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SAP Business Technology Platform Architecture
6 min read

SAP Business Technology Platform Architecture For Business Success

With a worldwide transition to cloud services, your business might be considering making the switch from on-premise to the cloud more than ever before. There are many initiatives taking place to accelerate innovation and intelligent enterprise. However, logically, it only makes sense to conduct a business-wide migration if there is a strong business case for doing so. Therefore, we can’t create a case for implementing SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) since deploying this solution depends on your company objectives, size, focus, and digital transformation strategy. But what we can do is suggest in what circumstances BTP would be a solution.   

On-premise solutions are known to slow down over time due to a lack of capacity or poor resource allocation for existing customers. As a result, your business might be looking for opportunities to optimize existing processes to increase your bottom line, create a sustainable competitive advantage or have already decided that cloud is a part of your IT strategy and are looking to take the next steps. Alternatively, you might be considering switching to SAP to help your business pivot in 2021 to capture a more significant market share. SAP Business Technology Platform has been designed to guide your business to achieve any of these endeavors. On a more tactical level, a few key questions should be considered, including. 

  • What are the capabilities of the SAP Business Technology Platform? 

  • Why should your business consider making the transition to the SAP Business Technology Platform? 

  • How can SAP Business Technology Platform be implemented to achieve business goals? 

  • What processes can I improve using SBTP? Is there proof of success?  

What is SAP Business Technology Platform?  

SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) offering, including over 200 unique services running on a unique data center. These services fit into one of four main capabilities:  

  • Analytics   

  • Intelligent Enterprise  

  • Application Development & Integration  

  • Database & Data Management  

SAP Business Technology Platform architecture

Source: SAP Community

To simplify user experiences in each of these capabilities, SAP has focused on the Integration Suite and the Extension Suite in relation to BTP. The integration suite focuses on connecting data between SAP and SAP systems, SAP and non-SAP systems, cloud and cloud systems, and cloud and on-premise systems. The extension suite considers the unique suites of cloud solutions that make the whole of your business processes stronger than the sum of its parts. This can take several forms, including Manager Self-Serve, Employee Self Service, and Materials Management Suites, which can be further customized to fit your business's needs. 

Challenges Faced by Businesses with Enterprise Landscapes 

The need for SAP Business Technology Platform is becoming more apparent as businesses have continued to face similar challenges in their existing landscapes. Some of the most common are:  

  • The lack of central governance of data to support mobile usage by users on different applications. 

  • Allowing external users to access certain data in real-time 

  • Duplicating and syncing data can be time-consuming, which is carried over to the application building process. 

  • Without a common platform, developers must duplicate landscapes for access-related functionality. Again, this is known to slow down employee productivity. 

Why BTP? 

In addition to driving business growth and providing a central access point for data governance and development, you might be wondering why else you should consider SAP BTP. Here are seven additional reasons: 

  1. In general, Cloud offers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by eliminating costs associated with the maintenance and costly upgrades of on-premise infrastructure and systems.

  2. SAP Business Technology Platform comes with out-of-the-box integration abilities to other SAP products such as SAP Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and others. 

  3. SAP Business Technology Platform acts as a central entry point to on-premise and cloud applications. 

  4. Your business is likely already operating with a mobile-first, modern user experience in mind (SAP Fiori), deploying SAP BTP is the next step in achieving this.

  5. The Transition to SAP Business Technology Platform Portal is in alignment with SAP’s official Portal strategy. Therefore, your organization will be among the first to benefit from new innovations and will avoid being blindsided by the announcement of previous products no longer being supported.

  6. SAP Business Technology Platform provides opportunities for tight integration with the best-of-breed third-party solutions for content and document management. 

  7. Deploying SAP Business Technology Platform is the foundation for leveraging additional SAP Cloud Platform services. 

With these reasons in mind, it is important to consider exactly how BTP can be leveraged within your workplace environment. 

The Basis of SAP Business Technology Platform Architecture  

Properly leveraging SAP Business Technology Platform can help your business achieve efficiency and improve business agility. Therefore, BTP will first allow your business to connect all data, applications and business processes as extensions to a standardized digital core. As a single source of truth, analytics pulled from each of your extensions can help your business to identify strengths and weaknesses and improve how your business does things. According to a McKinsey study, this is the determining factor in which companies are successful in responding to change. 

As SAP shares in a recent blog post, most customers leverage BTP to either: 

  • Integrate different SAP and non-SAP applications in one environment 

  • Create applications or extend features on additional applications, such as creating mobile solutions for remote operations and offline applications  

Since the model is designed to be flexible, users can pay for a digital core and choose applications to customize their processes. These extensions are believed to be more flexible than creating a custom solution and can continue to be tailored as needed.   

Client Success on SAP BTP 

With nearly unlimited innovation opportunities, including artificial intelligence (AI) integrations, it can be challenging to picture success. To present this idea, we wanted to share three examples of client success that have been driven by BTP.  

Expand the Reach of Applications  

The first example is a Canadian school board facing inefficiencies and frustration at the end of the month when back office technicians would be required to consolidate the hours spent doing property maintenance and re-enter vendor specific data into their ERP system on behalf of field technicians. Since their processes involved numerous manual tasks, they sought out SAP Work Manager on Cloud to expand the process of time entry to account for field technicians entering time using a mobile device. Cloud became a more favourable solution that would allow them to expand the reach of apps in their SAP landscape to redefine business processes, achieve operational excellence and reduce costs. 

Improve Forecasting 

Another success was evident for DBG, a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier to the automotive and heavy truck industry. After an acquisition in the United States that would double its business size, DBG found its current system could not support continued growth. With API Management, DBG was able to receive forecasted demand from their customers directly into their S/4HANA Cloud. As a result, they were able to plan production and procure materials on time for delivery, increasing their operational efficiency. 

Accelerate Creation of Custom Applications 

Furthermore, Pacific Drilling was able to leverage the SAP Business Technology Platform by creating a powerful user interface where SAP data, apps, and processes could be extended onto. Custom apps that previously took nearly two months to complete now took a matter of weeks. 

So, how can your business achieve a real impact in your processes using SAP Business Technology Platform?  

An SAP partner like ConvergentIS can help your business determine the best opportunities to leverage the SAP Business Technology Platform and integrate your solutions. Businesses have seen noticeable benefits when seeking opportunities to modernize their procurement processes. With several solutions available in the SAP Business Technology Platform technology stack, we encourage you to read our next post in this series which highlights the key differences between SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad, SAP Work Zone and SAP Work Zone for HR.