Innovation is built into the DNA at Bluestonex - it's what makes it tick. As part of SAP AppHaus Network, it shifted its entire business processes to run on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), making this boutique team the perfect advocate for converting its own customers to the tech platform.
Recognized for design, innovation, and user experience, Bluestonex began using SAP BTP in 2018, then known as SAP Cloud Platform, because of its speed and agility.
"Being an innovation partner, we wanted to be able to move and deliver quickly for our customers," explains Dan Barton, COO and co-founder. "SAP BTP allows us to do that. Plus, the low-cost, high-impact nature of the platform is always going to be an attractive proposition to customers. So, it was a clear route for us as a business and for our customers."
Bluestonex sees itself as a true integration of a client's team, holding their hands as they shift to SAP BTP. They work with customers of all shapes and sizes and from cross-industry sectors, everything from food and drinks to aerospace. However, Barton is clear that SAP BTP breaks down any misconceptions that SAP is purely for larger-sized businesses.
"It's very, very well-suited to micro-businesses. It's agile, it's low-cost from an entry point of view, and it has a huge number of capabilities that can grow over time. SAP BTP has opened up new opportunities for us within the micro-business market because, typically, there isn't another product out there to match it."
Barton says customers can often become "over-awed" when faced with all the different tech products available to run and manage businesses. He and the team use SAP BTP to "transform that user experience."
"It's a really easy entry point: instead of people having to use multiple clicks and screen jumps, SAP BTP gets rid of that. It streamlines and strips away complexity to give a consistent user experience," Barton explains. "And that transformation is key. When they realize what a nice platform it is, it opens the door to other experiences, such as chatbots and automation. It's all there and plugs in really nicely. Lots of customers love the fact that they can start small and grow with the platform."
It also helps Bluestonex to grow as a business, driving its specialism in innovation and, in turn, encouraging customers to think in new ways. "This is a massive shift, not only are they going from running different processes into one, smooth, easy-to-use platform, we're seeing a big cultural shift in the way our customers think," he adds.
Being part of SAP AppHaus Network means Bluestonex can access the latest, state-of-the-art design thinking methodologies, helping to move customers to new digital experiences.
From its converted chapel office space, Bluestonex regularly invites customers in to co-innovate.
"We invite our customers here and bring them out of their comfort zone," says Barton. "And we have a usability lab where we get customer input on an idea as early in the development process as possible, so that key stakeholders know what they're going to get and can be part of the iteration process. This helps to set expectations and build a better business case."
To sum up SAP BTP in three words? "Strategic, innovative, and responsive," he says. "It's opened a different angle for us. We would always go and speak to our existing SAP customers, but this is different. Now we go to a competitor's customer, we go to micro-businesses, because it's flexible and cost effective. SAP BTP is a very strategic platform: there's a sense that whatever a business does in the future, that platform is going to be there and continue to add value. It's future-proof and I'm a massive advocate for it."