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Author's profile photo Fabian Lehmann

Handling Tasks in an efficient, integrated and harmonized way using SAP Task Center

Context

At the start of 2020, we first communicated SAP’s Integration Plan in the Cloud that describes distinct suite qualities for an integrated Intelligent Suite. These suite qualities are the targeted attributes of SAP applications that are integrated out-of-the-box. Significant effort has been – and is continuously is being spent – to deliver on these suite qualities that are relevant and important for the whole SAP portfolio.

Please also take a look at the following blog posts to get deeper insight on how the Integration Strategy is key to run as an integrated Intelligent Enterprise:

You, as a customer, benefit from suite qualities in SAP’s Suite solutions that span across multiple applications and are integrated to cover end-to-end business processes.

‘One Workflow Inbox‘ is a prominent example for a suite quality and targets an integrated solution that allows to handle all the approval tasks from different applications at just one central place. It is now provided by the SAP Business Technology Platform Task Center service and its respective application.

The SAP Task Center solution is a powerful example of the progress made with also further suite qualities like ‘Seamless User Experience‘, ‘Consistent Security and Identity Management‘, ‘Aligned Domain Models‘ and ‘Coordinated Lifecycle Management‘. We describe it in more detail in this blog post.

Starting Situation and Business Challenge

In the past many individual SAP products came with their individual workflow inbox. This lead to an inconsistent user experience and made work unnecessarily inefficient because tasks had to be checked at multiple different places and also the way how information was presented, e.g. actions like “Accept”, “Reject” etc., differed.

Thus, SAP Task Center was designed and developed in order to deliver the following benefits for the daily work of the end users:

  • Reduce the time spent by users navigating through various systems and finding items that require their approval or attention
  • Improve the approval or completion time for critical items (that e.g., impact business operations if not approved on time)
  • Improve the quality and consistency of approvals
  • Enable smart decisions through the infusion of data and insights in the approval process

The SAP Task Center is designed to considerably enhance the handling of approval tasks which is a frequent activity for many users.

Task Center Usage

If you want to get started with the SAP Task Center you require a consumption-based commercial model in your SAP BTP global account (SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement or a Pay-As-You-Go for SAP BTP).

SAP Task center is provided to the end user via the SAP Launchpad service. If the end user launches the SAP Task Center application, the web application opens, and a task overview of all assigned tasks from the different connected systems is displayed.

In general, the SAP Task Center UI is divided into different sections:

  • Overall number of Tasks (indicated in green)
  • Symbols for each connected systems / task providers including the total number of tasks (indicated in blue)
  • Filter and search functionality (indicated in red)
  • The task list with a summary about the task and the option to execute different actions (indicated in purple)

On selecting a specific task, e.g. a Job Posting from SAP Fieldglass, the SAP Task Center provides the details to the task on the right in a consistent and harmonised way for each and every task.


Selected task with task header (indicated in blue) and task details (indicated in green):


Selected task with task header (indicated in blue) and task line items (indicated in red):


By selecting the “Show more” button in the upper right corner, the user also gets the option to view attachments and comments (indicated in purple):


Finally, the user can view task information also in the source (task provider) system by pressing the “Open Task” button:


The user will be logged via Single-Sign-On (SSO) to the SAP Fieldglass system as the same user based on the UUID and gets some more details of the task.


After switching back to SAP Task Center, the end user can now approve or reject this task by pressing the corresponding button on the lower right corner:

Supported Solutions and Use Cases

The SAP Task Center service enables integration with SAP applications to provide a single entry point for end-users to access all their assigned workflow tasks.

In the first delivered version it supports the following approval scenarios:

SAP Solution / Task Provider  Approval use cases
SAP Fieldglass Job Posting
Work Order
Work Order Revision
Statement of Work (SOW)
Project
Profile Worker
SAP SuccessFactors See Supported Tasks for Enhanced To-Do Integration (23+)
SAP S/4HANA Cloud edition (CE) All approval use cases (40+)
SAP S/4HANA OnPremise All approval use cases (40+)

Further SAP solutions will be supported beginning of Q1/2022 like SAP Ariba and SAP Concur. Details for the planned delivery can be found in the SAP Roadmap Explorer. The option to connect 3rd party task systems is on the roadmap for 2022.

To provide the end-user always with the same view on business data on desktop and the mobile device, we’ve integrated SAP Mobile Start with SAP Task Center (see also the blog post: SAP Task Center is now available in SAP Mobile Start). With this new capability for our mobile entry point to SAP’s business applications, it’s now also possible to manage your daily work and approvals with one fingertip.

With this new capability, SAP Mobile Start provides now an additional capability :

By selecting the new “To Do” icon, the end users get now all tasks from the SAP Task Center displayed and can manage their tasks:

 

With the ‘One Workflow Inbox‘ that is based on the SAP Task Center service of the SAP Business Technology Platform and also the integration with SAP Mobile Start we have delivered on our promise. After having been tested with selected customers in an Early Adopter Care program the solution is now generally available as of November 29th 2021.

