This week, I attended the ASUG BTP Customer Summit at SAP’s HQ in Newtown Square. The event was Line of Business agnostic, with examples of BTP usage drawn from Finance, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Vendor Management, with occasional references to HR.
As a member of the HXM team, looking to share more on how the Business Technology Platform can help HR leaders increase their agility, scalability, and innovation, my takeaways are five-fold:
1. BTP is Growing, Fast: BTP is designed to accelerate innovation and create personalized experiences. What was new to me is the growth in BTP projects (50% in the last 12 months) and just how many customers use BTP - 14,000 customers are live on at least one service. It’s also becoming a critical element in our partner landscape, with 1,480 partners using BTP to develop their own applications.
2. The ROI is There: At SAP, we can be known for using too much jargon (see point #1 above!). It was refreshing to hear customers speak about the material benefits they’ve obtained from deploying BTP services. Yes, we shared our own metrics (e.g., customers have experienced a 66 percent reduction in administrative work via automation) but hearing from Florida Crystals, Jabil, and Energy Transfer on their calculated results illustrated that BTP is having a significant impact on both business efficiency AND effectiveness.
3. An Appropriate Balance of Business vs. Technical, Introductory vs. Advanced Sessions: I really enjoyed introductory sessions on SAP Analytics Cloud, AppGyver, and Free Tier Services among others. While I listen out for ideas on customer innovations and ROI, there were many presentations intended for more technical audiences or those who wanted to learn more about BTP’s plumbing. In the future, I’d like to see more team-based discussions or sessions that illustrate who in the organization is responsible for which aspect of the successful deployment.
4. We Need to Tie the Services/Commercials to Customer Learning Journeys: Overall, I think we can do more to explain “where do SAP’s native applications end….and BTP start?” for customers who are just beginning their learning journey with BTP or are not accustomed to building their own BTP landscape. A positive example of that was a discussion of when to use Launchpad and/or Work Zone. In contrast, we should be communicating how our commercial offerings – Free Tier, Subscription, PAYG, CPEA, etc. – are aligned with customer needs and maturity.
5. HR Can Both Directly and Indirectly Benefit From BTP: Undoubtedly, HR has directly derived value and impact from BTP and we continue to share those stories with our customers. But we shouldn’t overlook the fact that even if the BTP story concerns a different function (Finance, Supply Chain, etc.), there are indirect benefits to HR – a more efficient supply chain improves employee productivity, faster acquisition of vendor partners opens the door to contingent labor into our workforce mix, and innovations in how Finance closes its books improves the experience of those in the function.
The future is very bright for how BTP can deliver value to our colleagues in HR and I look forward to attending similar events of this nature in 2023.