[SAP BTP Onboarding Series] Welcome to your Hardware Store – an SAP BTP Analogy

In this part of the SAP BTP Onboarding blog series, we’re going to liken the SAP Business Technology Platform to a hardware store. Trust me on this one 😊

Early in my tech career, I had a mentor who would take technical topics and create an analogy to an everyday thing to help make it more relatable. This was incredibly helpful to me and something I’ve taken to doing when explaining technical concepts. When I chose to become an SAP BTP Onboarding Advisor and decided the first focus was going to be on the SAP BTP cockpit, I thought about what everyday thing I could use to compare it to.

This is my son, in all his glory, admiring every power tool our local hardware store had to offer. We’re in the process of finishing off our basement and we went to the hardware store looking for a sink. Sure, we eventually made it to the sink section and completed our task but not before passing through what felt like every department and aisle in the store. It was in this moment while I waited for him to get all his tool admiration out that I had a light bulb moment thinking SAP BTP is like a hardware store.

When you enter a contract that includes SAP BTP, regardless which commercial model you’ve chosen, what you’ve done is purchased a hardware store that includes the tools and services necessary for you to get started. What you probably didn’t know is that all those resources are just lumped inside the hardware store and it’s YOUR responsibility, as the customer, to organize everything. When I went to my hardware store looking for a sink, I wasn’t immediately greeted with a fleet of sinks when I walked in the door. Instead, I had to navigate to the right department and find what I wanted. There was a process attached to it.

Looking back on the 9 months we’ve been working to complete our basement project I think it’s very relatable to a digital transformation project.

  • Planning: We thought about our design, we put our ideas on paper, discussed with other people for opinions and finally made our design decisions. In SAP BTP, you’ll need to determine what project(s) are you doing? What services are required? How many landscapes are required?
  • Effort: My husband and I have 4 kids so the little extra time we have simply couldn’t be put towards framing and drywalling a basement. With that in mind, we decided we would hire a private contractor to do those tasks and we would take on the finishing work. In your SAP BTP project, this is where you decide if you want/need to hire an implementation partner. SAP has a remarkable partner ecosystem who are willing to take on full projects E2E or work alongside your IT team for guidance and best practices.
  • Execution: The contractor started their work and completed the framing and drywall hanging/sanding about 6 weeks later. From there my husband and I planned out what mini projects we would need to do to complete the job: priming and painting, floor installation, bathroom plumbing/furnishing installation, door and window framing/installation, baseboard work and finally the staircase. All those tasks required their own sets of equipment/resources to complete the project and many trips to the hardware store. For your business you can liken this part to creating your subaccounts and directories based on department or project and then loading those subaccounts with the right tools and resources to get the job done.

Whether it’s a home renovation project or really any project the process remains and there should be large emphasis on the planning phase. Imagine painting a room in your house without a plan. You likely wouldn’t have the cloths in place to protect spillage, you wouldn’t have the right tools to open the paint can, mix it, or put it on the walls, and a random color without testing could lead to a scary turnout!

Essentially, without a proper plan and intentional decisions made throughout, you’re potentially setting yourself you for a mess. Thinking about the effort is equally important. Without proper delegation of who is expected to do which tasks you run the risk of too many people with good intentions doing similar things. I can promise you if my husband and I set out to paint a room in our house without discussing and planning for it we’d have a disaster on our hands!

The same can happen to your SAP BTP cockpit. Some of you reading this may even be thinking, I already have an SAP BTP account and we didn’t take the time plan and now I wish we planned better. Or maybe you’ve had it for years, had people move onto new roles and are not sure where to pick things up. That’s OK! In my previous blog I discussed where does onboarding begin and where does it end? I think the answer is subjective, but I feel comfortable saying anytime you start a new project, or pivot an existing project, or really make any significant moves, it’s a good idea to pause and re-run through the above phases:

  • Does the same plan you used/are using still work?
  • Is the effort still the same and do the assigned people understand what they are expected to deliver?
  • Do we have the right tools and resources to execute?

In my next blog, I’m going to discuss commercial models SAP offers for the SAP BTP cockpit and what you can expect from each model and from a combination of model types.