SAP TechEd 2021
This week IgniteSAP is attending the online virtual event SAP TechEd 2021, and we would like to share with the IgniteSAP community a summary of the themes and announcements in the keynote speech by SAP’s Chief Technical Officer Juergen Mueller. For your convenience a full transcription of the speech and interview content will be found underneath the summary.
Free BTP Tier for Individuals
After a short introduction, the first major announcement was that SAP are now offering the free tier model for SAP Business Technology Platform to individual developers.
SAP had previously given access to this model of BTP to its customers and partners, and received feedback requesting that access to the tier be opened up to individuals. This now means that developers from all SAP backgrounds can explore SAP BTP services, and build prototype systems without financial commitment. From SAP’s side this has the added advantage of allowing customers to assess which solutions and services add value to their businesses, which will no doubt add to the number of transactions with each customer over the long term.
TechEd 2021 Themes
Juergen Mueller went on to discuss major themes such as the accelerating effect of the pandemic on their customer’s transition to the cloud, the need to change business processes to mitigate climate impact and the need to address inequality in society.
SAP is seeking to reduce social inequality by allowing anyone the opportunity to freely access SAP learning resources, as well as investing in the provision of low code and no code programming tools, so that even those who have not had the opportunity to learn programming can develop software solutions.
Mueller said that Forrester predicts a huge technology talent deficit of roughly half a million developers in the U.S. alone with more and more companies becoming effectively technology companies as they digitise their operations. Low code and no code development will help bridge this gap.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment
Another announcement that was directly addressing concerns in the wider SAP community was that SAP has decided to close the gap between on-premise and cloud-based provision by offering and ABAP environment within S/4HANA Cloud. The official name for this will be SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment but some developers are referring to it as “embedded Steampunk”.
This version of ABAP will be limited to ensure seamless SAP software updates so custom ABAP extensions are possible but will not cause problems later on.
SAP believes this will also solve some of the problems that occur with extensions when moving customers from on-premise to the cloud.
A large portion of the keynote was dedicated to ways that developers can expand their existing skills with SAP and acquire new ones, such as the emphasis on free tier access to SAP BTP.
SAP Discovery Centre was signposted as the best place to an overview of the services available on BTP.
Pay as you Go for BTP
It was also announced that there is a new Pay as you Go payment agreement available for a global SAP BTP account.
The largest section of the keynote was a discussion around bridging the gap between professional and “non-technical” developers.
Low Code No Code
“First of all, we introduced SAP AppGyver for no code development. Second, we evolved the SAP Business Application studio, and make it available for low code development. And third, we are launching in preview of our new no code automation solution, SAP Process Automation, which builds on the capabilities of our known robotic process automation, and workflow capabilities.”
This section included an interview with the Marko Lehtimaki, previously founder and CEO of AppGyver, and now leading the SAP AppGyver team. Lehtimaki introduced the visual programming concept and pointed out that SAP AppGyver allowed the creation of “mission critical pixel perfect solutions without any writing of code”.
With SAP team member Diana they gave an example of how the technology can be used in a business context to build an extension in SAP Service Cloud.
This example described how a business process issue could be diagnosed with SAP Process Insights, then a tailored, automated solution to that problem could be designed in SAP AppGyver Composer, using an RPA bot and the SAP AppGyver backend to connect to S/4HANA for data integration.
The key point in this discussion was that a complex solution could be designed and created with minimal input from an IT team, freeing that department up to work on other projects. They also emphasised that non-technical developers would still have to learn the tools available but that there was plenty of resources to support this, including an “in-product learning experience” in SAP AppGyver, and SAP Learning Hub, openSAP and the SAP Community.
New BTP Learning Journeys
SAP also announced a new free learner experience designed for developers of all levels:
“As of today, we are starting this new learning approach with seven different BTP specific learning journeys. More will follow suit. For example, the one we just mentioned, low code, no code and citizen development journey.”
SAP said that the low code, no code , citizen developer journey teaches the basic concepts of software development in just a few hours and “then you can build your own app in just a few minutes.”
The keynote also included a SAP case study from the world of finance presented by Lennart Allzeit who is responsible for financial management and risk strategy within the treasury department of Porsche. He described how the Porsche group used SAP products like SAP Analytics and SAP BW to get frequent insights into the liquidity of their 70 major subsidiaries including importers, dealers, services and design companies.
BW Bridge for Data Warehouse Cloud
This was followed by an announcement of a new feature in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud call BW Bridge:
“It offers SAP BW capabilities natively in SAP data warehouse cloud, like data integrations from SAP ECC, and S/4HANA. And for managing data loading, the BW bridge includes the enterprise ready staging layers of SAP BW. And lastly, it was not possible in the past to move existing custom ABAP logic and objects to SAP data warehouse cloud.”
This was another feature that was created in response to requests from SAP customers.
Juergen Mueller finished the keynote by drawing attention to some of the other content in TechEd 2021, and reiterated the means by which developers can expand their skills and explore their options in the SAP ecosystem for free.
ABAP is in High Demand
This keynote was largely concerned with introducing the idea of low code and no code programming, so we should add that the design of apps with predefined development components will always be restricted to the limitations of the components themselves.
We can therefore expect that along with the sheer size of the development work to be done as more corporations digitise their business operations, this component programming will always require the input of an ABAP developer, if that function has not been covered by the selection of predefined components.
