ITO: Idea to Offering


The term SAP Idea to Offering (ITO, also known as Idea to Market) essentially refers to the new product development business process framework. It encompasses the entire lifecycle of a product or service, from the initial conception of an idea to the final, market-ready product, service, or offering available to customers.

ITO in SAP involves activities like idea generation, evaluation, concept development, design, manufacturing or development, marketing and sales, customer feedback collection, and continuous improvement. The main goal of the business process is to effectively transform innovative product ideas into successful market offerings.

Practically speaking, a business generates product or feature ideas either internally or through an external feedback mechanism, i.e., from customers or business partners. For example, A product or feature improvement idea could come from a technician who shares his request for product improvement via the idea to offering process in SAP. Engineers then translate this idea into product requirements and concepts for a new or redesigned product. They also evaluate the financial and statutory, legal, or compliance impact of the changes they made to create a business case, and viable product designs, before passing on all the information gathered for the manufacturing or production process to kick in.

How does the Idea to Offering process in SAP work?

Here’s a stepwise analysis of how the idea to offering cycle in SAP operates:

1) Idea Generation: This is the phase where new product or service ideas are created brainstormed, researched, and evaluated. It might involve internal collaboration among different teams or stakeholders, or it might also have been generated externally from feedback given by customers and/or business partners.

2) Concept Development: Once promising ideas are identified, they are developed into more detailed concepts. This could involve outlining the product requirements, product features, benefits, and potential market for the offering.

3) Business Case Creation: In this stage, a comprehensive business case is created. This would include estimates of costs, potential revenue, market analysis, competitive landscape, and a feasibility assessment, which also includes a legal, statutory, and compliance check.

4) Product Design, Redesign, and Development: The chosen concept then moves into the product design. redesign and development phase. This consists of various activities, such as creating prototypes, designing the user experience, developing the actual product or service, and conducting testing.

5) Manufacturing or Implementation: If the offering is a physical product, this stage involves manufacturing and quality control. For software products or services, it could involve implementation, customization, and integration.

6) Marketing and Sales: Once the offering is ready, marketing strategies are developed to create product awareness in the target market and attract customers. Sales teams are trained and equipped to promote, sell, and cross-sell the product or service.

7) Launch and Commercialization: The official launch of the offering takes place, making it available to customers. This involves events, promotions, and communication campaigns.

8) Customer Support: After launch, ongoing real-time customer support and maintenance for the newly launched product or service are crucial. This could involve handling inquiries, addressing issues or concerns, and releasing periodic updates.

9) Monitoring and Improvement: Data is collected post-launch to monitor performance, gather feedback, and identify areas for improvement. This information is then used to refine the product or service offering, as it evolves amidst changing market conditions.

10) End-of-Life or Upgrade: Eventually, the product reaches the end of its lifecycle, at which point decisions about its discontinuation, replacement, or upgrades are made.

The SAP idea to offering process generally involves various modules and functionalities from the existing SAP suite of software solutions, namely product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and sometimes even project or program management tools.

Below is a diagram explaining the SAP ITO or new product development process:

ITO: Idea to Offering

How will BPX help implement the Idea to Offering process in SAP?

The ITO cycle in SAP refers to a new product development-based business process spanning the entire product or service ecosystem, right from the initial conception of an idea to the final, market-ready product or service available to customers. As your trusted ITO in SAP process consulting partner, BPX can help you to successfully plan, customize, and implement your end-to-end SAP ITO implementation journey.

Here’s how each of these steps in this implementation process would be executed. The specifics of each of these steps would be tailored based on the organization’s unique requirements and the specific SAP modules used.

  1. As-Is Process:

This involves understanding the existing processes in the organization before the implementation. For ITO, it would entail analyzing how ideas are currently generated, evaluated, developed into offerings, and launched to the market. Within each process, there would be procedures like:

  • Idea generation and capture.
  • Idea evaluation and prioritization.
  • Concept development and business case creation.
  • Design and development.
  • Marketing and launch planning.
  • Customer feedback and improvement.
  1. Business Blueprint (Fit-Gap & To-be):

Based on the analysis of the current process (As-Is), a business blueprint or framework is created. This includes mapping out the desired ‘To-Be’ processes in SAP. During the ‘Fit-Gap’ analysis, we identify areas where SAP’s standard functionalities align with the requirements and where customization or additional development is needed. This can lead to the creation of a ‘To-Be’ process that factors in the ITO cycle in SAP.

