The SAP annual meetings for Partners who support, sell, deliver and enhance their products for Small to Mid-Sized Enterprises for the America’s was recently held in Panama City May 23-25, 2023.
Adapt, Evolve, Grow
SAP; theme for the summit was the need to adapt and evolve with the ever changing technology to help customers grow their businesses. Key focuses were:
- Cloud technology can be a game changer for many businesses.
- Cloud Platforms provide comprehensive systems for deploying applications, transforming and integrating data across a hybrid cloud landscape.
- How the SAP Business Technology Platform can be the single platform for all SAP Products and services.
SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP)
SAP BTP was first introduced in 2021 when SAP decided to package multiple services and products into one platform that businesses could use to make business decisions. The platform has been improved and expanded continuously since then via development and acquisition. For example, in July 2022, SAP announced it was purchasing Askdata to improve its AI-related capabilities in SAP BTP, particularly regarding natural language searches.
The BTP does not work solely with SAP Products. Although built to support SAP products specifically, BTP was developed to be “publisher agnostic.” For example, SAP explained how to integrate with tools like with IBN Watson, Chat GPT and Google Bard.
BTP has our “pillars”
- Database and Data Management
- Application Development and Integration
- Intelligent Technologies
Using the BTP toolset, partners can create a seamless platform for their customers using systems whether in the Cloud or on-premise. Digital transformation is supercharged integration using modern “intelligent technologies.” The robust BTP toolset allows solutions to be “consumed” by SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign or SAP S/4 HANA by simply changing the connector to the appropriate ERP system.
SAP S/4 HANA Public Cloud
SAP is all in on Cloud technology and is betting on S/4 HANA as the engine for Mid-Market Enterprises. To enable the use of this powerful ERP system, SAP has invested heavily in deployment tools for rapid deployment and simplified adoption. However, even with these investments the initial deployment costs will start in the $100,000s due to the flexibility of the software.
Knowing that S/4 HANA deployment will be beyond the reach of smaller enterprises, SAP is encouraging SAP partners to use the SAP BTP to extend the functionality of SAP ByDesign and is investing heavily in the SAP Business One web client.
SAP Business One Forever!
SAP repeatedly stated that SAP Business One will remain the key product for small to mid-sized business as both an on-premise and cloud ERP system. In addition to continuous improvement to the core application, SAP is committed to a “true cloud,” web service for SAPB1. The upcoming release further expands the ability to use and manage the application in the cloud. Some of the upcoming planned enhancements demonstrated included:
- Add special line types to marketing documents
- Inventory counting
- Bill of Materials with relationship map
- More complete administrative setup functionality
- Enhanced Office 365 integration with web client
Several partner panels highlighted how the SAP BTP can also extend B1 in a variety of ways. For example, David Kramer of Domain Technology Group discussed how it built SenseIT IoT to use cellular sensors and analytical reports to track shipments and product handling conditions in real-time.
Making the Right Choice with SAP Distribution
Messages from the SAP Partner Summit demonstrated SAP’s commitment to SAP Business One as the flagship product for small to mid-market distributors. SAPDistribution.com is a solution designed specifically for discrete goods distributors. Our Start & Grow service offering provides rapid deployment that improves speed to implement and create a positive return on your system investment.