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How SAP is Future-Proofing Business ByDesign

SAP recently made a significant change in how it develops, organizes, and releases new features. This change is good news for businesses that use SAP Business ByDesign because the change future-proofs the ByDesign solution and ultimately will enable businesses to take advantage of new SAP functionality more quickly. It also paves the way for more complete automation and artificial intelligence within the platform.

Business operates differently now. They evolve faster and scale without heavy technology investment, they connect directly with other systems, they leverage data and automation, and soon they will use artificial intelligence for everything from insight to operational efficiency.

SAP saw this trend several years ago, and in 2020 it began work on a new paradigm for its many ERP offerings that better meet the needs of businesses today.

The big idea is a single, unified plugin platform for its ERP solutions that has all the features that a business might need. Instead of releasing features separately for each version of its ERP offerings, SAP now can roll out functionality once and it is usable on any of the SAP solutions.


The SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP)

This unified platform, which debuted in late 2022, is SAP’s Business Technology Platform (BTP). BTP is a big win for companies that use SAP Business ByDesign.

When a business adopts or develops a specific software function for operations, it can keep using this function as long as it is necessary as a result of BTP. There’s no migration as a business grows or changes. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time a business evolves. There’s no missing out on SAP innovations because a feature has been released for SAP’s Fortune 500 S/4HANA ERP but not for the small-business offerings.

With BTP, functionality is built once and available for use everywhere. For small businesses and large enterprises alike.

SAP enables this by using the open-source model of a small software kernel and universal modules that any kernel can then tap into for specific functionality. These modules both come from SAP and its extensive network of partners such as Navigator Business Solutions, and they also easily can be developed by employees themselves using either SAP’s drag-and-drop editor or its low-code development environment for the platform.


The Advantages of BTP for Business ByDesign Users

BTP and the new software development paradigm come with several advantages for Business ByDesign users.


1 - Better Agility and Faster Adaptation

Businesses ByDesign users can grab the functionality they need from BTP and evolve their backend more quickly to changing conditions because the new model is completely modular and software functionality is universal instead of specific to their ERP instance.

There are currently more than 750 different modules on the BTP platform, with more on the way.

2 - Easier Custom Processes and Self-Development

BTP helps Business ByDesign users add process customization, and it enables employees to easily roll their own functionality by marrying the modularity and universality of the platform with a drag-and-drop software development environment.

Through BTP, businesses link data and processes from elsewhere in the system, and integrate with third-party software solutions without having to resort to the old model of custom code that breaks easily and must be maintained. They also can build with core technologies already in the platform such as AI and automation.


3 - Comprehensive AI and Automation System-Wide

Artificial intelligence and automation are central to the BTP design. With BTP, Business ByDesign users can flow any data source into SAP’s AI engine, or connect this data with an external AI engine. Every business process also can interface with AI as needed, and the AI component of the process can be expanded as the technology evolves.

Similarly, this modularity and service model architecture increases automation because a function of the software doesn’t have to come with automation baked in; businesses can add automation to any part of their system as needed.


4 - Improved Integration and Connectivity

Business ByDesign always has come with wide integration and connectivity with other systems because it serves as the nerve center for a business. But BTP takes integration and connectivity to an even higher level because the platform is built around APIs and integration points that connect platform modules and external software solutions.

BTP is designed from the ground up for mixing systems and business functions. Modules on the platform easily talk with each other, and companies using Business ByDesign can quickly create connections and flow data based on their changing needs.


5 - Turnkey Systems Growth

The upgrade path between SAP’s ERP solutions now is even easier than before.

Business ByDesign is SAP’s solution for small and fast-growing businesses with annual revenue up to $300 Million. Previously, companies that used Business ByDesign needed to migrate to SAP’s larger S/4HANA ERP platform when they grew larger. This old upgrade path was made easier by similar interfaces and methodologies, but it still was a substantial upgrade project.

With the new paradigm of a tiny software core and most functionality living in the BTP, SAP now has made Business ByDesign more scalable because growing companies mostly just move to the new S/4 HANA core when they grow, and add additional BTP modules if necessary. The modules the business already use on Business ByDesign migrate seamlessly to the larger system since they are the same modules in use across all SAP solutions.

Businesses that are growing but not ready for S/4HANA also can more easily add functionality on an as-needed basis with BTP. This extends the range of functionality even further than before SAP’s reimagined approach.


Three Solutions, One Platform for Growth

With BTP, the size of a business now is the major factor that determines which SAP solution a company chooses.

Small businesses use SAP Business One. Fast-growing and medium-sized companies use SAP Business ByDesign. Large enterprises still rely on SAP S/4HANA. But now, the modules and the functionality they bring are common across all three of SAP’s ERP solutions. Businesses don’t have to wait until features reach a given solution, and they don’t have to upgrade for specific functionality that’s only available in a larger SAP solution.

This new SAP paradigm expands and future-proofs Business ByDesign. It has never been a better time for using ByDesign.

For specific questions about Business ByDesign or the new BTP platform, contact one of our experience SAP consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.


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