So we can say that ABAP developers will always be in high demand, even as SAP expands the library of available components. Though SAP can provide components for common business functions there will always be real world scenarios that have not been covered, because businesses function in the real world with all of its variety and they change all the time as the economic environment and technology evolves.
Search now: SAP ABAP jobs
The main point to take from the keynote as an SAP professional is that digital business is changing at high speed and it is important to keep up to speed with those changes. SAP understands that IT professionals need constant support in their life long learning and they are making substantial provisions for that.
IgniteSAP has provided the full text of the transcription below if you would like to dive deeper into the keynote content.
If you would like to reassess your skills and your career prospects within the SAP ecosystem please do not hesitate to get in touch with IgniteSAP so we can help you.
TechEd 2021 Keynote Speech TRANSCRIPTION[Juergen Mueller]
Hello, and welcome to TechEd 2021. Welcome to our TechEd home.
I hope that you are well and that your loved ones are well, too. This will be our second virtual TechEd experience. And I’m very excited that you have tuned in.
Many of you told us that you love Channel one. So did I, I kept my iPad on foremost 48 hours. TechEd was the first thing in the morning. And the last thing in the evening. One of our community members summarised it very well last year, he said, “I don’t think SAP has any idea of the impact this TechEd will have on the ecosystem. And this is just begging for repeat in 2021 (with some slight improvements please)”. And that is exactly what we are doing.
We are keeping the 48 hour nonstop streaming format. And we are raising the bar even higher this year. We have more live Q&A’s, we have more opportunities to network. And we have 40% of sessions, including customers and partners. Because when customers share their stories of how our technology is helping them solve their real business problems. This is so powerful.
And there’s so much going on right now in the SAP ecosystem. Economies are slowly reopening in many parts of the world, customers are turning to us , and to our partners to help them get back on track and become more resilient in the future.
We are happy that we can actually support our customers in so many ways. During last year, I had the pleasure of virtually meeting so many of them, and learning more about their challenges and how we can help in solving them: from scaling rapidly in the pandemic, to becoming carbon neutral, to managing supply chain disruptions, to running their business in a more data driven way.
Many leaders have again realised how important it is that processes within the company help people to get their job done in the best possible way. Our commitment is to support all companies and institutions to manage their business: And when executed well, we call the result an intelligent, sustainable enterprise.
Over and over, I hear that our customers are happy that they turned to SAP and the SAP ecosystem. Yes, we are the market leader for enterprise application software. And together with our great partner ecosystem, and the community, we help companies manage their processes end to end. How do we do that?
First, with our business applications, for examples in the areas of finance, supply chain procurement, HR, and customer experience. And secondly, through our now fully established, unified, business centric and open SAP Business Technology Platform.
And this BTP is the foundation that brings together all SAP applications, and partner applications. It also helps many, many customers with addressing repetitive challenges in the areas of data management, and databases, of planning and analytics, of integration and extension capabilities, and many, many more. We embed our technologies in our applications, and allow you to use them beyond those applications as well.
And today, I’m super excited to share that we are offering the free tier model for SAP Business Technology Platform. We started by offering it to our customers and existing partners. And from today on, it is also available to individual developers.
So now you can discover and experience SAP Business Technology Platform services, without any financial commitment. This has been a journey that many of you have followed very closely. You shared feedback, you contributed actively to this milestone. And I really want to thank you for that. For me, this is the true power of a functioning community. And I hope that it also shows you that you can trust us: we are listening and we are acting. We will share many many more details around free tier and many other exciting topics later on in this keynote.
In my role as CTO of SAP, many people ask me what is top of mind for me. And of course, there are always a lot of operational topics going on. But more strategically, I see three main challenges the world is facing right now.
First and foremost, the pandemic: the pandemic is still raging in many parts of the world. And it continues to be a global health, and also an economic crisis. Production delays and global chip shortages, for example, is a direct consequence of the pandemic. And that put many industries to a halt. This effect currently gets amplified by shipping container shortages. And then of course, causes new supply chain disruptions as well.
Once again, it shows how interdependent and vulnerable our systems are. It’s clear that disrupted supply chains are a new challenge for businesses and consumers alike.
The pandemic also accelerated the digital transformation, it put a lot of pressure on business leaders to now move to the cloud. Why is that so important? Because in the cloud, this is the place where to innovate at scale, and with the speed necessary to react fast, you also can adapt business models, if necessary, much quicker.
And for many, this transition is not an easy task. And a lot of our customers and other companies’ customers face very specific challenges, for example, how to bring an old on premise ERP system heavily modified to the cloud, and that while working towards a clean core.
But even more threatening than the pandemic is the topic of climate change. That is the second challenge. In saving our planet, the only planet we have is the challenge of our times, we all can ensure drive change small and big to actively contribute to a better, more peaceful, more sustainable future. We cannot only rely on governments to take care of this.
Companies, with employees need to lead by example, as well. How can we reinvent the global economy to meet our 1.5 degree target? We really need to rethink how can we make products? How do we deliver services? How do we consume? How do we deal with waste? How do we use technology for all of that?
And the third big challenge I see is inequality. It is dividing people. It’s causing a social unrest all around the world. And the root of it all, I believe, is that there is an inequality of opportunities.
So how do we enable everyone to develop the right skills, giving our people a fair chance to work where they fit best?
