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Subscription business models in SAP Finance

A connector from Billwerk allows subscription business models to be integrated into SAP Finance. Billwerk is a European market leader for subscription management solutions.
E-3 Magazine
December 31, 2021
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

The connector is available for both ERP/ECC 6.0 and S/4 Hana and automates the data protection-compliant transfer of all data for the monthly and annual financial statements in SAP Finance. The digital transformation is creating entirely new opportunities for the majority of conventional industries.

As part of this paradigm shift, new business and revenue models are emerging across all industries - the majority based on subscription and consumption-based services.

A Bitkom study concludes that digitization will have a strong to very strong influence on the business model of 73 percent of all industrial companies in the future. For example, 88 percent of all industrial companies are planning to introduce platform-based services. 45 percent of all respondents are even considering making their machines available to customers as part of pay-per-use models and thus making a long-term strategic shift from capex to opex business models.

Hybrid revenue models

For companies from conventional and hardware-driven industries such as plant and mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, the automotive industry or publishing, this transformation process is often accompanied by a major challenge, because how can new, digital and hybrid revenue models be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure without negatively impacting existing business models? 

In the results of its Industrial Subscription Business benchmarking study, the FIR Institute at RWTH Aachen University comes to a clear conclusion: companies only have a veritable chance if "created a common, efficient system with smooth communication and continuous data exchange by optimally integrating the customer into its own processes [...].". According to the FIR, 60 percent of subscription providers already integrate their solution into their customers' value chain via multiple interfaces.

The connector enables companies using SAP to map recurring revenue models in SAP and to synchronize all relevant financial data bidirectionally. With this strategic step, Billwerk emphasizes that it is an essential component of a best-of-breed solution architecture for the operation of subscription models.

"With the Connector, we enable everyone who uses SAP to be able to pursue a smart and effort-neutral 'best-of-breed' approach", Pierre Schramm, member of the management board at Billwerk, summarizes the development.

"Our aim is to use the Connector to extend SAP Finance in specific areas where SAP does not actually offer any functional scope and the cost of a custom solution or native integration would simply be too high.", Pierre Schramm continues.

The Connector transfers both the managed financial data to SAP and SAP financial data to the Billwerk ecosystem. In contrast to individually developed integrations, the Connector requires only a small initial outlay and thus enables a faster go-to-market, since standard processes are already mapped.

"Another great advantage for our customers is the possibility that we can make customer-specific adjustments directly to the Connector, as we have a partner in Cimt who understands both SAP and Billwerk", emphasizes Steffen Mey, Senior Solution Architect and Billwerk Co-Founder. A framework is mapped in the Connector. Through mapping tables, which are available to the customer in a separate namespace, specific settings can be maintained by the customer.

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