German automotive supplier Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. KG has co-innovated with Capgemini and SAP on the development of a secure and autonomous self-service supplier portal application in the cloud.

In an era of business disruptions and rapid technology advancements, companies must adopt continuous innovation to stay ahead and win by leading the change. Co-innovation, as a form of inside-out open innovation, has evolved as a way of breaking down the traditional innovation silos.

At SAP, co-innovation occurs every day in a multitude of ways. We work with partners, customers, universities, governments, standardization groups, and others — all of which contribute to creating sustainable and mutual competitive advantage.

SAP has embraced an openness within our ecosystem that serves to accelerate the overall innovation process in creating solutions that deliver value. Co-innovation is part of SAP’s DNA.

Handling a Complex Network of Suppliers

What does a co-innovation project look like? A collaboration with longtime customer Brose and trusted partner Capgemini offers a perfect — even award-worthy — example.

Looking back at more than 100 years of corporate history, including numerous patent applications, Brose combines tradition with innovation. As the fourth-largest automotive supplier in family ownership, it has established itself as one of the top 40 companies in the industry worldwide, operating 65 locations in 24 countries. With that comes a complex network of suppliers, including more than 2,000 production-relevant suppliers and 8,000 supplier-employees who frequently provide different functional services to different Brose companies.

With a self-service supplier portal solution, Brose created a space where the digital interaction between suppliers and Brose easily can take place, enabling suppliers to manage their accounts on their own. This way, they can both receive and maintain information and data needed. The supplier portal acts as the single point of contact, providing  transparency over supplier users, making collaboration faster and more effective.

“For me, innovation always starts with a business challenge that needs to be solved,” said Christian Ley, CIO at Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. KG. “To see what we have achieved now, developing a solution tailored to our needs using state-of-the-art technology, is both exciting and a great example of what is possible through collaboration.”

Working together with Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology, and engineering services – as well as one of SAP’s strategic partners for co-development and co-innovation in the automotive industry – Brose decided to bring the idea to the next level by making it available for other companies, as it addresses an industry-wide challenge.

“We are delighted to co-innovate together with SAP and Brose in creating Capgemini’s Supplier Integration for Automotive (CSI4Auto),” Josean Mendez, vice president and global SAP partner executive lead at Capgemini, shared. “This solution is an excellent example of what we aspire to achieve in partnering with SAP. This innovative approach is a blueprint for future engagements and adds to SAP and Capgemini’s value in the automotive market.”

Leveraging the Power of the Cloud and SAP BTP

SAP provides infrastructure ready to scale with SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), which supports integration, conversion of data to value, and extensibility for SAP and third-party application and data assets.

Instead of building a custom development solution from scratch, the development team identified the right blend of services from SAP BTP to solve the problem at hand. The services helped the team to reduce both the development time and the custom software development to a minimum.

Running in the cloud the application is planned to be part of SAP’s industry cloud solution portfolio, making it easy for future customers to extend their end-to-end processes and adopt at their own pace.

Stefan Krauss is senior vice president and general manager of Discrete Industries and Energy & Natural Resources at SAP.