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Agility 3ways ebook_web

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Design and production of a series of thought leadership ebooks for Agility Works. Content by ROMI consulting, design and development by BHD Creative Ltd

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Agility 3ways ebook_web

  1. 1. WAYS TO INTEGRATE SALESFORCE.COM WITH SAP3 A guide to help you decide the right approach for your business www.agilityworks.co.uk
  2. 2. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 1 Introduction: Why integrate? 2 Key considerations 3 Deciding which approach is best for your business 4 Option 1: Point-to-point integration 5 Option 2: SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration (SAP PO) 6 Option 3: Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) 7 Summary CONTENTS:
  3. 3. If your organisation needs to manage a relatively high volume of sales transactions every month then it makes sense to ensure that your CRM and ERP systems talk to one another. Integration can save a lot of time by automating many of the processes needed to ensure vital sales information is flowing through your business. Without it, even something as basic as adding a new customer to your core back-office systems can add a significant amount of administration and margin for error. If every time Sales has to email the information to Accounts for them to manually enter the new record into ERP, a great deal of unnecessary time will be added to the process. Without integration you won’t have a single view of the customer. This means the sales-related data your back-office teams will be using will not be consistent with the real status of your sales activities. This is an age-old problem that has been heightened by the increased number of channels (Web, Interaction Centre, Sales team etc) through which customer data is managed in many organisations today. Without a number of manual workarounds, the wider enterprise won’t have clear visibility of the sales pipeline and vital information that operational, delivery and finance teams need for their own forecasting is missing. Introduction: Why integrate? www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 1 Without integration you won’t have a single view of the customer. This means the sales-related data your back-office teams will be using will not be consistent with the real status of your sales activities.
  4. 4. 1 4 3 2 With SAP being one of the most widely used ERP solutions and Salesforce the clear market leader in CRM, integration between the two is a common requirement. However, it is also one of the first areas that companies have had to think about connecting an on-premise system to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Cloud application. A different integration challenge therefore requires a different approach, and there are a number of options available. Deciding which path is best for your business is typically the first major hurdle to overcome. Key considerations www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 2 In the following sections we look at the 3 main ways you can integrate Salesforce with SAP, summarising the pros and cons of each along with the typical scenarios that fit best with each approach. BUSINESS GOALS: An in-depth understanding and alignment from key stakeholders on what outcomes need to be achieved through the Salesforce to SAP integration. ONGOING MAINTENANCE PROVISIONS: Forward-planning to ensure that new releases and upgrades from Salesforce (which are out of your control) don’t create system failures and can instead adapt quickly to take advantage of new functionality. Also, how will Salesforce be impacted by any planned developments in your broader SAP enterprise strategy? INTEGRATION REQUIREMENTS: A detailed review of the functional needs of the system and how this will impact the various layers of application; data, network connectivity and authentication. Key areas to think about include understanding SAP patch levels, network layout, processing modes (batch or real-time) and infrastructure security (e.g. firewall rules and encryption). ENTERPRISE DYNAMICS: A holistic view of the various factors that will guide and impact implementation and maintenance, as well as end-users. These include your existing IT and application integration strategy, process design, master data management, data regulations, security and encryption, user interfaces, access from multiple devices, location and compliance. Deciding which option is right for you largely depends on four main considerations:
  5. 5. ADVANTAGES: This approach creates tightly bound connections between the two applications and can be initiated efficiently, often using internal resources. In its basic form this option provides a simple integration architecture. It is an approach that will have probably been used elsewhere for other application integration use cases and is a little more familiar. DISADVANTAGES: The downside of point-to-point is that while each individual connection might be relatively straightforward, as the number of integrations increase, so too does the overall complexity of the landscape. It also creates rigid dependencies between the two systems, resulting in a more easily breakable and less secure environment. It can also prove costly and resource intensive, as any changes that need to be made often require the coordination of many different teams both functional and technical, across both platforms. Direct, point-to-point integration involves writing custom code to unify the two different systems. This has been the more traditional approach for system-to-system integration, and has been utilised by organisations historically to integrate Salesforce and SAP when no other credible alternatives existed. USE CASE: The approach typically limits the improvements that can be achieved therefore reducing the overall benefits of any integration. However, if you have relatively straightforward requirements and no major plans to add further enhancements, it could be a viable option. Point-to-point is now seen by many as an outdated approach, but if you have a low number of sales transactions and some fairly ad hoc or short-term needs (such as automating basic file extraction for migration to Salesforce), it might just be the best approach. The approach typically limits the improvements that can be achieved therefore reducing the overall benefits of any integration. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 4 OPTION 1: Point-to-point integration
