Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SAP S/4 HANA for Customer Management: How to access your free trial instance


In our blog SAP S/4HANA for Customer Management: First Release, my colleague Simon described which functionality can be found in the first official version of the CRM add-on on S/4HANA. Now is the time to take a look for yourself at the customer management solution. How? This blog will guide you step-by-step, so you can set up your own trial version...

The complete process before you are able to login by browser, or by SAPGui consists of 3 steps and will take you about 2 hours, depending on the hosting partner. 
  1. Create a hosting platform account on Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure
  2. Create an instance of the free trial version at SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL)
  3. Connect (via various ways)
  4. Play!

1. Create a hosting platform account on GCP, AWS or Microsoft Azure

A prerequisite for a free instance of S/4HANA full appliance is that you have access to a platform to install it on. Although all three of the mentioned platforms offer your free credits on a trial account, these credits are not sufficient. You will encounter this only after you create the instance, no check is done upfront. To obtain an account create an account on one of the following platforms:



Google Cloud Platform(GCP) https://accounts.google.com/signup

  1. Create a project for the service account
  2. Assign the following roles: Compute Instance Admin (v1), Compute Network Admin, Compute Security 
  3. How to do this in detail can be found here



Amazon Web Services (AWS) http://aws.amazon.com 

  1. Ensure that the created account has the Amazon EC2 service enabled. 
  2. The IAM user associated has the following roles: AmazonEC2FullAccess, AmazonVPCFullAccess, ReadOnlyAccess, and AWSAccountUsageReportAccess
  3. Full documentation on AWS for SAP CAL can be found here 


  1. Create a Microsoft Azure account
  2. Create a subscription in your account
  3. Full documentation on Azure for SAP CAL can be found here
Which platform you choose may depend on pricing, accessibility, or ease of use. Since we already had an AWS-cloud account we chose to install our instance at Amazon.

2. Create an instance of the free trial version at SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL)

Now it’s time to actually install an SAP product!

  1. Go to http://cal.sap.com
  2. Log on with your S-user 
  3. Search for ‘SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01, Fully-Activated Appliance’ under ‘Solutions’. This includes the Customer Management Add-on
  4. Click on ‘Create instance’
  5. Fill in a name and description for your instance account (eg. AcorelS4HANACRM)
  6. If you select your provider, you can fill in your credentials
  7. Choose the default region and a password and click on ‘Create’. 
If you follow the above steps, your instance will be created. This process will take about ~90 minutes. You have the option to suspend the instance automatically after a certain time. If you have already activated your instance earlier and it has been suspended, you can activate it again. This will take approximately 10 minutes and will be shown like this:




This also gives you a nice overview of all the components installed, including the costs per hour when activated.

3. Connect

Once your instance is activated, you can connect by clicking the ‘Connect’-button. This will trigger a popup which shows 4 different options to your brand new system:

  • RDP - This opens up a remote desktop connection to a Windows Server. From there you can open the Fiori Launchpad (see 4.)
  • HTTPS - A direct connection to the SAP Netweaver Administrator
  • SAP GUI - This links to a backend SAPGui-shortcut which you can use to do customizing etc. You need to have SAPGui installed (can be downloaded here)
  • HTTP - Direct link to the BI launchpad


As said earlier, if you activate your instance, you have the option to suspend it automatically after a certain time. This will save money, but be warned….you don’t get a warning before you’re kicked out.

4. Play!

Via RDP, you can now play around in your very own S/4HANA with CM Add-on instance.  Just find the Welcome!-page on the desktop to run the Fiori-launchpad.

You can execute all the demo scripts delivered by SAP here:

A thing that immediately stands out when you log in, is the centered Main Menu. This Fiori menu holds all entries previously only available in the navigation bar or Home Screen. 



Another thing that is different from CRM on premise, is that the different assignment blocks on an object can also be accessed via tabs. Those who are familiair with SAP Sales & Service Cloud, might recognize this. 


The new Belize theme that is used looks cleaner with less useless space. Navigation options have been centralized and browsing history has been added.



Conclusion

The S/4HANA CM add-on has fresh design with some nice UI-features. However, the basics for service management have not changed. Although..... Why don't you take a closer look for yourself and you might spot some differences!