SAP has announced new capabilities, enhancements and further unification of the Business Technology Platform layer “to help companies transform data into business value” in three critical areas of IT: data excellence, integration and extensions.
The announcement was made at the SAPPHIRE NOW Converge conference, held online June 15–23, 2020.
Here’s a summary of the new product releases and capability announcements – minus the marketing spiel.
A quick background
Skip if you are familiar with the Business Technology Platform
The Business Technology Platform a portfolio of integrated offerings for database & data management, analytics, application development & integration and intelligent technologies. It was previously called the SAP Cloud Platform.
The Business Technology Platform helps customers:
- Manage diverse data stores in real-time with SAP HANA
- Integrate and extend enterprise applications across any IT landscape using SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite and SAP Cloud Platform Extension Suite
- Analyse data for better planning and decision-making with the SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solutions
- Continuously innovate their businesses with new intelligent technologies (previously referred to as SAP Leonardo)
What’s new and upcoming in Data Excellence?
Data Excellence with SAP HANA, SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics
- 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of SAP HANA which now has more than 32,400 customers.
- The latest version, SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 05, is planned for delivery at the end of June.
- It will support hybrid scenarios with the SAP HANA Cloud data platform (launched in 2019) and provide new capability such as the enhanced HANA native storage extension.
- Existing on-premise customers can add SAP HANA capacity in the cloud and turn their on-premise deployment into a hybrid database.
- Originally launched on Microsoft Azure, SAP HANA Cloud is now also available on AWS, so customers can use their vendor of choice.
- SAP plans to have an open trial for SAP HANA Cloud, ready for early July.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
- SAP HANA Cloud is also the foundation for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.
- A data management solution that enables customers to integrate and harmonize data from different sources under a common semantic layer.
- The latest update of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud includes business content centred on the retail industry.
- A new business layer function of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is planned for release in the early third-quarter 2020, to help business users and analysts more easily create understandable data models using business terms.
- It will offer built-in and deeply integrated data flow functionality, allowing customers to select from a broad range of connectors for building highly scalable data integration processes to and from any data source.
SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP Data Warehouse Cloud has been more tightly integrated with SAP Analytics Cloud for an enhanced unified data and analytics environment.
- SAP has launched an SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Microsoft Office so users of SAP Analytics Cloud and Excel can use the familiar Excel front-end functions to get more out of their SAP Analytics Cloud analytics and planning capabilities.
- Planning and predictive functionalities are further integrated in the latest update/fast-tracked release of SAP Analytics Cloud for faster, more powerful planning, and is currently available via a free trial.
SAP Business Objects
SAP Data Intelligence
- SAP Data Intelligence is the next evolution of SAP Data Hub.
- It brings together data orchestration, metadata management and powerful data pipelines with advanced ML.
- When release 3.0 is applied to installations of SAP Data Hub, the product will be updated to SAP Data Intelligence and all-new capabilities will be included.
- SAP Data Intelligence 3.0 offers customers flexibility for their deployment model of choice – on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of both.
- SAP is indicating there is no additional fee or migration required for SAP Data Hub customers.
SAP has presented a new graph depicting data to value realisation with the Business Technology Platform.
Figure 1 – Data Value Formula of the Business Technology Platform
To gain the full value of your data, SAP says you must understand:
- The span
- The amount
- The quality and semantics
The diagram highlights the cloud and on-premise solution “answer” to each of these areas, e.g. SAP Data Intelligence is the company’s answer to the “span” factor of the data value equation, and so on.
What’s new and upcoming in Integration?
Integration through SAP Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite
- Now more than 1,450 prepackaged integration packs connecting SAP products with other SAP solutions or to third-party systems.
- Latest examples include SAP BW/4HANA integration with rest-based data load, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Integration with SAP S/4HANA Public Sector and SAP S/4HANA integration with Salesforce.
- New simplified pricing as of May 11, 2020 – sign up for all capabilities instead of going through licensing for multiple services.
- SAP plans to offer a migration tool for a smooth transition from SAP Process Orchestration to SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite.
For more information on SAP’s integration offerings for on-premise, hybrid and cloud environments, check out this blog on SAP’s progress with integration and the road ahead for customers.
Business process integration
SAP is focused on connecting its applications in the intelligent suite to deliver end-to-end business process integration and visibility over Lead to Cash, Source to Pay, Recruit to Retire and Design to Operate.
The following table details how and when SAP is delivering business process integration in these four areas. A tick indicates completion.
|Seamless User Experience||Consistent Security & Identity Mngmt||Aligned Domain Models||Embedded & Cross-Product Analytics||Centralised/ One Workflow Inbox||Coordinated Lifecycle Mngmt||E2E process Blueprints|
|Lead to Cash||✔️||✔️||Q4||2021||Q4||Q4||✔️|
|Source to Pay||✔️||✔️||Q4||Q4||Q4||Q3||✔️|
|Recruit to Retire||Q4||✔️||Q3||✔️||Q4||Q4||✔️|
|Design to Operate||✔️||✔️||Q2/ 2021||2021||Q4||Q4||✔️|
Figure 2 – SAP’s progress on business process integration with intelligent suite qualities as of June 2020
SAP already provide reference architectures but by the end of 2021, they will provide end-to-end business processes (including information on how SAP has integrated different applications, which APIs you can use and so on). These insights will help customers and partners integrate SAP and non-SAP applications faster than ever before.
What’s new and upcoming in Extension?
Extension through SAP Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud Platform Extension Suite
- Workflow management enhancements to help customers adapt and extend business processes on the fly and in real-time.
- New live process content packages that contain workflow templates, predefined metrics and dashboards for process performance, and business rules to manage automated decisions.
- SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services is being enhanced with new features like the ‘mobile transaction bridge’.
- SAP launched SAP Business Application Studio, the next generation of SAP WEB integrated development environment (IDE) where developers can build SAP Fiori, SAP UI5 apps and S/4HANA extensions with Cloud Application Programming, workflow and mobile.
As you can see, SAP has invested heavily in the Business Technology Platform and is innovating with this technology layer to provide unmatched speed, analytical advantages and automation at the application level. It’s the Business Technology Platform that gives life to the intelligent enterprise.
For comprehensive detail on any of the above topics or solutions, or to see what’s new in intelligent technologies, see the SAPPHIRE NOW technology and Innovation News Guide 2020.