As a business, I’m willing to bet you have a business plan for the next year established. And probably one for the next 3 or even 5 years. But what about 10 years? 20 years? Those might be too far out to accurately plan for but it is good to have an idea, concept, or goal you would like to shoot for. In 2018, SAP Business One turned 22 years old. That is ancient in software years. But unlike many of its equally old and even junior rivals, SAP has continuously invested in Business One as its flagship Small to Midsize Business (SMB) ERP solution. Looking at it now, you could not tell the software has roots from more than 20 years ago. With the development of SAP HANA, Business One took on a new form giving SMB’s real-time analytics that was once only affordable to the big boys. It has an app that can be used on your smartphone and can be delivered in the cloud and in a SaaS model; innovations that weren’t even a concept 20 years ago.
“SAP Business One is a centerpiece of SAP’s strategy, and therefore we are strategically investing. SAP Business One is absolutely strategic, we are fully committed to the next 10 or 20 years. We are making SAP Business One fit for the next generation, for the next decade, by enabling the digital services so the digital transformation can be done with SAP Business One.”Rainer Zinow, SVP, Head of SAP Mid Market Product Management, SAP SEDecember 2019
If the past has taught us anything, it’s that no one can create an ERP system that will handle all the needs of any and every business there is. Trust me, companies have tried. But it’s just too much. So, to supplement these industry or company specific needs, SAP and other ERP companies have add-on partners. These partners provide functionality for specific industries that otherwise aren’t supported by the core ERP software. Industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, beef or poultry, industries with very specific requirements that would otherwise require massive customizations at a huge cost to the company. These partners help to take a business the final stretch beyond the core ERP functionality.
SAP believes these partners and their add-on solutions will continue to be the future for many customizations or industry-specific needs companies have. To assist with this over the next 20 years, SAP is updating the underlying technical architecture. Rewriting and updating code to be easier to customize and that can be integrated with add-ons much easier. The goal is to make future updates less intrusive with customizations and add-ons and allow the core ERP to become more of a platform for business.
SAP Business One…is becoming a business process platform. That means it will be open, extensible, and poised to meet very specific needs across many different verticals…and fully capable of being delivered through the cloud as a service.
It’s impossible to predict what is in store for us in the next 20 years but it is good to have an idea to aim for. We know whatever is in store for ERP in the future will be disruptive and require ERP companies to adapt. Fortunately, we can rely on SAP doing just that; adapting to what businesses need and helping them to grow with a very good and comprehensive core ERP platform.
SAP Business One is a mature solution. But unlike many of its competitors of similar vintage, it has continued to evolve over the years. The depth and breadth of functionality and the underlying technical architecture is a far cry from its humble beginnings. But the SAP Business One of the future will look, feel and be something different than it is today. Read the report by Mint Jutras to find out how it is becoming more than just ERP.