In May 2023, attendees and visitors of SAP Sapphire sessions worldwide discovered the advantages of use cases in effectively utilizing the features of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).
Since then, significant progress has been made with SAP BTP use cases. To further global influence and better support customers and partners, the use case initiative underwent enhancements in three key areas:
- Going deeper: Refining existing use cases by integrating advanced features and cutting-edge technologies like generative artificial intelligence (AI)
- Going broader: Increasing and intensifying involvement from the broader ecosystem and partner community
- Going faster: Introducing automation features to help accelerate the realization of business outcomes
SAP consistently aims to improve existing use cases, either by adding advanced technological features or by introducing speed-enhancing functionalities. This is because every use case is backed by a team of experts from both the business and development functions.
What Is an SAP BTP Use Case?
A use case describes how customers can address a business challenge by leveraging SAP Business Technology Platform. It consists of customer-proven, well-documented missions to guide and assist each customer’s implementation journey on SAP BTP, helping to achieve desired business outcomes for business users, architects, and developers.
The dimension of “going deeper” involves SAP BTP use cases adopting cutting-edge technologies, like generative AI, and incorporating additional related business content. As Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, described in a recent article: “We are at the beginning of a new technological era. Generative AI has entered the public consciousness on a broad scale and SAP Business AI has the potential to revolutionize the way enterprises operate and solve their technology challenges with SAP Business Technology Platform. Generative AI provides us with a whole new toolbox that opens so many opportunities to simplify and improve our work lives…When using and applying AI in a business context, we make sure it is relevant, reliable, and responsible.”
SAP BTP Use Cases Guide Generative AI Solutions
Use cases built on SAP BTP can give concrete examples of where and how generative AI can be used to realize relevant, reliable, and responsible business outcomes. With the foundation SAP BTP provides regarding new technologies such as artificial intelligence, solutions adhere to SAP’s strict guiding principles outlined in SAP’s guiding principles for AI and an AI ethics handbook.
To demonstrate the increased depth of use cases, the following four examples show enhancements that have been made from a technology perspective. All of them will be presented at SAP TechEd this year:
- Deliver connected enterprise experiences built to help accelerate integration and increase productivity around ERP, customer experience (CX), integration, and intelligent enterprise suite quality.
- Automate processes to empower finance professionals, helping improve operational efficiency by automating repetitive tasks for finance professionals around SAP S/4HANA Finance, AI, SAP Build Process Automation, and intelligent enterprise suite quality. This was recently presented in an SAP BTP Garage session.
- Dynamically react to changing business events in your supply chain to help foster intelligent decision-making around digital supply chain, AI, integration, analytics, and intelligent enterprise suite quality. Learn more in a related post on SAP Community.
- Reduce your CO2 footprint using a smart generative AI application on SAP BTP to help enhance the value of financial transactions with insights powered by GPT (generative pre-trained transformer technology), in alignment with ERP, AI, golden path, and intelligent enterprise suite quality. Visit GitHub to learn more.
The opening and broadening of the use case approach can be seen in steps that go in three directions: to include SAP’s ecosystem more seamlessly in the creation process of use cases, to offer more technical guidance along with reference architectures, and to provide enablement support on how to work with customers and explore their respective business opportunities powered by generative AI and the latest technologies.
More Partners Getting On Board
To help simplify the creation of new use cases, SAP created a central use case repository and started providing additional reference architectures.
The repository is a content authoring tool, allowing users to access and maintain customer-proven, well-documented business use cases for buyers, sellers, and builders. After a quality review, newly entered use cases can be published in SAP Discovery Center, where more than 230 missions – and counting – are available today.
The mentioned reference architectures are linked to use cases to help software architects when building solution architectures that combine different technology products and services. SAP offers source files of diagrams that can be used and adopted by using diagrams.net. Various examples are displayed on a dedicated GitHub page, which can be considered as a starting point for what’s coming on SAP Discovery Center.
