As usual, SAP Sapphire & ASUG Annual Conference yielded a slew of SAP announcements. While SAP continued to focus on its sustainability solutions, the software company also unveiled innovations to supply chain operations and the SAP Business Network. While the conference did not spotlight the utilities industry, two developments indicate changes and solution improvements for SAP utilities customers.
Inside SAP Business Network for Industry
One of the top-line announcements from the event was SAP Business Network for Industry, a new offering building off the success of the SAP Business Network B2B platform. The solution targets specific industries, improving key business processes with trading partners. These improvements increase time-to-value for both organizations and their partners. Overall, the solution features SAP industry experience in various vertices combined with networked supply chains across industries.
Within SAP Business Network for Industry, SAP also introduced specific innovations to accelerate supplier growth. These improvements, coming later in 2023, include enhanced supplier insights, streamlined integration processes, marketplace catalogs, intelligent lead matching, and improved company profiles. While SAP has already rolled out SAP Business Network for Industry for the consumer products, high tech, industrial manufacturing, and life sciences industries, it is committed to including other industries in the near future.
Improving Supply Chains
One of the main benefits of SAP Business Network for Industry is improved supply chain processes. Following the challenges presented by COVID-19, SAP focused on helping its customers improve the resiliency of their supply chains. The pandemic and other recent black swan events—including the blocking of the Suez Canal and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—only highlighted the need for resilient, transparent supply chains.
SAP Business Network for Industry will not only focus on improving industry resiliency and transparency but also help organizations sustainably manage their supply chain operations. By expanding an organization’s list of supply chain partners, enterprises can focus on creating resilient and circular supply chains.
Impact on Utilities Customers
While SAP Business Network for Industry will directly support the utilities industry further down the development line, this announcement (and the offering at large) already impacts customers in this sector. Both the industrial manufacturing and high-tech industries are crucial aspects of the utilities sector supply chain. As utilities enterprises engage with those organizations, new supply chain management innovations will come into play.