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SAP BTP: A Platform to Innovate and Accelerate Business Growth

Did you know that around 800,000 new startups started business in 2021 in the USA? And about 63,000 mergers and acquisitions took place worldwide in 2021, with deals worth 6 trillion U.S. dollars. Not to mention the boom of e-commerce and digital platforms precipitated by COVID during the last two years by companies worldwide. 

Now, imagine that a company that has just acquired another regional player wants to consolidate and streamline its business in a unified manner. Along with other goals, like growing its business by a certain percentage, making it sustainable, improving customer experience, responding with agility to customer demand, competitive pressure, economic forces, and business strategies.


This is where the utility of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) comes into the picture. SAP is the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software, with 77% of worldwide business transactions interacting with an SAP system. Thus, SAP BTP has enormous potential to make a difference in how companies do business.

So, what exactly is SAP BTP, and how is it different from the SAP Cloud Platform? SAP BTP is a unified cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment optimized for SAP. It enables business users to implement processes without worrying about the underlying technical details. It is a multi-cloud platform deployed on various cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, etc., and you can think of it as a Next-Gen platform combining SAP and open-source technologies to develop and run data-driven applications. SAP BTP acts as a foundation layer for the Intelligent Enterprise.

4 PIllars

SAP BTP has its foundations on four pillars – Database and Data Management, Analytics, Application Development, and Integration and Intelligent technologies. The SAP Cloud Platform, which was officially retired in mid-January 2021, now forms one of the four pillars of SAP BTP: “Application Development and Integration”.

In the Database and Data Management pillar, SAP BTP offers SAP HANA Cloud, which combines the power and performance of the SAP HANA database with the benefits and scalability of the cloud. You can easily set up SAP HANA Cloud like any other service on the SAP Cloud Platform, providing features like Pay-Per-Use. This reduces TCO dramatically and expedites Time-to-Market. It gives choices for Data Storage and more options for Data Federation. Also, it supports Data Virtualization and provides one data access layer for all your data sources without replicating it. It provides the Virtual Semantic Data Model, a single source of truth for SAP data with a consistent format,  exposed to the end user as one Semantic Data Model.

This single source also gets updated when transactions happen in the SAP HANA cloud, providing real-time data. SAP BTP also addresses other data-related areas, including Data Streaming, Data Quality, Data Governance, Data Orchestration, Master Data Management, Data for Data Science projects etc. Another offering from SAP BTP is SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. It can directly connect to your on-premises solution like BW for HANA. These can be run together as one hybrid database. 

The next pillar of SAP BTP is Analytics. SAP BTP offers SAP Analytics Cloud, “the” solution for Data Virtualization, Predictive Analytics, and Planning. SAP Analytics Cloud is embedded in SAP S/4 HANA Cloud and Success Factors at no extra cost. It forms an integrated analytics layer that gives live data access via various dashboards from your SAP Fiori launchpad. (For the unversed, SAP Fiori is the user interface explicitly provided by SAP). It saves the effort to integrate analytical applications with the transactional data system.

The data model used for Analytics is the same as the one used in business applications. The analytics dashboard automatically generates by SAP using Machine Learning and NLP algorithms running in the background. These are a few of the intelligent features which SAP BTP has provided. Also, SAP Analytics Cloud enables planning by leveraging the data and predictive capability.

The Application Development and Integration pillar of SAP BTP enables custom development of new functionalities. Additionally, it allows integration with various SAP or non-SAP applications. SAP BTP also provides two awesome development environments, Cloud Foundry and Neo.

  • The Cloud Foundry environment is open-source and supports many languages, including Node.js, PHP, Java, Ruby, Go, Python, etc., and allows you to bring your own language. The Cloud Foundry environment also supports multiple data centers like AWS, Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform.
  • Neo is an SAP proprietary development environment. It supports development in Java, HTML5, and HANA XS only. It does not keep bringing a language of your choice. Neo environment only helps the SAP data center. Apart from the Cloud Foundry and Neo, other environments provided by SAP BTP are Kyma and ABAP. 

SAP BTP’s integration suite provides capabilities to integrate the SAP Cloud Platform with SAP and non-SAP applications. Additionally, it enables the integration of end-to-end business processes and offers means to improve them. You can create and invent methods flexibly with API-led integration. Further, there are 2000 pre-built integrations, 170+ third-party connectors, and 140+ business events to address any-to-any integrations. It has features like support for DevOps, AI-assisted B2B integrations, and Trust and Security. It is provided by the cloud environment managed by SAP etc.

The fourth pillar of BTP comprises Intelligent Technologies. These technologies are – SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, SAP Conversational AI, SAP Internet of Things, SAP AI Business Services, SAP RUUM etc. You can leverage these services to identify and automate repetitive processes, allowing businesses to focus on strategically essential scenarios. These also enable easy and fast creation of Chatbots to support everyday end-user queries. Support for IoT and Blockchain further allows the design and innovation of futuristic applications to provide an edge to businesses.

Apart from these four pillars, BTP provides a suite of applications to develop or improve processes. However, you can use low-code or no-code approaches like SAP AppGyver, SAP Business Application Studio, or SAP Workflow Management. 


Hopefully this blog helps your basic understanding of SAP BTP and its services. The components, capabilities, services, and applications mentioned in this blog are just a glimpse of the entire range of SAP BTP offerings.

BTP is a boon for large and complex business organizations comprising a heterogeneous IT landscape. There is no doubt that SAP is a leading cloud ERP player today. However newer IT capabilities including AI, IoT, Blockchain, etc., still need improvement.  Further, this is especially true when compared to other cloud players like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc. Additionally, integration with non-SAP applications can be a bit tricky and not as efficient as using internal SAP connections. Further, SAP BTP still comprises many SAP native services, applications, and tools, the usage of which requires specific skill and training.

Further, other cons include a sluggish User Interface and less competitive pricing. In conclusion, SAP BTP is a great product, but there is still much room for improvement. I hope someone is listening! 


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Juhi Kulshreshtha is an SAP Senior Technical Architect Manager in Mindset Consulting, Bengaluru. She is a key part of Mindset Consulting in India managing technical delivery leads, working with other developers, project architects and subject matter experts, creating remarkable experiences for the clients.
A few of her core areas of specialization include Ariba Integration with S/4 HANA, Ariba Procurement, ABAP for HANA customizations, SAP Concur Integration with S/4 HANA FI, SAP FSCD Integration with third-party software for Insurance, HANA DB Upgrade and ABAP remediation, Integration of ABAP-PI Interfaces and Agile Project Delivery.
Juhi lives in Bengaluru with her husband, an 11-year-old mischievous daughter and a playful 2 yrs old golden retriever. In her leisure time, she likes to read bestseller books and watch acclaimed movies.

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