Under the hood – SAP Task Center Architecture

SAP Task Center integrates different tasks from various SAP LoB systems as shown in the following architecture diagram.

The architecture combines the functionality of the following building blocks:

  • SAP Cloud Identity service (Identity Authentication / Identity Provisioning) for a secure authentication and the provisioning of the UUID that identifies the user into the connected LoB systems.
  • The connected systems (Task Provider) needs to implement API’s to push and pull task informations and updates.
  • SAP Task Center service which provides the Task Center application and further APIs for e.g. management
  • SAP Launchpad service as prerequisite as central entry point to provide access to the SAP Task Center application

As mentioned initially and outlined in the blog post: Supporting our Customers to Become an Integrated Intelligent Enterprise the clear focus is to enable our customers to become an integrated Intelligent Enterprise. This integration aspect is supported in a way that uses other suite qualities.

These are:

If you want get a more details about SAP’s Integration Strategy please check out the SAP Community Topic Page for more details.

What is coming next

We plan to provide further blog posts to share some more details (How to setup SAP Task Center, Connecting LOB’s with SAP Task Center, …) in the upcoming weeks. So please stay curious and expect to read more about it!

So here we go, pls check this blog post from Murali Shanmugham for Getting Started with SAP Task Center on SAP BTP.

Additional Information

SAP Task Center Product Documentation at SAP Help

SAP Note 2977611 – Supported Scenarios, Requirements and Restrictions

Suite Quality deep dive presentations:

SAP TechEd Session Replay – Integrate Solutions in Your Intelligent Enterprise: What’s Trending? (SAP Task Center Demo at approx. 28:00)

SAP Task Center at SAP API Business Hub

SAP Task Center at SAP Discovery Center

Blog Post: Access the SAP Task Center API using Postman

Blog Post: SAP Task Center is now available in SAP Mobile Start

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      12 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Murali Shanmugham
      Murali Shanmugham

      Awesome. Thanks for the detailed post

      Author's profile photo Fabian Lehmann
      Fabian Lehmann
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Murali !

      Author's profile photo Hari Sonnenahalli
      Hari Sonnenahalli

      Fabian-

       

      This is a great feature in BTP and is much needed to have a holistic view of all the tasks and respective workflow items. I think it would be much appreciated if an OPEN SAP course is designed with respect to the integration suite and showcasing scenairios implemented in conjunction with integration services.

      Regards

       

      HS

      Author's profile photo Matthias Heinrich
      Matthias Heinrich

      Hi Hari,

      The Open SAP course "Hire to Retire – Strategy, Implementation, and Operations" starting on January 18 will cover SAP Task Center to some extent:

      Best,
      Matthias

      Author's profile photo Hari Sonnenahalli
      Hari Sonnenahalli

      Cool Thanks

      Author's profile photo Martin Frick
      Martin Frick

      Great achievement and awesome introduction to this blog series! I'm pretty excited what's next to come!

      Author's profile photo Peter Chezowitch
      Peter Chezowitch

      What about tasks from workflow management? I am quite irritated that I don’t see it being mentioned.

      Author's profile photo Fabian Lehmann
      Fabian Lehmann
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Peter, pls check the Roadmap Explorer for details, it's planned for 2022.

      best,

      Fabian

      Author's profile photo Syambabu Allu
      Syambabu Allu

      Hi Fabian,

      Thanks for sharing such a detailed blog on Task center.

      Thank you,

      Syam

      Author's profile photo Sanmath Pudale
      Sanmath Pudale

      Thanks for the blog, Can you share some thoughts on the single IAS requirement for the Task Center. We are planning for a POC but since we have separate IAS for SF, Concur, Ariba, etc, we were told that consolidation of IAS is mandatory. Looking for a detailed white paper.

      Author's profile photo Gunnar Kosche
      Gunnar Kosche

      Hi Pudale,

      yes, the IAS - or more general: the Cloud Identity Services - are mandatory with the identities stored in Cloud Identity (if you use for now IAS in proxy mode for authentication - the authentication itself will be still forwarded to your Corp.IdP(s) but attributes can be merged with the Cloud Identity ones during the flow).

      You can start with the Cloud Identity documentation and the Cloud Identity integration guide for Task Center.

      Why one central instance? The different applications get from the central Cloud Identity Services an unique identifier for each identity which is distributed to the apps and used by Task Center to find and process all approvals - instead of mapping tables 😉

      Cheers,
      Gunnar

      Author's profile photo Francois Xavier Botta
      Francois Xavier Botta

      Hi Fabian

      Very interested read.

      We are very interested in such tool in my company specially in order to centralise in a central place  approval task from SAP S4 on premise workflow, Success factor and ARIBA...

      Do you have any idea when ARIBA is planned in,the roadmap ? I don't see it in the roadmap explorer...

      Thanks in advance

      Best regards