SAP BTP – A strong business foundation for the Intelligent Enterprise

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Key Takeaways

⇨ BTP is foundational to and designed for SAP applications.

⇨ With SAP Business Technology Platform, businesses can confidently address 100 percent of their business requirements faster.

⇨ Organizations of all sizes, in any line-of-business, in any industry can rely upon the depth and breadth of SAP applications to run every part of their business.

Are you thinking of migrating to SAP S/4HANA Cloud?

If you are, the next question you would contemplate is: Should we go with private or public cloud? This is a tough question to deal with for many organizations. If you are already on an earlier SAP ERP solution like ECC, private cloud might seem like the best path, as some of the custom development you already have can be reused. This is less disruptive to the organization and also the least transformative path.

Less disruptive might sound great, but most organizations want to move to the cloud to reduce the total cost of ownership and to become nimbler—to quickly capitalize on new business models and realize innovations shortly after their introduction to the marketplace. This is what transformative means—doing more with less.

So, why wouldn’t everyone just jump into the public, true SaaS option for S/4HANA Cloud?

There are two points to consider when embracing such a transformative change. The first is the organization’s ability to fit to standardized business processes. After years of buying off-the-shelf solutions to address their business requirements, most organizations question whether these customizations are truly necessary or just a reflection of their business’s inability to accept change.

Customizations are expensive to build and maintain. These also have a coagulating effect on the business in a marketplace where fluidity is the most important aspect of fostering competitive advantage. A discouraging reality for many customers is when they begin to explore the usage of their customizations and realize that more than half are not even used in their business processes. “Fit-to-standard” may not be as elusive as once thought.

What does ‘fit-to-standard’ really mean and why is it important? Fit-to-standard means adopting out-of-the-box solution processes and making them the standard business processes. It means highly limited or no customization at all. (We will come back to that point.) Fitting-to-standard is important because it allows businesses to realize innovations by line-of-business and industry as and when they are introduced to the market in the least amount of time possible.

How do businesses adopt standard business processes? This is a change management exercise. Business Process Management (BPM) is necessary for identifying how a business operates today, and then make comparisons with how it will adopt best practice business processes that have been developed by industry and line of business through an iterative engagement with key market players. However, BPM efforts can be viewed as having questionable value.

Some organizations have seen their investments result in static documentation developed with a limited audience of process owners, which serves little or no purpose six months after it has been created. BPM has also been looked at as something intended for large enterprises who have the resources to hire business process consultants or have in-house BPM teams—not something intended for small or mid-size companies.

What all businesses need is a simple and affordable toolset that allows them to quickly reflect on how they perform their business processes today. They need a collaboration platform that brings together process owners and process contributors to ensure process flow, cost, and throughput are accurately reflected and adjusted over time to promote process optimization.

Finally, businesses need a way to compare “target” best practice or fit-to-standard processes with “as-is” processes. At SAP, this toolset is called Signavio. It is the change management component that helps organizations take advantage of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, SAP’s ERP option with the lowest cost of ownership and fastest adoption path for market leading innovations.

Let’s take a moment to talk about the optimized business processes that SAP Signavio helps businesses to develop and maintain. Ideally, the standard business processes found in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition address all business requirements. It is possible, and likely, that there will be aspects of the business processes that are not fully satisfied with the standard business processes.

There could be steps that require manual intervention, or a system exit that relies upon an external application (off-the-shelf or custom), or an event that triggers a business user decision point. These a just a few examples where business process steps require platform capabilities, such as integration, application development, automation, and data to analytics.

There are many platform providers in the marketplace that can offer these capabilities. For SAP applications, the best choice is the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). It is designed to serve SAP applications. In fact, all SAP applications use the BTP as their foundation—from HANA, the foundation of all SAP applications, to business-purposed machine learning algorithms, to native application to application integration provided by SAP Integration Suite. So, why is the SAP BTP better than all the other platform providers?

This is really about the value of time. Again, BTP is foundational to and designed for SAP applications. Integration is faster when APIs, connectors, and integration flows are provided out of the box, as so with SAP Integration Suite. Automation is faster when prebuilt RPA bots or Workflow Management packages, intended to address needs specifically requested by SAP customers, can be downloaded and deployed in less than an hour with SAP Build Process Automation.

Analytics is faster when prebuilt data models and reports, designed to deliver answers from SAP applications, can be utilized immediately with SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. This is business content intended to address end-to-end business processes, regardless of whether the business process involves an SAP application or some combination of SAP, non-SAP, custom, or manual steps. SAP BTP is about getting a return on your investment faster.

Organizations of all sizes, in any line-of-business, in any industry, in any part of the world can rely upon the depth and breadth of SAP applications to run every part of their business. 77 percent of all business processes worldwide touch an SAP solution. With a combination of SAP Signavio to address Business Process Management, SAP S4HANA Cloud Public Edition for Enterprise Resources Planning, and the SAP Business Technology Platform for all platform needs, businesses can confidently address 100 percent of their business requirements and do so faster.

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