Extending SAP SuccessFactors with SAP BTP: From Ideation to Monetization
As a member of SAP’s Partner Solution Adoption team with Partner Ecosystem Success, I help SAP SuccessFactors partners around the world to expand their offerings with the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), our innovative platform. This involves running enablement sessions, hackathons, and providing 1:1 coaching to partners on their use cases.
Before joining SAP, I spent 15 years in the SAP partner ecosystem, where I developed several custom HR solutions for customers.
In this blog, I want to put myself in the shoes of an SAP partner’s team that has been asked to extend SAP SuccessFactors with SAP BTP. I’ll share my advice on the steps to take, from ideation to monetization of the solution.
Every solution starts with an idea, usually driven by a customer project. If a customer has raised a requirement that cannot be met with out-of-the-box SAP SuccessFactors modules, you have a few options.
First, check the SAP SuccessFactors roadmap to see if SAP has planned something.
Next, check the SAP Store to see if another partner has published an application for this requirement. In which case, you will discuss directly with the partner how you want to serve the customer together.
Finally, discuss with the customer the possibility of creating a new custom application. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Is the customer already using SAP BTP? If not, can you resell it? Is the customer willing to own the intellectual property of such an app?
- Will the partner own the IP, and how will the customer access the app to use it without having access to the source? Will a SAP BTP SaaS model answer the question?
To best answer these questions, SAP offers partners a free service delivered by the SAP Co-Innovation Desk and its Co-innovation Advisory Service (accessible to SAP partners only). This service provides coaching to help you navigate the process and make informed decisions.
After qualification, you will be directed to the coaching service that best suits your current situation. Some examples of coaching services include (links accessible for SAP partners only):
- SAP BTP Use-Case Advisory
- SAP SuccessFactors Extensibility Advisory
- SAP BTP Commercial Model Advisory
- SAP BTP Technical Advisory
In addition to these coaching services, if you are considering productizing your app and publishing it on SAP Store as a SAP SuccessFactors extension, it is recommended to work with the SAP SuccessFactors product team and get all the input to have your app pass the APP Readiness Check when required. You can do so by signing up for this mission: “Build SAP SuccessFactors Extensions as an SAP Partner.”
Hackathons are another way to mature your idea. The process involves:
- Checking the next available event in the online calendar
- Either registering or expressing interest
- Submitting your use case in a given ppt template when requested
- Attending a one-week prototyping session with SAP experts if selected
- Demoing your case to SAP jury made of Executives and SAP experts at the end of the week
- Receiving further coaching to finish the development and the go-to-market (GTM)
At the development stage, you are clear about the GTM of your future application. You have used the Discovery Center to create an architecture diagram and identify the SAP BTP services that you will use.
If you have gone through the “SAP SuccessFactors Extensibility Advisory” you will have discovered that SAP SuccessFactors offers embedded and free ways to create extensions, which we call In-App Extensibility. The other type of extensibility is Side-By-Side extensibility on SAP BTP, which, in some cases, can complement an In-App extension.
To help you better understand SAP SuccessFactors Extensibility, you can start by watching the recording of “Introduction to SuccessFactors Extensibility” (SAP Partner access only).
SAP SuccessFactors provides a range of tools to create new content, such as applications, integrations, and reports, as well as access to a broad list of APIs that you can test online from the SAP API Business Hub. The best part is that all of this is free, as it is included in the platform bundle of SAP SuccessFactors.
Side-By-Side Extensibility allows you to take advantage of the low-code/no-code suite to build desktop and mobile applications, automate processes, and trigger them from the SAP Build app.
If you prefer to use Java, Node.js, or ABAP, or have a complex requirements not suited for low-code/no-code, you can choose to go with a ProCode approach and the Business Application Studio. Other services such as SAP HANA Cloud and Document Information Extraction services can be leveraged regardless of which approach you choose, and you can even develop some services in ProCode and consume them in the low-code/no-code suite. Check out the Discovery Center to see all of the available services (94 as of March 2023).
If you’re interested in getting started with SAP Build, take a look at the “Utilize SAP Build for Low-Code/No-Code Applications and Automations for Citizen Developers” learning journey. If you prefer to practice ProCode with SAP SuccessFactors on SAP BTP, check out this valuable Youtube playlist.
For a full overview of the enablement & coaching available for SAP BTP please check out this blog post.
If you’ve already completed the SAP BTP Commercial Model Advisory coaching service (SAP Partner access only) and the Build SAP SuccessFactors Extensions as an SAP Partner mission, you’ve already created your plans to go to market, including your target customers, packaging/bundling, SAP Field Alignment, and SAP Store Publication.
However, this is only the start of the monetization journey. It’s important to regularly discuss the level of success of your app in the market with your SAP business manager and explore options to review the GTM, improve the packaging, or even extend the scope of the application.
As a short-term call to action, be sure to bookmark this lively SAP BTP Partner Community blog, where we document all the events related to SAP BTP and SAP SuccessFactors, so you never miss a recording.
Should you have questions or require additional information, don’t hesitate to add a comment to this blog.