Digital transformation with SAP Business One

With SAP Business One at the centre, it’s possible to create an adaptable technology ecosystem that enables your business to truly transform and thrive in the digital economy.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of rethinking how an organisation delivers value by using technology. The purpose of the metamorphosis is new business models and approaches that provide new and more sustainable revenue streams in a digitally-driven economy.

Digital transformation may have become a buzz word, but the premise is sound: it’s essential for modern organisations to evolve by embracing both current technologies and ones that continue to emerge.

Why does your business need to transform?


Increased global competition, the low cost of entry for disruptive startups, and shifting consumer expectations means that maintaining relevance (and growing profits) in today’s market is tough.

Creating the products and services people want, delivering a consistently superior customer experience, and achieving speed to market all necessitate adopting new ways of working made possible by cutting-edge technologies.

Technology alone is not a panacea: organisational capabilities and culture must also transform. But technology does allow for innovation and improvements that can’t be achieved otherwise.

Businesses that leverage digital tools to embrace a more agile, flexible and customer-centric approach will be more successful in dominating their market now and into the future.

As a leading enterprise solution for small to medium businesses, SAP Business One helps organisations to do business differently, enabled by digital technologies.

“Every successful organization has to make the transition from a world defined primarily by repetition to one primarily defined by change. This is the biggest transformation in the structure of how humans work together since the Agricultural Revolution.” Bill Drayton, social entrepreneurship visionary and Chair of Ashoka.

Which technologies empower you to change business models?


People, business and things are becoming more connected. Many aspects of our personal and work lives are now conducted online, in real-time, and via peer-to-peer transactions or digital platforms.

To survive and flourish, you need to become an intelligent, digital business.

Digitising information and processes, improving efficiency, and having an online presence are all important for businesses, but is also just the tip of the iceberg.

Technology’s true potential lies in helping you to continually reimagine what you offer and how you offer it: by shifting the way teams collaborate, developing entirely new products and services, better understanding and addressing customers needs, and delivering more instant and personalised experiences.

The new computing infrastructure that enables businesses to do this includes:

  • cloud technologies
  • mobile technologies
  • big data

These core technologies are enhanced by data and insights derived from technologies including:

  • the Internet of Things (IoT),
  • advances in AI and machine learning,
  • and innovations like blockchain.

It takes time to evaluate, implement and take advantage of technologies: it’s unrealistic to expect whole-of-business transformation to happen in one fell swoop. Starting with a firm digital foundation is an excellent starting point.

A modern, open, and full-featured enterprise solution like SAP Business One creates a digital core for SMEs to operate more intelligently in a digital economy. Building a business ready for digital transformation requires a baseline platform from which you can connect with other, related technologies. Without a modern ERP system at the core of this technology platform  your business will be struggling to join the dots. ERP systems go to the heart of a business and the related business functions and benefits because ERP systems touch every aspect of a business:
















Purchase planning and more

In Today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. the only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.” — Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.

How to approach digital transformation successfully?


Any substantial change is difficult: a business-wide revamp that requires leading, collaborating and operating in fundamentally different ways is a significant undertaking.

Principal research scientist with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, George Westerman says that many organisations fall into the trap of focusing on technology adoption instead of how to achieve strategic, transformational results.

“Technology helps you do business differently, but the right strategy is not technology-focused. It incorporates the right technologies for the right jobs,” according to Westerman.

He recommends four things to keep the focus on strategic transformation:

Avoid silo thinking

based on the features of specific technologies, and instead start by considering what the transformer business should look like. For instance, if you enact a ‘mobile strategy’ you may fail to see opportunities that are not enabled by mobile. Westerman argues.

Start with core systems and incremental steps

Don’t overlook the value of having the basics in place: like centralised data and processes made possible by Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software or being able to make data-driven decisions powered by analytics tools.

Don’t ask tech experts to drive transformation alone

This isn’t a job solely for the CIO or IT manager: you need to work with them, not lump them with all of the accountability.

Build your leaders’ capacity

to guide and champion the transformation efforts. Leadership and organisational capabilities are critical to chart the course during the transformation efforts and create business value from technological innovations. 

