Platform Thinking for the Win!

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Meet the Experts

  • Dan Lahl

    VP Solution Marketing SAP

    SAPinsider Expert since 2022

Key Takeaways

⇨ A digital technology Platform Thinking approach can enable organizations to continuously innovate and improve their application portfolios.

⇨ With a Platform Thinking mindset, SAP is already helping to innovate and improve through use of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).

⇨ Organizations can bring innovation, agility and scalability to their processes through Platform Thinking.

Originally posted on the SAP Community blog channel. Abbreviated and reposted here with permission.

Elon Musk stated in a now-famous tweet from October 2021 that Manufacturing will be Tesla’s long-term competitive strength and in a Manufacturing website Tesla is using for employee recruitment, the website states that Tesla is “A New Kind of Factory: Unlike most other manufacturers, we iterate and improve across short, consecutive timeframes, keeping us at the forefront of innovation.” Elon Musk and Tesla are building cars, yes, but they are really building a manufacturing platform that will bring innovation, agility, and scalability to the manufacturing process that is unmatched in the industry. This is Platform Thinking!

When talking to SAP’s customers about applications in Finance, Supply Chain, Human Relations, Customer Relationship Management, and Procurement, they shared three key insights concerning how to continuously innovate and improve their application portfolio with a digital technology Platform Thinking approach:

  1. Expect process and performance improvements

There’s an expectation from customers for cloud-based digital technology platforms to improve business processes and performance, while also:

  1. Providing flexibility to scale data storage up and down for transactions, analytics, and planning
  2. Offering the ability to easily interact with cloud application business processes for personalization, enrichment, and tailoring to company needs
  3. Delivering accelerated implementation times, without having to endure lengthy, complex and costly implementations typically associated with on-premises platforms

A great example of an SAP customer using a digital platform to improve business processes is Schnellecke Logistics, who built a cloud-based digital control tower to put data in the hands of their employees and which enables real-time decision-making.

  1. Peace of mind that data is secure and compliant

For peace of mind, customers are looking for cloud-based digital platforms offering world-class data security and compliance; rock-solid availability; and elastic, pay-for-what-is-used pricing models that offer flexibility built into cloud consumption plans. And to support increasingly large numbers of remote customers and workers, applications and data need to be available 24×7, everywhere.

An example of an SAP customer using a digital platform to leverage a secure, global, mobile application (even on fishing boats) is Royal Greenland, where they could empower fishermen to eliminate paper-based catch input and verify fishing licenses for specific fish species. The digital apps they built are servicing 2,200+ fishermen and have converted 70,000+ POs from paper to digital.

  1. Ease of integration is a key choice criterion

The ease of integration of both applications and data is critical when SAP customers are looking to choose a cloud-based digital platform. Organizations are seeking to integrate all aspects and tasks across the business application portfolio using best practices and the utmost data security. They want to reduce costs and gain accuracy by offloading manual and repeatable tasks to the platform.

One SAP customer using a digital platform to integrate applications for business agility is Toyota Australia, with its Lexus customer loyalty program.  They reduced the cost of integration by 50%, gained time to market 30% faster, and centralized their integration to one digital platform.

For customers like these, with a Platform Thinking mindset, SAP is already helping to innovate and improve through the use of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) – with personalized experiences, and faster enrichment of application portfolios with business context and in a secure, scalable, and enterprise-grade cloud platform. That’s Platform Delivery for Platform Thinking enterprises.

For more information:

Read Dan Lahl’s full original blog post on the SAP Community

Read related SAPinsider articles for more about SAP BTP:

Learn how SAP can help your company with platform thinking at

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