Simplifying integration while focusing on delivering value for our customers continues to be the top priority for SAP.

Our CEO Christian Klein just announced an update to SAP’s Integration Road Map in the Cloud (see “Integration Makes All the Difference”). I am happy and proud to share today some of the main achievements for the cloud integration suite qualities.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for integration: Lowering the integration hurdle considerably for SAP-to-SAP integrations is one part of the equation but offering the tools and the knowledge for integrating into non-SAP applications is an essential cornerstone for us as well.

This holistic view on integration is what customers expect from SAP.

Chart: Business Network from SAP
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Let’s look a bit closer at where we stand today.

Progress on Suite Qualities for SAP-to-SAP Integrations

In the first half of 2020, we laid the foundation for a deep integration along four key end-to-end processes of every intelligent enterprise: recruit to retire, lead to cash, design to operate, and source to pay:

  • End users expect a harmonized solution that is based on the same navigation patterns and user interfaces (UIs); they do not want to work with individual products. Therefore, we now support a seamless user experience based on common SAP Fiori designs across the source-to-pay, lead-to-cash, and design-to-operate processes.
  • Another pillar for SAP’s integrated intelligent suite is a uniform data model for the most important master data objects of a company, such as customer, supplier, product, and employee. With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 release this May, we delivered the first aligned data models for the domains “cost center” and “workforce person.” They are integrated across SAP SuccessFactors software and SAP S/4HANA via a central SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration service. As laid out in our Integration Road Map, we will deliver six aligned business objects across the four end-to-end processes until the end of this year, and we are aligning all other objects required for the end-to-end processes.
  • One of the business benefits of such aligned domain models is that they can simplify data-driven decision-making. Companies need to be able to quickly map and analyze the impact of the changing business conditions on their profitability, cash flows, workforce, and supply chains. To enable such a 360-degree view of customers and companies, SAP Analytics Cloud is already embedded in SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors applications. A front-runner project is underway for cross-product analytics to provide an integrated and unified dashboard on, for example, spend across people (SAP Fieldglass), procurement (SAP Ariba), and travel (SAP Concur).
  • To further accelerate our integration work, a front-runner project is currently underway for SAP One Inbox. Typically, users work with multiple SAP applications across the end-to-end business process. This can mean having to handle multiple local inboxes for each product. We target to provide a single inbox for customers where the tasks and approvals across multiple applications can be accessed and processed.
  • Another front-runner project relates to coordinated life-cycle management. Integration monitoring aims to offer an integrated monitoring experience across SAP applications – on premise and in the cloud – with the help of our new SAP Cloud ALM solution.
  • Any successful transformation journey starts with a clear plan: SAP now shares the end-to-end process blueprints for the recruit-to-retire, source-to-pay, and lead-to-cash processes so that customers can map out their road map to become intelligent enterprises. With all integration content being linked — such as APIs for integration — customers can now explore how end-to-end processes can be broken down into applications, modules, business services, technologies, and integrations.

These are just a few examples to show the significant progress we are making to deliver a seamless business process integration to our customers. Let me repeat what Christian mentioned as well: We have already implemented 50 percent of the before mentioned suite qualities, up from 30 percent just three months ago. By the end of this year, we expect to deliver up to 90 percent of these common qualities for our applications, and we are working on additional common qualities.

Open Integration

While SAP-to-SAP integrations are currently being standardized to a large extent — with our intelligent suite applications and industry cloud running on SAP’s Business Technology Platform —customers also need additional flexibility to integrate and extend their IT landscape.

More than 11,000 SAP customers rely on SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. Our open and modular iPaaS offering gives customers the flexibility to adopt the integration strategy that best fits their landscape, including cloud-to-cloud and hybrid integration options. The offering comprises more than 1,500 pre-packaged integration templates and more than 160 open connectors for SAP to non-SAP applications.

Furthermore, and as shared during SAPPHIRE NOW, we continue to support SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite on multi-cloud hyperscaler environment and have now also simplified the licensing options while putting onboarding and provisioning for SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite in place.

Integration Guidance for Cloud and Hybrid Landscapes

SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology helps customers to define and execute an integration strategy by providing proven integration patterns and architecture blueprints for cloud and hybrid landscapes. It allows customers to introduce, optimize and scale an agile integration practice within their organizations.

In close collaboration with customers, we have recently enhanced the methodology with further best practices, including digital integration hub and robotic process automation. For customers that are new to this methodology and want to get started with it right away, we now offer a Web-based integration strategy assessment tool.

The Way Ahead

Our commitment remains unchanged: In these times of change and beyond, SAP is helping our customers to adapt, stay agile, deliver quick time to value, and become the best integrated businesses.

My team and I are looking forward to SAP TechEd later this year, where we will share further integration results with you, our customers and partners, and the broader SAP network.

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Juergen Mueller chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.