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Supporting our Customers to Become an Integrated Intelligent Enterprise

by Michael Ameling and Philipp Herzig

Are you a SAP customer, partner or just interested in the progress of SAP´s Integration Strategy? The following blog outlines selected highlights on the integration innovations along our end-to-end business processes in the context of the Intelligent Enterprise. The results are very tangible: Not only did we keep our promises made at the beginning of 2020 but we even doubled the originally planned scope and delivered a lot of valuable technical and business process integrations for the Cloud as well as for hybrid IT landscapes. Customers who are upgrading to the latest versions of our Cloud applications and services fully benefit from all we’ve done until today. And of course, we are not stopping here.

Today, DSAG live – the annual key event of German SAP user group – is kicking off and SAP CEO Christian Klein as one of the guest speakers will share his view on how companies can shape the future based on an intelligent, networked and sustainable enterprise.

To be successful in the future, companies need to lay the foundation today. At SAP, we strongly believe that end-to-end integration across the IT landscape is one of the key ingredients for any Intelligent Enterprise and that integration is the basis for innovation.

Integration

 

SAP is in a unique position to provide the most complete and most comprehensive business application portfolio covering end-to-end business processes and industries around the world. Integrating those makes the whole even bigger than their parts. Simplifying the integration experience for our customers remains a focus topic across the company and our development teams. At the beginning of 2020 we first published our SAP Integration Plan in the Cloud and shared our integration approach that combines business process and technology integration for the Intelligent Enterprise. Our holistic integration notion combines various suite qualities like user experience, security, process integration, lifecycle management – and more.

We are well under way to deliver against our integration roadmap. To benefit most from our integration innovations and to make our integration vision a reality, we recommend to our customers to move to our latest application innovations such as SAP S/4HANA as well as to embrace the required technology components for integration and extensibility from the SAP Business Technology Platform into their landscapes.

Let us share some recent highlights of the integration innovations that our customers can already experience today:

 

Business Process Integrations Across The Four Leading End-to-End Processes

For most companies, hybrid system landscapes have rather become the norm, not the exception. At SAP we are delivering integrations for cloud-first, but not cloud-only. Following this principle, we also ship these integrations in subsequent on-premise releases. We already delivered a first set of hybrid scenarios with SAP S/4HANA 2020 and are currently further enhancing the scenario coverage with every release.

For example, the upcoming SAP S/4HANA 2021 version will deliver the integration for the external workforce scenario in the context of Recruit-to-Retire with S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors und SAP Fieldglass, just to name one of the most recent examples.

By integrating Sourcing, Procurement and Trading partner collaboration solutions (SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba solutions and SAP Fieldglass solutions) across the Source-to-Pay process, we provide a redefined procurement experience that creates transparency and empowers intelligent purchasing. With the new integration scenario of SAP Ariba Sourcing, SAP Ariba Contracts as well as centralized sourcing and contract capabilities in SAP S/4HANA for hybrid landscapes, customers can benefit from operational and regulatory compliance, realize savings and cost benefits while effectively collaborating with trading partners over the Ariba Network.

In context of the Lead-to-Cash scenario – the business process from the very first interaction with a, potentially even not yet known, contact up to the fulfillment of an order – a great example is how we are now able to combine sales scenarios for physical, services and subscription products. One of the recent integration highlights, is the integration between SAP Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (BRIM) that shortens the time to market for all subscription-based commercial products in hybrid deployments. To gain a deeper understanding of this integrated business process, to turn prospects into lifetime customers, watch this Lead-to-Cash openSAP Microlearning video.

For Design-to-Operate, we delivered simplified integration between SAP Transportation Management and SAP Extended Warehouse Management which supports mixed warehouse scenarios in one freight order. Through SAP S/4HANA, all parties now have improved freight visibility, leading to better asset utilization, lower CO2 emission, and increased savings.

Want to learn more about how to manage integrations in hybrid IT landscapes? Check out SAP’s CIO Guide for Process and Data Integration in Hybrid Landscapes and the SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology (ISA-M).

 

Mobile Start App

With our new mobile experience announced at SAPPHIRE NOW earlier this year, we place the intelligent enterprise at the fingertips of every customer. With the launch of the SAP Mobile Start app, we are taking a major step toward fulfilling that objective.
What is SAP Mobile Start? SAP Mobile Start is a native app that provides a central, native entry point to the SAP Universe and comes with a fine selection of content for industry-specific personas and business roles. This integrated approach allows you to access SAP applications with your fingertips and gives every person and team unified apps, tasks, and notifications that raise their productivity and connectedness to key processes.

Most interactions with mobile devices are short moments and glances that deliver information from a variety of business processes. In mere seconds, users can respond to updates and, if needed, take action immediately. We call these situations “micro-experiences.” Additionally, the persona-specific apps feature industry-best practices, that improve data quality, and include features such as tracking and tracing that support sustainability goals.
The first version of SAP Mobile Start is now available for iOS for iPhone and iPad. An Android version is planned to be available in the coming months. You can download the app from the App Store and start exploring the functions and features with the built-in demo mode. Learn how to get started now at http://sap.com/mobile

SAP API Business Hub

In the past, integrations could be often complex and time-consuming. To lower the entry barriers for any integration project we are offering a comprehensive collection of pre-packaged and well-documented integration content on the SAP API Business Hub. This free web presence was recently re-launched and comes with a new user interface, improved search options and, most importantly, with an increased number of reference content that offers today over 2700 APIs – thereof 366 APIs for SAP S/4HANA and way more for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, 2100 pre-packaged integration flows, around 500 documented events and 225 business process blueprints. With these scenario descriptions we share a consistent overview of the end-to-end processes supported by the integrated Intelligent Suite based on a standardized methodology that allows you to explore how these processes decompose into applications, modules, business services, technologies and integrations, including executable artifacts for a given process context.