And with every company now becoming a tech company, this is even more important. All companies are now looking for tech professionals. Forrester predicts that the U.S. alone will have a deficit of roughly half a million software developers by 2024. So a huge technology talent gap is opening up that needs to be filled. And that means, on the one hand, we do have people with unequal opportunities. And on the other hand, we have very high demand for a skilled workforce.
Of course, basic needs need to be taken care of first. But we also thought about what can SAP do about it? And among many other things SAP is doing, we can give open access to learning resources. And we can provide no code solutions as another way out of this dilemma. So now let’s have a look at how we can help you tackle some of these problems.
We have experienced a lot of disruption recently, that potentially has changed our lives forever already. Sometimes also in a good way. Everyone now knows that the place to innovate at scale, and to build resiliency is in the cloud.
And that is why we launched our Rise with SAP offering earlier this year, with S/4HANA at its centre, it provides a transition path to the cloud.
Everyone in our customer and partner base understands that SAP S/4HANA is the goal for ERP. And regarding extensions and integrations, they will happen with SAP BTP, to keep a clean core.
Many companies and institutions have already arrived at S/4HANA and everyone else will go there.
And with this demand for SAP really exploding in our ecosystem, it is really an exciting place to be right now, in the SAP realm. It’s a true movement and you have heard me saying that, but really, it is a true movement. And because there’s so much demand around SAP right now, we want to make sure that we take you along as developers on that journey.
This also means that we want to fully equip you to develop in the cloud. S/4HANA Cloud, already offers low code, no code key user extensibility, as well as rich side by side extensibility on BTP.
But there’s something in the middle.
When looking at our S/4HANA cloud offering from a developer perspective, you might still ask, How can I build tightly coupled S/4HANA extensions in a managed system.
In some cases, you might still prefer to develop extensions directly within the S/4HANA system. But of course, you want to keep the core clean.
One example is if you want to implement additional checks, or if you want to trigger updates that need to be carried out within one logical unit of work. And in those scenarios, you will also want to take full advantage of your ID.
Now, we are closing this last gap between on premise and in the cloud. By offering a new, truly cloud ready ABAP environment directly inside S/4HANA Cloud.
The official name is SAP S/4HANA cloud ABAP environment. Since it is derived from the SAP BTP ABAP environment, which you already know. This one is known as Steampunk. Most of our developers will probably refer to the new offering as embedded Steampunk. It is available in the public cloud for selected customers with Rise with SAP and S/4HANA Cloud 2108 edition.
Now, let’s actually hear from a professional app developer, what the S/4HANA cloud ABAP environment is all about.
Rich Heilman is already here in this building. He is preparing the developer keynote, which will take place tomorrow. And I asked Rich to join me here on stage for a moment. Rich welcome. Hey, good having you.[Rich Heilman]
Thanks for having me. [Juergen Mueller]
Rich, you are a longtime ABAP developer, UI Developer Advocate. You are well known in the ABAP community, and beyond. From your perspective, can you explain to us what the new S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment is about and how it also differentiates between the classical ABAP? [Rich Heilman]
Sure, happy to. So with embedded steampunk, this allows me to build custom ABAP within the S/4HANA public cloud system. So I’m really in the S/4 stack here, not side by side.
I can directly select data from S/4 database tables using S/4 CDS views, or I can call a local S/4 API.
This way, I can build tightly coupled extensions, which cannot run side by side. But be aware this is not the classic freestyle ABAP that, you know from on premise.[Juergen Mueller]
Okay, rich, so you tell me I can get the best of the ABAP world. Plus, I can do it in a cloud manner, such that when I build something, following the new ABAP model, then if I upgrade the system, the extensions will not break. [Rich Heilman]
Exactly. So, in the cloud extensions and SAP code must clearly be separated to allow seamless SAP software updates. So no more modifications of SAP code are allowed. And you can only use released SAP API’s in your custom ABAP code. [Juergen Mueller]
Makes a lot of sense. Rich, I saw you working on something earlier that look very interesting. Can you show us? [Rich Heilman]
Yeah, sure. So I was playing around with the new sales order API’s in embedded steampunk, while preparing for my demo for tomorrow’s developer keynote. So as you can see, it’s still ABAP.
I have a simple Z class here. But now I don’t call the old sales order function modules. Instead, I use the public wrap API’s, which have been released by SAP. For the ABAP experts out there, perhaps you’ve seen the Modify Entity statements, and how nicely the new API and really wrap itself is integrated into the above language.[Juergen Mueller]
And for the non ABAP experts, Rich, wrap is the ABAP application programming model, right? [Rich Heilman]
Yeah, that’s right. Wrap is the modern programming model in ABAP for building Fiori apps and services. So in embedded steampunk, we no longer build Dynpro or Web Dynpro applications. [Juergen Mueller]
Nice. And now I’m super curious. So how does it actually work? So how do those new S/4HANA cloud extensions work? [Rich Heilman]
So actually, this is part of my demo tomorrow. I’m going to show how to use embedded steampunk to adapt an SAP process by implementing a … extension point. So I’d ask you to stay tuned for that and attended developer keynote tomorrow. [Juergen Mueller]
Rich, I would do that. Sounds great. Thanks for having you here.. Thanks a lot. And this was great to see. So if you’re interested in any of the great topics and the developer keynote, and/or the S/4HANA centric extensions within your S/4HANA cloud ABAP environment, do not miss the developer keynote tomorrow.
And we will go even further with it. We want to make S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment, the environment to build tightly coupled extensions for all S/4HANA cloud editions, based on the public cloud API’s.
