While SAP continues to deliver innovative products, it is the broad ecosystem of more than 22,000 partners, together with the SAP Services team, that helps customers realize business value and achieve tangible return on their investments.
While this has always been the case for implementation of SAP applications, the opportunity is even greater for partners to extend, integrate, and build with SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).
Let’s look at it in more detail.
What Is SAP Business Technology Platform?
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent pressures on the global supply chain demonstrate even more urgently how important it is for companies of all sizes to digitally transform their business. Today’s businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to volatile markets and changing business requirements. For this, they need a modern technology platform that enables integrated applications and processes, helps users create value from data, and supports easy extensibility and ecosystem access while offering development agility and speed.
SAP BTP is the unified, business-centric, and open business and technology platform for the entire SAP ecosystem. It is the unified foundation for the Intelligent Enterprise, integrates and extends SAP’s intelligent suite, and is central to the industry cloud as well as partner applications.
In a nutshell, what SAP BTP offers is all about business centricity:
- Integration that connects applications, data, and business processes across SAP and third-party solutions, including hyperscaler technology
- Data to value, with actionable insights and automation across enterprise data and processes
- Extensibility and ecosystem access, thanks to rapid configuration, plug-and-play extensions, and business content from partners
- Development agility and speed, with intuitive tooling and interfaces that create an engaging developer and user experience
What Is In It for Partners?
Let’s step back for a second and look at the market potential. SAP solutions touch 77% of the world’s transactions. Because of that reach, we can offer a more fully integrated set of business processes, such as lead-to-cash, design-to-operate, source-to-pay, and recruit-to-retire. And within those processes are hundreds of specific components or sub-processes supported by SAP partners.
So when our partners build on, integrate with, or extend SAP technology using SAP BTP, they have a unique opportunity to help customers by delivering solutions that reach across business processes, often tapping into data sources across various master data domains. Connecting and enriching the business processes increases the value and impact that each sub-process brings to an organization.
Let me give you an example: Within the design-to-operate business process, partners are adding value with solutions that extend the core SAP offering, including supplier certification, sustainability ratings, as well as search and data lookup. With those, customers are creating new revenue streams as a service business models using SAP BTP.
SAP BTP offers opportunities for all types of SAP partners. It enables partners to stay competitive and innovative while keeping service practices, software sales, and margins secure. Software partners can build and sell complementary applications that extend and integrate with SAP’s end to end business processes. Value-added resellers can package data, analytics, workflow, and other automation content as accelerators to differentiate their businesses and drive new revenue streams. Services partners can continue to maintain ABAP practices, develop custom extensions on SAP BTP, build integrations to customer’s non-SAP systems, and deliver specific data-to-value business requirements.
A good example is Taronga Conservation Society Australia’s work with SAP and SAP partners Bourne Digital and Bluetree, each of which played an essential role in Taronga’s digital transformation journey. As a strategic advisor for the customer, SAP provided expert guidance and support to identify the right technology and approach according to its strategic objectives. From the beginning of the SAP Analytics Cloud journey, SAP experts helped develop a proof of concept and integration approach in partnership with Bluetree. Bourne Digital helped design and implement the Stax application using SAP Workflow Management and other services in SAP BTP, leveraging design thinking and agile development to quickly deliver an easy-to-use application in a short time frame.
Recently, in a commissioned survey conducted on behalf of SAP, The Partner Solution Opportunity For SAP’s Industry Cloud Portfolio, Forrester Consulting concluded that partners benefit greatly from building solutions as part of SAP’s industry cloud. The integrated industry portfolio puts partners’ offerings front and center alongside SAP-built solutions. SAP BTP also provides a framework, technologies, and additional features such as artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics that help ensure interoperability with SAP while enabling the creation of replicable industry-specific solutions.
What Is the Role of the Partner Ecosystem in RISE with SAP?
We cannot speak about the importance of SAP BTP for our partner ecosystem without addressing our latest offering: RISE with SAP.
RISE with SAP is about helping customers transform their businesses to an intelligent enterprise that is flexible, resilient, and built for continuous innovation. For many customers this transition will include a journey to the cloud at a pace that supports their business and industry requirements.
SAP BTP, as the platform for the Intelligent Enterprise, is one part of the RISE with SAP offering. It helps partners and customers further innovate in the cloud with in-app extensions to fill small gaps, side-by-side innovations to extend the core, and integrations to bring the business processes together.
What Lies Ahead?
To meet the current and future needs of our customers and partners, we want to firmly establish SAP BTP as the unified, business-centric, and open business and development platform for the entire SAP ecosystem. Partners that adopt the platform can develop more efficiently, provide foundational functionality, and commercialize products faster. Lower entry burdens will encourage our partners to develop applications that run on SAP BTP.
Going forward, all SAP line-of-business and industry solutions will be built on SAP BTP. Partners can efficiently innovate and extend core solutions, create integrations, and deliver new content.
Let’s deliver innovation together — faster and with less complexity.
Want to Learn More?
For all the news from the SAP Global Partner Summit, see “Why Partners RISE with SAP,” by Karl Fahrbach, global partner officer at SAP. And read “How Partners Enable Customer Success Through a Unified Technology Platform,” by Jagdish Sahasrabudhe, CTO of the Global Partner Organization at SAP.
Juergen Mueller is chief technology officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.