As an Innovation Manager or Director, you are continuously engaged in your company’s growth and innovation strategy. This means that you face various business challenges on a daily basis. It takes time, budget, resources, insights, and more to innovate. All these aspects increase the pressure on successful innovation projects.
Extending with SAP Business Technology Platform (previously known as SAP Cloud Platform) services enables you to kick-start innovation in your company. We’ll explain how!
Many disruptive companies and groundbreaking startups rely on a so-called “Rapid Innovation Cycle”. They apply shorter innovation cycles to efficiently implement and launch new initiatives. These startups and disruptors obviously have a competitive advantage: they rarely depend on large ERP systems or CRMs such as those used in your company. It allows them to innovate and scale faster. In the past, a lot of organizations built customized solutions or workarounds within their core foundation. Usually to support specific industry processes in addition to the standard functionality of ERP. These customizations usually lasted almost up to twenty years. Nowadays, those specific solutions are quickly becoming obsolete because they no longer support the latest technological developments or upgrades.
Thankfully, SAP-driven companies now have the opportunity to innovate without sacrificing the core processes and capabilities of their powerful ERP. Via the SAP Business Technology Platform, which we compare with a large Lego box filled with all kinds of building blocks, companies can develop custom work in a flexible layer that runs on top of the ERP system. The layer runs in the cloud and it enables companies to create customized apps, to expand ERP functionality and to integrate various on-premise and cloud applications. This way, they get the maximum out of the ‘keep the core clean’ concept. Extensions built via Business Technology Platform are integrated directly into the end-to-end process so processes are optimally aligned with each other. The ‘Keep the core clean’-concept makes it easier to update and improve the core (like ERP, ECC, S/4HANA) on a regular basis.
The platform enables companies to develop new applications in a flexible way with open APIs and numerous open-source programming languages. Therefore, Business Technology Platform not only works with SAP but also with public cloud providers such as AWS, Google and Microsoft. This gives companies the opportunity to easily develop and deploy applications and to scale up quickly. End-users seem to be the big winners. They don’t care where an application runs or where the data comes from, as long as the right data is available at the right time. With services such as Chatbots, Predictive Analytics and Digital Assistants, new intelligent technologies offer even more support to be able to perform your work as efficiently as possible.
In short, SAP Business Technology Platform streamlines your end-to-end processes, lets data flow precisely throughout your entire organization and is also directly “enterprise-proof” in the field of security, governance and compliance. But above all, you create a flexible shell to respond quickly to new innovations and to keep the digital core clean.
SAP Business Technology Platform offers another nice feature: the Extension Suite. This cloud-native extensibility framework was created for every Intelligent Enterprise. Developers have access to standard methods for extending SAP Solutions and developing extensions and applications.
The Extension Suite comes with a great number of advantages:
There is no doubt about it: it becomes considerably easier to link existing extensions to the core SAP Applications. But… it also becomes a lot more efficient to de-couple them. Simultaneously, the easy connection and disconnection enable you to work independently from your SAP Solution life cycle, which results in faster release cycles for extensions.
To many people, SAP is considered a black box. Nevertheless, the German software company has made a lot of efforts to open up the platform in recent years. The Extension Suite is evidence of this. After all, users receive built-in open-source technology support and can rely on the third-party services they need.
Furthermore, the flexibility of Business Technology Platform increases thanks to the Extension Suite. You can choose the infrastructure of your choice (Cloud-native, AWS, GCP, Azure or Alibaba Cloud), which makes vendor lock-in a thing of the past. You can also choose the runtime of your choice, whether you want to use Cloud Foundry, Kyma, ABAP Environment or even serverless.
A central repository allows developers to easily access APIs, events, credentials, … and all other kinds of data while creating new extensions. This increases the efficiency and effectiveness of developers, so they can focus on their passion. All of this results in the central management of all your SAP Application Extensions.
If we don’t get to the SAP core processes, we can’t limit or restrict our capabilities. Extending SAP Solutions helps us to avoid core process changes. We can benefit from maximum performance and take full advantage of the opportunities offered by core processes.
In a nutshell: extensions provide the opportunity to quickly spot, test and take full advantage of new opportunities, applying a plug-and-play principle.
Some customer cases to illustrate the possibilities of the SAP Business Technology Platform:
Curious about all the possibilities of SAP Extensions? Request a free demo or contact us for more information!
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