  1. Master Data Migration/Item Master Configuration:

In this step, the master data that needs to be migrated to the ITO process in SAP or needs to be created afresh is determined. For an ITO cycle in SAP, this might involve creating and maintaining master data records related to products, materials, customers, suppliers, or any other relevant categories.

  1. System Configuration / Realization:

Based on the ‘To-Be’ blueprint, the SAP system is now configured to support the ITO process in SAP. This involves setting up modules and functionalities, customizing screens, defining workflows, and enabling the necessary integration. For example, SAP modules like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Sales and Distribution (SD), Production Planning (PP), and more are configured based on system requirements.

  1. User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

Before Go-Live, UAT is performed to validate that the ITO cycle in SAP and the organization’s requirements. Test scenarios would cover the end-to-end ITO process, including generating and evaluating ideas, designing offerings, launching products, and capturing customer feedback.

  1. Go-Live Preparation (update as per feedback during UAT):

Feedback received during UAT is then incorporated into the system. Documentation, SOPs, and training materials are finalized, and data is cleaned and migrated. The organization now prepares for the actual system launch.

  1. Go-Live:

The SAP idea to offering process framework is now launched for operational use, in a formal Go-live event. The ITO in SAP is executed within the SAP environment, with new ideas captured and managed, offerings designed, redesigned, and developed, and the launch process executed within the system, as per the required configuration.

  1. After Go-Live Support:

After the Go-Live, support teams are in place to address any issues, questions, or improvements that may arise. The ITO process in SAP continues within the confines of the SAP environment, and any fine tuning or necessary adjustments to the system or processes are made based on real-world practical usage.

Agile collaboration with relevant stakeholders, proper, regular training and development, and application of change management strategies are vital throughout the implementation process to ensure a successful and smooth transition to the idea to offering cycle in SAP. It is therefore key to work in complete sync with premier SAP process consultants like BPX to successfully customize, navigate and execute the implementation of the entire SAP idea to offering process framework.

Logistics Execution (LE) - How will BPX help Implement

BPX in a nutshell

Headquartered in the metro city of Pune India, Business Process Experts (BPX) is a pioneer in the SAP ITO solutions space, a specialist providing unique, customized implementation pathways for the idea to offering cycle in SAP. With prominent offices in UAE and other major cities in India and the world, the company was established more than a decade back in 2012. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength to become a key enabler in the ITO in SAP business process landscape. 

Helmed by a crack team of engineers, management and finance experts, and SAP consultants, BPX and its well-known sister concern YRC are key strategic, transformational partners for prominent clients worldwide. BPX clientele belongs to leading industrial sectors like engineering, automobiles, banks, chemicals, garments and apparel, retail & hospitality, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, mining, and ITeS.

If you are an entrepreneur or business owner looking to craft your very own SAP ITO success story, your search ends here, please connect with BPX now. We will thoroughly understand the business rationale behind your organization’s ITO cycle in SAP before planning and customizing your entire implementation journey. Tapping into the multi-pronged advantages of the ITO process in SAP with us will help you realize your true business potential and stay well ahead of the curve!


SAP Idea to Offering (ITO, or Idea to Market) essentially refers to a business process framework aligned to the new product development business process framework. It covers within its ambit the entire product or service offering lifecycle, right from the initial generation of an idea to the final, market-ready product, service, or offering for the end customers.

A business generates product or feature ideas either internally or through an external feedback mechanism, i.e., from customers or business partners. For example, A product or feature improvement idea could come from a technician who shares his product improvement request via the SAP system. Engineers then translate this idea into suitable product requirements and concepts for a new or redesigned product. They also evaluate the financial and statutory, legal, or compliance impact of the changes they made to create a business case, and viable product designs, before handing over all the information for final manufacturing or production to take place.

