Maximize your RISE with SAP investment with SAP BTP

Have you just started your RISE with SAP journey and looking to explore what you could achieve with SAP BTP? Then this blog series is perfect for you.

SAP BTP is the foundation for the RISE transformation. Here are the top 7 reasons to use SAP Business Technology Platform along with S/4HANA as part of your RISE with SAP transformation. You can find more information in this eBook.

RISE with SAP package provides access to SAP BTP via free Cloud Credits based on Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA). Its important to understand that these cloud credits may not be sufficient to address all the top 7 scenarios described above. These Cloud Credits are good to

  • Explore SAP BTP services, experiment, iterate, and validate business value with no up-front commitment
  • Curate a set of use cases that deliver quick, high ROI wins to the business
  • Build, test, and iterate with a small set of users in a production environment

Generally, SAP customers are well informed about the value of SAP BTP in their RISE transformation and are able to identify couple of scenarios where they can leverage SAP BTP as part of their S/4HANA implementation. They can subscribe to the right volume of CPEA Cloud Credits for SAP BTP and are able to plan the use of it along with S/4HANA. However, there are many engagements, where SAP BTP is not being discussed upfront and parked for review after the go live of the S/4HANA system. In my opinion, this is a missed opportunity.

The goal of this blog post is to provide information to those SAP customers and partners who didn’t have the awareness of SAP BTP initially but are now looking to make the best use of SAP BTP in their RISE transformation.

I have seen many customers and partners ask this question “What are RISE with SAP customers doing with their SAP BTP Cloud Credits”? Here is an example from Mustafa Bensan (SAP Community Member)

The blog series is composed by colleagues from my team who engage with customers who have just embarked on a RISE transformation. We have selected some of the key scenarios for customers to consider. The best part is that it wouldn’t cost them ANYTHING to enable these BTP services and get started.

There are few services on SAP BTP which are free of charge and are included as part of the entitlements for all RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud & Private Edition. You would be able to find the bundled services in the Supplement Guide.

All RISE with SAP customers have access to Identity Authentication and Identity Provisioning services on SAP BTP. These services are crucial when it comes to setting up Single Sign-on and user provisioning with SAP solutions.

All RISE with SAP customers have entitlements to use the SAP Launchpad service and SAP Mobile Start. For example, if the customer subscribes to RISE with SAP for 100 users, they get the same number of users with entitlements for the SAP Launchpad & SAP Mobile Start service on SAP BTP. SAP Task Center is also included with the Launchpad service which can be used to centrally action work items from multiple SAP solutions. SAP Task Center is also embedded within SAP Mobile Start for users to approve work items on the go.

In order to automate the whole setup of central Fiori Launchpad on SAP BTP with content federation of S/4HANA apps, customers have access to Cloud Integration Automation Services (CIAS) which will provide a guided scenario to help IT teams/partners configure their BTP landscape. CIAS is provided free of cost for customers to leverage.

The above blog posts will dive deeper into these topics to help you understand why its becoming essential to start using these services when you are on a S/4HANA transformation.

As mentioned above, RISE with SAP provides customers with a SAP BTP account based on Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA) with cloud credits (based on the actual cost of the RISE subscription).  You can find more details in this presentation.

The CPEA Cloud Credits which you have obtained can be good for small scenario and use cases which are applicable to small set of users. Each service on SAP BTP has a different metric and its best to use the SAP BTP estimator to see how much cloud credits you would consume if you begin using a particular service.

I would highly recommend to get started with the SAP Discovery center. You can explore the missions to see which use cases would be relevant for your organization as well as explore individual SAP BTP services and add them to the estimator to calculate the amount of credits you require.

Here are some of the Top Use Cases which we see among RISE with SAP customers implementing BTP with their limited cloud credits.

Creating custom Fiori Apps to meet new requirements

Often customers have the need to meet requirements which are not supported by the standard set of Fiori apps in S/4HANA. Typically, in the past, custom Fiori apps were created and deployed in the S/4HANA system to address such requirements. The challenge with this approach is that customers start with few apps which gradually grows to over 20-30 apps over a period of time and the number of custom objects in your S/4HANA starts to grow exponentially.

