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Author's profile photo Mick Collins

ASUG BTP Customer Summit – Talking Points for HR

This week, I attended the ASUG BTP Customer Summit at SAP’s HQ in Newtown Square. The event was Line of Business agnostic, with examples of BTP usage drawn from Finance, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Vendor Management, with occasional references to HR.

 As a member of the HXM team, looking to share more on how the Business Technology Platform can help HR leaders increase their agility, scalability, and innovation, my takeaways are five-fold:

1. BTP is Growing, Fast: BTP is designed to accelerate innovation and create personalized experiences. What was new to me is the growth in BTP projects (50% in the last 12 months) and just how many customers use BTP – 14,000 customers are live on at least one service. It’s also becoming a critical element in our partner landscape, with 1,480 partners using BTP to develop their own applications.

2. The ROI is There: At SAP, we can be known for using too much jargon (see point #1 above!). It was refreshing to hear customers speak about the material benefits they’ve obtained from deploying BTP services. Yes, we shared our own metrics (e.g., customers have experienced a 66 percent reduction in administrative work via automation) but hearing from Florida Crystals, Jabil, and Energy Transfer on their calculated results illustrated that BTP is having a significant impact on both business efficiency AND effectiveness.

3. An Appropriate Balance of Business vs. Technical, Introductory vs. Advanced Sessions: I really enjoyed introductory sessions on SAP Analytics Cloud, AppGyver, and Free Tier Services among others. While I listen out for ideas on customer innovations and ROI, there were many presentations intended for more technical audiences or those who wanted to learn more about BTP’s plumbing. In the future, I’d like to see more team-based discussions or sessions that illustrate who in the organization is responsible for which aspect of the successful deployment.

4. We Need to Tie the Services/Commercials to Customer Learning Journeys: Overall, I think we can do more to explain “where do SAP’s native applications end….and BTP start?” for customers who are just beginning their learning journey with BTP or are not accustomed to building their own BTP landscape. A positive example of that was a discussion of when to use Launchpad and/or Work Zone. In contrast, we should be communicating how our commercial offerings – Free Tier, Subscription, PAYG, CPEA, etc. – are aligned with customer needs and maturity.

5. HR Can Both Directly and Indirectly Benefit From BTP: Undoubtedly, HR has directly derived value and impact from BTP and we continue to share those stories with our customers. But we shouldn’t overlook the fact that even if the BTP story concerns a different function (Finance, Supply Chain, etc.), there are indirect benefits to HR – a more efficient supply chain improves employee productivity, faster acquisition of vendor partners opens the door to contingent labor into our workforce mix, and innovations in how Finance closes its books improves the experience of those in the function.

The future is very bright for how BTP can deliver value to our colleagues in HR and I look forward to attending similar events of this nature in 2023. 

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      Author's profile photo Martin Pankraz
      Martin Pankraz

      Always curious when the vendor comments on himself from a supposedly independent user group conference. Would prefer the customer voices or ASUG themselves. @Community do you agree?

      Author's profile photo Wallace Henry
      Wallace Henry

      A continuous learning for me - the large companies are collections of areas and sometimes (gasp) silos.

      So to your point, with the vendors, for me it is hard to separate self-promotion of an area/product/solution/software from a true response.  Someone outside an area but in the vendor org making an observation is basically like us as customers.

      So its hard to separate the two for us.

      I agree, customer stories are vital, and that is part of the Asug and other user group premise.  To a certain extent it can also be inferred from content on the SAP community - questions raised, blogs posted, etc.

      BR Wallace

      Author's profile photo Mick Collins
      Mick Collins
      Blog Post Author

      Martin - Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.

      I attended as an SAP employee (not as an SAP marketing person with direct involvement in the event or any affiliation with ASUG) with the intention of learning more about the BTP offering and how it is being used by customers.

      I chose not to share the many actual examples of customer case studies to avoid publishing a comment or data point that the customer would rather be kept to the audience. But I am sure that ASUG could follow-up with the customer presenters and ask to share their presentations.

      I also tried to be honest about the positives of BTP as well as what we in the SAP community can do better when helping our customers understand BTP. Hopefully it reads as an objective set of ideas that I took from the event and not a sales pitch.

      Author's profile photo Wallace Henry
      Wallace Henry

      A general comment...

      I see the "customer" referenced in your blog, and also HXM in your title...

      Regarding customer "adoption" and "ease of use"...

      I like SAP brings a good bit of SAP Companion content.  I wish they would deliver their products with this enabled and force the customers to inactivate it.  Current state is a bit backwards, content is there but up to customer enabling it.  So it often gets missed or not prioritized.

      Best Regards, Wallace

      Author's profile photo Mick Collins
      Mick Collins
      Blog Post Author

      Wallace - Thank you for your comment. I wasn't aware of this issue so will look into it further.

      Author's profile photo Wallace Henry
      Wallace Henry

      Thanks Mick!
      If you want a separate chat, let me know.  I'm in some leadership in the SEN and other spaces in my company.