Communication is a well–discussed topic with several dimensions. We are trained to communicate optimally with our colleagues, our employees, and our customers. On the technical side, we can agree within our organization on standards for system to system communication and focus on keeping our systems well integrated, ensuring that our processes are both correct and efficient. However, there is an important aspect – sometimes overlooked – which involves our business partners.
Today, companies rely on their business partners and these can be very diverse. Partners can be in various regions and can belong to different industries. As such, it is crucial to ensure optimal communication that avoids inefficiencies in the company´s business processes. It is crucial to be flexible, effective and fast.
If a company only needs to communicate with one or two partners, it may be possible to write and maintain short programs to connect to the partner’s systems and exchange data. It may even be possible to use an entirely manual process. But, this is not sustainable as the number of partners or the scale of exchange increases. Why? Different industries and countries use different data interchange protocols. So, the company would be constantly learning how the interchange works with each new partner, and then developing the map between what is used by their systems and what is used by the partner. In addition to the burden of on-boarding new partners, as the number of these one to one developments increase, maintenance would become onerous.
The SAP Integration Suite provides two levels of capability that address this problem. First, the Cloud Integration capability provides the required integration process management framework to support message exchange between the company and its business partners. Second, the Integration Advisor capability uses a crowd–sourced knowledge base to recommend and structure message definitions and the mapping required to handle information interchange with a business partner.
In today´s globalized world, companies must meet the challenge of connecting to the systems of other businesses. What are the building blocks that successful companies use to meet that challenge?
Meet Jane, a solution architect who has become very competent at connecting her company to business partners. In fact, her team has given her a nickname of “CINTO”, short for “Chief INTegration Officer”. We invite you to see how Jane accelerates business to business integration with SAP.