Three Key Takeaways from SAP Sapphire 2022
Last week, I attended SAP Sapphire 2022. It was great to see people face-to-face and connect with colleagues, SAP experts, and customers in Orlando, Florida. The event was really focused on three major themes, speed of business change, supply chain disruption, and sustainability. Below are my key takeaways from the event.
A renewed commitment to customer value
SAP has been showing increased commitment to helping customers achieve real business value with the RISE with SAP initiative for S/4HANA. RISE with SAP allows companies to build a digitally connected organization that can adopt innovation quickly and improve business processes easily. Several Redwood customers like Vodafone, Unilever, and HCL shared their significant results on the main stage. It was incredible to talk to them and hear how much they’ve been able to achieve since starting their migrations to the cloud. Hear what they had to say:
“Clean core” is the focus for all digital transformations
One message I continued to hear at Sapphire was the importance of having a “clean core.” So what does that mean? Simply, you must keep the ERP core clean from customization and modifications, and you can only use white-listed APIs. Keeping the S/4HANA core clean ensures compatibility with future SAP innovations and faster innovation adoption.
Adopting a “clean core” approach also means customers need to adopt business processes based on how S/4HANA operates, instead of building business processes around software customizations. Some SAP customers use a systems integrator and internal application development team to make tons of customizations to the ERP application. SAP recommends an alternative approach. To achieve specific business goals, customers should integrate applications and programs into the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).
At Redwood, our automation platform interfaces seamlessly with the SAP ecosystem. You can easily leverage Redwood to automate and orchestrate future-ready, end-to-end business processes while keeping your SAP core clean.
SAP’s investment in Business Technology Platform (BTP)
SAP BTP includes a wide range of technologies including the Integration Suite (formerly the Cloud Platform Integration which uses iFlows that can be published on the SAP API Business Hub). These technologies include artificial intelligence, data and analytics, extended planning and analysis, and application development and automation.
BTP has evolved from a few different technologies, but one thing is apparent: SAP is committed to this platform for the long-term and is investing heavily in it. BTP was being talked about throughout the day in numerous theater sessions, and SAP had a dedicated booth for BTP on the show flow.
Judging by the number of SAP Product Management representatives that presented at the event, SAP has created a very large organization working to evolve BTP for years to come. One thing that came through all of the BTP presentations was that SAP has unified multiple technologies to make them available to the full expanse of SAP applications.
For example, SAP doesn’t see Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a standalone solution in and of itself. Rather, SAP wants to help customers enable RPA into and across all applications. This approach helps customers make better use of all of the different technologies SAP has to offer.
It’s been exciting to see SAP’s evolution to the broader cloud philosophy of BTP. Redwood was an early adopter of cloud technology and has been aligned with SAP and our customers on that continued journey.
Sustainability and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive
Sustainability was a major topic throughout the main keynotes. During his keynote address, SAP’s CEO, Christian Klein, drove home the message that sustainability and profitability do not have to be mutually exclusive. Announcements throughout the conference all seemed to include a sustainability component, as well as the signage I saw around the event.
Klein announced that SAP is going to add a green ledger into S/4HANA ERP to make reporting on Environment Social and Governance (ESG) easier. Facilitating the tracking and reporting on the sustainability data that flows through an organization’s systems was the primary focus of SAP’s sustainability products. I foresee many businesses using workload automation to help them gather and report the data required to enable a green ledger!
I hope all of you who attended SAP Sapphire 2022 left feeling as inspired as I did by the new possibilities and innovations that were unveiled. I look forward to working with our SAP + Redwood customers to discover new ways to drive new business initiatives and accelerate growth with automation.
Are you using SAP BPA?
With support for SAP BPA ending in December 2024 and with the commitment from SAP to continue the migration to S/4HANA, we at Redwood want you to know that we are here to help you bring your business processes and scheduled jobs into the future. By partnering with us and implementing enterprise-wide, end-to-end workload automation, you, your business, and your people will be ready to deliver on your next big thing!
To find out just how easy it is to move your existing SAP BPA jobs to RunMyJobs, I invite you to request a BPA assessment. And if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of moving from SAP BPA to Redwood, watch our on-demand webinar, S/4HANA and SAP by Redwood: An Intelligent Way Forward
About The Author
Mike Alpert is the Vice President of Alliances at Redwood Software. He has over 30 years of experience in enterprise software and in working with publishers such as SAP, Oracle, Workday and Microsoft, along with global systems integrators and other software providers.