Cultivate agility step by step: start with everyday systems


Research by global consultancy McKinsey found a range of factors came into play when it comes to improving your chances of a digital transformation succeeding — these fall under five categories:

  • Having the right, digital-savvy leaders in place.
  • Building capabilities for the workforce of the future.
  • Empowering people to work in new ways.
  • Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade.
  • Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods.

In particular, making information more accessible across the organisation more than doubles the likelihood of a successful transformation.

Other important contributors to success include providing self-serve technologies, modifying standard operating procedures to include new technologies, and more data-based decision-making and use of interactive tools.

A robust enterprise solution that sits at the heart of day-to-day workflows is essential because it:

  • Centralises and unlocks data previously hoarded within departmental silos.
  • Automates and eliminates manual tasks that waste your team’s time and talent.
  • Simplifies, standardises and speeds up complex processes.
  • Allows for high-level visibility and consolidation of data that helps leaders understand and manage performance, cash flow and growth opportunities.

An ecosystem approach is easier with SAP Business One

A key benefit of choosing SAP Business One is its ongoing evolution to a highly configurable and extensible business process platform capable of being delivered through the cloud as a service.

SAP uses open and cutting-edge technologies that allow businesses to create a more customized and powerful ecosystem of software on top of a secure and comprehensive ERP solution.

For instance:

  • Businesses can benefit from improved data processing speed, forecasting prowess and analytical reporting by implementing SAP Business One version for SAP HANA — a powerful in-memory database.
  • SAP’s infrastructure makes it possible to create scenarios, custom mobile apps via APIs, and connect devices by using the Integration Framework for SAP Business One and Service Layer Technology

SAP’s own product portfolio and add-ons from hundreds of independent software partners can extend and refine the functionality on offer.
With a tailored suite of technologies built on a solid digital foundation, your business can embrace improvements including:

  • Frictionless and positive customer experience through integrated e-commerce, Customer Relationship Management, and mobile sales management.
  • Better warehouse and logistics management through EDI, a wireless warehouse, more precise purchasing, and shipping container optimisation.
  • Streamlined financial management through Accounts Payable automation, and expense management automation.

Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

With SAP Business One at the centre of your business, it’s easy to enhance your ability to run a more customer-centric and cost-effective operation from quote to cash. You can capture and control information at every stage of your sales, customer relationship, production, logistics, and financial management activities within one end-to-end business process management system.

Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem


Businesses that want to generate interest and sales online, and make the path to purchase easier for customers, can combine SAP Business One with an e-commerce application. For instance, by integrating a StraightSell website you can market and sell products online and empower B2B customers to create and manage order via self-service accounts, plus provide customers with a variety of purchase options including credit card. Your SAP Business One database is automatically updated when orders and payments are made online. The process of customer purchase, payment, stock allocation, picking, and despatch can be automated through SAP Business One and Straightsell.

Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Catering to customer’s preferences and adapting to the systems they use are both differentiators in the wholesale distribution industry. Large retailers are now more likely to expect their suppliers to integrate directly with their chosen warehouse management system, to streamline ordering and fulfilment. EDI solutions create a standard electronic format that allows business partners to quickly exchange electronic business documents. SAP Business One can be linked to a number of best-of-breed EDI solutions.


Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

Mobile sales management

Embrace digital tools to enhance existing sales processes, such as providing a better customer experience during face-to-face sales meetings and field service. Your team can provide a better service and close more sales on-the-spot with integrated tools like Opmetrix that enable them to:

  • manage customer information and appointments,
  • track the progress of a sale and record feedback instantly,
  • showcase products via online catalogues during meetings, and
  • provide quotes, take orders and issue invoices straight away.

Because it’s straightforward to link mobile sales tools like Opmetrix to SAP Business One, information about transactions, pricing and stock levels flows seamlessly across the system to ensure you have up-to-date details for accounting, inventory management and fulfilment processes.

Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

Wireless warehouse

SAP Business One gives you incredible oversight of stock levels and how stock is moving within and between warehouses, to help you balance inventory levels and meet customer’s expectations for fast and accurate deliveries. But to achieve a truly paperless warehouse, you can combine SAP Business One with Resolv WMS. If and when you want to adopt the use of handheld barcode scanners, Resolv makes it easy to ramp up your order fulfilment and pick and pack accuracy.


Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

Improved logistics planning:

The cost and efficiency of stock movement inevitably depend on factors including freight and shipping. Your ability to coordinate, automate and get value for money when it comes to logistics can be improved by digital applications that combine perfectly with SAP Business One. For instance, Resolv has solutions that help you to optimise how you arrange shipping containers, using data about the available space and dimensions of goods to calculate the ideal number, type, and layout of items. While the SmartFreight Solution for SAP Business One streamlines the process of choosing which carrier you want to use for each customer, the default routing and who will be charged for shipping.

Examples of digital transformation within a SAP Business One ecosystem

Automated financial processes

Reducing complexity and manual processing in accounting tasks is important for businesses that want to stay on top of cash flow and maintain a clear view of their financial position. SAP Business One allows for more flexible, accurate and high-level financial management. A number of solutions are available that augment SAP Business One by enabling automated Accounts Payable and expense management processes, including Expense ManagerConcur, and Esker. These tools let your team submit expenses via mobile devices, automate approval workflows, streamline payments, and give you a more comprehensive view of spending.

Here’s how SAP Business One helps businesses embrace enablers of change

Cloud and mobile:

  • SAP Business One is a flexible, cloud-based solution that your business can access in the public or private cloud via a convenient subscription payment model.
  • The solution’s web-based interface can be accessed online anytime from a variety of devices, plus there are several native apps that use data from SAP Business One to deliver specific mobile-first functionality for handling sales and service activity on-the-go.


  • SAP Business One version for SAP HANA includes dashboards, interactive analysis and a semantic layer for quick and easy reporting in real time.
  • Integration with Business Intelligence tools and resources provides cloud-based access to data visualisations and analytics.
  • In-depth reporting and analytics is possible through tools including MS Power BI (with native connectors to SAP HANA), MS Excel and SAP Business One HANA Analytics (a powerful, built in analytics tool set driven by SAP HANA technology).

SAP Business One on SAP HANA enables you to bring unstructured Big Data into one view for analysis, including:

  • Cash Flow Forecasting: Graphical display of your cash flow, including the ability to manage cash flow forecasting and cash flow timeline estimates in real-time. Quickly configure the dashboard reporting to your requirements based on standard configuration settings. The business benefit – instant access to a clear and up to date view of your cash flow and cash flow forecast.
  • Advanced Available-to-Promise: Get transparency about your inventory dynamically, in real-time to minimise costs and improve customer service. When a customer calls your customer service team they can get answers about inventory availability at the click of a button. What stock is available? What stock is being shipped? When is new stock arriving? All of these questions and more can be answered with the SAP Business One HANA available to promise apps.
  • Enterprise Search: Locate your business information via freestyle search, and drill down to the documents and sources based on multiple search criteria. The business benefit – instant access to information to keep your team and your customers up to date.
  • Predictive Analysis: Use Forecasting strategies within your Dashboards to predict future and seasonal trends based on your historical data. These forecasts can be used to assist with purchase planning through the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) module. The end result – making sure you hold the right inventory levels to provide great customer service whilst ensuring you don’t tie up cash in “over-stocking”.


While machine learning is still maturing: business leaders should engage now with trusted providers like SAP that are developing solutions that free up information and evaluate data to enable machine-fuelled insights and automation.

Already within SAP Business One version for SAP HANA you can access insights such as sales recommendations based on customers’ purchase history, and built-in statistical forecast algorithms to analyse inventory levels and optimise your demand.

Similarly, adopting SAP Business One gives your organisation a firmer footing from which to explore the Internet of Things (IoT) or other emerging tech like blockchain.

The solution provides a clear and accurate view of your data, tools for predictive analysis, and cloud-based accessibility. With those building blocks in place, it becomes simpler to adopt associated technologies required to establish a network of objects, sensors and APIs connected online — or share and leverage reliable data using blockchain technologies.

Create a strong digital core with SAP Business One


Deploying SAP Business One in the cloud, in combination with intelligent, integrated solutions provides your business with new capabilities immediately and kick-starts the process of genuine change and greater adaptability.

SAP Business One is the ideal jumping-off point for businesses ready to grow. The solution will support your business to make the transition to a more digitally-enabled business capable of cross-functional teamwork, leveraging data, fostering innovation and embracing emerging technologies as they arise.

Talk to Leverage Technologies today about getting started with SAP Business One: our experienced and friendly team has helped hundreds of Australian businesses to approach their digital transformation with confidence.


1300 045 046