The various steps and phases in the idea to offering cycle in SAP can be explained in detail as under:

1)Idea Generation and Capture: 

  • Ideas for new products, services, or improvements are generated and captured.
  • SAP process solutions provide a platform to capture, evaluate, and categorize these ideas.

2)Idea Evaluation and Prioritization:

  • Ideas are assessed based on criteria like feasibility, potential market value, cost, and alignment with business goals.
  • SAP tools can assist in creating evaluation criteria and assigning scores to different ideas.

3)Concept Development and Business Case Creation:

  • Chosen ideas are developed into detailed concepts.
  • Business cases are created to outline potential costs, benefits, revenue projections, and market analysis.
  • SAP solutions could assist in creating, recording, and storing business case documents and financial projections.

4)Design and Development:

  • Once approved, concepts move to the design and development phase.
  • SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) modules might be used to manage design, prototyping, and development processes.

5)Marketing and Launch Planning:

  • Marketing strategies are devised to introduce the new offering to the market.
  • SAP CRM (Customer Relationship Management) modules could be used for marketing campaign management.

6)Customer Feedback and Improvement:

  • Feedback from customers is collected and used to improve the offering.
  • SAP CRM or SAP C/4HANA (Customer Experience Suite) might be used to manage customer feedback and interactions.

7)Manufacturing or Implementation:

  • For physical products, manufacturing and quality control processes are managed.
  • For services or software, implementation and testing are done.
  • SAP PP (Production Planning) or SAP SD (Sales and Distribution) modules are generally involved here.

8)Launch & Commercialization:

  • The offering is officially launched and made available to customers.
  • SAP tools might help manage inventory, pricing, and distribution during the launch.

9)Customer Support:

  • Ongoing customer support is provided post-launch.
  • SAP solutions could track customer inquiries, support tickets, and resolution processes.

10)Monitoring and Improvement:

  • Performance data is collected to monitor how well the offering is doing.
  • SAP BI (Business Intelligence) tools might help analyze data and generate reports for decision-making.

11)End-of-Life or Upgrade:

  • Eventually, the offering might be retired or replaced.
  • SAP solutions might be used to manage the end-of-life process or the introduction of upgrades.

Implementing the Idea to Offering (ITO) process in SAP offers several benefits and advantages to organizations. Here are the key benefits of the ITO process:

  1. Streamlined Innovation Management
  2. Centralized Information stored in an integrated platform
  3. Efficient Resource Allocation
  4. Better Data-Driven Insights and Decision Making
  5. Enhanced Collaboration through a tool-based approach
  6. Optimized Time-to-Market
  7. Consistent Documentation
  8. Compliance and Governance
  9. Improved Customer Experience
  10. Scalability
  11. Reduced Risks and Challenges

While implementing the ITO process in SAP offers numerous benefits, successful implementation requires careful planning, user training, change management, and ongoing support. Organizations should align their processes and strategies with SAP’s integrated capabilities to fully leverage these advantages.

Idea to Offering (ITO) and Plan to Produce (PTP) are two different business processes within SAP that focus on different stages of the product lifecycle. ITO encompasses the entire journey from idea to market launch and offering, while PTP focuses on the production planning and execution aspects.

Here are the key differences for both processes:

1)ITO covers the entire product lifecycle, from idea generation to market launch and beyond. On the other hand, PTP focuses specifically on the manufacturing and production aspects of the product lifecycle.

2)ITO involves activities related to idea management, concept development, marketing, and customer feedback. PTP involves activities related to production planning, material procurement, production execution, quality control, and distribution.

3)ITO is a broader and long-term process encompassing the entire lifecycle of bringing an offering to market. PTP is more focused on short to medium-term production planning and execution.

4)The primary goal of ITO is to successfully market innovative product ideas and continuously improve upon them based on customer feedback. PTP aims to efficiently produce and deliver products according to demand while optimizing resources and minimizing costs.

5)ITO involves cross-functional collaboration across various departments, including marketing, design, development, and customer support. PTP involves collaboration between production, procurement, inventory management, and quality control teams.

6)SAP Modules: In SAP, ITO-related activities involve modules like PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and others. In SAP, PTP-related activities are typically managed using modules like PP (Production Planning), MM (Materials Management), QM (Quality Management), and others.

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