SAP Fieldglasss is a cloud-based, open vendor management system (VMS) that helps organizations find, engage and manage their external workforce and services procurement resources – from temporary staff to Statement of Work-based consultants to freelance workers, gig workers, contractors and more. But as you can imagine, the system can’t do everything, its limits are clear, for example it is not a ERP system nor a strategic sourcing tool. However, since SAP Fieldglass was born in the cloud, it is fast and easy to connect with other products such as S/4Hana, Ariba and Successfactors.
Over the course of the next few blogs, I am going to share some insights into how integrations are handled in SAP Fieldglass, starting with the vary basics and leading up to more complex solutions.
Just one thing before you continue reading and get super excited about integrations: Try, try as hard as you can, to stick to the standard integrations. Especially in the beginning, when you are starting out, your aim should be to make your integration as simple, smooth and sustainable as possible.
To set the scene, in this blog I am talking about the 4 main categories in which I divide my data. As a starting point, before even speaking about integrations, I talk to my clients about data categories. I structure the data into 4 categories that I am able to integrate: Access, master data, transactional data and custom information. Whenever I refer back to integrations, I ask clients what category we are talking about, what the reasoning is for an integration and what the source of “truth” is.
There are 2 main integrations to manage access to SAP Fieldglass: Users and Single Sign On. The user integration takes the user information from the core identity management system and translates it into Fieldglass user profiles. Much like with a manual upload, a standard connector can add, modify and close users. Typical data included in such connector is the username and email address.
The other integration that falls into this category is Single Sign On. SSO is a session and user authentication service that permits a user to use a set of login credentials to access multiple applications. SAP Fieldglass newest integration tool, the configuration manager, allows the company admin to perform SSO-related administration actions independently, eliminating the need to open support cases with SAP Fieldglass to implement those actions in their company.
This is a big one. It is not rocket science, that you can not compare apples with pears and with master data such as Business Units, Cost Centers / WBS / WBS, Sites and Legal Entity it is much the same. If you try to integrate to another system but your master data is not aligned, you will quickly run into errors, mistakes and, being just slightly dramatic, a fatal end of the world scenario. Before you start your master data integration, make sure the data structure is well thought through in the Fieldglass system. Do you want to display the financial, legal or organisational structure and what importance has the hierarchy. Only then, look at a master data integration to keep the information in sync with other systems.
Transactional data usually involves worker information, time-sheets, PR/PO (purchase requisition and purchase order), SES (service entry sheets) and invoicing. The complexity about transactional data is, that it is usually not a one-way street but a data highway where you exchange data between systems as upload and download and expect messages and actions to travel to and fro. No other integration category has so much potential to behave unexpectedly and therefore needs to be tested in depth with real use cases and test scenarios.
Custom fields are not only my favorite feature in SAP Fieldglass, but also a great opportunity to integrate miscellaneous customer information.
Integrations are great fun, can lift an enormous amount of work from the shoulders of a Programme Office (PMO) and help to meet internal and external SLAs, as long as you make sure to always test and keep it simple.
Here some links to online content I can genuinely suggest, if you want to dig a little deeper into the intelligent enterprise, intelligent spend and integrations across SAP products:
- The Intelligent Enterprise with SAP Cloud Platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zr7-xIHqhY
- Simplify Integration with SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite: https://open.sap.com/courses/cp9
- Integration – The Key to the Intelligent Enterprise: https://open.sap.com/courses/int1