Optimizing working capital across a highly complex enterprise and its supply chain is far from straightforward. Learn why a best-of-breed working capital management solution is a better choice than end-to-end software like SAP S/4HANA.

March 28, 2019
By Taulia
By Taulia

What’s preferable – an end-to-end solution that avoids the need for additional vendors or a best-of-breed solution that delivers the best possible results for your company? When it comes to working capital optimization, we believe that a best-of-breed solution offers clear advantages.

SAP S/4HANA, introduced back in 2015, is a hugely prominent end-to-end ERP solution. While it’s a powerful piece of software with many strengths, we’re here to explain why a dedicated best-of-breed alternative like Taulia is a better choice for working capital management.

What is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP S/4HANA, launched in 2015, is the latest version of SAP Business Suite. It’s an ERP solution used to manage and optimize processes across distinct departments in large enterprises, from sales to accounting. S/4HANA comes in both cloud and on-premise versions, and offers many improvements on previous SAP releases.

In fact, SAP has said that support for older versions will end in 2027, meaning that all SAP customers will need to migrate to S/4HANA by that date. Described by CEO Bill McDermott as the company’s “biggest launch in 23 years, if not in the entire history of the company,” S/4HANA is widely seen as a major step forward for SAP.

The advancements that S/4HANA’s unique architecture offers range from real-time analytics to democratized data access, leveraging SAP’s in-memory platform, SAP HANA. It also offers greater opportunities for companies to control end-to-end business processes within SAP – including the ability to manage areas such as invoicing and discounting using SAP Ariba. In light of these opportunities, the advantages and simplicity of a single solution approach can seem highly compelling.

Specialists in working capital

However, when it comes to working capital management, optimizing working capital across a highly complex enterprise – and its supply chain – is anything but simple. For this, companies need a high level of visibility into working capital deployment. They also need the ability to pull different ‘levers’ quickly so they can unlock cash for their own business, drive greater returns on excess cash, or improve supply chain liquidity to support health and innovation.

This requires a highly sophisticated vendor that can act as an expert partner, both guiding and supporting a company to achieve its goals. It also requires a unique blend of financing and technology skills specifically focused on working capital – something that is not easily gained from a more generic end-to-end solution like SAP S/4HANA.

This is why we believe that when it comes to working capital optimization, best-of-breed is the only route to go. And we are confident that Taulia’s offering in this area is unrivalled. Focusing squarely on working capital solutions, we offer companies the very best opportunities to unlock working capital from their supply chains.

Not only does our platform offer fully realized dynamic discounting and supply chain financing solutions – we also enable corporate buyers to move effortlessly between the two. This means you can switch from a bank-funded solution to a self-funded solution as your business needs evolve. What’s more, we’re harnessing the power of AI to help companies accurately predict supplier behavior and make better-informed decisions about working capital.

The results speak for themselves. Our network includes 9 million connections around the world connecting 2 million businesses across 168 countries and has accelerated more than $163bn in early payments.

Effective integration

The benefits of using a sophisticated solution for working capital optimization are clear – but specialist applications also need to integrate seamlessly with a company’s other systems. As an SAP Build Partner, Taulia is closely integrated with SAP, meaning that SAP customers can use Taulia’s platform without the need for any middleware.

With many of our customers preparing to migrate to S/4HANA in the next few years, we’ve taken swift action to make the transition seamless. As well as making sure we are ready to offer support and guidance, we have also developed a new S/4HANA add-on. So companies using Taulia for working capital optimization can still benefit from effective integration with SAP – and, indeed, with other leading ERP systems.

Best of both worlds

One company that has opted for the best-of-breed approach is Airbus, which uses Taulia’s supply chain finance solution to offer early payment to suppliers. Airbus was also the first of our customers to upgrade their SAP systems from ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA by taking advantage of our S/4HANA add-on. It took just five days for Airbus to implement the add-on and achieve full integration between Taulia’s platform and S/4HANA.

Since we launched the new add-on, other customers have started transitioning to S/4HANA, both from older SAP environments and from non-SAP environments, while continuing to rely on our working capital solutions. Meanwhile, the SAP Integration and Certification Center (ICC) has certified that Taulia Business Exchange 3.0.0 integrates with SAP S/4HANA – giving customers confidence that Taulia’s add-on is fully up-to-date with SAP’s latest release.

As well as supporting the migration to S/4HANA, the new add-on also comes with some additional features, including new user interfaces based on SAP Fiori. So customers moving to S/4HANA can rest assured that they will continue to benefit from Taulia’s commitment to harnessing technology for their benefit. And of course, our professional services and product teams are fully enabled to support customers as they migrate to S/4HANA.

To summarize, when it comes to managing cash flow and working capital, leading companies opt for Taulia. And with many of our customers migrating to S/4HANA, we are fully prepared to support customers in this transition – while also continuing to develop our offering and invest in new functionalities.