This will help you to build upgrade safe extensions move towards a clean core. And it closes the last extension gap in S/4HANA Cloud to ease the transition from on premise to the cloud.
Now we have key users in app extensibility, we have the S/4HANA ABAP environment, and we have the BTP side extensions in ABAP, or many other programming languages.
I hope that this resonated well with all of you in the pro code development space, ABAP development community. And as I mentioned, this is closing the last gap. And it makes the journey to S/4HANA cloud even easier.
Now, let’s look at another topic you wanted us to focus on, you asked us to lower the entry barrier for SAP Business Technology Platform. So a year ago, at TechEd I promised that we were going to enable a three tier model for SAP BTP. And over the course of the year, we have made free tier available to existing customers, to existing partners, and then now also to individual developers.
And I’m happy to announce that we made new additions as well. The SAP integration suite is now part of the free tier plan too. And we also added SAP HANA Cloud. And for this topic, I’m actually excited to have a special guest here with me today. Let’s welcome Stefan Pietsch. And Stephen, glad having you.[Stefan Pietsch]
Happy to be here. Thank you for having me. [Juergen Mueller]
We have a little bit of a history with this topic here Stefan. Stefan really pushed me, pushed us very hard on the topic of free tier. Of course, there are also many other voices from the community on this topic. But Stefan, why was that? [Stefan Pietsch]
Well, I did push for the free tier, because it is such an important topic. [Juergen Mueller]
And lets, maybe you clarify back then, a year ago, when we, for example, discussed that topic very heavily, you were the CTO of the German speaking SAP user group. You are asking for a free tier. So now the times changed, things changed. You are with SAP now, we have free tier. What do you say now? [Stefan Pietsch]
Well, for me, it is a game changer because developers can now build their proof of concepts all SAP BTP, without any commitment. And if they then decide to move their applications towards productive usage, they can simply do so by changing from a free to productive service plan. And this without rebuilding the entire application in a different account. So at the end of the day free tier means that it is much easier to gain experience and to start to innovate with SAP BTP. Because there is no initial financial commitment for an increasing number of use cases.
So customers can easily evaluate which services and use cases can add value to their business, and also how.[Juergen Mueller]
Makes a lot of sense. And that is why we also are continuously adding more and more services to the free tier plan. And now I guess, for the makers out there, the question is, how can I get started? Where can I get started? [Stefan Pietsch]
Well, first of all, you want to make sure that you learn the basics about the SAP BTP capabilities and the SAP BTP cockpit. Of course. For this, I would really recommend our different learning offerings. [Juergen Mueller]
Actually, that’s good because I will talk about learning later on in more detail. [Stefan Pietsch]
Perfect. And then for anyone who’s ready to experiment with the services available on the free tier plan, the best place to get started is our SAP Discovery Centre.
Here you can find a service catalogue with a list of all services available on SAP BTP. And in the category free tier services, you can check out all the services which are already available with free tier.[Juergen Mueller]
That sounds very helpful. Do you have a concrete use case, anything you want to share with us if I now want to start with that? [Stefan Pietsch]
Sure. For instance, when you select mobile services, you can also find related missions. And among the many options, I recommend starting with a rather simple and quick mission called “Empowering field technicians by building native apps using SDKs”. This mission describes how to improve employee productivity in remote work settings with mobile apps for iOS and for Android.
And these apps help to better schedule tasks, manage sales orders, and integrate these activities with inventory and other back office systems. And my colleagues, just very recently published a great blog post, where they use this mission to outline how to find free tier content, how to adjust missions to your very own needs, and how to make use of free tier service plans in the SAP BTP. cockpit. So make really sure you check it out.[Juergen Mueller]
Yeah, actually, I did check out that blog post this morning. Very helpful, we will also share the link in the comment section. [Stefan Pietsch]
Oh, and for anyone who doesn’t have an SAP BTP global account yet or just a trial account, there is a link to the SAP Store, where you can sign up for an SAP BTP global account with Pay As You Go agreement, giving you access to free tier and to paid service plans. [Juergen Mueller]
And that is actually a huge thing, completely new, you can now go to the store, you can sign up for Pay As You Go. You don’t have to give any pre-commitment and you have access to all the free tier services. And then we learn the Discovery Centre can really help to get an overview and provide great guidance.
What do I have to do in my BTP account to somehow activate enable the free tier services yet?[Stefan Pietsch]
So basically, you need to enable the services on the free tier plan before creating and using the services, which is pretty straightforward. And Max shows that in depth in the blog post video. [Juergen Mueller]
Sounds easy, Stefan. But let’s say now, I’m a customer partner, an individual developer and I’m excited about the integration suite, which is now also part of the free tier. Also for that, would I find information on the Discovery Centre?
Absolutely. So check out the missions related to the integration suite, to get some first ideas for use cases. The missions, then provide step by step guidance on how to extend your existing SAP system landscape with services available on the free tier plan. And once you were able to prove the business value, you can then easily switch to productive usage.
Nice. That’s very good. I have to ask though, Is there any reason why I should not use the free tier? [Stefan Pietsch]
No, no small print. I can really recommend everyone to get started today. [Juergen Mueller]
That is amazing. Okay, so let’s do that. I hope you will all check the free tier out. Free tier is now available for individual developers, as well as for partners and for existing customers. Stefan, thank you so much. Nice having you here. [Stefan Pietsch]
You’re very welcome. And as you know, I’m very passionate about that topic. And I’m really looking forward to the community feedback so that we can continuously improve further [Juergen Mueller]
100%. Stefan, thank you so much. So you asked us to make it easier for you to get started with SAP BTP. And I believe we have done that now.
