What is SAP’s Business Technology Platform? Why is it an important part of the company’s intelligent enterprise strategy? Irfan Khan, president of Platform and Technologies at SAP, explains in simple terms.
“The Business Technology Platform is the underpinnings of the Intelligent Enterprise,” Khan explained in a recent interview. “In order to become intelligent enterprises, customers need a fundamental business layer. That is what the Business Technology Platform is.”
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Khan describes the Business Technology Platform as comprising a collection of different assets. First and foremost, he says, is a substantial database component, which has SAP HANA at the center of it but it also includes embedded analytics along with the ability to incorporate horizontal business analytics.
Other components include robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).
“The final piece is a very substantial integration capability delivered through SAP Cloud Platform, which is another very fundamental cornerstone of Business Technology Platform as well,” he shared.
Business Technology Platform is the horizontal technology foundation for SAP’s intelligence suite of applications, the basis for the industry cloud, and the platform for delivering the best customer experiences. According to Khan, it will enable customers to be able to realize even more value from their investments in SAP technology from their core business and contextual data.
In addition, Khan argues that the Business Technology Platform opens the SAP environment up to community developers and citizen developers.
“They can all now interact and take the value of SAP’s core business processes,” he said. “In actual fact, we’re not only providing process excellence, we are providing data excellence as well now. That gives much more of a fluid way of looking at all the content, all of the data, all the information that may be available within inside of the enterprise and outside. So we could think of it as unlocking the hidden value in data which already exists.”
As a result, Khan believes both customers and partners will be able to further “amplify the value” inherent in the very substantial SAP footprint across industries and geographies.
ne of the key lessons Khan says SAP has learned over the years is that applications must be able to run in a variety of different environments. Today, for example, SAP software and services must be able to run across different hyperscaler and infrastructure environments.
The second ingredient for success is to focus on making SAP technology “open to all developers out there,” Khan explained.
Thirdly, he said, “every partner and every direct customer wants to have a robust, almost bulletproof environment to be able to build their innovations.”
He says this is exactly what the Business Technology Platform delivers. “It’s an ever-expanding set of services that we’re adding and over time it will fulfill not just their current needs, but their future needs as well.”
Khan described the Business Technology Platform as “a living, evolving platform,” that will enable customers to access not just SAP data, but all sets of data, including externally generated Big Data, in a trusted manner.
“Our message is very simple,” Khan said. “We will actually want to make it very open, make your data work for you, independent of where it lives and where it sits today – at the edge or in a traditional data center.”
For that reason alone, he says, SAP will have a far stronger message than competitors to deliver to the market.