If you want to consume the APIs published on SAP API Business Hub, e.g. in context of an extension use case, the SAP Business Technology Platform is the easiest and fastest choice. The SAP Cloud SDK, our programming library for application and extension use cases, offers simplified access to almost 99% of these APIs, as developers can focus on the application logic rather than the integration aspects.

SAP Integration Suite

When it comes to process integration use cases, especially with third-party applications, currently more than 13,700 customers already rely on the SAP Integration Suite, our versatile Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution in the cloud. SAP Integration Suite was ranked as leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant. Many integration suite customers jump-start their integration projects and directly deploy the SAP API Business Hub reference content into their landscape, making use of the broad range of APIs, reference integration flows, 170 connectors to third-party applications (Open Connectors) and another 70 adapters (generic and application-specific) that the suite has to offer. Latest additions to our portfolio include several new adapters, e.g. Kafka. Moreover, the Integration Suite teams constantly invest in decisive cloud operation topics like high availability, monitoring and data access, for example.

Aligned Domain Models

Aligned Domain Models are the future basis for all new integration scenarios between SAP’s applications. With SAP One Domain Model, applications can synchronize business objects with common attributes and use common semantics so that customers no longer need to implement their own integration solution for having the same semantic understanding of a business object along the leading end-to-end processes for the Intelligent Enterprise.

SAP has already standardized and delivered the key objects along the leading end-to-end processes for the Intelligent Enterprise. These e.g. include objects like WorkforcePerson (SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP S/4HANA), Cost Center (SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass), Business Partner (SOAP) and Product. Objects Job Classification and Org Unit for the integration between SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Fieldglass. Further objects are available for certain industry scopes such as Fund and Grant for Public Sector.

In addition, we are further doubling-down on our efforts now and in the coming year and have a full-blown roadmap for ODM in place covering, for example, Exchange Rate, Company Code, and Bank Master along the most relevant business processes and solutions. Furthermore, we will expand existing models to more subprocesses, process variants and industry-specific enhancements of those.

And more good news to share on this topic beyond our initial integration scope: We are already supporting the hybrid integration use case for SAP S/4HANA, for example for the Recruit-to-Retire scenario.

 

Identity and Access Management

The SAP Cloud Identity services on the SAP Business Technology Platform help companies to manage all users and user access across their organization. With the delivered integration of the SAP Cloud Identity services along the end-to-end scenarios customers can enable a full single-sign-on experience for their users.

When it’s about a classical, role-based access management the SAP Cloud Identity Access Governance will be the choice.

 

Integration Set-up and Application Lifecycle Management

Until recently, the integration of cloud-to-cloud scenarios or hybrid scenarios was based on integration guides, help pages, blog posts or other written documentation. Now, the SAP Cloud Integration Automation Service (CIAS) provides already more than 100 guided workflows. These role-based, partly automated step-by-step procedures help to drastically reduce the manual integration configuration efforts.

Furthermore, we are offering Application Lifecycle Management platforms (SAP Solution Manager for on-premise-centric customers and SAP Cloud ALM for cloud-centric customers) free of charge as part of our customers’ support engagement. With these central platforms customers can implement, as well as efficiently run business processes and monitor integration scenarios that span across multiple components.

Analytics

And finally, let’s talk about the latest enhancements in the field of embedded analytics. Next to integrated processes, it takes first-class analytics to help enterprises to gain insights that drive intelligent decisions and action: With SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) being embedded in various SAP applications, business users now have personalized access to data, pre-defined reports, and ad-hoc analytical capabilities to get as much value out of their enterprise data as possible. SAP already offers SAP Analytics Cloud embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Fieldglass and we recently successfully concluded the beta phase for SAC embedded in SAP Concur (GA currently in preparation).

What’s Next?

At SAP we are committed to support every customer in their integration journey in every way we can. Check out our comprehensive integration roadmap with recent and upcoming innovations available on the SAP Roadmap Explorer. In case you are still unsure where to start with your digital transformation, our RISE with SAP offering can guide your way: RISE with SAP is your guided journey that provides a holistic on-your-terms and on-your-timeline business transformation to help you what you do best today to do even better tomorrow. With the vision to make every company an Intelligent Enterprise, we have provided a leap of ground work by integrating our products and services more seamless and more out-of-the-box. Update your landscape now and benefit from the business process integration along the end-to-end scenarios to gain even more value.

If you want to get your hands around our foundational SAP Business Technology Platform services that will be the foundation for many of our integration innovations going forward, make sure to make use of the Free Tier Model for SAP BTP!
For all our global readers who will not follow this week’s German User Group event – we recommend the SAP Community Integration Strategy space for latest news, including our ongoing webinar series. At TechEd you will be able to listen to our customers that are already live and benefit from the delivered innovations. Already mark your calendars for more integration news, customer insights and hands-on experience at the upcoming TechEd 2021 event!

 

Dr. Michael Ameling is Head of Intelligent Enterprise and Cross Architecture in the Technology & Innovation Board Area. He leads the Cross Architecture team that operationalizes the CTO role and develops Technology Guidelines for executing SAP´s Integration strategy. His global and diverse team also covers user assistance and user experience, along with strategy and product management for SAP Business Technology Platform. Dr. Philipp Herzig is Head of Intelligent Enterprise and Cross Architecture in the SAP Product Engineering Board area. Together with his team, Philipp is responsible for engineering, enabling, and promoting the Intelligent Enterprise, crafting cloud and mobile experiences, and defining the right architectural foundations for SAP’s future platform.

 

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