Extending SAP with the Power Platform with Marysol Mantilla

Extending SAP with the Power Platform with Marysol Mantilla

Marysol Mantilla


  • Marysol Mantilla gave us a glimpse into her personal life. She and her family are big foodies, with her husband working as a chef. They are also avid soccer fans. 
  • If you are interested in learning more about how the Power Platform can enhance your SAP setup, be sure to check out the full episode. 
  • We explore how Power Platform can be used to improve and streamline processes within SAP landscapes. 
  • We discuss specific use cases where Power Platform can be particularly effective, including excel-based processes and approval workflows. 
  • We also delve into the benefits of using Power Platform for SAP developers, including the ability to tackle backlogged projects and streamline complex processes. 
  • Marysol shares her expertise on how Power Platform can be integrated into SAP workflows and the benefits it can bring to businesses. 
  • We discuss the potential for Power Platform to be utilized by SAP customers who may already be using it for other purposes, such as citizen development. 
  • Introduction to the Power Platform and its role in solving point solutions and achieving strategic goals 
  • The importance of fusion development in maximizing the potential of the Power Platform 
  • Success stories of companies that have effectively implemented the Power Platform to drive innovation and growth 
  • Tips for overcoming common challenges when implementing the Power Platform, such as fear of integration with SAP systems 
  • The future of the Power Platform and its potential to continue transforming the way businesses operate. 

AgileXRm - The integrated BPM for Microsoft Power Platform

Support the show

If you want to get in touch with me, you can message me here on Linkedin.

Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: today's guest is from england in the united kingdom she's a senior technical specialist on the power platform team at microsoft she has sixteen years experience with s a p she helps customers and partners understand how power platform can be the heart of their digital transformation you can find links to a bio any social media of that type of thing in the show notes for this episode welcome to the show Marysol

[marysol_mantilla]: thanks for having me

[mark]: good to have you on the show and good to unpack this this interesting subject area which is you know customers that are using s a p as a system of recording of course e could swap out the word s p with oracle or you know any other big back end system of record solution and look at how does a power platform really enable new experience as for our customers when they've got these massive systems behind the scenes but before we start there tell us a bit about food family and fun for you food you in everything when you're not doing markets of stuff

[marysol_mantilla]: right food lots of food because my husband is a chef so lots of good food actually in my house i think and when he goes away like last week my poor kids have to eat my food so that's that's hard for them so yeah difficult to diet in my house and all of that is it's a great place to be and then fun i mean i have two kids sixteen and ten m fan probably means football in this house so you know three boys football fans football like not how do you say in australia that soccer for you or it's

[mark]: soccer soccer soccer

[marysol_mantilla]: also a football you are soccer soccer but yeah so i have a lot of a lot of that in mind house so i spend my my weekends shouting at people in the in the in the field a very good football mom and was the other thing i forgot my

[mark]: so that's food that we covered food we've covered family and we've covered fun and i think we've got it all covered

[marysol_mantilla]: it were a

[mark]: well done well done what about where do you originate from because i i detect that's not english accent i'm listening to

[marysol_mantilla]: yeah i'm originally from venesela so came to live in the fifteen years ago more or less and back in venesela i started as a consultant over there and then i moved to UK and i joined a p u k two thousand and eight i think thousand and seven that was that that was my start in the u k was threat with with with p

[mark]: right right awesome awesome and for those that have been with business applications for many many years marisel works for ruben cripner which if you know was one people right back in the early days of m s s r m and dynamics when he was based in seattle at the time of cause he's now based in the u k but he's an australian that has strong opinion and i love them for it so it's good to have you on the show let's let's look at unpacking this interesting topic around extending a p with a power platform what's your take on that what does that mean

[marysol_mantilla]: so i joined microsof two and a half years ago on coming from a cap coming from a background of user experience and integration when i joined it team i knew my knowledge was going to be useful in some way you know like i knew i was going to kind of face more or less the same big customers that i was talking to when i was i think but but it became kind of like massive eye opening on how this platform really can't help it customers and i love that out the platform that i really believe it can be so useful for psyche customers to complement what they do with p tooling that that that is very good to you of course then customers will use er law but to complement that work with something like power platform i really believe it is it's just amazing so being in this in this side now on the microsop side but still have all the contact with with the s p world with th s p use case with the way that s a p works but also making it better in so many ways it's just a great place to be

[mark]: what's your opinion on how s a p feel about microsoph telling the story about the extending the power platform and i know from you know whenever i'm having the conversations rum fury come into the mix as that the customer will bring those up and then more recently i think in the last six or so months s p have announced their own low code solution i don't actually even know what the name of that is so i know that microsoft and s p have a very tight relationship s p is used a lot inside microsoft as in most organizations in the enterprise what's that relationship like from the power platform perspective

