Professional Services is an exclusive S/4HANA Cloud Essentials module for service providers. It offers project management functionalities and shares similarities with Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management (EPPM), including support for customer/internal projects, financial reporting and time recording. However, Professional Services has its own CDS views and Fiori apps, which are totally different from those in the EPPM solution.
Let’s take a look at some key capabilities of Professional Services to understand how it differs from EPPM.
1. Dedicated Fiori apps for project management
Professional Services has dedicated Fiori apps that are not available in EPPM, and vice versa. The most important ones are Plan Customer Projects and Plan Internal Projects. These offer a wide range of PM functionalities such as project and WBS structure creation, status management, resource assignment, cost planning (baseline + current), billing plan maintenance, and project status & financial overview. For customer projects you can also navigate directly to the billing app.
2. Basic and advanced resource management
In Professional Services, assigning resources to WBS elements is simple. The system calculates planned costs and revenue based on planned hours and rates. Cost rates can be made more granular using different dimensions, from company code to employee number. Assigned resources can see tasks automatically in the ‘My Timesheet’ app. The ‘restrict unstaffed posting’ flag controls whether non-assigned resources can book time.
Advanced Resource Management isn’t included by default but can improve project staffing. It provides better insights into utilisation rates and requested resources, identifies overbooked and available resources and considers skill sets. You can take action based on current assignments, open resource requests and the skill set of each individual resource.
3. Project billing
In Professional Services, the ‘Plan Customer Projects’ app manages billing using a sales order (SO03). The module offers fixed price, time & expenses, periodic service and usage-based billing. Billing begins with creating a debit memo request, optional preliminary billing and final billing. Time and expense billing allows postponing and writing off amounts.
4. Limitations of Professional Services
The above features are an advantage when using Professional Services compared to EPPM. However, Professional Services also has its limitations and lacks a number of features.
Professional Services is not designed for logistics projects, so it doesn’t integrate with demand management for stock materials, nor does it cover outbound deliveries linked to projects. While it’s technically possible to link free-of-charge sales orders to a project via WBS elements and create demand and deliveries, this process isn’t officially supported by SAP for Professional Services, unlike in EPPM, where it’s an SAP best practice. In project management, Professional Services has a two-level structure of WBS elements, with the first level reserved for billing WBS elements, leaving only level 2 for subordinate cost WBS elements. Cost WBS elements have a flat structure without hierarchy, unlike EPPM, which has a multilevel structure like S/4HANA On-Premise.
Professional Services offers unique features that are not found in EPPM, making it valuable for companies in the service industry. Even businesses with manufacturing or engineering activities linked to their projects may find these features useful. However, because of its limitations in logistics, EPPM may be more suitable.
For companies focused solely on professional services, this industry solution is an excellent option, as they can take advantage of the specialised Fiori apps, tailored billing processes and advanced resource management capabilities.
Want to optimise your Professional Services through S/4HANA Cloud? TheValueChain has your back.