Spotlight Interview with SAP Champion – Priyanka Chakraborti
Priyanka Chakraborti is an SAP Champion with expertise in integration products like SAP Process Integration/ SAP Process Orchestration (SAP PI/PO) and SAP Integration Suite. All through her career, she has been an integration consultant – earlier working with companies like Deloitte, IBM, and Tata Consultancy. She joined SAP this year and currently works with the Centre of Excellence team, part of the SAP Customer Success board area.
She has been using Cloud Integration for 8 years now and SAP Integration Suite since it was launched. She is a sought-after SAP community contributor. She regularly uses the SAP Integration Suite capabilities API Management, Integration Advisor, Trading Partner Management, and Cloud Integration.
Before she became an SAP Champion, she was interviewed by SAP Community in 2022. To know more about Priyanka, you can refer to the blog SAP Community Member Interview: Priyanka Chakraborti.
In this interview with her, I was able to understand her integration journey, how SAP Community helped her, what resources helped her, her recommendations for new users, and how she gives back and still learns from SAP Community.
I really enjoyed talking to and getting to know her. Here we go with some excerpts from my 1-hour conversation with her.
Karunaharan V (VK): Hi, Priyanka. Finally, we got to meet after all the planning. How about we get started with your integration journey. Can you tell me where did you start and what the journey was like?
Priyanka Chakraborti (PC): Hi Karuna, yes, good that we’re meeting in person.
It all started with my first job at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). I was a campus recruit, and I started my career with TCS in 2014. I started my career as an integration consultant for the customers of TCS. That’s where I learned about middleware software, how and why they are used, and how this software helps TCS customers do their business seamlessly.
VK: How was your learning experience?
PC: Like I said, TCS was my first job, and the learning curve was big. In a few months, I also started working with Cloud Integration, which was then called HANA Cloud Integration. SAP Community came to my rescue. I was a consumer of the content coming out of the SAP Community on a regular basis. The blogs and Q&A were useful in understanding the product and its features.
VK: That is good to know. What followed TCS?
PC: After spending 4 years with TCS, I worked with Deloitte and IBM for 4 years. I continued as an integration consultant, and I was using SAP PI/PO, SAP Cloud Integration, and SAP Integration Suite for my daily work.
VK: I understand that you’ve been in the integration domain for 8 years now. Could you please briefly explain why you use certain software or the capabilities of the SAP Integration Suite in your everyday work?
PC: Sure. I have worked with SAP PI/PO versions 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5. I have also worked with SAP Cloud Integration and SAP Integration Suite.
With SAP PI/PO, SAP Cloud Integration, and the Cloud Integration capability of SAP Integration Suite – I have implemented several integration scenarios. To name a few, some of the customers were using SAP ERP and I had to work on scenarios like Inventory Management, Order to Pay, and a few more. I used the standard prepackaged content produced by SAP which helped me accelerate the integration implementation. The EDI splitter, XML to EDI converter, and EDI validator are some useful features that helped me with my implementations.
I have implemented SAP-to-SAP integrations like SAP Workflow to SAP Business Process Management. And Non-SAP integrations with applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Azure, etc.
I’ve used the API Management capability of SAP Integration Suite for authenticating and protecting my integration flows. I’ve also used it for API traffic management where I apply quota policy to limit the number of times an API can be called during a specific time.
Integration Advisor helped to implement meaningful message mappings for my integration scenarios using MIGs and MAGs.
VK: This is really good to know. You mentioned that you have worked with both the worlds – on-premises and cloud. Are you aware of the migration capabilities of SAP Integration Suite?
PC: Yes, I am. There are a handful of customers who have sought help for their migration journey. In fact, I have worked on a proof of concept (POC) for SAP PI/PO to SAP Integration Suite migration. But I haven’t migrated any customer integration scenarios yet.
VK: Now that you’ve done a POC, what are your initial thoughts about the migration capability?
PC: I tried the Migration Assessment capability of SAP Integration Suite. The capability is helpful in letting me know what scenarios can be migrated and estimating the effort involved in the migration. I also like the semi-automatic approach of migration tooling.
VK: You’ve been using the products for a little more than 8 years now. How do you think the product has evolved?
PC: A lot. From where I started in 2015, the product has changed in leaps and bounds. And for good. For example, non-SAP connectivity is something that I can quickly think of. When I had to implement integration scenarios involving third-party applications, I always had to run around. For example, for an SAP-to-Salesforce scenario, I had to learn what adapter can meet all my requirements, how to tweak some existing features, and so on. But now, it is way simpler. With adapters coming up for specific third-party applications – say, Salesforce adapter, Azure adapter, SharePoint adapter – it is easier for an integration developer to implement integration scenarios involving third-party applications.
VK: Great to know these insights from you. Now let’s move on from the product and talk a bit more about the resources that help you. Can you talk about that?
PC: There are plenty. In fact, today a user of SAP Integration Suite is spoilt for choices. The help documentation of SAP Integration Suite has evolved a lot. I like the structured approach – the content in the guide replicates the product UI and that is useful. Be it a new developer or a pro, there is content for everyone.
I really love the openSAP courses. These courses explain the concepts in detail, give short demos, and provide practice exercises. The learning is structured and helpful for anyone who wants to get started.
I also like the free trial that is available for SAP Integration Suite. An interested user can easily subscribe to the trial and play around to understand the product. And the trial account comes with a useful and handy starter scenario mission. In my opinion, the success message that you see at the end of the mission is motivating and makes the user happy.
VK: How do you keep yourself updated with the product? What are the resources that help you on this front?
PC: I like the new What’s New Viewer for SAP Integration Suite. It’s a one-stop shop for all improvements across all capabilities of the SAP Integration Suite. I appreciate the efforts going into making this happen.
As I already said, blogs are helpful. Especially, the blogs from Product Owners of SAP Integration Suite that come out for every new major feature. These new feature blogs help me understand how the product is shaping up and what I can expect down the line in the next few months. This helps me leverage the new improvements and accordingly implement my integrations.
I also like the monthly Webinars hosted at the end of every month. This SAP Community call is a quick summary of the latest and greatest that is covered in less than 60 minutes.
VK: You’ve been contributing to the SAP Community by helping members solve their integration queries and putting out blog posts. Do you still get to learn from the SAP Community?
PC: Yes, without a doubt. Though I started giving back knowledge to the community in 2021, I still do learn. There are a lot of blog posts from which I learn on a regular basis. There are other active community contributors in the integration space, say members like Sriprasad Shivaram Bhat and Morten Wittrock, who motivate me to contribute more. I see SAP Community as a forum to explore new features and possibilities.
VK: One last question – what plans do you have for yourself in the SAP Community?
PC: Definitely more blog posts. Definitely trying to answer more questions in the community. I would love to become a speaker at SAP Community events, especially SAP Inside Track. This would give me an opportunity to articulate my thoughts and present them in a formal way. Looking forward!
VK: It was a pleasure talking to you, Priyanka. I was able to gather some useful insights. Thanks for your time. I hope to talk to you soon.
PC: It was nice talking to you. Thank you for having me in the Spotlight month!