[marysol_mantilla]: i think i mean of course the partnership is there is a massive partnership we are big customer of p we have probably the biggest finance system as a company um i p a massed customer microsof they have a lot of systems on asher and a lot of products that they used from microsoft the partnership is is there as you said i mean they have a local the strategy they have some low cold products and they have also the low low call products that they use for extensibility of a city on an i think as the message from our side is so posited and so complimentary i think even for as a company will be very useful to also use power platform for for for the their own use case as so it is it is it is a matter of choosing kind of the right tool for the right job how i see it and i think s p maybe sometimes they don't recognize this but customers show the customers show what they need and customers more and more after understanding the art of the possible and understanding how technically these works then they start clearly seeing you know that there is a path tale goes in one direction and a patta goes in the other direction so even with a law code platform from p there are a lot of use cases where it makes more sense to do it on power plats so let's start with the connectivity or the integration with the office world with the rest of microsof with teams

[mark]: yes yes

[marysol_mantilla]: um you know there is so many use cases that require for exam the generation of attempt light in word or the the approval process that you want to have it like clearly ebed in teams on this type of use cases are really easy empower platform so there is no question there but also there are so many cases where it's no just about p where it's a a p plus whatever else you know from from the world and i mean as to can also do that as piling can also connect our office in some ways off esittlincan also connect to other things in the in the customer landscape but sometimes it's no as a straight forward so this is when when we think that the platform can complet and what also happens is that we look at the a p customers many of them i would say almost most of them are using power platform already okay so they already have they use even if it's just for cities and development they have it they have it already as part of the their strategy or for law code and to be able to do things faster and and that means there is probably a community in the company already there is knowledge there is stuff that they can't rouse in this place and then also do some of the pus ay so i will never go to an sty customer and say do not use for or don't use p t p or anything first of all because i'm a as fan of those technology this is what i used to do at and i

[mark]: exactly

[marysol_mantilla]: saw this you know but but there is cases where i want to say it doesn't make sense but it's easier in this way and then even for s p developers and i have this conversation with many customers before and the s p developers in the call sometimes they jump and they are like oh wait you know what you say and i'm like no i'm here to help you if you and i a p developer apart from knowing all of these great stuff that is on b t p you also know power platform you can look at your back log and i'm sure there is a lot of stuff that you clear out very quickly with power platform then you can go on concentrating the complex things that they are always required and there is never enough sip developers there is never enough budget to be able to complement and to create all of the use cases there that they always need all the requirements from from the business and from every thing so

[mark]: hm this is good this is good i hear and please correct me if i'm wrong that when s a p people staff want to tree age date in s p often they exported into xl do their tree put it back in how big how big does x pay part of the sap landscape currently or pre power platform

[marysol_mantilla]: yeah so if we if we go in details of what are let's say popular use cases of power platform with a cap one of our main areas that we see improvement are people working on it is this type of excel base procescess that happened a lot i mean any sip customer can go and talk to their finance them and ask the question and how much work you doing it so before you touch a type and is crazy i mean in some cases it works out but in some cases it can be troubled it can be you know like you need to control that you need to make better or you can make it easier you can ultomate it in so many ways so this is this is the type of perfect use cases actually for a power platform where excel could even be still in the picture if the person likes succes or it could be completely gone and then do it in a different way in a better way or automated again but this is this is deep all stuff and there is so much work that happens around the cap that is still required that is so important as part of the business process and many times there is no really bicivinity what is going on or there is no way to own it who did wat or anything and sometimes there is those like an official approval processes that happen by people sending emails to each other do you think it's a y i think it's okay ba a a then they go and approve and then they go and right because of course as i pace the course system you want to keep it clean you want to keep it right it is it is crazy stuff that you find out and then and you start talking to the teams and just do those discovery sessions those design thinking sessions to get to the use cases and they are like oh actually i do this before i go and write a journal interest in the general legend i use excel and i do this this and that and then it's great to be able to help them to improve those those processes

[mark]: so that's a great use case what are at are the other common use cases that you're seeing that people are adopting the power platform to handle