Sharing on SAP Store and SAP Discovery Center
For partners, offering applications and solutions that have proven to be relevant and beneficial for one or more customers is not new. To give an example, the 19 partners that form the global SAP AppHaus Network together with the SAP-owned locations offer more than 100 solutions in SAP Store. Here are just four of them:
- Bluestonex Consulting Ltd. offers the Maextro Master Data Process Solution, as shown in a customer example with Brakes. On October 18, the Bluestonex team will talk about use cases in an expert session on “A Journey to SAP BTP Innovations for Outbound Logistics.”
- DalRae Solutions Pty Ltd. presents the Compliance Documentation App to manage worker compliance with SAP SuccessFactors solutions. With customer CITIC Pacific Mining, it won a prestigious SAP Best Run Award for ANZ in 2023.
- sovanta AG registered its solution “How ChatGPT Makes Your Experience Management Survey More Intelligent” in SAP Discovery Center. It shows that large language models can support business solutions and processes and that integrating ChatGPT into Qualtrics can automate tedious follow-up surveys.
- Incture Technologies Private Limited offers its product Cherrywork Proof of Delivery, a logistics application giving customers more control for increased efficiency and on-time deliveries. Its customer alfanar successfully implemented the product and submitted its positive outcome to this year’s SAP Innovation Awards.
From a partner perspective, SAP BTP use cases can offer a broad range of opportunities for customer projects. These different options will be looked at in an upcoming live webinar series called “Exploring the Universe of SAP BTP Use Cases” open for public registration. Besides positioning a product on SAP Store, partners can now provide helpful context around their solutions by writing their own SAP BTP use cases and publishing them in SAP Discovery Center.
New Workshop Format to Identify Generative AI Opportunities
When it comes to evaluating new use cases in the relatively new field of generative artificial intelligence, SAP AppHaus launched a new workshop format that is publicly available. It helps participants identify business challenges and opportunities that can be addressed using generative AI. With a set of predefined “opportunity cards,” participants can brainstorm various use case ideas, detail the most relevant ones, and then compare them to decide which ideas to pursue further.
An important measurement that customers and partners apply when implementing SAP BTP use cases is the overall time-to-value to consume business outcomes. That is why the concept of use cases first evolved from marketing assets to more actionable artifacts, including code and configuration files that can provide guidance, developer insights, and predefined business content for reuse. The next evolution level will be around automating implementation steps.
Automation empowers developers and architects to focus on realizing business outcomes, not setting up infrastructure. In this context, SAP plans to introduce the release of three actionable use cases with “one-click deployment” that can reduce prerequisite setups by up to 50% at SAP TechEd. One-click deployment steps are included in the use case project board in SAP Discovery Center for rapid adoption by SAP customers and partners.
The first focus of setup automation will be on creating SAP BTP accounts, assigning service entitlements, and granting authorizations. In future, further automation around software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and deployment of code and content will be targeted as well. Learn more in the SAP BTP Garage series.
A Promising Perspective
When talking about the future evolution of SAP BTP use cases, Anja Schneider, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Technology & Innovation at SAP, sees a clear focus: “With the SAP BTP use case initiative, we always followed the vision to create actionable use cases that help lead to concrete business outcomes. The next step is to achieve these outcomes much faster. We want to automate use cases so that users can deploy them easily to help accelerate time-to-value and save implementation efforts. In the end, we want to enable customers and partners alike to act faster and more swiftly on changing demands around them.”
“I’m delighted to share that our exploration of SAP Build solutions low-code app development and automation has provided us with invaluable insights into the future of application development using cutting-edge SAP technologies. We’re committed to further exploring these innovative tools, specifically when it comes to streamlining processes and delivering rapid solutions to our business needs. One of the most compelling advantages I’ve experienced with low-code tools is the ability to create high-value, fully functional products in a remarkably short timeframe. The transformative potential for our business in automating the supplier invoice processing is immense. What once took an entire day’s work can now be accomplished within just minutes, all while significantly enhancing our operational reliability. To give an example, I liked the format of how the mission “Process and approve your invoices with SAP Build Process Automation” guides you step by step. I like to think that we have an SAP team and experts that accompany us in all these processes, along with all the related documentation, the associated learning journeys, and the videos.”Verónica Zepeda, Senior Developer, Orbia