What’s in SAP Build for our Partners? Insights from AGILITA
You’ve probably read in the latest blog post from Sebastian Schroetel what SAP Build brings to our valued Partners. Sebastian presented the wide range of resources, enablement and learning activities that our Partners can leverage to improve their skills and therefore increase their business with SAP Build portfolio.
AGILITA, an engaged Partner
To give you some concrete feedback from one of your peers, I have asked our expert partner AGILITA, from Switzerland, to tell us how they integrate SAP Build in their portfolio and how they leverage it in customer projects. Indeed, AGILITA has been an early adopter of our process automation capabilities.
So Sandra Völler, CEO & Founder, and Thomas Neuhaus, Head of Digital Experience, have kindly answered a few questions, and their feedback is very inspiring!
What are the biggest issues your customers are facing now?
The trigger point for our customers is growth. It’s about growing, scaling and doing new things for their company. They want to do some more international business, launch a new service, or do digital transformation in a new way.
And then, even if it’s an on-premise customer, they reach out to us with the idea of “doing the new stuff on the new platform”. Thus, it’s always about getting a competitive advantage in the market, and about modernizing or growing the business.
With SAP Business Technology Platform, customers get the integration done easily, they have more information in the system to be faster and more efficient and they can get new people on board with new processes.
How are your customers doing when they need to extend their S/4HANA ERP?
They usually start with an S/4HANA Cloud project, and say “Hey AGILITA, I have a special process or market differentiation. I need this implemented”. It is on our side then to see how we can handle the task. One option is to create a normal extension like we did before, with native things like CAP and Fiori Elements. What is changing with SAP Build is that we train customers to do certain parts of the new process by themselves in order to fully understand how it works.
How do you consider low-code at AGILITA?
With SAP Build we can give our customers more autonomy and reactiveness.
The idea is to not give them a black box, but to let them experience the opportunities.
How did you start with SAP Build?
For us it all started with the cloud journey because we needed it for integration – it was a must. We started in 2018 with our first implementations of S/4HANA Public Cloud, because with SAP Business ByDesign we did only the integration part, but not the development part. And now, since we have S/4HANA customers who are a little bit larger and a little bit more sophisticated on several wishes, it came by automatically. Our team started with one person and now we have about 50 people who are skilled on SAP Build.
How was your experience during our Hack2Build event?
It was already the third time that we attended the event. In the end, we were the First Runner and not the Winner 😉.
We really like the idea about creating something in a really short time. And as the Hack2Build event runs for half a week and not only one night like hackathons, you can ask experts who usually find good, direct answers.
On the latest Hack2Build, we built a product based on our experience, our Agile Warehouse Management, which is now available on the SAP Store and one of our most successful products. For us, it is great that at such an event, we can create new solutions with our own IP. It’s a great spirit and it’s also important to show that we are active.
We have a young team with many young developers who are passionate about the SAP Business Technology Platform. Daniel Endres, our team lead for creating extensions with SAP BTP, is a truly committed and very inspiring person. Our team members do it because they have fun and that’s the spirit of the team. They also love to face new challenges and the next goal is to win – they really want to win!
What is SAP Build for in your portfolio?
We think there are different starting points. One is when customers meet us because they want to make some automation, a workflow, or a small process outside of their core. This is the case with many customers.
Another way to start is when some customers need a portal for their suppliers, employees, customers, or business partners. That’s the user interface outside the company, they need to give their ecosystem some information. We are happy that SAP changed the licensing on SAP Build Work Zone based on the current use.
The last way is a classic one: customers need an application, an overview from something, and the idea is to create only a small app for something.
These are the three starting points we have.
And additionally, if you do S/4HANA Public Cloud or SAP Business ByDesign, you always have the restrictions of the standard and the specific business processes of the customer. As an integrator you always have two to five issues of the customer that are not inside the standard solution. You must bring an answer to that, especially if it’s important for your customers to shine on the market and if it’s their USP for their own customers. We can see that you automatically end up with some programming or with creating additional extensions.
Can you share an example on how SAP Build helped in a customer project?
In addition to what we did for customers such as Müller + Krempel or BMC Switzerland, we have many new customers in the pipeline for SAP Build.
For example, we are participating in the SAP Innovation Awards 2023 with our customer actoVent. For this customer, we built a solution called the “Fresh Air Manager” with SAP BTP to reduce ener.gy and costs, and to provide fresh air . actoVent customers are more than happy about the project so far. Roman Bühler, hall manager of the Mobiliar Arena, in a city near Bern, explained: “We have only saved a good 20 percent of energy so far – per month we only consume 5500 instead of 7000 kilowatt hours during the summer months.” The return on investment of the hall with actoVent is “amazing”, a further expansion is likely. According to Bühler, actoVent has probably found a gap in the market here. That is how we use SAP Build and other SAP BTP capabilities to make our customers more intelligent and sustainable enterprises.
For one of our newest customers, we are building a process with all of the SAP Build components. We have SAP Build Apps, SAP Build Process Automation with the workflow and automations, and we have also SAP Build Work Zone Standard edition. That’s the newest thing. And this customer project is huge with subscription billing, CRM, and SAP Analytics Cloud on BTP.
How do you plan to use SAP Build in the future?
We think it will still be the same – we will grow our team, the business and the AGILITA product suite.
SAP Build is always an argument for us to sell to net new name because we can take their fear that they cannot make it because some of their products are not in the public cloud. We always tell our customers “You don’t have to be afraid. There will always be a solution and it will be as beautiful as the rest of it”. So “no fear” is a really important point. Regarding how we can work with SAP Build, the idea is that it is not the professional developer who will work too much with it but rather that we enable business consultants to use it. The good thing is, that they can work with this low code tool.
And on the other hand, we try to do more business in the existing customer area. For building new solutions for customers that are moving from EEC to S/4HANA, we put their developments outside, on SAP BTP. It’s still a selling point because we are one of not so many partners that are SAP BTP only: we do not offer Google or Microsoft or something else. We are a committed partner on that one.
Thank you Sandra and Thomas! 🙏🏻
I would like to thank again Sandra and Thomas, not only for their time in this interview but most prominently for their commitment in engaging their customers with new SAP BTP solutions: AGILITA started in 2019 with SAP Intelligent RPA, then they moved to SAP Process Automation which is now SAP Build Process Automation. Kudos to them, and long life to AGILITA!