Customer Sessions Highlight SAP BTP Capabilities
Partners also Play a Key Role in Customer Success
Meet the Experts
⇨ Organizations do not need to be running SAP S/4HANA to leverage SAP BTP
⇨ Partners can help provide skills and knowledge to internal teams looking to leverage SAP BTP
⇨ The biggest benefits of projects are not always in plug-in technologies but in building solutions to meet specific needs
At the SAP BTP Executive Summit event in Philadelphia, eight SAP customers shared stories about their experiences with SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). SAPinsider attended sessions presented by representatives from CommScope, Florida Crystals, Langan, and Pfizer. Other sessions were led by representatives from Coty, Messer, PVH Corporation, and Viatris. While SAP BTP partners played different roles with each of these projects, it was notable that each customer presented their journey with a partner.
Although each customer session focused on how customers leveraged SAP BTP, significant differences were seen in their technology journeys and the services they used. For example, Pfizer revealed that they started a lengthy journey to SAP ERP only in 2011 and had not been an SAP customer before they acquired Wyeth Pharma in 2009. However, Pfizer started evaluating SAP BTP in 2017 even though they only completed their SAP ECC global deployments in 2022. This demonstrates it is not necessary to run SAP S/4HANA to use SAP BTP, a fact that is sometimes unclear to many organizations.
During the session, Pfizer partly attributed their success to their BTP Council, which provided them with a generalist approach in contrast to traditional functional and technical teams. The BTP Council facilitated a collaborative forum that allowed multiple groups across the organization to innovate, be less reactive, and more intentional in their projects. This allowed the company to move forward with smaller projects that could be implemented more frequently.
Pfizer’s partners in the venture, BlueBoot, helped educate Pfizer teams about SAP BTP as well as demonstrating SAP BTP’s capabilities to Pfizer’s BTP Council. BlueBoot also worked with Pfizer to build a single cybersecurity dashboard based on data and logs in multiple SAP solutions. They also enabled Pfizer to readily consume audit logs from applications like SAP Integration Suite, which were initially difficult to read for Pfizer’s team.
Pfizer’s concluding insight from the session suggested that moving from traditional SAP to modern SAP with SAP BTP can be challenging, and while technology is important, it is only one aspect of SAP BTP.
On the other hand, Langan which operates in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space, faced challenges related to embracing technology and using outdated ERP solutions built specifically for the AEC ecosystem. Langan’s primary motivation for moving to SAP was to have a single source of truth, unify their data schema, remove data silos, and improve data harmonization and accuracy.
Langan’s final solution leveraged their existing solutions like Deltek Vision, Microsoft Dynamics, and Equis, in conjunction with SAP SuccessFactors, SAP S/4HANA, SAP BTP with SAP Datasphere, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation. SAP Datasphere has become the core of Langan’s environment, and bringing all their data sources into it has significantly simplified much of their business.
As part of the process Langan worked with Avvale to build an interface in SAP BTP which allowed them to capture all their complex data needs and create entries in SAP S/4HANA. This allowed Langan to pull together their data in one sequence. While there were initial challenges, for example Deltek Vision was dramatically different from SAP S/4HANA, once internal teams grasped the possibilities of what could be achieved there were many requests for additional features. This ended up causing multiple delays to the final project go-live. However, Langan estimated that overall they could save over 300 hours a week in manual effort by project coordinators, and a 20% effort savings in closing.
What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?
No two customer environments are the same, and each customer and industry has unique needs they must meet. An organization in the biopharmaceutical space has different needs than an architecture, engineering, and construction company. However, both can leverage SAP technologies to solve their specific business challenges. What are some suggestions for SAPinsiders as they work to address their own needs?
- Stop limiting technological possibilities. Many organizations believe that using SAP BTP capabilities requires RISE with SAP or SAP S/4HANA. However, while RISE with SAP does include SAP BTP consumption credits as part of the offering, SAP BTP is a suite of products and services that is just as capable of working with SAP ECC as with SAP S/4HANA. If there are questions about whether a specific SAP offering is capable of working with a given environment or in solving a particular problem, ask an expert from SAP or a partner. Only by learning from experts is it possible to remove artificial constraints on using different technologies.
- Challenge the status quo. One of the takeaways from Langan’s journey was that, although they were told on multiple occasions that there were technology limitations, they worked to find a way around those challenges and found that the results and the effort were worth the investment. It is also beneficial to find a partner that can help with educating internal teams and finding solutions to roadblocks.
- The biggest benefit is often in what can be built. Many organizations hope to buy a solution that can immediately solve their problems. However, both Langan and Pfizer found that their biggest successes came from what they built with the technologies they invested in. Pfizer established a council that helped them accomplish small projects quickly, while Langan was able to build a central repository of clean data and build applications around that. Building solutions on a platform can often provide a better foundation for success than simply investing in a specific technology or solution.