As an early adopter of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), Rocket Consulting views the platform as providing “the most unified approach” for its customers running SAP.
Rocket’s customer base is typically supply chain and operations intensive. The company has been developing on SAP since 2015, previously on SAP Cloud Platform and now SAP BTP, to deliver solution extensions, enhancements, and integrations, as well as novel solutions for its clients, with each one encompassing a wide range of technical capabilities. In turn, the solutions support a seamless user experience consistent with the new generation of on-premise and cloud applications for SAP S/4HANA.
“SAP BTP is ready for the end user regardless of what they’re using,” says Rocket Consulting CEO Lewis Marston. “They don’t feel like they’re hopping from one system to another, which we think is absolutely critical to create practical ways of working.”
Rocket regularly deploys SAP BTP to extend the lifespan of its clients’ SAP Business Suite systems, creating stepping stones to SAP S/4HANA upgrades, which fall across the areas of mobile, smart or Internet of Things (IoT) devices, user experience and SAP Fiori, SAP Build automation, SAP Data Insight, and integration.
According to Marston, “It’s giving businesses that entry point into a road map toward having that new user interface across all of their ways of working. It’s a really nice way to extend the life, with consideration and consistency, of an SAP S/4HANA road map.”
There is not much Rocket hasn’t developed on SAP BTP: from mobile applications — including integration with IoT devices for track and trace temperature sensing — through to Bluetooth tracking and health and well-being applications, with dashboards, analytics, and robotic process automation in between.
“We’ve built entire fully self-sufficient applications, from scratch,” Marston shares. “In fact, we run our project delivery services on an application called Helios that we’ve built on SAP BTP, which allows us to coordinate and manage the activities across collaborative Rocket teams and customer resources for our professional services delivery.”
Most recently, Rocket has applied its supply chain management expertise at a London-based luxury retailer selling housewares, food, and fashion. Operating a “very seasonal” supply chain for holiday products, the customer sees it go from “nothing, to full steam, back to nothing” within a three-month period.
“During this very short period, instead of a typical monthly — or even maybe fortnightly or weekly — planning cycle in a normal supply chain, the customer operates on a daily cycle,” Marston explains. “They’re having to measure demand and supply across an omnichannel distribution out to consumers, corporate, or retail stores, and to balance that against the supply for Christmas product.”
Because the customer was working with a legacy platform that did not provide the capability needed to manage the problems it was trying to solve, Rocket took a broad view of the SAP application and technology stack to bring in the right tools. Data collection and visualizations within the solution allowed the customer to make quick, informed decisions on a high-speed, fast-moving supply chain challenge.
“Up until the new solution was launched, the customer had been relying on a very manual process involving extracting and amalgamating data and then manipulating that in Excel,” adds Marston. “Given the pace of this condensed fulfillment, by the time they were done the situation had changed. They were also running on a system with tight development restrictions, so any solution we developed needed to be able to run against existing back-end processes while delivering something innovative to solve the challenge at hand.
“We wanted to provide a series of user experience stepping stones, rather than introducing a divergent way of working,” he continues. “Put simply, this was about giving the supply chain controllers a real-time view of the situation to make their demand and supply balancing accurate, fast, and easy — saving significant time spent on data administration and allowing them to use their time productively by solving supply issues and maximizing their customer service and order satisfaction.”
Marston says that when they demonstrated the new solution there were smiles on their customers’ faces — a reminder of the positive impact that targeted, quick-to-deploy innovations can have.
“Going from a huge manual effort to just pressing a button, and being able to make decisions within minutes instead of days, is transformational. It means they will have fewer stock outages, fewer supply problems, and more customers getting their presents in time for Christmas. That’s the point of super fast seasonal supply chains.”