[marysol_mantilla]: there is a lot of simplification of the u of course i mean we know as p customers are in different part of the journey to ask for hannah when when they are honest for hannah of course the u is something that has been improved on you know we know about the use experience a strategy that they have been working with for a long time but a lot of customers still in all the releases of s p we have a lot of customers in the manufacturing industry in the oil das industry in many many places where they still work with transaction base yunowinterfaces and heavy transactions where they have to put a lot of data where they need five days of training to be able to learn how to use the transaction how to create the data or whatever they're doing so we see a lot of simplification of the un and it's interesting because many times is to help into that even that journey to us for hannah because even there is there is examples from microsop the company you know like our finance world where they have created power as to do stuff to innovate to make things easier for the finance teams to interrupt with a p they know when they go to us for hannah those applications look better and are easier and better and probably when we ave create us for hannah because we are not on a per hana yet when we are i do ask for hannah we will probably use the out of the box for that is okay you know but we are not there yet and it would take a few years to get there but we can provide a innovation today you know created a series of power as that held with with with activity and then what happens when we go to for hana okay is to some matter because we didn't spend a lot of time developing the as you know like you can go we or maybe people still like it some of some of the people still like it and then they will switch it to talk to sforhana instead of s so this is the type of things that we are seeing a lot so we see it always as a temporary solution but we see that this this is the has been very useful for customers and the other thing is again is to complement that s p s p toland for example are in mobility features to start for me all possible of course again obit and the club on the bases technology pl for but in empoweraps you know put in like you know using the camera using the g p s do barsbbarcot scanning stuff like that is so straight forward that of course helps you to do it quickly again concentrate on the complex staff and then try to clear i gonta do start faster so we see a lot of those types of scenarios to helping with the wit better integration and then of course the integration with teams i think is very very powerful so we see a lot of cases of applications created to the emberon tens but also chat books for example chat boots that they talk to your a b system and they could be alive change in activity you know like today if i have to see if an invoice has been paid or not if i have to open p and go to an specific furia or transaction ner i don't know how many parameters to be able to see fear has been paid and then i can create a chart board that actually is created literally in minutes because it's not difficult at all you don't need to understand the magic around how i would talk or anything you just tell what it is and then the thing just i'm in teams and i want to know if the invoice he pay and i talk to the cat and just terms being as it is you know don't even have to in that that was a c p just tell me about the invoice that that's all i need to know so all of these use cases are are our stuff that we are seeing more and more in customers and they see the benefit

[mark]: how do how do we move beyond um using the power platform to solve a point solution and move to much more of a strategic play and you know um in that s a p story like one o things i'm always looking at how do we get the first thousand as built and when i say as i'm not meaning just power as that could be automations that could be you chap you know using p v a as part of that how do we how do we land with customers much more that much more strongly that story of yes it can solve a couple of the burning issues that you have but we need to switch to much more of a strategic look at the platform and how to how do we um yeah take customers on that journey to looking at that first thousand as been built or deployed

[marysol_mantilla]: yeah i think first of all you have to think bigger than a p yea so i mean you were saying you could replace this by a call by whatever else you have in the an a lot of our customers have massive landscapes with so many types of systems so first of all you have to think bigger and there is a lot of use cases that today or before it was so complicated to achieve that we just leave it we didn't do it that today with this type of platforms you are able to create these things so this is this is this is the first thing but i think the let's say culture of fusion development putting that in the company is key in this okay because of course there is three ways i see using the power platform while number one citizen development extension of office personal productivity amazing stories of people you know crazy stuff that they have been creating with sharon and ella beautiful stories i don't think that's where we sit when we think about scenarios like a i p okay then we have fusion development that is when you have business doing some stuff and helping for example designing the art how the u i should look like you know like this they know what they want they know how things should read you know like the business terminology not as a pterminology basia terminology et cetera they can create the up and then when they need to do the connectivity bad when they need to talk to sit then throw the takes over and does the connectivity because there is there is a level skills that they are required to be able to know what to call in it and then and then of course things like drafting baseness process you know i want this to be able to look like that and say a notification to this one and then again you know product takes over to do the connected whatever and with all the great collaboration too that we are creating and how you know people can work together then i think a fusion development and then of course it's pro using the platform and this is what i was scribing before even i p developers learning how to use the platform that is easier to be an p developer learning power platform that power platform people learning i think is is that way um and and then the rest of the product world using the platform to speed up development in general at we see more and more i mean i was amazed in the power platform conference in you know land how many tekis were there i was expecting more like a morthern world type of people you know and i was there and everybody was at tekyand it was amazing to see how many etions about their bobs about you know integration with all their astral services and how we work with gid hob and how we were with a p management and all of this this is show in the real power of the platform that is where you can have your up factories and that's when you can have your thousand applications et cetera especially with fusion i think is key on that growing of the platform yeah

[mark]: how do you handle let's call it the fear that a customer has that you're going to integrate to s a p i'm working with a company global company m i won't say what industry because i think it might identify it too too easily that have more and more but there's a fear of connecting the power platform to s a p and where as you could imagine a lot of the operations happen in there and there's this kind of there's there's kind of a couple of fairs of identified one is could the power a damage the integrity of the data right and so and i talk about the connector being honoring all kind of security role privileges that are in place to address that the other one is the sap going to hit me with more licensing yeah if i am doing work in power taking data out of the system trearging it working with approval whatever it is putting it back in is there is there a fine line between getting into multiplexing and how you're accessing that data what are your thoughts around these fears

