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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters PlattlingContact
The Summit was held in August 2022, and it was not just SAP partners who were invited to take part in the discussion on SAP BTP. SAP SE was there, of course, presenting its vision for SAP BTP as a standard for extending the S/4HANA system. And the end-user enterprises were also invited: SAP customers such as Henkel AG & Co. KGaA presented apps that they had developed using the SAP BTP.
SAP BTP: a development platform with huge potential and low barriers to entry
T.CON’s Partner Manager, Daniel Rausch, was also at the event, and was impressed by the cornucopia of ideas emerging from the end-user clients. “During the last couple of pandemic years, our clients have explored numerous ideas that they now want to implement digitally. Since they’re deeply involved in their own processes and issues, they come up with very creative use cases. Our clients are the topic experts; we’re the technology specialists who can turn their ideas into reality.”
Certainly there is a lot of potential in developing custom apps, as demonstrated by Henkel in its presentation, which covered apps from a variety of departments, including Sales (Sales Promotion), HR (Social Benefits), R&D (Product Lifecycle Information) and Procurement (Digital Purchasing Process). Scenarios in which an enterprise is communicating with external stakeholders are also ideal use cases for BTP implementations, and one excellent example of this is the Koehler Paper Customer Portal developed by T.CON.
A crucial point for any company about to take its first steps with BTP is the fact that BTP projects do not require vast investments – a fact that was hammered home at the Summit. Smaller apps can often be developed with a budget of a few thousand euros. In fact, thanks to the “Free Tier” licensing model, many prototypes can actually be implemented at zero cost!
Partner product portfolios are growing
In addition to enterprise-specific tools, presenters introduced a wide range of off-the-shelf solutions based on the BTP. T.CON already has two products on the market based on SAP BTP technology: WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT, a digital cloud solution for HR planning, and ENTERPRISE LOGBOOK, a digital knowledge management tool for production systems. In light of SAP SE’s strategy to establish SAP S/4HANA and RISE as ERP standards, it’s hardly surprising that SAP BTP is being pushed as the primary platform for developing product extensions. The motto remains “Keep the core clean”, while guaranteeing perfectly smooth interaction with the ERP system.
The various facets of the Business Technology Platform
There is a multitude of tools and solutions that fall under the heading of SAP BTP: SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC) in the Data & Analytics field; the Extension Suite; and the Integration Suite for interface extensions for SAP S/4HANA, to name a few. However, the platform can also be used to implement integration scenarios between arbitrary on-premises and cloud systems, or “from cloud to cloud”. Typical examples of this would be integrating S/4HANA with Ariba, SuccessFactors or Salesforce.
One thing is certainly clear to Daniel Rausch: this topic will be the subject of increasing interest over the next few years, and harbors huge potential for our clients to explore new solutions and creative ideas.