And it just gets better. You have heard me saying that we want to create a future where SAP caters for everyone: from the cloud native developer to the data scientists or the enterprise architect to the application and integration developer, and to the X designer and even non-technical users. Because all of these personas can have something in common. They can be makers, and they can help the world with the largest challenges we discussed earlier today.
That’s my I’m thrilled to share that. Next to our continued investment in pro code. We have been doubling down into investment with low code and no code tools for citizen developers.
And today, you see some of those results. Because we are launching a unified, low code, no code experience on SAP Business Technology Platform. Citizen and professional developers alike can now increase the productivity and innovate at scale.
So what is in it for you? First of all, we introduced SAP AppGyver for no code development. Second, we evolved the SAP Business Application studio, and make it available for low code development. And third, we are launching in preview of our new no code automation solution, SAP process automation, which builds on the capabilities of our known robotic process automation, and workflow capabilities.
With this unified low code, no code offering, we bridge the gap between professional and non technical developers. For example, in the business application studio, professional developers can support citizen developers wherever they are needed.
And actually, I have two special guests here with me. We have Marko (Lehtimaki). Marko you are the founder of AppGyver. Now leading the SAP AppGyver team, and Diana, you and the team, you are taking care of local no code solutions at SAP.[Diana]
Hi Juergen, it’s great to be here. [Marko Lehtimaki]
Hello, thanks for having me. [Juergen Mueller]
Nice having you. Now Marko, let’s start with you. You are a developer by heart. But also, you are fully behind no code. What’s the deal? [Marko Lehtimaki]
Well, when I was a kid, we used to write machine code to create software and talk to the computers. And we’ve seen the evolution of programming languages over the decades. And now we are at the verge of something very big with visual programming, being the next step in the evolution.
People used to think about no code in terms of being something that you use to create baby apps and small software. With SAP AppGyver we are really pushing the limits of what no code can do. You can create mission critical pixel perfect solutions without any writing of code. It’s really big.[Juergen Mueller]
Nice. That’s exciting to hear. Diana, what do you see happening? [Diana]
Actually brought a demo to show you how it works. So I’ll show you the demo. It’s about a customer service issue, and a company called Airex. Airex manufacturers heating and cooling systems. And in this demo, I’m a non technical user. And I’m responsible for customer satisfaction. So let me get started.
I start an SAP work zone, I’ve made my own personal digital experience, which displays all information and connects to all applications I need. I can approve open items and review my business KPIs from various systems in one central page. Let me approve my incoming requests first.
Everything’s looking good. All important items are cleared. I know that there was an issue with our call centres recently. So let me look into my process visibility dashboard, I can see that 99% of processes are completed within 24 hours, I can also see that our customer satisfaction is up. Great, really thrilled to see this. Up until last week, we were receiving lots of negative feedback from customers. Many of them were unsatisfied with the way we were managing the request for replacement parts. They were reporting mistakes and delays. Thanks to SAP Process Insights, we were able to identify two reasons for this problem: first, order entry errors due to multiple screens and having to cut and paste numbers. Second, slow approvals of orders due to manual processes via email. The problem was urgent, of course, and we needed to solve it right away. But we had low resources from our central IT department. So let me show you now how we solved it anyways, within one week’s time.[Juergen Mueller]
Before you do that, Diana actually, that happens so often, IT departments are just overloaded with too many projects and requests. And that’s also why no pro code developer needs to fear this low code no code movement, because there’s just so much to do. And we just want to enable more people to get things done. [Marko Lehtimaki]
Yeah, and these kinds of scenarios are very common that our customers get very easy to solve with no code. Diana, you want to show what we solved? [Diana]
Actually Marko, why don’t you show us the next part of the demo? [Marko Lehtimaki]
Sure thing. So first of all, we wanted to help our service agents work more efficiently when they order replacement parts for customers. The journey starts in our unified development project overview by creating a new project with SAP AppGyver.
Using the SAP AppGyver composer I designed the on screen interface of an app which allows our agents to order replace AC products directly from the service crowd. The drag and drop controls and data fields from the component library made it easy to create a straightforward UI, which is simple to operate and leaves little room for mistakes. I then use the SAP AppGyver backend capabilities to connect the app with S/4HANA. And this allowed me to fetch customers’ equipment information.
And we also wanting to integrate external data from our vendors to make sure that we only ordered spare parts that were in the stock. And for this, we typically need support from someone with more technical understanding. Therefore, for this demo scenario, we had our colleagues from IT help create a new data model that would fetch the inventory and pricing data from our spare parts vender. Thanks to the low code experience in bus, this service was created in just a few hours, I then leverage the new data model for my service.[Juergen Mueller]
That Marko I like so much, because you have development and business in a company working very closely together. I think that makes a huge difference. [Diana]
Exactly. And just like that, we built an extension into SAP Service Cloud, which allows service agents to assist customers without ever switching screens: everything they need is within one window. [Juergen Mueller]
Nice, Marko, who actually are those who users? What do you see? Who is using those no code tools? [Marko Lehtimaki]
Well. That’s an excellent question, because basically, it involves everybody, you have designers who used to create just prototypes now being able to pull further and create full applications. You have business people who have zero technical background, being able to create software. And of course, you have the professional developers with a lot of experience in coding, now being able to create so much larger pieces of software. Thanks to the no code. [Juergen Mueller]
Nice. Diana, when you showed the demo earlier, to me, there was a second part to it, about approvals… workflow…? [Diana]
Yes, I’m happy to show it to you. So we made our service agents more efficient. Thanks to Marko. We also needed to speed up the approval process on management side, we used SAP process automation to build an approval workflow, which is connected to the service cloud app that we just saw.
