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Author's profile photo Owen Cook

SAP Workflow Management For Cloud Workflows

Central workflow management is nothing new to a company using SAP. Ever since R/3, SAP has offered a rudimentary system for monitoring and documenting workflows. By doing so, it allowed businesses to streamline their processes to make for more efficient workflows. Fast-forward to today, more than twenty years after R/3, and we have access to some of the most cutting-edge technology. SAP has expanded from on-premise solutions into the cloud with S/4HANA. Keeping pace with this is SAP’s most recent offering for workflow management. It relies on the same core principles as its predecessor, namely business rules, process variants, and visibility. Using these core elements, SAP has managed to offer businesses a way to monitor their SAP-based cloud applications and integrate this workflow management into non-SAP systems using ABAP.

Standard Workflow Management is Easy to Use

Without going into the extended functionality, the standard SAP Workflow Management package is a breeze to use. There are already several built-in processes, workflows, visibility dashboards, and business rules accessible through an intuitive user interface. This low-code/no-code environment makes it flexible enough to be used by anyone to set up easy-to-understand workflow management. The internal KPI monitoring can also be used for workflow performance reviews to help businesses increase the efficiency of their processes. As a centralized workflow management suite, it performs admirably with base SAP systems. However, because of the ABAP extensibility, the system isn’t just limited to SAP cloud applications.

Hybrid Implementations of Cloud Workflow Management

Internal SAP applications are one thing, but what if a company employs other external applications alongside SAP-based software?  That’s where SAP Workflow Management gets clever in offering side-by-side extensibility. Essentially, the side-by-side extensibility operates by proxy. The related system can be configured in SAP Business Workflow or be designated a destination in SAP S/4HANA. It can then be wired into the SAP Workflow Management system, and it’s ready to go. Alternatively, businesses can use ABAP to create interfaces between their non-SAP applications and SAP Workflow Management. These flexible extensions further make it possible to create a central workflow management deployment that can access and aggregate all information related to cloud applications, including those not natively SAP-based. The result is a genuinely centralized workflow management system that can be accessed outside the SAP system.

The Next Step in Workflow Management

Centralized workflow management is a massive step for analytics and determining process efficiency. It’s a complicated process to manage workflows in a hybrid workspace, but not impossible. However, we can go further. Already, businesses realize how practical Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be for their business. Combining RPA with workflow management can potentially save time, effort, and work hours. From a business marketing products to a manufacturing firm, automation and analytics can significantly improve the business’s coverage and responsiveness. Intelligent automation using RPA is no longer something that belongs to the realm of science fiction. With workflow management so easily integrated into SAP systems, it may be the next logical step in increasing process efficiency and decreasing overhead.


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