Since 1953, Endress+Hauser has made and sold measurement instruments for manufacturing customers. It helps customers in the industrial process industry measure gauge level, material flow, pressure, and other key elements to help their plants operate more efficiently as they create everything from chemicals to beverages.

More recently, Endress+Hauser added additional services and software solutions as it has embarked on its journey from a manufacturer to a digital service provider.

One important milestone in Endress+Hauser’s digitization has been the modernization of its customer onboarding process. Each customer has unique requirements for its measurement equipment and customers have a variety of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and procurement systems from different vendors, often with customization, that require tailored integration processes. Previously, customers needed to manually extract data from its systems to create the appropriate order.

But now, with Endress+Hauser’s “Business Data and Integration Hub,” customers can quickly develop the right solutions online, order digitally, and then they are seamlessly onboarded into the purchasing and payment process.

The result: customer onboarding now takes up to four times less effort, and there has been a 50% reduction in IT maintenance.

This is largely due to the company’s use of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). SAP Integration Suite, part of SAP BTP, seamlessly brings together customer data from its ERP and shopfloor systems into the Business Data and Integration Hub. From there, it connects with SAP applications and data, and integrates with other applications such as Salesforce to create a unified customer experience.

Only with integration and API management capabilities of SAP BTP, could the company create an end-to-end solution that provided an integrated view across their entire customer landscape.

Endress+Hauser demonstrates us a few important points about why enterprise integration is so important to digital transformation. First, data is at the heart of digital business yet the majority of data goes unused for business analytics. To leverage that data, it is imperative that organizations put in place a modern integration platform. Previously, integration’s primary purpose was to connect applications. But in today’s world, it needs to bring together data wherever it resides and it in whatever format.

Second, an integration platform must be cloud based with pre-built business content so that employees can extend and connect applications to meet their business goals. Pre-built business content, such as integration flows, makes it easy for people to bring applications and their data together in a guided, governed, and secure manner.

Finally, an integration platform needs to be reliable and trusted. SAP was once again named by Gartner as a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform-as-a-Service. Out of 17 vendors evaluated by Gartner, SAP was named a Leader based on its “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision.”

To compete effectively, companies need to undergo digital transformation. And to achieve that, organizations need connected processes, data, and experiences across their entire IT landscape. The mandate for integration has never been clearer.

Raghu Ramanathan is chief revenue officer for SAP Platform and Technologies.