First, I set a trigger to initiate the approval workflow every time and you spare purchase request it through the app, the process will start. The second option is a request through email, I added an additional trigger, which leverages an RPA bot that then automatically extracts the data from the emails. Lastly, we also wanted to give customers the option to request spare parts online for form.
I built the form and SAP Process Automation using the drag and drop UI and connected to the process. We also added a rule: approvals are only needed if spare parts cost more than 50 years, I then added some business logic to my process to automatically determine the approval of the request, I added a policy and configured a decision table. This will determine the responsible approver. And finally, I also wanted to make the approval even more seamless by providing decision support for managers leveraging AI business services, I configure the scenario which generates the confidence level. And we’ll assess managers to prove requests even faster. And I’m able to do so without support from my IT or data scientists. And that’s it: now we can deploy the new approval workflow with just a few clicks. And this is how we were able to solve our problems in customer service in just one week’s time. I can approve my incoming requests now quickly and based on machine learning supported recommendations.[Juergen Mueller]
Diana, Marko, that is very rich, very full. I hope everyone is excited about those new opportunities. Thank you so much. But I have one more question before actually, we go to the audience Marko. Now. Actually, you joined SAP and the AppGyver team joined SAP: welcome again. Which opportunities do you see in the SAP ecosystem? [Marko Lehtimaki]
Well, low code, no code on Business Technology Platform, really champions change and maximises the value for existing investments. With SAP AppGyver you can really have superpowers to create multi platform apps and extensions so much faster than ever before. It’s thrilling. [Juergen Mueller]
So you’d really say low code no code development opportunities are now available for many, many more people than if you have like a computer science degree and can code? [Marko Lehtimaki]
Yeah, definitely. I mean, with this solution, we are making programming effectively available for everybody. So every single person can create their own software. It’s incredible. [Juergen Mueller]
Diana? What’s your point of view? [Diana]
I absolutely agree. What I do want to add is that people often think with low code, no code, it’s so easy. You don’t have to learn anything. And it’s not true. I mean, every new tool needs some upskilling. Right? So at SAP, we are in the firm belief that we need to make it as easy as possible for non technical end users. And we’re super happy to have in-product learning experience in AppGyver. And we also launched a new learning offering today to make it easy for non technical users to understand what application development and citizen development is actually all about. [Juergen Mueller]
Diana, Marko, now I’ll let you go. Enjoy TechEd. And thanks so much again. Actually, I hope that some of this can remove some of the inequality in the world we talked earlier about. Just think about it: SAP alone has more than 230 million end users of our cloud applications. And there are a lot more when you include our on premise systems. And now imagine that we can show all those end users a path to becoming a citizen developer.
I am already looking forward to seeing someone, maybe an hourly worker, and she or he, can extend an SAP system. For example, with SAP AppGyver.
This can unlock a new order of magnitude of value creation for that individual person, of course, but also for society as a whole. And that actually can help closing the skill gap we have too.
So if you want that. If you want to become a citizen developer, just have a look at our new low code, no code learning journey on Learning at sap.com.
Actually, we just launched a new learning experience today. So let me show you.
This new Learner Experience is designed for all developers skill levels, be it a pro code developer, be it an IT professional. Being it an academic student technology or thought leader, it’s a completely new way to accessing SAP specific know how.
So going forward, all makers, you can learn all necessary skills by taking free of charge learning journeys, you can qualify yourself for SAP certifications. In the past, you had to pay for this learning content. Now you can access it for free, we follow the path that we have started very successfully with open SAP. But now even more consequently, as of today, we are starting this new learning approach with seven different BTP specific learning journeys. More will follow suit. For example, the one we just mentioned, low code, no code and citizen development journey.
I just mentioned that one, it teaches you the basic concepts of software development in a few hours. And then you can build your own app in just 30 minutes, you can become a trusted expert with certified skills and that has never been easier, all in one place. Also with easy navigation to other learning offerings, like SAP Learning Hub, like openSAP, and like the SAP community.
And to further support career opportunities, we’re also establishing a partnership with a California based startup Placement. Let’s roll the short video.[Sean Linehan]
Hi, I’m Sean Linehan, Placements co-founder and CEO. We’re a proud partner of SAP learning. Take advantage of SAP certificates and Placements career coaching to go farther faster in your career. Our Career Coaches are standing by waiting to help you unlock your full career potential. [Juergen Mueller]
We actually have a special TechEd offer for you so you can take full advantage of the services offered by Placement. The first 1000 developers to complete a certification exam on the SAP Business Technology Platform, through the new learning side will receive a voucher worth $125 that you can use for career development services like coaching.
So you have heard me talking about the intelligent enterprise, about SAP Business Technology Platform, about free tier about low code, no code and about learning.
How about a quick summary? And for that, let me hand over to Vivian…[Vivian]
We just talked about many different things that are key to run a business but how does it fit together? And more importantly, why should you care?
