This past October, I had the pleasure to attend SAP TechEd, the preeminent technology conference held every year in Las Vegas for the SAP community of technologists, engineers and developers who attend in the thousands. After close to ten years with SAP, it was exciting to experience first hand the scale of this grand event and get the latest news on the latest technology that will eventually drive tomorrow’s best-run businesses. Furthermore, it was a great opportunity for me to meet in person some of the partners and independent software vendors (ISV) with whom I have had the privilege of working with these past years on the integration topic. I had a great time meeting everyone and talking about software integration with SAP. My thanks to everyone who visited the PLS booth and shared their integration story !
SAP Partner & ISV Forum Recap
During the SAP Partner and ISV Forum, SAP Partner Innovation Lifecycle Services (PLS) hosted a joint technical enablement session to a packed room of attendees comprised of partners and ISVs interested in learning how to build, integrate, and certify applications on hot topics such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP HANA and Internet of Things (IoT). Following an introduction to SAP PLS on how partners and ISVs can leverage our vast portfolio of services to accelerate innovation at various stages of the partner innovation lifecycle (more on PLS here), I had the chance to participate in the first technical topic of the session which focused on the integration and certification of third-party developed applications for the HANA Cloud Platform, SAP’s next-generation platform-as-a-service that is set to become (if not already so) the preferred approach for software integration with SAP in the era of cloud computing. My talk was centered on how partners and ISVs can ease their integration effort and ensure technical alignment through SAP’s open program for integration certification. More specifically, I presented the new HCP integration scenario that the SAP Integration and Certification Center is rolling out in an effort to promote faster adoption by facilitating integration of partner-developed solutions with the HANA Cloud Platform. More information on this new integration scenario is provided below. Thank you to all who attended this technical enablement session !
Here are a few takeaways that I would like to share with partners and ISVs who missed this year’s TechEd.
1. HCP is THE extension platform
This makes HANA Cloud Platform the preferred choice for partners and ISVs looking to develop new cloud applications and/or extend existing SAP on-premise or cloud solutions. There should be no doubt about it, HANA Cloud Platform unequivocally provides a clear and superior integration option to partners and ISVs. Look no further if you are looking to build cloud applications and capitalize on one of the largest enterprise customer-base of close to 300,000 strong.
However, integration is not always easy. As we all know, it could be a challenging task especially when developing complex enterprise solutions. Partners and ISVs are at the heart of SAP’s Cloud Strategy for HCP and one way of easing the development effort and reducing development cost is by leveraging the new HCP integration certification. Indeed, partners and ISVs who undergo integration certification generally experience faster ramp-up on SAP technologies and better understanding of integration options thus speeding up the overall development and integration cycle.
In brief, the new HCP integration scenario can be leveraged to accelerate the integration effort:
- One single modular certification with low fee covering all HCP use cases:
- Build and deploy new cloud applications
- Extend cloud applications
- Extend on-premise applications
- One streamlined approach with a single set of documentation and technical requirements which includes support froma dedicated technical consultant to act as a single point of contact therefore ensuring timely support and completion
This is a new offering and the SAP Integration and Certification Center is delighted to offer it to all partners and ISVs building new cloud solutions on HCP. If you would like to learn more on this new integration scenario or become the first partner/ISV with a SAP certified integration on HCP then please contact the SAP Integration and Certification Center.
2. Redefining customer focus with hybris
I had the opportunity to attend Bernd Leukert’s excellent keynote during which he mentioned the importance of “Digital Transformation” and how it is about putting the customer at the center of everything SAP does by providing an individualized, personalized and multi-channel experience. Please see full text here.
His speech served as a reminder of the importance for the SAP partner community to look beyond the traditional SAP backend and rethink about customer focus. Digital Transformation can be achieved through the use of the the right technology. At the center of this vision for an omni-channel experience lies the SAP hybris Commerce Suite which remains yet untapped by many from the SAP partner and ISV community. This is changing slowly as more and more partners and ISVs realize the opportunity at hand and the fact that the hybris Commerce Suite is engineered for expansion, extension and scale. The hybris platform’s modular, service-oriented architecture makes it straightforward to add or replace functionality. Java and REST API, Omni Commerce Connect, Data Hub to name a few can be used not only to integrate with other devices or channels but also other systems.
For partners and ISVs who have heard the call and are ready to begin redefining the notion of customer focus by building an extension to hybris Commerce Suite, the hybris extension certification is also available to help you in your integration journey on the hybris platform. Details on this integration scenario are available here.
3. Fiori as a key differentiator
In today’s competitive software market, it goes without saying that a simple, delightful and responsive user experience is key to a product’s success. At SAP, Fiori embodies this thinking. Fresh off the heels of winning the prestigious Red Dot Award (more here) for design, Fiori was understandably a hot topic.
On the TechEd show floor, it was almost impossible not to notice the Fiori Café that was located front and center (not to mention the delightful cappuccinos that were served there). This should definitely serve as an metaphor to all partners and ISVs who are still unsure about embracing Fiori that it can no longer be ignored. Fiori should be a key consideration when developing new solutions. Partners and ISVs building applications should start looking at incorporating elements of SAP’s UI design approach into their product roadmap. Adoption can be accomplished in phases by implementing first the underlying technology stack of SAPUI5 and OData services then to a greater extent by adopting fully the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines that are publicly available to all.
For those who are on the path of developing custom brand new Fiori applications, the Integration and Certification Center is putting at your disposal the Fiori app certification in order to help partners and ISV develop and certify custom transactional Fiori applications. Currently, the Fiori app certification can be obtained at no cost (conditions apply). Please find more details of this limited-time offer here. Take advantage of this great opportunity while it’s still available!
These are the 3 key takeaways that I believe every partner and ISV should consider following this year’s TechEd event.
Thank you to everyone who attended the SAP Partner and ISV Forum and/or visited the PLS booth !
In case you would like to join next year or simply learn more about third-party solution integration with SAP, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the SAP Integration and Certification Center.
Thank you !