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EAS Releases Saleforce.com Integration to SAP Business ByDesign in Collaboration with ERP Logic

Before we dive into this discussion, let me disclose something: I’m a purist. I don’t like external integrations with ByDesign because I believe we are at the level where ByD can be extended to natively include all of the industry-specific and customer-specific functionality provided by integrated solutions. I have been in touch with a budding pool of very talented developers that could build ByDesign to do whatever they can imagine. Unfortunately, SAP has kept its solution very close to its enormous chest and the development capabilities of the ByDesign Studio combined with an almost completely locked up Public Solution Model leaves little space for anything truly extraordinary to be built natively ByDesign.

GET REAL

So now let me disclose something else: I’m a realist. If I’m going to sell you an ERP system, but you prefer to remain on Salesforce.com rather than adopt the built-in CRM process, I won’t lose a deal over a debate about ‘best practices.’

And this is where ERP Logic comes in. They have partnered with EAS (Enterprise Assurance Solutions), to market a product called the ‘EAS Bridge’, built exclusively by EAS on the Force.com platform. So, what is this magical bridge?

Put simply the EAS Bridge is Salesforce.com and SAP Business ByDesign integration. But there are caveats to this solution. Observe the picture below:

A SLICK GRAPHICAL SUMMARY OF THE BRIDGE

The concept in play here is the one I described above. A customer loves what they have in Saleforce.com, but they still need to run their business and want to use the best tool out there: Business ByDesign. The bridge does the following:

  • Accounts are created in Salesforce, and synched to ByDesign
  • Opportunities in Salesforce can become Sales Orders in ByDesign for done deals.
  • Products and Price lists in ByDesign are synched to Salesforce for use in Opportunities.

I’ve seen a demo of the process, and it does exactly what the picture says. The demo was very straightforward, but I believe there are concerns here that were not addressed in our meeting (probably because I wasn’t in my usual snarky mood today).

My main concern here is about data integrity. Nothing was mentioned about making Accounts in ByDesign read-only, and Products and Price Lists in Salesforce read-only. So for the guys at ERP Logic and EAS, I suggest you make this a ‘best practice’ when implementing the bridge.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the details. The points are directly from ERP Logic:

THE FUNCTIONALITY, IN WELL STRUCTURED BULLET-POINTS

To me, this all looks good, and I don’t think I could ask for more. Well, maybe a little more, after reading their selling points:

THE SALES PITCH

Here’s my time to shine.

  • Seamless Financials integration with Salesforce.com to streamline Lead to Cash process

Sorry y’all, but there’s no such thing as ‘Seamless Integration.’ We have two pieces of fabric/SaaS Solutions here that are being sewn together. That is the exact definition of a SEAM.

  • Exclusive solution, certified with SAP and Salesforce.com

I had my doubts, because I know other partners are working on similar solutions, but for the moment, they do have exclusivity.

  • Have the best of both worlds – quickly and easily integrate the #1 Cloud ERP and #1 Cloud CRM

I’m ok with this statement!

  • Eliminate tedious manual entry and needless errors from the sales order entry process

Huh? How? You still have to manually enter the same stuff in Salesforce, and any erroneous entry there will surely affect the Sales Order created in ByDesign. They should have gone with ‘eliminate tedious DOUBLE-ENTRY, enabling your sales team to sell more, and Finance team to do less.

  • Synchronize Customers, Products, Pricing and Sales Orders

Seems pretty chill. I like it. Watch out for the security concerns I pointed out above though.

  • Configure and monitor synchronization between Business ByDesign and Salesforce.com

I didn’t see this in their demo, but configuration and logs are available within the app screen in Salesforce.

  • Sales and Back Office Visibility

I don’t really get that point. If you’re saying that you can still run reports in both systems I guess it’s an accurate statement.

  • Secure – data exchanged directly between 2 systems using token authentication

Sweet! I’m no security expert but ‘token authorization’ sounds pretty dope!

  • EAS Bridge provides the simplicity of Salesforce and the Power of Business ByDesign

Good point!

“So, what is this going to cost me,” asked your inner CFO. I give mad props to ERP Logic and EAS for providing concrete pricing for their service. There’s NOTHING that irks me more than non-transparent prices, so kudos and golf claps to these guys.

THE PRICING

I like it. It seems reasonable and provides value for money. Mirroring the ByD pricing is a smart move.

THE WRAP-UP

I gotta be honest. This is nothing revolutionary. A couple of systems talking to each other. Big whoop.

HOWEVER.

It IS genius.

WHY?

Because the origination of the integration offer comes from the Force.com platform. This is a massive selling opportunity for ByD partners, because Salesforce’s customer base dwarfs ByDesign’s.

The user base of ByDesign is a fly on the watermelon that is Salesforce’s user base.

The user base of Salesforce is a gigantic ship that a barnacle representing Business ByDesign’s user base is attached to.

The user base of _______ is a ________ that is _________’s user base. (Fill in the blanks)

With EAS Bridge App SAP can bring value to more than 110,000 SFDC Customers and a growing address a growing need to integrate with SAP Cloud products. Currently the EAS Bridge is already being built for the following SAP OnDemand applications:

  1. )     SAP Business ByDesign (Version 1 completed, SFDC security clearance underway, and version 2 functionality pending development)
  2. )     SAP Finance On Demand (EAS In progress)
  3. )     SAP Travel On Demand (EAS in discussions)
  4. )     SAP Social On Demand (EAS to be finalized)

This is an exclusive world-wide go-to-market with SAP on the Force.com platform. In addition, EAS is SAP Solution Partner.


