Companies that are building modern, data-driven applications to deliver the future of human experience management (HXM) and finance are well positioned to outpace the competition, even in the face of today’s unprecedented challenges.

Leveling up business efficiency and performance are two critical strategies for staying competitive in today’s increased market volatility and disruption. For most businesses, this means delivering modern, data-driven processes that go beyond merely adding custom functions or tweaking screens within existing business applications. In fact, for many organizations, delivering on this goal requires radically innovating solutions – adding new capabilities and workflows that address evolving needs and bring a new vision.

Meanwhile, SAP partners can benefit from this growing desire for future-proofing businesses, with intelligent and workflow-aware applications opening new revenue streams driven by cloud adoption. By counteracting declining income from on-premise implementation and operations, savvy partners can recover and grow profits with larger engagements and the conversion of the latest applications into packaged solutions, driving repeatable business across multiple customers.

At SAP, we see a growing number of companies realizing this potential, bringing to life incredibly inventive business cases. With a portfolio of application development services, such as SAP Extension Suite and SAP Integration Suite, which power SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), customers and partners can access the tools to support new levels of innovation. They can leverage the platform and its services to integrate SAP and third-party processes, manage data, and deliver modern, intelligent, data-driven capabilities that enable them to digitally transform.

Let me share some of my personal favorites across various lines of business – such as HR, finance, commerce, and operations – where people are experiencing more streamlined, intelligent, and human-centered work.

Customizing Cloud-Based HR Integration for Tax Credit

A great example of how our customers and partners extend HR capabilities in the cloud relates to the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solutions, which are part of SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite. The suite provides powerful cloud-based solutions for core HR and payroll, talent management, employee experience management, and people analytics.

By directly integrating SAP SuccessFactors solutions with APIs and intelligent services, HR organizations can assess, validate, and process new hires while determining whether their business qualifies for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). WOTCs allow U.S. companies to receive federal tax credits every year they hire employees who systematically experience significant barriers against employment.

Although the recruiting and core HR solutions do not include the means to track and validate individual new hires, they contain the framework to build those capabilities. SAP partners can leverage integration workflows available in SAP BTP and use them to connect the two SAP SuccessFactors solutions to the digital job application. Our customers can then schedule assessments with frequent intervals, read applicants’ qualifications, and prompt candidates to complete a WOTC assessment, and the results from that evaluation are updated in the related SAP SuccessFactors solution.

This scenario exemplifies how partners can leverage SAP BTP to introduce capabilities – which may not be a standard function in the existing software – into current business processes. Many of our customers and partners have taken advantage of this opportunity to streamline related workflows, connect relevant business entities, and deliver an experience-first approach to HR.

Closing the Gap in Dispute and Grievance Resolution

An under-served area in most HR technologies is the employee dispute and grievance resolution process. For example, one of our partners helped a customer develop an application that settles and handles grievance cases with greater transparency.

By tightly coupling SAP SuccessFactors solutions and SAP BTP, the partner solution emulates the core solution experience. When launched from an SAP SuccessFactors solution, the look and feel of the partner application is consistent for the user. The interface is developed with SAPUI5 and the SAP Fiori design system, while the integration is enabled by the SAP Platform Identity Provider service for SAP BTP and the Identity Authentication service.

Through this co-innovation effort, our customers can address various grievance types that represent unique workflows, approval processes, and business scenarios – operated smoothly with the SAP Workflow Management service. As a result, our customers can improve auditability and accelerate the entire resolution process. They can trace a grievance throughout its lifecycle from the complaint to resolution, standardize information gathering, and conduct an organizational-level review of complaints and their progress in real time.

Optimizing the Use of Talent, Anytime and Anywhere

By extending the core HR capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, our partners also develop applications that help improve resource management and utilization. In return, our customers can assign the right talent to the right projects with a real-time schedule, built by reading a project-related business system, such as SAP S/4HANA.

In this case, SAP BTP smoothly integrates employee leave data, skill set information, and details on organizational needs. Plus, different approval processes are made available through SAP Workflow Management.

Extending core HR capabilities in this manner allows details, including assignment duration and employee proficiency, to be considered when assigning employees to projects and roles – helping to ensure every person can contribute to their fullest potential. Similar implementations of this use case can also help customers develop workflow applications related to security clearance, visa applications, and work permit processes, to name a few.

Maximizing the Product Life Cycle with a New Business Model

Speaking of improved resource contribution and utilization, the fashion industry is discovering a better way to recapture US$460 billion in value lost to discarded clothing each year. In this use case, retailers embrace an online rental business model that adds new revenue streams, making the business more competitive, and reduces their carbon footprint, resulting in improved consumer trust and loyalty.

Under a similar product lifecycle use case, one of our customers integrated its back-office system with an e-commerce portal by using intelligent technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA). Using SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP BTP, the retailer integrated and automated its rental order fulfillment and return processes.

Detecting Anomalies in Business Operations to Prevent Fraud

Historically, procure-to-pay processes are fraught with excess payments, operational risks, rising costs, incomplete audit verification, arduous recovery efforts, and noncompliant purchasing behaviors. But SAP BTP enables our partners and customers to overcome these challenges with tip-based alerting, rules-based detection, and pattern-based prediction.

Organizations focused on tackling these issues integrate their offerings with the SAP Data Intelligence solution, SAP Fiori user experience, runtime application self-protection for SAP BTP, and SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry environment. They can then decipher data-driven patterns to identify new anomalies and fraud types and customize red-flag thresholds based on criticality and risk tolerance. Furthermore, finance decision-makers can learn from user feedback by using the intelligent data capture and processing solution to continuously improve fraud detection practices.

Outcomes from this procure-to-pay approach include 70% savings in compliance effort, 95% straight-through processing, 100% audit coverage, and more on-time payments.

Using Powerful Technology Today, Evolving for Tomorrow

Most applications come with their own stack of tools, methodologies, and workbenches that enable companies to make fundamental changes to the user experience. But with SAP BTP, SAP partners and our customers can come together to build more intelligent, workflow-aware solutions that solve more complex customer process challenges.

By building intelligent solutions with the unified, business-centric, and open platform, our partners can access the technology foundation, tools, and development practices necessary to extend the boundaries of digitalization and cloud architecture. As a result, they can increase their average engagement sizes, convert their IP into repeatable, packaged software offerings, and generate new revenue streams under new business models. And more importantly, these technology and business experts can help customers of all industries and sizes become more agile, future-proof their processes, and realize their full potential as intelligent enterprises.

To learn more about how SAP partners are helping businesses succeed with a unified technology platform, explore Jagdish’s other articles. Those interested in software partnership opportunities with SAP can check out SAP PartnerEdge Build, and existing partners can learn more about the initiatives Hack2BuildSAP Analytics Cloud Business Content Wave, and SAP Co-Innovation Lab.

Jagdish Sahasrabudhe is CTO of the Global Partner Organization at SAP.