  6. 6. ADVANTAGES: Using SAP PO to integrate Salesforce with SAP is an approach that a number of organisations have deployed successfully. If you have already invested in the toolset, have skilled resources that know how to get the most out of it and have a support network in place you are starting from a strong position. SAP PO provides a more flexible solution to point-to-point, which means the scope of what can be achieved is much greater. While SAP does not provide a specific adapter for Salesforce there is now a third-party adapter available. This handles some of the security aspects of connectivity with Salesforce and provides a workbench to enable API compliant formats to be generated. DISADVANTAGES: While SAP PO enables greater business benefits than the previous approach, its major drawbacks are that it often comes with high upfront costs and may take many months, even years to fully implement SAP PO within an enterprise – usually because you are starting from scratch. SAP PO can adapt to updates in Salesforce functionality, but it is still an on-premise solution that was developed before Cloud became prevalent in the enterprise. Such tools were built to integrate everything that lived behind the firewall before Software as a Service (SaaS) applications were fully conceived. Tools like SAP PO were therefore not developed to seamlessly accommodate regular 3rd party releases of new SaaS functionality. This means that they will always require a high degree of manual effort to support. If you have an SAP-focused landscape there is a reasonable chance that it includes an SAP PO system. SAP PO (also known as SAP PI and SAP XI) is SAP’s on- premise enterprise application integration (EAI) software that enables connectivity between SAP ERP and third party systems. It is an approach that is built on open standards and service orientated architecture (SOA) and uses adaptors to enable process-centric collaboration between SAP and non-SAP applications. USE CASE: If your organisation has already invested heavily in SAP PO, is perhaps running the latest version (e.g. 7.3.1 or 7.4), and possess a strong skill-set in-house, then this is probably the most feasible option. This is especially the case if your needs are fairly simple and there is no real ambition to continually update Salesforce functionality much beyond the point at which you start, or to expand the footprint of SaaS applications within your business. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 5 OPTION 2: SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration (SAP PO)
  7. 7. ADVANTAGES: A good iPaaS solution encompasses easy-to-use design and visualisation tools, batch and real-time integration services, a robust API framework and high levels of security. As the platforms are accessed via the Cloud you are always on the latest version, which means you have a wide range of out-of-the box connectors at your disposal that are regularly updated. You will therefore always be able to take advantage of any improvements within Salesforce, and you won’t be caught out by any changes that are made. This keeps your business future-proof and enables you to grow as your needs develop, rather than being restricted by outdated and out-of-support technology as many companies are today. iPaaS typically offers intuitive drag-and-drop development tools and intelligent APIs that make integration much easier enabling projects to be completed in days, not months or years, whilst carrying a much lower cost of ownership. DISADVANTAGES: iPaaS is still an emerging, next-generation integration approach, so finding experienced people with accredited skills can be a challenge. Despite a short learning curve, it can mean less competent developers are learning on the job. Some organisations, such as financial institutions, may be cautious about running Cloud applications - so using a remote build environment running in the Cloud may also be a step too far. An iPaaS is a Cloud service that allows you to connect different applications together. These applications can be on-premise, Cloud hosted or SaaS – you can even securely connect your services to external parties and enable B2B integration via these platforms. An iPaaS will help you move away from isolated Cloud solutions by integrating them with each other, as well as on-premise systems if you have a hybrid landscape. USE CASE: iPaaS offers robust, pre-built features to integrate the most popular Cloud applications, such as Salesforce with widely adopted enterprise applications such as SAP. Its strength is in delivering efficient integrations that are quick to develop and deploy, with minimal coding effort. It is therefore ideal for companies looking for the lowest possible time-to-value when integrating Salesforce with SAP, as it is undoubtedly the quickest and most cost-efficient approach. If you have plans to do a lot of integration between SAP and Salesforce, have a Cloud-first IT strategy and have no mandates restricting you to conform to a wider on-premise application strategy, then iPaaS is the obvious choice. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 6 OPTION 3: Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
  8. 8. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 7 Summary Deciding the best approach for integrating Salesforce with SAP is a dilemma for many companies. There are a number of factors to consider and sometimes the most practical route isn’t always ‘practical’. Whist it may appear ill-advised to tackle new integration challenges with old integration products, you may have no choice. Before deciding, you need to answer some fundamental questions. What does your organisation really want from integration? What parameters must you adhere to? How quickly do you need to start realising benefits? And what budget are you working to? We hope this eBook has helped you think through the key things to consider. It is an area that we are following closely so please look out for future updates on our website and blog. www.agilityworks.co.uk
  9. 9. www.agilityworks.co.uk enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk +44 844 561 0930 8 About AgilityWorks We work with large enterprises that need to become more agile in the digital age and thrive in a world of disruption. We help them apply the latest data analytics, cloud and mobile technologies to identify growth opportunities, enable new business models and improve customer engagement. Find out more about us at www.agilityworks.co.uk Contact us +44 (0)844 561 0930 enquiries@agilityworks.co.uk We work with large enterprises that need to become more agile in the digital age and thrive in a world of disruption...