Customers are accelerating their move to the cloud to keep pace with changing circumstances — be it to reduce their carbon footprint, increase their productivity, or react more flexibly to the needs of their customers.
Over years and decades, companies have implemented streamlined business processes in their value chains using the features of on-premise SAP systems to adapt the standard functionality to their needs. However, within the growing heterogeneous landscapes of SAP and non-SAP systems, these customizations became more complex and expensive to maintain. Additionally, most of the customers use hybrid landscapes with a mix of cloud and on-premise systems to run their businesses.
With the move to SAP S/4HANA, customers have the chance to standardize their business processes. This has two benefits: Customers can avoid modifications in their SAP S/4HANA systems to the absolute minimum, and they can implement process extensions or integrations to other SAP, partner, or third-party systems using SAP Cloud Platform Extension Suite and SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. This is true for both SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA on premise.
What Are the Advantages of Using SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite?
As an integral part of SAP’s Business Technology Platform, SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite allows simplifying integration for both SAP as well as third-party scenarios. This versatile, fully managed, multi-cloud suite was recently rated by Gartner as a Leader in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform-as-a-Service.
SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite offers a modular set of integration services covering all needs of cloud and hybrid landscapes:
- Application-to-application process integrations across value chains, such as lead-to-cash, recruit-to-retire, source-to-pay, and design-to-operate
- Business-t0-business (B2B) integrations to integrate with suppliers across the digital ecosystem, including e-government (business-to-government or B2G) integrations to support digital compliance
- API-driven integrations, including full API life-cycle management and omni-channel access
- Event-driven integrations to support sense-and-respond scenarios based on business events
- Data integration and pipelines to support artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data lake or data warehousing scenarios with SAP Data Intelligence
- Master data integrations via SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration that provide master data synchronization enabled by the SAP One Domain Model
SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite is complemented by a rich set of more than 1,800 pre-built integrations, available on SAP API Business Hub, both for cloud-to-cloud as well as for hybrid integration scenarios.
The latest additions include increased API coverage for the on-premise 2020 release of SAP S/4HANA for core business objects, with more than 290 APIs, including 61 event objects that enable customers to build integrations with third-party solutions and to build apps and extensions on SAP Cloud Platform.
Running Hybrid Scenarios in the Integrated Intelligent Suite
After releasing SAP’s Integration Plan in the Cloud this year, customers asked if SAP also offers out-of-the-box integrations for hybrid SAP landscapes. We are currently working on these. The good news is that customers can already benefit from some of the existing integrations between SAP S/4HANA and other SAP cloud solutions and extend their processes to the SAP cloud portfolio.
Within the hire-to-retire business process, for example, the following scenarios with the SAP Cloud Platform Integration can be enabled:
- Customers that want to transition their human capital management (HCM) system to the cloud while still leveraging investments into employee data administration on premise and that need to replicate employee and organizational data from SAP S/4HANA to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central can use the core hybrid deployment option.
- SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is used as the system of record holding the employee data and reporting lines of all employees. But existing processes, such as payroll, time management, or custom human resources (HR) processes still run in an on-premise SAP S/4HANA system landscape.
- With SAP One Domain Model, we use a new way of simplifying SAP-to-SAP integrations. SAP applications can synchronize business objects with common attributes and use common semantics, for example a workforce person (employee, contingent/external worker) or a cost center. The models and additional information can also be found on api.sap.com.
- A first hybrid use case will soon be available. The on-premise release 2020 of SAP S/4HANA is ready for master-data integration with SAP SuccessFactors as leading human capital management (HCM) system to SAP S/4HANA. Using the aligned SAP One Domain Model people data and cost center via SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration will soon be available for cloud and on-premise customers
SAP’s Integration Strategy Moving Forward
SAP will continue to invest in the SAP-to-SAP out-of-the-box integrations for hybrid scenarios along the integrated intelligent suite. Our goal is to provide customers with the capabilities they need to help ensure an open and holistic integration with partner and third-party solutions.
With this rich set of integration capabilities that SAP’s Business Technology Platform provides as part of its integration strategy, customers can accelerate their journey to digitize their value chain.
Juergen Mueller is CTO and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.
This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.