Since its first commercial product launch in the 70s, SAP software has redefined the way enterprises manage their materials and resources. Businesses across the globe now use SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to manage operations and resources from sales processing, to supply chain and manufacturing, to finance, to HR, and beyond.
But as important as SAP can be to an enterprise’s overall function, SAP software is typically not the only type of business application a company runs, and that means that businesses need to be able to integrate their SAP solutions with other applications.
In this quick guide, discover the basics of SAP integration, dig into the unique challenges of integrating SAP with other systems, and explore possible SAP integration solutions.
Companies need SAP integration with CRM and other technologies.
We don’t live in a world where companies use just one software system to get work done. We live in a world where every company is now a software company.
The average enterprise has 464 custom applications deployed today, according to a report by the Cloud Security Alliance.Global companies that grow massively through complex acquisitions and mergers may run even more applications, across different time zones, cultures, languages, and business processes.
With newer, hotter technology trends like AI, machine learning, and voice permeating the enterprise, plus new data security challenges emerging every week, businesses need to get the “basics” under control, i.e., their data taxonomy and business processes. If things aren’t running seamlessly on the back end, companies won’t be able to reap the benefits of newer technologies.
They may even miss out on current opportunities, buried in siloed data because there is no SAP integration and systems don’t talk to each other.Many companies, for example, need to integrate SAP with a CRM system like Salesforce.This is typically a case of SAP running the back-end operations of the business (sales processing, supply chain, manufacturing, finance, HR, etc.) and the CRM running the front end (sales management and marketing).
Without SAP integration solutions, employees may have to jump between different systems just to complete the entire process for one sales order or one customer, decreasing productivity and impacting customer relationships. Companies can no longer hide broken business processes behind pretty exteriors.
Exploring SAP integration challenges.
Integrating SAP with other systems creates unique challenges for businesses today.
As technology advances and more enterprises expand their use of cloud services, SAP integration projects are likely to include integration between cloud applications and on-premise databases. On-premise and cloud integrations have significant technical differences and can present challenges, here’s a link to a 94-page guide from SAP providing overviews for different system integrations.
Adding to this difficulty is the complexity of SAP’s ERP systems themselves. Identifying and extracting data from applications with hundreds of fields, while dealing with tight regulations like GDPR and HIPAA, can be an arduous process.
Furthermore, most organizations embark on expensive, lengthy projects to customize their SAP solutions to match business processes and exceed customer expectations. Even SAP experts may struggle to accomplish a successful integration while keeping a painstakingly customized solution intact.
Examining SAP integration solutions.
Depending on what you want to do with your SAP software and data, the size of your business, your budget, and the systems you need to be able to connect to, you might choose one of a few different options to integrate SAP with your CRM and other applications.Some organizations may choose a SAP integration solution like Mulesoft (acquired by Salesforce in May 2018).
This option may work for organizations that are interested primarily in integration and already have a plan that will take them the last mile, that is, doing something with all of that data once it’s integrated. For those looking to integrate their data and then go on to leverage it in new ways, businesses may select Skuid.
Skuid customers can use the Skuid platform to connect to their SAP data where it lies, cloud, hybrid, or even within their own private networks with Skuid’s Private Data Service (an option appealing most to security-conscious industries like financial services, healthcare, and the public sector).
Once they’ve connected to the SAP data, Skuid users can design applications that meet their unique needs and bring data from multiple different sources into one unified user interface, giving them a 360º view of their business.