That was nice: DSAG Annual Congress 2023

DSAG Annual Congress 2023

"Wonderfully changeable" was the motto of this year's DSAG Annual Congress 2023 in Bremen!

The biggest event of the SAP community took place this year from September 19 - 21, 2023 at the Congress Centrum Bremen, very easy to reach by train, directly opposite Bremen's main train station! The most beautiful booth at the fair - besides DSAG and SAP - was probably VANTAiO 😘, but feel free to take a look at the picture gallery below and see for yourself.

Under the motto "Wonderfully changeable - Creating new perspectives together", DSAG was looking forward to welcoming more than 5,000 participants - just like in the old days before the Corona pandemic. DSAG's motto in 2023: Everything changes, nothing stays the same. Today's world requires flexibility, and the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), SAP, and the entire ecosystem presented themselves as correspondingly changeable. It was precisely this mutability that the DSAG Annual Congress 2023 in Bremen focused on.

As the motto of the annual congress describes it, companies are in a state of flux. They must continuously evolve to master the changes around them and, at best, overtake the competition in the long term. "At the 2022 annual congress, DSAG had still addressed how companies must keep pace with change in their quest for success. This year, it bridged the gap and asked how companies, DSAG, SAP and the entire ecosystem can actively shape change together," says Jens Hungershausen, DSAG Board Chair.

A star continues to shine in the SAP sky: the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) 🤩

In the past, the SAP NetWeaver technology platform has proven its worth to many SAP customers. However, the end of maintenance is imminent, which SAP has announced for the last officially supported version, SAP NetWeaver 7.5, at the end of 2027. The platform has been in "restricted maintenance mode" for several years. This means that no further development is taking place on this platform and SAP is not investing further here. Therefore, it is ultimately clear: The future lies in the cloud, and in full. This applies to SAP systems, individual applications, but also to the classic portals that provide users with central access to systems and processes.

SAP is now positioning SAP BTP as a new platform designed with flexibility and choice in mind to help companies accelerate innovation and unleash new business potential. As of today (Sept. 2023), SAP BTP has over 100 solutions & services for data and analytics, application development and automation, integration, business planning, and artificial intelligence. The offering is continuously being developed and expanded by SAP. SAP BTP is expected to establish itself as the strategic technology platform for the next decades in enterprises. Long-term strategies are now needed not only to ensure access via cloud platforms, but also to constantly improve it and adapt it to the ways in which it is used on the web - entirely in the sense of a modern digital workplace.

What issues have VANTAiO customers in Bremen been concerned about?

Probably the biggest topic that repeatedly came to the fore in discussions and in the working groups was SAP's announcement that innovations will only take place in the cloud and that customers will now be "forced to change". For many, this change does not come at the appropriate time and, at first glance, it does not bring enough advantages compared to the costs - at least the advantages are not (yet) apparent to many SAP customers, according to our impression.

In summary, we have taken the following away from our discussions with customers and partners:

  • The maintenance end of the SAP NetWeaver Platform 7.5 announced by SAP is starting to become more and more of an issue with customers.
  • The new technology platform SAP BTP is becoming more and more present and meets with acceptance. The opportunity was gladly taken to get an overview of the new, strategic technology platform from SAP at the VANTAiO booth and to discuss questions about licenses, functionality and integration possibilities.
  • The comparatively young product SAP Build Work Zone is still an unknown quantity for many SAP customers. Even the app "SAP Mobile Start", which is provided free of charge, was known to very few visitors, as Thomas Saueressig found out in his keynote (there was hardly any show of hands when he asked who knew or used the app).
  • VANTAiO was able to remedy this and present the solutions LIVE at the booth - the offer was gladly taken up, as the pictures below show.Das von SAP angekündigte Wartungsende der SAP NetWeaver Plattform 7.5 beginnt bei den Kunden, immer mehr ein Thema zu werden. 

Special highlight for VANTAiO: 💡
Project report from our customer ILLIG on the introduction of SAP Build Work Zone - Advanced Edition.

On the third day of the trade fair, we had the honor of speaking together with our customer ILLIG Mschinenbau & Co. KG to speak at the DSAG Annual Congress in Bremen about the SAP Build Work Zone Advanced Edition and how it has improved the working environment for employees. ILLIG, as a global pioneer in thermoforming and packaging systems, has done great things in cooperation with VANTAiO.

🌐 ILLIG and VANTAiO have created an innovative Digital Workplace that focuses on information and digitized processes. This step was crucial for ILLIG's more than 600 employees to increase efficiency in their daily work.

🌟 This was achieved through the clever use of SAP BTP and an impressive combination of cloud services, all converging in SAP Build Work Zone Advanced Edition and VANTAiO News Manager.

🔍 In the presentation, we shared insights into ILLIG's starting point, motivation, and approach to implementing this SAP-based Central Entry Point. A truly inspiring journey that we were happy to present to the SAP audience in Bremen!

Thank you to everyone who attended our presentation! If you would like to learn more about how digital transformation can make the workplace more efficient, feel free to contact us. We can also provide you with the presentation as a download upon request.

SAP Build Work Zone & SAP Mobile Start:
Users want centralized access, whether on smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

A central motif of SAP's digital ecosystem with its numerous business applications has always been the "central entry point": the digital point of contact through which SAP users within their organization can access the systems and services that are relevant to their work as easily as possible. In the heyday of SAP NetWeaver, the SAP Enterprise Portal was established as the most important solution for this use case - supplemented by the option of providing users with the classic content of a corporate intranet. It is no coincidence that the portal, which can be easily adapted to individual requirements, is still used by numerous SAP customers today. However, those who plan for the long term know that SAP NetWeaver is only a temporary solution due to the announced end of maintenance by SAP in 2027. SAP is fully committed to the cloud - and the on-premises SAP Enterprise Portal is thus a discontinued model.

