mid-size organizations that do not oversee complex operations. It is crucial to collaborate with a consulting partner who can objectively assess whether SAP is the appropriate choice for your business requirements.


Cost associated with SAP services and implementation

A significant challenge in SAP projects is the expense of implementation. Companies need to factor in the considerable costs linked with training, maintenance, and software support. SAP provides a wide array of pricing models based on factors like user count, user tiers, usage of SAP cloud, and additional services. Depending on your organization’s requirements and user base, annual expenses for SAP alone could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. When factoring in implementation costs, the overall annual expenses can be substantial.

Select a partner who respects your budget. If your business necessitates SAP and you are willing to invest, you seek collaborators who handle your investment responsibly. Choose an SAP outsourcing vendor who ensures your investment’s value and aids in generating ROI in the long term.


Complicated data transfer

Migrating data from legacy systems to SAP poses its unique challenges. To tackle this task effectively, you’ll need a partner equipped with the expertise to leverage data migration tools such as ETL.



ETL tools serve as the backbone for data transfer between SAP systems and other platforms, enabling seamless integration across multiple systems. They adeptly handle data format conversion and conduct thorough data cleansing checks, ensuring data integrity. Additionally, ETL tools externalize extraction and transformation rules, streamlining maintenance processes.

By considering these factors and following the steps outlined above, you can successfully delegate your SAP project. Ensure thorough research and select a vendor capable of meeting your needs. Also, consider your business requirements and assess the factors influencing your choice of SAP. Through proper planning and assessment, you can achieve timely and budget-friendly project completion.


Navigating SAP Outsourcing: Best Practices

SAP is complex and requires a lot of time and effort to set up. It’s important to have experts to do it right. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a dependable SAP partner to help with the process and provide ongoing support. Here are the important things to consider,

  • Grasp your business requirements: Before outsourcing SAP, it’s crucial to understand your business needs. Identify the essential capabilities required for your company’s success. Reflect on the services required, project scope, and available budget. Investing in SAP software should align with genuine business necessities, not merely following competitors. A trustworthy SAP consulting partner aids in evaluating the necessity of investing resources—money, time, and effort—into specific SAP solutions.
  • Explore vendor options: Following a thorough understanding of your needs, initiate research on potential vendors. Seek out firms boasting SAP experience and specialization in your industry. Assess their portfolio and client feedback to ascertain their capability to deliver requisite services. Given that SAP consulting firms frequently offer development services, collaborating with a single partner for both consulting and development may prove advantageous.
  • Reach out to prospective partners: Upon pinpointing potential vendors offering SAP outsourcing, draft a Request for Proposal and initiate contact. During subsequent discussions, furnish comprehensive details regarding the project scope, timeline, budget, and any other pertinent information. Transparency is key, ensuring all project aspects are openly discussed with the vendor.
  • Choose a vendor: Following extensive discussions with SAP outsourcing vendors, opt for the one aligning best with your requirements. Ensure the selected vendor possesses the requisite experience and expertise to deliver the project punctually and within budget. Subsequently, negotiate the terms and conditions of the agreement. Both parties should establish clarity regarding the project timeline, costs, and any other pertinent details.
  • Execute the project: With the agreement concluded, commence project implementation. Verify that the vendor possesses the necessary resources and personnel to ensure timely project completion.


Considerations in Selecting a Trustworthy SAP Partner

Choosing an SAP outsourcing partner requires careful consideration to ensure that the solution aligns with your business goals within your budget. Here are key factors to evaluate when assessing SAP outsourcing companies:

  • Expertise: Seek an SAP implementation partner with a proven track record of successful projects and industry-specific knowledge. Beyond SAP proficiency, prioritize partners who comprehend the unique requirements of your business domain. The fusion of technical acumen and domain expertise will greatly benefit your SAP outsourcing endeavor.
  • Strategic Vision: Opt for a partner offering comprehensive services beyond SAP outsourcing. It’s advantageous to collaborate with a partner experienced in integrating SAP with various third-party solutions. By keeping an eye on the broader enterprise landscape, you’ll anticipate future needs, such as integrating SAP with Salesforce, Hybris, or OpenText. A partner with extensive expertise ensures seamless integration and future scalability for your enterprise.
  • Assessing Past Projects: Scrutinize the partner’s portfolio to gauge their experience and the range of services offered. Delve into their case studies to gain insight into their hands-on experience and capabilities. Evaluating their previous projects provides valuable insights into their expertise and suitability for your needs.
  • Assessing Reputation: Following a review of the vendor’s portfolio, it’s essential to gauge client satisfaction. Explore various ranking websites to examine average satisfaction ratings and authentic client feedback. This process reinforces confidence in shortlisted SAP outsourcing companies under consideration as potential vendors.
  • Flexibility: Verify that the partner is adaptable and capable of accommodating any changes that may occur during the implementation process.


Final thoughts: reaching the desired results with Intellect

Intellect stands as a leading global provider of SAP solutions, delivering a wide spectrum of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses worldwide. With our offshore development center strategically located in Sri Lanka, we harness the expertise of our experienced resources to offer unparalleled services at competitive rates.

Our offerings span the entire SAP landscape, covering consulting, custom development, application management, and seamless third-party integrations. Moreover, Intellect specializes in ABAP development, SAP Application Managed Services (AMS), global template rollouts, and cloud migration solutions. Businesses entrust Intellect to spearhead their digital transformation journey, ensuring optimal utilization of SAP investments and driving operational excellence.





