The pandemic has upended life — professionally and personally — and driven massive technological change over the past 18 months. Who knew the world would embrace new terms like “zooming,” mRNA, and contact-tracing, while flex-scheduling has caused many businesses to think very differently about what being a digital enterprise really means.

In today’s business landscape, access to high-quality data is no longer enough for companies to innovate; it is the ability to quickly respond to changing dynamics that allows enterprises to thrive. This agility to address market and global disruptions, such as changing customer needs and behaviors and evolving employee requirements, is a key indicator of future success and applies equally to small businesses and international enterprises.

That’s why SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is laser-focused on helping customers achieve faster time to value from their business applications, allowing them to stay competitive in their respective markets. By bringing agility and innovation to the application portfolio, SAP BTP provides the real business agility and value companies require today. This is even more true now as they make the rapid and sometimes dramatic changes needed to keep pace with today’s rate of technological change.

Utilizing SAP BTP empowers companies to quickly attain key benefits, such as the following.

Driving Data-Informed Decisions

Research shows that 80% of data-driven businesses have gained a critical advantage during the pandemic. SAP BTP solutions like SAP analytics and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud are enabling customers to perform all necessary steps to make sense of data for a business, creating advanced insights that facilitate quick decision-making.

For example, Ferrara — a more than century-old candy company that includes iconic brands such as SweeTARTS and Nerds — realized that to remain competitive required integrating data insights into business decisions in real time. By implementing SAP HANA and SAP analytics, the company achieved a 50% increase in overall efficiency and a decrease in development costs by 70%. SAP analytics focuses on impacting real business processes and helped this storied brand to break down business silos to turn data insights into rapid action and to faster integrate — from years to days — systems acquired through mergers and acquisitions. And this implementation paved the way for future business success by creating a solid data foundation for machine learning, planning, and predictive analytics and by creating new abilities to uncover consumer preferences and predict market trends.

“SAP HANA and SAP analytics allow us to move quickly when it comes to analyzing information and making decisions, and that’s really our biggest differentiator,” said George Lesko, vice president and CIO, Ferrara. “SAP has been a great partner for us.”

Creating Unified Processes

Achieving agility requires unifying processes, especially when it comes to application systems that are fragmented and include time-intensive manual systems. SAP BTP accelerates business outcomes by creating unified processes across the business from one single trusted enterprise foundation, refining business operations and integrating applications, data, and processes along the entire value chain.

When UK transportation bodies were struggling with consolidating infrastructure project data from disparate, siloed sources, they turned to Costain, a leading smart infrastructure solutions company, for help. To improve data management and enhance analytics across the UK’s £600 billion capital infrastructure investment portfolio, Costain proposed a common data platform called the intelligent infrastructure control center (IICC). The goal was to increase visibility and insight so teams could make faster, data-driven decisions that would streamline planning, increase equipment performance, improve financial tracking, and reduce carbon footprint.

Costain enlisted the help of SAP and Keytree, a Deloitte business, to co-develop the IICC using SAP BTP. The SAP HANA Cloud database utilizes data federation to connect to various data sources and aggregate information in real time, while SAP Integration Suite is used to integrate and replicate from SAP and third-party data sources to assist in providing the best analysis possible for Costain. This allows data held by suppliers and customers to be complemented with externally available APIs for air quality, weather, and more. Through the Keytree partnership, SAP helps Costain remain agile by leveraging SAP BTP to turn data into real value for both the public and the planet.

Offering Real-Time Insights

With today’s rapid and unpredictable rate of change, real-time insights provide a competitive advantage and help businesses stay agile to meet the challenges of unexpected new technology or work environments. That’s why SAP BTP is unlocking the power of live data to deliver real-time insights and build new business models.

For example, the San Jose Sharks’ marketing team was struggling to measure campaign ROI across different channels. The organization was looking for a way to incorporate multiple data points from disparate data sources, which are traditionally difficult to integrate, such as ticketing and fan activity and behavior, so it could better understand and engage fans and pack the arena for every home game. SAP delivered not only cutting-edge technology, but the real-time insights needed for effective marketing targeted to the right audience at the right time.

SAP BTP solutions — including SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Integration Suite — provided the Sharks with the ability to leverage valuable, multisource fan data using a holistic, intelligent data management and analytics platform. By unifying e-mail, website, ticketing data, and even parking arrival data, the San Jose Sharks now have greater visibility into fan activity, leading to more effective marketing that delivers a better fan experience. Targeted upselling and cross-selling to subscribers is resulting in higher opt-in rates and fewer unsold seats. All of this is expected to improve season ticket holder renewals and revenue.

Because SAP BTP begins with a customer-centric view and stays with customers through go-live moments, these services provide real transformation on a business level, not IT changes that may or may not deliver business outcomes. While each of these benefits of SAP BTP — data-driven decisions, unified processes, and real-time insights — are vital individually, together they are greater than the sum of their parts, allowing modern enterprises to achieve maximum agility and faster time to value in this uncertain age.

Dan Lahl is global vice president of Product Marketing at SAP.