Let’s start at the beginning. What is an intelligent enterprise and intelligent enterprise uses advanced tech and best practices to run more agile, more profitable, more resilient and sustainable?
How does an intelligent enterprise look like? A key part of our strategy is the integration of business applications alongside end to end processes. It consists of various different parts, for example, a business network, sustainability solutions, and a multiple infrastructure approach for your company.
How do we do this with our intelligence suite of business applications? We help you to manage every part of your organisation from employee to customers products and finance, and more.
Where do these apps run on SAP Business Technology Platform? What is this SAP BTP offers technologies reaching from analytics, data management, app development over to AI and much more. So you can easily integrate, extend gained value from data and innovate all in one place.
How can you try SAP BTP, the SAP BTP free tier enables you to test and tinker the different SAP BTP surface and when you’re ready, you can easily bring your ideas into reality.
So how can you learn how to use all of this with this new learning side? Everything is centralised in one place. And you can start now. What can you learn?
For example, try out our new local no code learning journey. Why should you care about any of this? You need to identify a quickly changing customer and market demands generate real time insights from your data, adjust processes and business models faster, we give you all the pieces to the puzzle, you need to become an intelligent enterprise. And we stand strong on your side on your way into the cloud.
Now it’s up to you what you make out of it. Over to you Juergen.[Juergen Mueller]
As you saw Vivian experimented with a new format. I hope you like it. I know that Vivian has prepared quite a few more such Tiktok style videos, make sure to check them out on our SAP community BTP page.
Vivian closed with “now it is up to you what you make out of it”. And I like that. And in fact, more and more customers are choosing the SAP Business Technology Platform.
Our platform capabilities in combination with SAP applications are second to none. More than 12,000 cloud customers are already live on SAP BTP. And in addition, over 4000 partners are engaged to build with SAP too.
If you look on roadmaps.sap.com, since the last TechEd until now, you find more than 1100 delivered roadmap items for SAP Business Technology Platform alone.
Among those are roughly 140 roadmap items just for AI and our SAP integration suite. Amongst them further improved monitoring capabilities for integration scenarios.
The SAP Business Technology Platform is the foundation for the intelligent enterprise. We already talked about extensions. But the BTP also empowers you to use your data to derive actionable insights with SAP HANA Cloud, Data Warehouse cloud, and SAP analytics cloud. Customers are constantly adapting to heterogeneous data landscapes, and really increasing legal security regulatory risks related to data.
Complex and fragmented data landscapes are a huge challenge, if you want to gain real time insights in a compliant way. And this is where SAP is able to help.
With business solutions for financial insights for workforce planning, and many, many more. And of course, in addition, SAP can provide you with the tools to use your SAP data, plus third party data to analyse the past. Based on that predict the future. But often this prediction is not where you want to be. So therefore, planning is so important such that you end up where you want to be.
One very nice example of a company using multiple of our solutions in their journey is our customer Porsche.
I’m very happy to have Lennart Allzeit with me today. As an expert for corporate finance and treasury at Porsche. Lennart is responsible for financial management and risk strategy within the treasury department. I hope I got that right.[Lennart Allzeit]
That’s absolutely correct Juergen and it’s a pleasure to be with you today and introduce our treasury case. [Juergen Mueller]
Nice having you Lennart. The latest project you realised, I learned, at Porsche is the Porsche treasury and reporting system. We are mostly non finance people. Can you explain to us what this means? [Lennart Allzeit]
Absolutely. I’ll try to keep it crisp. So in order to foresee potential chances that arise from an excess of liquidity, and on the other hand, to evaluate risks that arise from a shortage of liquidity. We plan our group’s net liquidity within the Porsche group three times per month doing so we can guarantee that we meet our financial obligations and stay solvent at any time.
This process includes around 70 major subsidiaries within the Porsche group, ranging from importers, to dealers, service companies, design companies, etc. So there’s really not the typical Porsche subsidiary in place. And this process, especially during the corona pandemic, proved out to be very helpful in order to better plan our, let’s say liquidity.[Juergen Mueller]
Okay, so I understand you have to manage different parties. And I also learned that SAP BW, and SAP Analytics Cloud help you doing that. So how do those solutions help you? [Lennart Allzeit]
Absolutely. So in the past, this liquidity planning process has been manual. So it was a lot of manual effort that went into it. The subsidiary started plugging in their numbers into Excel files, then circulating them by email to us. It was then upon us to consolidate them and the ever-growing Excel, as you can imagine, it was just very susceptible to manual errors to keep it short.
Now, with the introduction of PTRS, this entire process changed completely everything is now within the system, within a single system, there is no need for any email communication to send around Excel files whatsoever. This system is available 24/7, that means when the colleagues in Australia or Asia get up, they can start working right away without having to wait on us.
We have a lot of different dashboard solutions in place, which really bring up some key KPIs for us, they were previously simply hidden in the Excel. And we have a very smart Excel Smart Access Control in place. And as you can imagine, it’s very hard if you only circulate mails to release, double check who has access on which data. So that really was a tremendous change for us.[Juergen Mueller]
Yeah, it really sounds that this process got a lot of positive change. Often the challenge has also to take people along. How did you handle that? [Lennart Allzeit]
Absolutely, there was there was a key challenge for us here. Many people were working with the old Excel system for a decade, or even more, and they didn’t really see the need for any change. So it was really on us to bring awareness that there is actually a necessity for change.
