Software giant SAP creates click-and-drag apps for businesses

Software giant SAP creates click-and-drag apps for businesses

SAN FRANCISCO — The days when businesses had to call their “IT guy” to create the digital apps needed by human resources, procurement or operations to run the business may soon be over.

One of the world’s largest enterprise software vendors, SAP, on Tuesday introduced a new suite of click-and-drag apps that allow users to automate invoices and marketing emails, extract analytics data, create dashboards or websites and more — with no coding required skills.

The solutions in SAP Build often put complex digital processes within reach of not only enterprise business users, but small businesses without budgets for IT teams, or those struggling to find developers to customize solutions.

Speaking to 65 journalists and analysts in Berlin, San Francisco and Las Vegas at a pre-launch briefing on Monday, SAP chief technology officer Juergen Mueller cited published statistics that 70 to 80 percent of new apps will require little or no coding expertise to create within 2025.

It is easy enough for a 12-year-old to create an app in SAP Build, he said.

The apps in the SAP ecosystem work seamlessly with paid SAP enterprise software, but can also be integrated with third-party apps, said SAP’s board member for customer success, Mr Scott Russell.

Chip Kleinheksel, chief technology officer for SAP solutions at Deloitte, said his team built a mobile app with a user interface, camera functionality and integrated it with a third-party app on their first attempt at SAP Build.

Low-code or no-code apps are the latest disruption in the software industry, a response to a worldwide developer shortage as well as an appealing idea to put digital problem-solving tools in the hands of lay users.

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In addition to a number of improvements and new features for professional software developers, SAP announced that it will triple the number of free online training modules on its learning site in partnership with US online course provider Coursera. The company aims to train and certify two million developers in SAP software by 2025.

“This certificate is designed for students of all backgrounds, with no college education or industry experience required,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera Inc. “It will prepare students for entry-level job roles and in some of the most in-demand fields.”

Mr Manik Saha, managing director of SAP Labs Singapore, said the company was still hiring in Singapore, where it has about 1,100 employees, despite the latest wave of setups.

“We are on track to meet our target of up to 500 software engineers and designers here in Singapore by 2025, and are committed to meeting up to 25 per cent of this required incremental headcount by 2023,” he said.

The headcount will help SAP Labs Singapore become the AI ​​hub in the region, with an emphasis on embedded AI, he said. With embedded AI, AI modeling and responsive actions run directly on devices instead of a data center.

Given the global crisis for engineers, SAP marketing and solutions manager Julia White said it’s time for business users to take the lead in driving digitization.

She said: “The answer cannot just be about creating more professional developers. We need to find a new approach to unlock digital transformation.

“The financial analyst, the supply chain operator, the manufacturer, the line manager, the procurement specialist, marketers … Today, their expertise is untapped by companies that need to drive innovation,” she added. “And they are so necessary for this next wave of digital transformation.”

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