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Always up for new learning and an excuse to get together – In Cloud Solutions invited their customers to a meet-up in London to listen to SAP's Rainer Zinow talking about the future of SAP Business ByDesign. If you have not been lucky enough to catch Rainer lately here is a high level summary of what he had to say about the cloud market and Business ByDesign specifically. It is always good to get his take on the future!

The Cloud ERP Overview

Rainer delivered a thoughtful overview of SAP’s strategy for SMEs and how he sees the market for cloud – before going on to talk about the future of SAP Business ByDesign – basically it is expanding rapidly!

The suite-in-a-box option is favoured by mid sized companies with between 50 and 1,000 employees who don’t have the complex needs of larger companies  (who are often looking for highly bespoke on premise solutions.) Rainer reminded us of his coffee pod analogy, which describes the difference between the 2 types of users. Suite-in-a-box customers are totally happy with the great coffee produced by a coffee pod machine, while bespoke customers would rather brew something more complex to their own specifications. It is a great analogy and still holds up.

The future of SAP Business ByDesign is User-Friendly!

With the cloud market getting bigger all the time and SAP taking its place firmly at the centre of it, Rainer was full of ideas for how to make the future of Business ByDesign, as user friendly as possible. With each generation expecting ever greater levels of user ease, Business ByDesign is subject to a continuous process of improvements. It is interesting to note that many of these suggestions come direct from customers. Elsewhere it is the job of the engineers to create useful shortcuts and libraries of popular scenarios that will make the every day jobs of users easier! For example, if someone wants to keep track of 5 KPIs for liquidity management they will be able to dip into the library and get that for their use without having to create it themselves from scratch.

While Rainer pointed our that not everyone wants to track the same things - he asked his team to be bold and go for the most common KPIs people look for to create a library that people can use "off the shelf". Increasingly we will need to help customer serve themselves in order to make their user experience as smooth as possible.

Predicting the Future

Which brings us to ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE and MACHINE LEARNING – the twin boons to modern business software. With AI and ML now working in the background of the Business ByDesign suite, customers can start to benefit from predictions about what they want to do. For example, the system can learn that a certain combination of key strokes made regularly, is often followed by a request to bring up a certain report. As it learns that this is what a user habitually wants, it will prepare the report in the background and the bring it up on demand, for an even faster  service.

Rainer went on to tell us where he is placing his greatest investment for the future of Business ByDesign - which fell into the following categories.


The future of SAP Business ByDesign mobile is that it should give users the same seamless experience as the desk top version. All the actions should be the same with the exception of approvals, which on mobile has a single swipe action that helps people carry out these tasks on the go.


SAP has put in a tremendous amount of work and millions of Euro into making sure we all stay GDPR compliant – including looking at preparations for how information may be managed in the future. This includes the ability to delete contacts - functionality which may be needed if rules come into force which requires us to store contacts for a limited amount of time only.


Keeping the CEO out of jail is a big part of Rainer’sjob – and it’s a comfort to know that there are teams of SAP engineers looking at regulations worldwide to make sure of compliance without stress.
A huge part of Rainer’s job is to help customers access and then use their own information as easily as possible.


Never stop learning how to get the best from SAP Business ByDesign software – there are 9 courses on the Open SAP portal for customers to access - make sure they know about them!


As touched on earlier, machine learning gives time back to the user by learning how they operate the system


With Business ByDesign we give customers a data base to house all their company data and then make it possible for the CEO and the CFO to access and discuss that information in usable formats -even though they may both be in different parts of the world. This is still a major selling point!


As this article has hopefully shown you, Business ByDesign is constantly being improved. For the latest information on the future of SAP Business ByDesign please visit the product road maps here sap.com/roadmaps 

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