Streamlining Business Process Management with SAP Signavio

SAP, a pioneer in enterprise software solutions, has consistently surprised and impressed its clientele with each iteration of its offerings, from the traditional ECC (Enterprise Central Component) to the revolutionary S/4HANA. Now, with the introduction of Rise with SAP, the company continues to redefine collaborative solutions for businesses worldwide. This latest trend in the market promises to provide a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to elevate organizations to new heights of efficiency and innovation.

One of the standout features of SAP’s approach is its commitment to delivering a bundle of new features and add-ons with each version release. These updates not only cater to the evolving needs of businesses but also bring a host of benefits that can immensely impact organizational performance. Rise with SAP is no exception to this trend, offering a range of collaborative solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of modern enterprises.

At the heart of SAP’s latest offering lies the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite—an all-encompassing solution designed to empower organizations with the tools they need to continuously improve and transform their operations. This powerful suite comprises a myriad of interconnected tools, each serving a specific purpose in the journey towards process excellence.



                                                                                   Figure 01: SAP Signavio Overview

Benefits of SAP Signavio

  • Fast and Actionable Insights- Process Insights provides rapid and actionable insights into process weaknesses and improvement opportunities, enabling organizations to make quick decisions for enhancing efficiency.
  • Comparison Against Best Practices- By comparing organizational processes against industry best practices, Process Insights offers valuable recommendations for driving innovation and ensuring that businesses stay competitive.
  • Advanced Analytics Capabilities: SAP Signavio Process Intelligence offers advanced analytics capabilities to identify areas for improvement by analyzing both SAP and non-SAP data sources.
  • Deep Insights into Process Performance: By leveraging powerful data mining techniques, Process Intelligence provides deep insights into process performance and inefficiencies, enabling organizations to uncover hidden patterns, bottlenecks, and optimization opportunities.
  • Comprehensive Understanding of Processes: With Process Intelligence, organizations gain a comprehensive understanding of their processes from end to end, allowing stakeholders to visualize process flows and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) effectively.
  • Prioritization of Improvement Initiatives: Stakeholders can pinpoint areas of inefficiency and prioritize improvement initiatives, whether it’s reducing cycle times, minimizing errors, or optimizing resource utilization.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Process Intelligence enables organizations to make data-driven decisions, facilitating continuous improvement and transformation by providing the insights needed for informed actions.

Furthermore, Process Intelligence goes beyond retrospective analysis to offer predictive capabilities, enabling organizations to anticipate future trends and proactively address potential issues. By identifying emerging patterns and outliers, it helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions.

By integrating Process Intelligence into their workflow, organizations can unlock new levels of efficiency and agility. Whether it’s streamlining operations, improving customer satisfaction, or enhancing compliance, Process Intelligence empowers organizations to achieve their business objectives with confidence.


Design the future state

  • Designing the Future with SAP Signavio Process Manager- Insight alone is not enough to drive meaningful change. Organizations must also have the ability to envision and design the future state of their operations. This is where SAP Signavio Process Manager comes into play. By providing a platform to design, model, and analyze new processes, Process Manager empowers stakeholders to explore various scenarios and assess the impact of proposed changes before implementation. Its simulation capabilities enable organizations to visualize the consequences of their decisions, mitigating risks and optimizing outcomes.
  • Creating Customer Journeys with SAP Signavio Journey Modeler- In parallel, SAP Signavio Journey Modeler enables the creation of visually compelling customer journeys—a crucial aspect of modern business transformation efforts. By mapping customer interactions and touchpoints, Journey Modeler helps organizations align their processes with customer needs and expectations, fostering enhanced engagement and loyalty.


Implement & Rollout

  • Implementing Changes with SAP Signavio Process Governance- With the roadmap in place, the next step is to implement and rollout the proposed changes effectively. This is where SAP Signavio Process Governance plays a pivotal role. By providing tools for managing and governing process automation content, Process Governance ensures that changes are implemented in a structured and controlled manner. Its content repository serves as a centralized hub for storing and accessing process-related assets, facilitating collaboration and accountability across the organization.
  • Empowering Employees with SAP Process Automation- By leveraging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and low-code/no-code solutions, SAP Process Automation enables organizations to automate routine and repetitive tasks, freeing up resources for more strategic endeavors.
  • Fostering Collaboration with SAP Process Collaboration Hub- However, successful transformation requires more than just technological solutions—it requires a cultural shift towards collaboration and transparency. This is where the SAP Process Collaboration Hub comes into play. Serving as the single source of truth for business processes within the organization, the Collaboration Hub fosters a culture of collaboration by providing stakeholders with a platform to review, publish, and share process-related content. By promoting open communication and knowledge sharing, the Collaboration Hub empowers employees to actively participate in the transformation journey, driving organizational agility and innovation.



SAP Signavio stands as a catalyst for accelerating business process transformation, equipping organizations with the essential tools and insights necessary to initiate and sustain meaningful change. SAP Signavio offers tailored solutions to empower organizations from identifying improvement opportunities to designing and implementing future-state processes, navigating today’s evolving business landscape.

At its core, SAP Signavio embodies the principles of collaboration, transparency, and innovation, fostering an environment where stakeholders can actively engage in the transformation journey. By embracing these principles, organizations can leverage SAP Signavio to not only optimize existing processes but also to pioneer new approaches that drive efficiency, agility, and competitiveness.

SAP Signavio helps organizations simplify operations, make better decisions, and stay ahead of emerging trends by combining advanced analytics, process modeling, and automation. By leveraging the insights provided by SAP Signavio, organizations can unlock new levels of efficiency, agility, and competitiveness, positioning themselves for success in an ever-changing business landscape.