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Author's profile photo Mark Wright

The Importance of Extension: A Unified Digital Experience Brings True Transformation 

As quickly as people openly embrace increasingly advanced technology, the gap between progress and efficiency continues to widen. Nowhere is this deficiency more evident than the time, money, and productivity lost when employees engage in a continuous cycle of logging in, logging out, and switching applications to get work done.

Considering the urgency of top priorities such as growth, innovation, and the customer experience, businesses cannot afford to operate with processes, learning, and work experiences that are disconnected, lacking cohesion, and presented with little context. Instead, a meaningful change is needed, which can only be done by extending all digital assets – including applications, data, and collaboration tools – as one unified ecosystem of continuous, uninterrupted work.

Many SAP customers are already on their way by adopting SAP Extension Suite, part of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). The suite provides the SAP Conversational AI service to automate and enhance customer communications with chatbots and SAP Mobile Services to innovate mobile experiences that can be integrated with business processes. Furthermore, organizations can leverage SAP Work Zone, also available through the suite, to create a personalized and integrated digital workplace experience that drives productivity and increases business agility.

Enhancing fast-paced decision-making with centralized dashboards

Facing unprecedented demand for healthcare providers and services, Parkland Health & Hospital System (Parkland) was on the frontline of a battle that could only be won with real-time access to data. The organization’s 862-bed acute care, safety-net hospital and outpatient clinics immediately shifted the insights needed to efficiently operate the hospital, such as beds and ventilators available, COVID-19 patients, and many other evolving variables.

Within four days, Parkland’s analytics team responded by creating an actionable COVID-19 dashboard built with SAP HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud, an analytics solution that combines business intelligence, augmented and predictive analytics, and planning capabilities. Its efforts changed how the entire healthcare system provides care by mapping where COVID-19-positive patients live to identify community hotspots. Then, its mobile testing unit and education team were sent to these neighborhoods, resulting in early COVID-19 identification and reduced spread.

Parkland also built a surge prediction model that proved to be more accurate than other models used by healthcare systems across the United States. The dashboard is accessed thousands of times by hundreds of users and is a focal point for daily meetings with executives and a source of truth for county, state, and federal reporting.

The organization also alleviated long wait times for its COVID-19 Call Center by leveraging SAP Conversational AI. This service helped build a symptom-checker chatbot, made available in English and Spanish on the hospital’s Web site, to enable community residents to gauge their health and get swift access to care if needed.

Transforming learning experiences with a user-centric platform

Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail) has typically been a follower from a technology perspective. But the organization also understood the importance of ensuring its workforce is engaged as an integral and critical part of the business.

By upgrading its compliance-focused workforce learning and resource platform, Royal Mail provides a user-centric experience that is intuitive, informative, and data driven and runs on a future-proof enterprise-level foundation. The entire project was completed within 12 weeks, delivered with the remote assistance of SAP partner TalenTeam. The new learning experience platform is built on top of a layer of SAP SuccessFactors solutions and SAP Extension Suite.

Royal Mail is also using SAP Work Zone with SAP SuccessFactors solutions globally to combine complementary technologies to help shape a highly impactful, visual, and intuitive user experience. This site delivers the information, tools, and resources that employees need to do their jobs more efficiently. Users can also choose how they want to learn by accessing content that is most relevant to their individual needs and role.

The platform further provides deeper insights into user behavior, needs, and wants, enabling the management team to make more informed decisions on resourcing, employee development, and business strategy.

Managing mobile assets with augmented reality

As one of New Zealand’s largest liquid hydrocarbon producers, OMV New Zealand (OMV) must plan and execute its inspections, which is traditionally a paper-heavy process of markups, instructions and isometrics piping, and instrumentation drawings.

To make maintenance planning more efficient and precise and simplify its service technicians’ work, OMV contextualized digital twins overlaid as a 3D model on an augmented hybrid solution. The innovation is based on an asset manager mobile app and the HoloLens 2 headset with Bluetooth communication, providing data for project management, asset strategy, and performance management. In addition, capabilities for markup annotations and checklist assessments enable on-the-fly results entry and malfunction reporting and synchronize them with the mobile app and the digital twin.

The project increased efficiency and productivity in inspection planning and execution. In return, planning time became 25% shorter, and cost reductions increased 5% through workflow optimization, onshore and offshore travel avoidance, and remote inspections, audits, and certifications. The company also expects to accelerate work execution by up to 30% with advanced augmented reality, mobile technology, and electronic checklists.

Redefining business unity with extensibility

While every digital touch point represents a new and distinct way to run operations, engage employees, and serve customers, every aspect of the business must be supported by a smooth digital experience. Otherwise, the business misses out on gaining the operational efficiency and insight-rich decision-making needed to stay competitive.

Knowing the stakes are high, many of our customers – such as Parkland, Royal Mail, and OMV – rely on SAP Extension Suite (part of SAP BTP) to deliver a unified user experience. As a result, their workforce not only works efficiently across all channels, but also delivers outcomes that matter to the business, its customers, and, in some cases, the greater community.

Learn more about SAP Extension Suite by exploring guided missions and ready-to-use services on the SAP Discovery Center site and try out SAP Business Technology Platform.

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