Integration is the Foundation of Innovation
by Philipp Herzig and Michael Ameling
Building a strong foundation through integration across increasingly heterogeneous application landscapes has never been more important than in today’s fast-paced environment. Over the past two years, SAP has continuously invested in its integration efforts. Thus, we accelerated the creation of a consistent underlying operating system that allows you to use foundational services of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) across our four main supported end-to-end business processes. In 2021 alone, we have delivered more than 280 integration innovations to date. Additionally, we enabled several suite qualities such as the SAP Task Center service. But we won’t stop here – there’s way more to come.
Today, we provide an overview of the most recent integration highlights. We also share some top recommendations on how you can best benefit from our integration work.
|To already give a brief hint:
But first, let’s look at some integration innovation highlights in more detail.
All updates are also captured in
What’s new when it comes to SAP’s four leading supported end-to-end business processes?
Our business process scenario coverage continually grows with every new release of SAP’s solutions. Our strategy remains “cloud-first, but not cloud-only”. We are very aware that many companies are operating within hybrid system landscapes. Therefore, all the updates discussed below either are available already with the latest on-premise releases or are planned to become available shortly with the 2111 updates:
- Recruit to Retire (R2R): The latest updates within our R2R process enable you to transfer new hire information from the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting or SAP SuccessFactors Onboarding solutions to the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central solution in a flexible way. The integration dramatically reduces manual work for your administrators, making transactions configurable and flexible, and thereby improving the user experience.
- Source to Pay (S2P): The SAP S/4HANA solution for central procurement offers a centralized sourcing and contract capability that lets you scale purchasing processes across the company through a centralized procurement system. With enterprise-wide consolidation, you can use the software to pursue cost savings, compliance, and effectiveness throughout the organization. Furthermore, collaborative services procurement helps you efficiently address multiple service and external workforce procurement scenarios through the integration of SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba, and SAP Fieldglass solutions. The service procurement processes help you automate the exchange of information and collaboration with service providers, thereby enhancing real-time visibility and monitoring capability throughout the cycle.
- Lead to Cash (L2C): To centralize master data exchange and make it not only faster, but also more efficient and consistent, you can benefit from SAP Master Data Integration (MDI) service across the L2C process. In addition, the solution management scenario supported in SAP S/4HANA helps you to manage all aspects of a solution offering, from initial quoting to final revenue recognition. By integrating with the flexible quoting capability in the SAP CPQ solution, the scenario lets you bundle physical goods with services and subscriptions in hybrid landscapes.
- Design to Operate (D2O): The simplified integration between the SAP Transportation Management and SAP Extended Warehouse Management applications supports mixed warehouse scenarios in one freight order. With SAP S/4HANA, all involved parties in the process have improved freight visibility, leading to better asset utilization, lower CO₂ emission, and increased savings. SAP Transportation Management integration into the SAP Direct Distribution solution for use by van sellers enables efficient, direct delivery to stores, and increased distribution options through last-mile delivery services. Finally, synchronized planning across the entire supply chain from planning to production to transportation, including with SAP Logistics Business Network, provides intelligent visibility and insights to action as part of a digital twin of the supply chain.
Great! But what about the suite qualities? Anything else to keep an eye on?
In addition to our functional integration efforts, we announce a major suite quality update: SAP Task Center is planned for November 2021. We listened to our customers’ feedback and are eventually allowing managers to process arbitrary approval workflows from numerous SAP solutions in one central inbox.
In the past, managing multiple workflow inboxes could become a tedious task for end users. SAP Task Center now combines various SAP Business Technology Platform foundational services (e.g., the Identity Service) with suite qualities (e.g., the aligned domain model) to provide consistent, secure, and harmonized access to approval workflows.
Not only can this dramatically reduce approval processing times, but it also helps to take the user experience to the next level. The goal of SAP Task Center is to integrate all widespread SAP solutions. First, SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Fieldglass will be supported. SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, and other SAP solutions are planned to follow.
After the release of SAP Task Center, we will make the service available as part of SAP Mobile Start, our mobile entry point to SAP’s applications. We have introduced our updated mobile strategy to boost our changing work style. With SAP Mobile Start, you get a simple, centralized overview of the SAP software processes and applications that are relevant to you. The app integrates system features such as search, widgets, and notifications so you can have the latest business numbers on your home screen at all times. As we want to make mobile working easier for everybody using SAP solutions, including SAP Task Center as a unified inbox into SAP Mobile Start is a logical next step to turn the vision into reality. In addition, configuring SAP Mobile Start to match the needs of various roles can become even easier as we rollout four more mobile personas at the SAP TechEd event: with the generic employee and manager as well as the production supervisor and the inventory manager, we are covering a large group of people within these workstyles and showcase how you can best use the native experience for them. More details on the various configurations will be shared on this SAP Community page in due time.
Benefit from business value more quickly!
As you can see, we’re making significant progress on our continued integration efforts. Our integration roadmap remains fully loaded with a ton of valuable business scenarios we plan to ship your way very soon. It’s important to us that you can benefit from the integration efforts as efficiently and quickly as possible. Therefore, please consider two things that can help you to adopt improvements and immediately benefit from the business value they can create. Here’s how you can take action:
- Prepare the foundation in your system landscapes, and embrace required technology components for integration and extensibility from SAP Business Technology Platform.
To get an idea of what this can look like, we recommend exploring the free tier model for SAP BTP. As of SAP TechEd 2021 the free tier model is also available for individual developers. The SAP API Business Hub provides you with a consistent overview of the end-to-end processes supported by the integrated Intelligent Suite. In addition, if you’re using SAP BTP already, the platform offers more than 2,700 APIs, 2,100 pre-defined integration flows, and 500 events to start extending your solutions and tailoring them to further business needs.
- Upgrade to the latest versions your SAP applications – especially when you’re running on-premise or hybrid scenarios – to help ensure you can benefit from the latest technology. Make sure to plan for these updates in your IT schedules.
>> Join us live on Channel 1 at SAP TechEd in 2021 to learn more about how you can rethink integration for your intelligent enterprise and benefit from SAP’s latest innovations. In addition, check out news guide for SAP TechEd which provides a great overview on all event announcements.
You need to set the foundation of your future success today. End-to-end integration across the IT landscape is one of the key ingredients for new innovations that bring value to your business. Wherever you might be in your integration journey, or if you’re only getting started, we are here to support each and every customer.
Let’s integrate and innovate together. Now’s the time!
|Dr. Philipp Herzig is Head of Intelligent Enterprise and Cross Architecture in the SAP Product Engineering Board area.||Dr. Michael Ameling is Head of Intelligent Enterprise and Cross Architecture in the Technology & Innovation Board Area.|