  1. With SAP providing innovations in S/4HANA releases every year, it becomes a bigger exercise to upgrade the S/4HANA system
  2. Keeping your custom apps on S/4HANA will mean that the changes to these apps are tied to the change management process associated with S/4HANA. In some organizations, they have a half-yearly production release to keep the core processes stable. We recommend to start deploying such custom apps on SAP BTP (as managed HTML5 apps). This is included with the launchpad service (free of cost) which all RISE with SAP customers have access to. The best part is that you now have access to various SAP BTP services which you could leverage when developing your apps – for example: ML services, Chatbots, Document Management service etc
  3. More options in developing apps: Depending on the skill sets, you can choose to HTML5 based Fiori apps using Business Application Studio (leveraging the evergreen Fiori libraries) or use Low-code/No-code tools like SAP AppGyver to quickly build apps. Since you are developing app on SAP BTP, you have more options of using open-source libraries/frameworks like react/angular etc and future proof your applications.

These are some of the key reasons, why you shouldn’t be deploying custom Fiori apps on your S/4HANA system and instead leverage SAP BTP for this purpose.

Store S/4HANA attachments in Document Management service

When customers are moving from their legacy system to S/4HANA, they are often looking for ways to store documents/attachments which would have been either stored in the DMS of SAP Business Suite System or in a separate SAP/3rd party Content Server. Storing these files in S/4HANA is not the best approach. SAP BTP Document Management service can be used as a content server to connect with S/4HANA system. For end users, they continue using the same screens in S/4HANA to upload attachments when dealing with business objects and transactions. These attachments would be stored in SAP BTP Document Management service and kept outside S/4HANA system. Document Management service comes with a minimum of 100 GB storage which can be covered with the CPEA credits.

I would like to point you to a blog post by my colleague Alex Dong where he describes how to start with SAP BTP Document Management service and how this service can serve as a content repository for your S/4HANA system.

Automating S/4HANA processes using SAP Process Automation service

Automation is a hot topic with business leads trying to always find ways to improve efficiencies. Unfortunately, there is a myth that you need to setup your S/4HANA system and make it stable before you start to think about automating process. RISE with SAP is a perfect opportunity to change the way people engage with processes. No matter how much we digitize our operations and use S/4HANA, we would still be dealing with vendors and suppliers who send excel sheets and invoices in the form of PDFs. We would need to accommodate such scenarios and be able to automate such requirements quickly. SAP Process Automation is a no-code automation tool for business/process experts to automate processes which either involve unstructured data or paper based processes. SAP Process Automation also includes standard best practise contents which can be readily enabled with S/4HANA system to automate common scenarios.

With the existing cloud credits, you can determine if any of the standard automation contents can be deployed to automate your S/4HANA processes.

Custom Code Migration app

RISE transformation is also a good opportunity to assess the custom code (ABAP) which has been created in SAP Business Suite system. The Custom Code Migration app which is on SAP BTP helps  assess custom code impact and reinforce the Clean Core principle during SAP S/4HANA conversions and migration to the SAP BTP.  It’s a good opportunity to remove unused code which would have been in your system for over a decade. The custom code migration app also helps analyze and adapt your code to run best on S/4HANA system.

You can find more info on the features of this app and how to get started in this blog post “RISE with SAP and custom code migration – What is included” by Olga Dolinskaja

Free Tier Plan

CPEA based accounts also includes a Free Tier Plan to experiment, learn and try out services on SAP BTP. At the time of writing this blog post, there are around 30 services which have a Free Tier plan. You can use this link to explore these services in the SAP Discovery Center. This is a good option if you want to validate any business requirements and try out SAP BTP for the same. You might want to explore how you could jump start your integration project using SAP Integration Suite or persist data on SAP BTP for your extension app using SAP HANA Cloud. You can activate the free plan for these services and start exploring how you can achieve such scenarios which are well documented in the SAP Discovery Center. Once you have made up your mind to take your developments to production, you can upgrade your service to a standard/productive plan and start using the service.

Do check out the remaining blog posts in this series to know more about how you can get started with some of the key SAP BTP services [Links to these blog posts would be updated in a day or two]