[marysol_mantilla]: right so the first part of course is related with governor security control monitoring okay so this is of course key whenever you want to really use the power platform for more than the personal productivity that we were talking about before but more to be able to create enterprise solutions okay that that includes of course systems like a pan any other enterprise system that you have in a company governarsiski okay so having a proper governance model will give you and give you know everybody that takes of those systems like the s p administrators et cetera the enough information to understand that okay it's not like connecting or having the opportunity to connect part platform with s p instead everybody will go and do whatever they want you doesn't work like that and the idea of having a governs model where you go and you okay have an p use case and you go and request in some where you know that in a process you require a set of environment where you are going to do your development your testing your production is going to be in a normal you know application life cycle man in type of way then of course that that is a different man in and then then you can apply you know de p policies and then you can you can decide what connectors are going to be a level in the data verse is going to be possible you like all of these things will give them from the point of view a power platform a way to to say okay you know there is governor it's not like it's crazy and everybody will be able to do whatever they want and then of course they understand ing of how the authentication against us like this is going to happen at of course we have different options there an depending on the type of connectivity but in general you know like the user needs to have access to a p n to have access to the data on is going to respect his or her authorizations is not like because i have a power that can create a purchase requisition you know i would be able to do it if i don't authorization to do so yeah so this is this is important so the authorization still live on it the way that you are going to be able to interrupt whatever the data i am going to be able still lives on a cap having said this of course if i'm going to interrupt with a cap i need to be licensed to interrup with okay so there is no question here and yes there are some let's call it things that you need to think about when you are deciding to use power platform with a cap but also i always tell my customers don't be scared go and ask your p account executives if you don't know

[mark]: yeah yeah

[marysol_mantilla]: what can you do because it all depends on your contract so if you look at the s p contract on and i know customers that they come from the kind of the alder world of s p and there was all of these you know in direct access and all of the stuff and happy problems with compliance and all of these of you know they re scared but but also p since a long time ago recognize aid that s p data is needed somewhere else that s p data s near you know that you need it devices talking to p that you need mobile applications that the are not just a p but from other places so all of these is is still require on and that's why they change in twenty team they change the way that they do contract

[mark]: nice

[marysol_mantilla]: this type of things are easier now so mar customer don't be scared go and find out from your contract from your account executive what you can and even if there is some license and applications it's very different to what you used to be you know it's not like before that you need to have like a username and license specifically for everything there is ways to do it based on the type of documents that you are creating many times reading is free and it's more about when you're going out right you know you need to find out and it's all on your contract so this is this is where i will but yeah something to consider for sure to be sure that you are doing it the right way but you need to be licensed for i mean you're interacted with a sip there is no way to avoid like you know now how licenses that doesn't make sense

[mark]: that's good that's good this has been such an interesting conversation is there anything else you d like to add before i let you go for the day for the evening in your case

[marysol_mantilla]: yeah yeah so today was more like very let's say how we how we see the two working together in general there is a lot of interesting stuff happening in this world there is a lot of investment from our side in making things you know as chill as possible we have an avocation that we made last year from a company called clear soft that brings a lot of knowledge into this this picture so we have different types of integration with p so we feed into the customer's integration of strategy if the custom wants to connect us in s and using a management for example that is amazing stuff happening on the ash management world where you can of course provide access to your is on p and then publish automatically and you can you can create automatically a custom connector from at pi management portal so you know there is a lot of things happening on this world that can help you if you want to go to a p i type of way there is also you know all these connectivitye it's happening because of the clear sophorapcresation that we are improving connectivity in the classic way with babies and c that this is kind of a very very specific but great for so many use cases we are providing temp plates there is to that people can try straight away that maybe we can put the link if you want as part of

[mark]: let's provide the links

[marysol_mantilla]: the line so people can go on down load the stuff that is in public preview at the moment and have a look at the procured to pay and they order cash examples but when everything goes because right now is in public preview when you go g a there would be about twenty five as there the team has promised and this will be growing and growing so there is a lot of stuff happening so definitely maybe for another conversation it will be in sting to get maybe maybe maybe some some people from the clear sofa team or xclesofwel know our power automate of course so that that would be great

[mark]: i love it i love it Marysol thank you so much for your time this has been amazing yeah thanks for coming on the show

[marysol_mantilla]: thank you

Marysol MantillaProfile Photo

Marysol Mantilla

Marysol Mantilla is a Sr Technical Specialist on the Power Platform Global Black Belts team at Microsoft for the EMEA region. She joined Microsoft 2 years ago after 16 years at SAP in different technical roles covering user experience, integration and administration. Now at Microsoft Marysol helps customers and partners understand how Power Platform can be the heart of their digital transformation. Marysol has a degree in Software Engineering, therefore coming from a pro-dev background gives her the opportunity to provide through her own experience how the Power Platform can empower pro-developers to benefit from the low code world, amplify their skills delivering building blocks and extending their reach to the business, especially on scenarios where critical enterprise systems such as SAP need to be used.