The Roadmap to Building an Intelligent SMB

Published: February 15, 2022

Emerging technology trends have redefined the way businesses operate. The focus has shifted toward agility, efficiency, and being futuristic to achieve digital maturity. All businesses including SMBs must undergo digital transformation to become an Intelligent Enterprise.

Innovative technology solutions for sustenance and future growth are pivoting businesses toward this goal. SAP defines an intelligent enterprise as one that adopts the latest integrated technologies, strategies, and best operational practices to continuously evolve with agility and sustainability.

The current times have seen an unprecedented disruption in the way SMBs operate. There is increasing focus on remodeling the technology landscape to equip them better for the present and chart a pathway for future growth. Resilience and responsiveness have never been as important for SMBs, as they struggle with volatile markets, new challenges, and emerging needs.

With the goal of helping SMBs overcome current challenges in their technology environment, SAP provides focused and integrated solutions to enable their transformation into an Intelligent Enterprise. The impetus SAP provides is efficient cloud-based technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning capabilities, and intelligent analytics for a progressive and futuristic approach to better operations management.

The Nudge to Transform into an Intelligent Enterprise

Existence of Legacy Platforms
SMBs often use legacy ERP systems that fail to resonate with the current business needs and have poor integration capabilities with evolving technology stacks. The need is to emerge from siloed technology platforms and adopt futuristic, integrated technology solutions.

Outdated, Obsolete Processes
Operational excellence demands efficient processes and systems. SMBs need to shift towards optimized and cross-functional processes that simplify their operations, and lead to efficiency and increased productivity.

Inadequate Data Management and Analytic
While better data management is the crux for business operations, intelligent analytics is the catalyst for growth. SMBs need to adopt modern infrastructure for data storage and management, along with BI tools that enables a holistic view of their entire operations and take better data-driven decisions.

High TCO and maintenance
Legacy data and application storage models lead to higher maintenance costs. There is a need to adopt cloud-based storage and deployment solutions that give a definite cost advantage with scalable pricing models-leading to a lowered TCO.

Market volatility
Responding to market volatility is the key for businesses to stay ahead in the competitive race. This can be achieved with intuitive analytics that are predictive and enables SMBs to better plan for unforeseen circumstances and volatile market conditions- which legacy analytic solutions cannot achieve.

Scope for Better Customer Experience
The end goal of any successful business is to provide excellent customer experience. New generation technologies deliver this better with AI/ML capabilities that enhance the customer interaction journey at every touchpoint. This includes deploying automated Bots and processes that lead to customer engagement that is fast, accurate and personalized

The progress towards Intelligent Enterprise with SAP
SAP, with its focus on enabling digital maturity among enterprises, has a comprehensive set of offerings for an SMB to become an intelligent enterprise. From ERP to analytics and procurement to distribution, SAP offers complete management of operational processes with a range of solutions for diverse business requirements and verticals.

SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP)
The SAP BTP brings together intelligent enterprise applications that cover analytics, data management, application development, intelligent technologies, third-party integrations, and extensions into a single package. This can be used on cloud and hybrid deployment models, enabling a single technology platform for all business needs.

SAP BTP components for end-to-end solution requirements include:

  • Database and Data Management: This solution component allows SMBs access to data – anytime and anywhere. It enables easy data connectivity and governance, reduces redundancy, and makes analytics easier.
  • Analytics: SMBs can benefit from faster and more accurate data-driven decisions with the extensive data visualization capabilities along with embedded business intelligence and predictive planning. Better analytics provide enterprises with greater visibility into their operations. A unified interface with self-service features makes it easier to analyze trends and forecast data.
  • Application Development: The BTP suite allows low-code or no-code application development and integration with existing apps, data, and processes. SMBs can leverage the ease of application development for their custom requirements within the ecosystem.
  • Intelligent Technologies: AI-driven processes bring in efficiency and innovation into your business operations and equip you with the right solutions for diverse requirements.

SAP Business Process Intelligence
Achieve efficient process transformation and enhance customer experiences with SAP Business Process Intelligence. Extensive analytics with deep data mining capabilities provides intelligent improvement recommendations for your business. The suite prepares SMBs for unforeseen business changes, such as regulatory changes and compliance requirements. It includes process simulation for designing alternate business processes.

SAP Industry Cloud
SAP Industry Cloud facilitates easy access of business solutions across various industry verticals. The suite helps SMBs achieve speedier digital transformation, explore new opportunities, and improve business management. It includes both SAP and partner solutions, easily integrating the required applications for your business needs. The suite includes open APIs, and a diverse range of data and process models, designed for SMBs to extend their core operational processes.
SAP Industry Cloud enhances the business capabilities of SMBs to make them resilient and responsive to changing requirements. It supports the automation of processes and ensures the required compliance.

SAP Business Network
The SAP Business Network helps SMBs easily collaborate with suppliers, logistics providers, contractors, and other trading partners during business operations. The suite provides a wide range of features to eliminate manual processes and gain complete visibility across all your processes.

For SMBs, the suite offers immense opportunities to expand their procurement and sales network, refine their supply chain processes, and automate manual operations such as for receivables. They get the benefit of having access to SAP Ariba-which is the world’s largest digital marketplace.

With integration being the key for innovation, SAP’s wide set of integrated solutions enable SMBs to jumpstart their journey towards becoming an intelligent enterprise. The current times have necessitated a complete transformation in the way businesses operate, with a focus on making them efficient and resilient and simultaneously expand their scope of operations. Being an intelligent enterprise is one of the major steps in achieving optimal digital maturity that makes businesses stay ahead of competition.

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