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Crossgate SII (SAP Information Interchange) is SAP’s step towards providing cloud based B2B offering. The last time I wrote about SAP acquisition of Crossgate, there was a lot of confusion between Crossgate and PI and there was no response from SAP. At this Sapphire, it was good to see some dedicated sessions describing the offerings and features of the product. I finally got some answers.

Let’s start with what was heard during Sapphire and I will end with the answers to my questions.

  1. Crossgate SII is recommended for cloud based B2B integration between SAP and trading partners. With its standard content, Crossgate provides a very fast and efficient methodology for integrating with your trading partners.
  2. SAP recommends using Crossgate SII where little or no customization is required in the pre-delivered content provided by Crossgate for B2B communication. For highly customized integration requirements, SAP still looks for on-premise products like SAP PI or other cloud based third party integration vendors.
  3. The biggest advantage that SAP received by investing in Crossgate was the large customer base of Crossgate. Crossgate provide solutions for various industries like Automotive, Chemicals, Utilities, Pharma etc. and thereby improving SAP’s reach in European market.
  4. For the companies looking for cloud based B2B integration solution and have already invested in SAP PI are recommended to continue using PI and route their communication between SAP and Crossgate via PI.

Answers to my questions!


Q. What is the future of current SAP-Seeburger partnership?

A. Not sure, but there appears to be some trouble as Seeburger was nowhere mentioned anywhere in terms of adapting Seeburger’s cloud based solutions.

Q. Will SAP continue to resell third party B2B providers’ offerings?

A. Yes, I asked this and got a clear reply. As there are many customers who have invested in Seeburger, SAP has to keep supporting it. However, there doesn’t seem to be scope of lot of enhancements in this area.

Q. What recommendations does SAP provide for customers looking for new B2B infrastructure?

A. If you are looking for on-premise solution, PI itself is capable now for providing some B2B capabilities. I have also provided recommendations in the first section.

Q. Should the partners looking to upgrade their B2B landscape with Seeburger or iWay try to move towards Crossgate?

A. No, unless you suddenly decided to move everything to cloud based solution (which should be unlikely).

Q. Are there any recommendations for Customers looking for Cloud based offerings?

A. This was one of my agenda. I didn’t still find very clear answer to this. I will write another blog about this.

Q. Will Crossgate offerings seamlessly integrate with SAP Process Integration (PI) and act as a part of upcoming SAP Process Orchestration?

A. No. Process Orchestration still will remain the on-premise solution.

Q. With Crossgate, will there be any partner Program offerings about the capabilities and technical details?

A. I assume the answer is yes. However this is not one of the major areas of concern.

Licensing

With the increase in adoption of Cloud based solutions, SAP cannot stick to their traditional Licensing model. Crossgate Licensing model is quite different from rest of the SAP’s product line like SAP PI.

  • There is one time trading partner on-boarding cost required for initial setup. This is optional if you have your resources to perform this (I don’t understand this as it will require knowledge base within your company for communication setup on Crossgate). A similar onetime cost will be associated with linking SAP (say ECC) system with the cloud.
  • The licensing is based on the number of business processes and the trading partners connected. A business process there is a type of message. e.g. Purchase Order, Invoice are separate business processes.
  • The number of messages transferred per month doesn’t matter. Therefore for one business process say “Purchase Order” and if you send one message or millions of message, there won’t be any difference in Licensing model. You will essentially be paying for only number or processes and trading partners.
  • As the Solution is hosted on cloud, Crossgate charges a monthly fee to the customers. This monthly fee includes the mapping changes, communication management and monitoring.

Conclusion

It was good to receive some clarifications around role of Crossgate as a part of SAP’s product offerings. However, there are many unanswered questions around the comprehensive Cloud based offerings by SAP. Here is the confusion!

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3 Comments

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  1. Krishnakumar Ramamoorthy

    Prateek

    Thanks for getting this out. To your 3rd question, barring certain industry specific adapters, majority of B2B is still through tradition EDI based messages. PI lacks in this area, so answer to your question 2 is all the more relavant. During last year’s TechED, we learnt that there will be EDI capabilities within SAP PI. I was hoping the crossgate acquisition had something to offer here, apparently not. So, we will have to wait for it and till then Seeburger or other 3rd party adapters are the only choice?

    Thanks again for this.

    KK

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    1. Prateek Raj Srivastava Post author

      KK, I didn’t mention it here but I think the news is not widely spread yet.

      On March 30th this year, SAP announced the B2B add-on for PI with set of B2B adapters, EDI conversion modules and I assume some pre-delivered content. This makes PI stronger in B2B area. SAP is continuing their investment on on-premise integration capabilities.

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  2. Frank Ruland

    Pratek,

    with the number of attendees in the microforums and presentations during SAPPHIRE, I am not sure we met. But I would like to take the opportunity to comment on some of your statements regarding B2B integration and SAP Information Interchange OnDemand.

    Your intepretation and differentiation between customization of content or integration is certainly a valid one, but only one side of the coin. At SAP we believe in choice for the customer and in a hybrid approach to B2B integration and collaboration. Especially today where a lot of our customers are using B2B integration as a means to extend on-premise business processes to the external business netwrk of business partners. And as you can certainly appreciate, what one customer views as highly complex another one views as a commodity.

    Integration between SAP NetWeaver PI (on-premise) and SAP Information Interchange OnDemand is successfully implemented with a number of our customers already.

    Thanks again for following us.

    Frank

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