One question many SAP customers are now asking is: What options are there in the "new" SAP world if I want to offer my users a central entry point for all relevant applications - and how can I best expand this into a contemporary digital workplace by integrating content, documents, and collaborative features? Based on many years of experience with proven technologies, it might seem obvious at first glance for some organizations to develop their own solution based on the SAP Fiori Frontend Server (FES). This is especially true for companies that still shy away from the step into the cloud for various reasons and have the corresponding in-house competencies for on-premises operation. However, SAP FES is based on the ABAP application server and is therefore part of the SAP NetWeaver environment, just like the Enterprise Portal. This means that this technological approach also has little future and is on shaky ground in the long term.

Ein DSAG Vortrag war in diesem Zusammenhang deshalb für uns VANTAiOs und viele der SAP Kunden besonders interessant: Der Vortrag von Florian Büch und Thomas Hensel (beide Senior Product Manager bei SAP) zum Thema "Central Entry Point" via SAP Start, SAP Work Zone Standard Edition und Advanced Edition. Spannend ist aus unserer Sicht hier die dreistufige Strategie der SAP, die für jede Kundensituation einen passenden Einstieg für die Nutzer zur Verfügung stellt. Besonders genial finden wir, dass alle drei Systeme technisch und optisch harmonisiert werden und die Kunden bei Bedarf auf die jeweils größere Lösung upgraden kann. Egal, wie der Kunde sich entscheidet, der größte Vorteil aller drei Lösungsansätze sind die umfassenden Integrationsmöglichkeiten von SAP Systemen. So werden in nächster Zukunft immer weitere Business Packages mit Standard Content ausgeliefert und für die SAP Kunden wird die Vision eines Digital Workplace sehr schnell, günstig und gut möglich.

VANTAiO Software: 100% based on SAP BTP

As a software manufacturer, VANTAiO got involved with SAP's cloud-based development and technology platform at a very early stage and developed its own, new product generation on this basis: News Manager and TV Display are add-ons for SAP BTP that ensure that relevant news actually reaches the desired target groups in companies. At the same time, our consultants have adapted to SAP's new cloud strategy just as quickly as our development teams and have accompanied, advised and implemented individual digitization projects for customers - starting with the conception & user experience through to the technical implementation based on SAP BTP.

Our conclusion: The future belongs to SAP BTP and SAP Build Work Zone!

Central access to as many systems as possible, both SAP and non-SAP, is and remains an ideal vision for many SAP customers - even the medium- to long-term switch to the cloud will not change this. On the contrary, as we have presented in this article, there are several good options for this use case. What they all have in common, however, is that there is no way around SAP BTP if customers are aiming for a modern system landscape with direct integration of their SAP systems. Depending on the requirements profile, objectives and budget, various approaches are conceivable, each based on different combinations of SAP BTP services. It is always worth taking a look at the SAP Discovery Center to identify suitable services for your own project.

Which of the options we have presented on the SAP BTP is most suitable for which customer scenario can only be judged by looking at the specific individual case. However, to provide a rough guide, here is a brief overview of our assessment:

  • SAP Build Work Zone Standard Edition becomes very interesting as a digital workplace and central entry point for SAP and non-SAP applications with its brand new menu design possibilities through Spaces & Pages and SAP UI Integration Cards. We recommend using the Standard Edition if your focus is on applications and content, but less on collaboration. Collaboration will or must then take place in other systems, because this is not part of the functionality of the Standard Edition - for example with Atlassian Confluence or Microsoft Teams. Integration scenarios are of course conceivable and feasible.

  • SAP Build Work Zone Advanced Edition, on the other hand, is the best solution for the desire to provide everything under one roof: Applications, information, collaboration and documents. So it's the right solution if you're looking for a standardized all-in-one solution for the Digital Workplace of the future in the SAP ecosystem. The Advanced Edition combines everything on a central platform and can be specifically extended via third-party interfaces and UI Integration Cards.

  • If the aforementioned content focuses do not fit your requirements, or you need a freely designable "freestyle" solution, then we recommend the development of an individually tailored custom application. The SAP BTP as a technological basis fulfills all requirements for the operation of a modern web portal and can act as a central integration and orchestration platform for virtually any conceivable application.

Would you like to learn more about the strategic platform SAP BTP or the new product SAP Build Work Zone? Feel free to contact us!

SAP Build Work Zone - LIVE DEMO
Discover the possibilities!

We would be happy to give you a first overview of the possibilities of the SAP Build product family and especially of the two SAP Build Work Zone Editions (Standard & Advanced) - directly live on the system. Simply fill out the form and we will contact you shortly to arrange an appointment or send you the link to the recording, whichever you prefer.

Note: This offer is aimed at companies that already use SAP and are interested in the new possibilities of digitalization based on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). It is not aimed at private individuals.

Björn Adam

Björn Adam
Head of Consulting Services
T +49 6131 – 622280

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You still have questions?
We will be happy to advise you!

Do you still have questions about the event or one of the VANTAiO products? I will be happy to personally answer your concerns or questions.

Stefan Bohlmann

Stefan Bohlmann
Managing director
T +49 6131–622280