“We are excited in the value the EAS Bridge App will bring to the existing happy Salesforce Sales Cloud customer base by integrating world class SAP Cloud Products” Commented Ian Grant-Smith – Chairman & CEO EAS.


The only legitimate complaint is that I couldn’t find this solution on Force.com, or in the SAP Store. That seems quite odd to me, but I guess you could just go to the contact page of each company and shoot off a quick email.

UPDATE: The ‘Bridge’ is undergoing a security review with Salesforce. Once completed, it will be listed on both the Force.com and SAP app stores.

So in conclusion, I give a metaphorical two thumbs up (my right thumb does not function) to both ERP Logic and EAS.

THUMB #1

Thumb number one is for being first to market with this integration, enabling a much more flexible sales process for all ByD partners.

THUMB #2

Thumb number two is for being certified on both platforms and native to Force.com. This is a huge opportunity for ByD partners to win more customers.

If you’d like to know more about the solution, you can reach Peter Cha of ERP Logic or Ian Grant-Smith of EAS.

Follow me on twitter @JudsonOnDemand

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20 Comments

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  1. Greg Chase

    Excellent blog Judson! I’m kind of wondering why you are blogging FOR ERP Logic and EAS, but that’s a different question.  Without a doubt, you are showing yourself as one of the most knowledgeable ByDesign folks in the SAP Community.

    I would call this integration a stroke of pragmatism. Want to find a segment of target customers who believe cloud computing is the right way to go, so you can just sell them a cloud solution and not spend time educating them? Look for a list of Salesforce.com customers.

    Want to find a segment of target customers who need an order entry, fulfillment, and financial management system? Find a list of Salesforce.com customers who don’t have any other kind of back end.

    Now, there is a little issue about redundant CRM functionality in ByDesign and Salesforce.  However, adoption is everything. If your company is opting for a “best of breed” approach, using Salesforce for CRM capabilities and ByDesign for the rest of the business makes perfect sense.

    What I like best about the integration is how it lets the sales rep do order entry right in the Salesforce.com application. That makes a bunch of sense if what you are trying to do is let workers use the interface they know rather than give them a new interface.

    So, well done EAS! I’ve been telling people for years that they should do this.

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    1. Judson Wickham Post author

      Greg, I’m not blogging on behalf of these guys…it’s a product review. When Navigator completes their SFDC integration I’ll blog about that.

      And btw, you inspired my conclusion.,

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  2. Andreas Eissmann

    Great Blog Judson, thanks -> 5 stars

    I was also in a live demo…it`s a great integration. It opens ByDesign the doors to “resistant” SalesForce customers but I think if we have the possibility to sell ByDesign CRM, we should favour that before integrate SalesForce…another topic 🙂

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    1. Judson Wickham Post author

      Yep, you know how I feel about that. Bring the resistant customer live with the integration, then demonstrate the value they’ll get by using ByD CRM.

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  3. Sina Moatamed

    I think its great that there is now an integrated solution.  Kudos to ERP Logic and EAS.  I wonder however about using a development platform like Force.com for creating an integration platform.

    Now that SAP released NW Cloud, I would think one of the first solutions (outside of their own) would be to provide an integration solutions for SalesForce.  If not NW Cloud, then why not SnapLogic, Boomi, or any other Intergration-as-a-Service solution.  That way you have a single integration platform where all business rules and processes could be managed across an enterprise’s multiple cloud services.

    I guess the difference based on your post, is that EAS is providing an interface within SFDC, so that the user does not have to leave their CRM app.  Do you know if ATP information from ByD will be presented in SFDC?

    Sorry for the acronym overload….wow that’s painful.

    Excellent post Judson!

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    1. Judson Wickham Post author

      Developing on Force.com is a marketing play (as well as a specialty of EAS). The idea is that there is a huge SFDC customer base that may not have an integrated back-office platform.

      I guess the difference based on your post, is that EAS is providing an interface within SFDC, so that the user does not have to leave their CRM app

      Yup.

      As far as ATP, I have not seen that in their plan, and that is a point of concern, among the other points of concern I’ve mentioned.

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    1. Judson Wickham Post author

      No, Navigator has an integration that is a part of their hosted iConnect platform. I have not been able to secure a demo with them to review their offering, but one major difference is that Navigator’s offering is hosted on their servers, while the EAS offering is a true cloud integration.

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            1. Judson Wickham Post author

              So you’re saying you’re not running on-premise middleware (.NET) on your own servers?

              That’s what Grant told us all in Denver.

              I look forward to reviewing the i-Connect platform when you’re ready to demonstrate it.

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              1. Billy Gast

                I guess I am confused as to what your definition of Cloud computing is?

                The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server.

                i-Connect is hosted in an off-site Data center(even if it were on-premise it is off premise to clients adhering to the definition)  and presented to customers via a silverlight interface(.net), over the internet . I wont get into the architecture here but it is a true cloud solution same as Salesforce or ByDesign.

                I guess what you really meant to say is the EAS solution does not involve a middle tier integration, and is developed within the Force.com development environment.

                here is a quick demo for the Magento integration

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6WB3_34sck

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                1. Judson Wickham Post author

                  I understand your platform. I didn’t want to get into this, and it’s a bit insulting that you’re even bringing this stuff up. It’s not the place. I’ve offered to spotlight your platform but got no response.

                  Also since you’re bringing up the Magento integration I already have some not so great testimonials from customers. I was hoping we could address this in a non-public forum, but you already ‘went there.’

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            2. Judson Wickham Post author

              Also I never said the client is hosting anything, but a hosted solution is not a cloud solution. No one considers a hosted instance of B1 to be a cloud implementation, for example.

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