SAP Build Process Automation is a conglomerate solution for seamless business process automation. It’s essentially a low code/No code visual experience for process creation, execution, automation, and monitoring of selected business processes.
It’s part of the SAP Build suite of tools that helps users to build apps and websites without the active need for developers – all with a visual interface with drag-and-drop capabilities. SAP Build becomes the layer for easy integrations of SAP and non-SAP solutions along with required connectors (easily built or taken from a wide range of pre-built content from the SAP Library).
But let’s move on from the context setting for a bit. It’s not about the quality of the base tech but what impact it can make in business operations and automation.
This article follows a knowledge series undertaken by Crave InfoTech covering all aspects of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). You can check out our other work here:
The power of Business Process Automation as a solution
Business is business, any way you cut it. Everything else we talk about is just a means to do things with incremental efficiency gain and at lesser costs while creating high value for the consumer (preferably industry-leading).
Here, the impediments can be high resource costs in terms of labor, tech, and time.
- Labor costs can multiply the overhead as worker-hours get racked up without equivalent value generation. This is often due to project delays due to inherent decision lags and high process lead time for the basics like procurement, production, warehousing, and performance management.
- Tech costs, in the new age, can climb simply basis of data compiling and processing. We process hundreds of terabytes of data every minute in the world. A large company has to deal with constant incoming data in terms of customer and procurement requests, invoices, research and processing data, etc. Unmanaged data leads to escalating server costs and, more importantly, a high opportunity cost due to the loss of actionable insights generated within the processes.
- Time cost is a one-to-one loss as the amount of repeatable and mundane work done by employees piles up in total hours and can range anything between 60 – 100 hours in a month. This lost time could have been redirected towards high-value generating transactions and work.
Business Process Automation, hence, is not just a high-demand solution, but also a critical need of the hour for any enterprise that intends to remain competitive.
According to a research report published by Markets and Markets, the business process automation market is set to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2020 and 2026. By 2026 the market would reach an estimated valuation of $19.6 billion.
The idea is simple, a company must leverage business process automation to simplify and streamline its repeatable tasks to increase process and employee efficiency, reduce errors, and improve operations with better credit + vendor management and supply chain control.
Herein, SAP Build Process Automation is the industry-benchmarking solution. Further, Crave InfoTech is one of the celebrated implementers of SAP Build Process Automation for multiple business verticals across global industries like oil and gas, automobile, life science, retail, food and beverage, etc.
Underlying features of SAP Build Process Automation
In the words of a great person, “Alrighty then!”. Enough of contextual brick-laying. Let’s jump into the brass tacks and see what SAP Build Process Automation can do for companies.
Low code/no-code Workflows – Visual process editor to create and structure business logic
Not all companies have the luxury of having developers on call to create multiple workflows, apps, or sites as required by process heads or managers. Even when that happens, it’s a chore to bridge the gap between intent and execution. We will take this up in the next point.
So, SAP Build Process Automation circumvents the need for developers by enabling and empowering process heads and managers to create Smart Workflows easily by simply dragging and dropping elements.
It’s all done in a visual interface called the ‘Process editor’. They can create simple calls to action based on the business logic of the process. This can establish triggers with Smart Form fields and ensuing Workflows. They can just point and click to add decision filters for easy automation.
They can also import pre-built Workflows or individual elements from SAP Library with a single click. Post-creation, they can check the efficacy of the Workflow within the test zone of the process editor. It would show a full visual check of possible logic errors in the Workflow with suggested corrections.
Collaborative work environment with easy integrations
As mentioned before, anyone can create automation logic and Workflows with SAP Build Process Automation. These ‘citizen developers’ don’t need prior dev knowledge or experience. They can also use SAP and non-SAP solutions with connectors for easy and direct integrations within the system.
The process heads and managers can also collaborate on the same platform to create a single Workflow. The creators can seek approval within the same interface. If required, the process flow can be sent to advanced developers for fine-tuning and further embedding.
SAP also keeps improving SAP Build Process Automation (SAP BPA) with quality-of-life changes that improve the overall user experience. They introduced valuable features in the May 2023 roll-out like reusable rules (under overall Process Orchestration and Automation improvements), Form improvements, and tracking/visibility enhancements.
Embedded Artificial Intelligence with SAP BTP
One of the key elements of SAP Build Process Automation is data processing. For example, there could be thousands of invoices coming into the Accounts Payable department. These invoices are in multiple formats and structures. Employees often (without SAP Build) spend many hours just collating and extracting data from these documents to add into the system.
SAP BTP, being a powerhouse platform for artificial intelligence and machine learning, adds the ability of fast and accurate Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Advanced Document Extraction.
These elements form the basis of automated document processing with SAP BPA. Here, we would look at how bots are used to automate such extraction and data upload + sanity within the system without human intervention.
SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (IRPA)
Robots have been the Next Big Thing for over a decade (maybe multiple decades). A lot of this is being achieved, for Android robots – but that’s not what we are talking about here. We’re talking about SAP Intelligent Rootic Process Automation and the use of ‘bots’ to automate processes.
These virtual robots or bots are pre-trained with Workflows and incumbent business logic to auto-perform all mundane and repetitive tasks within the company. They can be deployed (triggered in a Workflow) to auto-extract data from invoices and upload them with specific process (successive) triggers with the right system field updates – all in real-time. The bots can concurrently handle thousands (without much of an upper limit) of tasks and cut down processing time from multiple hours to mere minutes.
Approval and Decision Management
The bots notify the relevant stakeholders as per the Line of Authority and business logic. Approvals are auto-sought within the system. The approver can evaluate the same within a simple dashboard (inbox) with relevant decision (action) options. The validation is built into SAP BPA. Once approved, the process then moves on to data publishing and operation triggering. Everything is seamless.
Complete Process Control and Event-driven Transparency
It’s not all flash and fast automation. SAP BPA is a Strickler for process control, compliance, real-time tracking and measurements. The managers have exact event-driven transparency. They know where the system lags and at what critical decision point. This helps them streamline the process further, directing the learnings to fine-tune the process in the editor.
Crave InfoTech with SAP BTP and SAP Build Process Automation
We can talk a lot more about SAP BPA but let’s keep to the basics for now. In a nutshell. SAP BPA offers seamless process automation for multiple business verticals like Procurement, Accounts Payable, Human Resources, Field Workforce Optimization, Customer Relations, etc.
Is there anything else a company may need here? Well, yes. Crave InfoTech brings to SAP BPA the in-depth real-world industry intelligence that helps them create better Workflows and processes. Crave InfoTech, as an SAP partner, has enabled SAP BTP and SAP BPA for multiple large companies around the world. Along the decade-plus collaborations and industry implementations, Crave has seasoned itself as an expert in not just SAP BTP but also the underlying business logic and needs specific to an industry.
It means that a company can have Crave’s industry-veteran engineers build highly intelligent processes using SAP BPA that have higher average efficiency than what could be gained otherwise. All this with cost-effective, fast, and accurate deployment.
If this interests you, please reach out to us. Just drop in.