And it also brings me to my second point, which is taking away the fear of this change, right. And we managed to do so by advertising the advantages of the system, like for example, less manual entry needed, through the use of interfaces, the possibility to create your own dashboards. And that really helped us to break the ice, and make a better step also for the subsidiaries. The last big point I want to highlight, as I mentioned earlier, there is not a typical Porsche subsidiary. So it was really not easy to find the balance and the balance layout that was on the one hand, bolster the performance of the existing big companies, while on the other hand, not adding too much complexity for the for the small companies who might not have a dedicated treasury department in place that it was a challenge.[Juergen Mueller]
Okay, well, it sounds that you and the team, you manage that very nicely. Are there any future plans on top of this PTRS system? [Lennart Allzeit]
Thank you very much. And yeah, one of the key challenges is now since is now only within the Porsche, but within the entire Volkswagen Group, many different departments currently evaluate the possibility to use SAP Analytics Cloud. And not only from a pure reporting perspective, but also as a planning case, as we do. So it will be really a challenge for us. And we look forward to do that to connect those dots from a treasury perspective to get an even broader overview. [Juergen Mueller]
That’s exciting to hear, then, thank you very much. Thanks for sharing those insights from this liquidity and treasury use case, I look forward to many more joint projects. Thanks a lot.
That was such a great example of how you can improve your liquidity planning when you consolidate everything into one system. Taking this one step further, it becomes clear why cross company planning is so important: because any decision you take for one business area has ripple effects on the others.
Porsche has an ambitious goal to make the whole value chain carbon neutral by 2030. Now, imagine what this means with regard to planning. Which model can be produced until when? Do I need new factories? How do I remodel existing factories? Where do I get the batteries from? Do I potentially need to buy another company? Do I need to do a strategic investment to secure certain resources? Etc, etc, etc.
We have companies that want to answer these and many other questions. But being able to do that requires that all relevant data sources are integrated, and that the data and content is available in real time. And across all lines of businesses in the company.
This is possible thanks to SAP HANA Cloud, even if data is federated across multiple sources: SAP and non SAP.
And there is more. By the end of this year and beginning of next year, we have 10s of 1000s of SAP BW NetWeaver, SAP on HANA, SAP BW for HANA customers, maybe you are one of them. And now, many of them have asked us, “Hey SAP, can you provide us an easier path to the cloud?”
And that is my I’m delighted to announce a new SAP Data Warehouse Cloud feature. It is called BW bridge. It offers SAP BW capabilities natively in SAP data warehouse cloud, like data integrations from SAP ECC, and S/4HANA. And for managing data loading, the BW Bridge includes the enterprise ready staging layers of SAP BW. And lastly, it was not possible in the past to move existing custom ABAP logic and objects to SAP data warehouse cloud.
We will change that coming in Q1 22, we will offer a tool-supported move of SAP BW based integration in staging for BW customers.
And again, it’s clear most of the innovation will happen in the cloud. And we will also help all BW customers to get there. In the beginning, we talked about how the pandemic accelerates the move to the cloud. And our BW customers mentioned these gaps as the largest impediment to go to SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. And we are also closing these gaps. And we and our partners are more than happy to work with our customers to get to SAP data warehouse cloud.
Another advantage is that SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is based on SAP HANA. And this brings a lot of advantages from federated data access to extremely high speed and low TCO.
I hope that together with our guests, we were able to inspire you to learn more with S/4HANA Cloud, and our other cloud solutions, as well as the Business Technology Platform, we have generated this amazing wave of opportunities and growth in the SAP ecosystem.
And now all we need from you is to join in. And ideally, you bring in your friends, your colleagues, and others into the SAP ecosystem as well. If they are not yet part of it. We are equipping you with the right tools because we want you to be successful. And of course, we want to support your companies and your customers on the journey to the intelligent enterprise.
So if you are asking yourself now, how can you get involved? Here’s a couple of things I would like to recommend to you.
First, join our SAP community on community.sap.com. Here, you can also check out our low code, no code solutions. The SAP community in general is the place to bring in your ideas, to discuss with other experts and share your feedback. This is also where you can address topics that are top of mind for you. Like the free tier model for SAP Business Technology Platform.
Which brings me to the second thing I would like you to do, sign up for free tier on sap.com/BTP.
Explore and try out BTP services free of charge without any financial commitment, and build solutions for the world’s most pressing problems.
You can find great use cases on the SAP Discovery Centre that will help you get started be it in the area of health of sustainability for inequality, or digitisation. There are so many challenges waiting to be resolved. And we also have reference architectures to help you get started.
With our new low code, no code solutions. The door to innovation is wide open to everyone.
And finally, make sure to visit learning.sap.com to upskill and become a trusted expert with our free learning offerings. Lifelong learning has never been easier.
It is also an important pillar to create more equal opportunities in the world.
But for now, let’s all enjoy TechEd. So make sure you stay tuned here on Channel One for the upcoming live Q&A with my fellow executive board colleagues, Julia White, and Thomas Saueressig and tomorrow, of course, to not miss the developer keynote, as well as the closing show, including live Q&A with many of our Channel One experts.
With that, there’s not much more left for me to say then SAP TechEd is an event for makers. SAP TechEd is made for you. As makers, you are the true enablers of the intelligent enterprise. You bring the know-how and experience or if you don’t have it yet, you can learn it.
We offer you the tools to innovate and make the world run better.
I hope you enjoy the rest of SAP TechEd. Stay well. Stay safe. All the best.