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Salesforce & SAP Integration: The Biggest Misunderstanding in the Industry

Integration projects are notoriously complicated–even when they start out as a simple business ask. As Salesforce rises to become the dominant CRM package preferred by Sales Executives, many enterprises have tried to integrate it with SAP, the leading ERP solution, only to face great complexity. The success of this integration greatly depends on your integration partner and your project plan.

It’s more than obvious that Salesforce CRM and SAP ERP were never designed to work together.

 

Salesforce SAP
Account Management, Lead to Opportunity, Pipeline Management Quote to Cash, Procurement to Payments, Planning to Production, Finance
Few Data Dependencies Massive Data Dependencies
Low-Code Approach to Empower Administrators Complex Configuration and Code Approach Relies on Multiple Skill Sets

 

When companies first determine an integration need for the two platforms they may want to simply transfer existing customer data from the ERP system to the CRM system. The IT team will typically go out and acquire one of the existing Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) platforms such as Informatica or Boomi and map the existing customers from ERP to CRM in one or two months. Mission complete, right? Not exactly.

After this integration it’s not long before sales team see the benefit and begin to ask for Credit, Sales, and Delivery Data. The IT team goes back to the drawing board and decides they need custom data objects to hold the data in Salesforce. And, they will need data quality tools to ensure the daily batches are in sync if a mapping is incorrect. Then they undertake a much more significant (and expensive) mapping/development exercise to move data in one direction from ERP to CRM. The whole process takes about six months.

This is where it breaks. The sales team now asks questions that should have been addressed at the beginning: “Why can’t we just create customers in SAP directly from the account in Salesforce? Why can’t we create a Quotation or Sales Order from the Opportunity instead of relying on inside sales? Why do I have to wait for overnight batching to run for updated data?”

These are no longer questions about data mapping/data syncing, instead we’re entering the world of process integration.

You are now moving from a simple CRM System designed with little data dependencies and the administrator in mind to a complex ERP system with massive data dependencies and specialized skill sets to integrate Lead to Cash Processes. This is not an exercise in mapping/syncing data, but more about business process integration.

To understand why iPaaS isn’t going to solve your challenge, you need to understand that these tools evolved from ETL software. Boomi was originally a premise-based product heavily utilized for EDI before its move to the cloud. Informatica was used for building data warehouses. These products were used simply to extract the data, map the data (transform), and then load the data into disparate systems. As these mapping exercises became more complex, ETL companies added additional Master Data Management and Data Quality Suites to try to be more proactive when daily batches failed and the systems were again out of sync, adding even more cost and complexity. This is why the ETL approach is a huge problem, cloud or otherwise. It only addresses moving data out of the complex ERP System to the simpler CRM System. However, when you change the direction and try to move data into ERP, you need to follow complex master data rule sets that govern the data.

Process Integration Is Just That: A Process

Process Integration requires user interaction and validation–in addition to the master data and configuration governing the actual process. The ETL approach of simply mapping data doesn’t account for the complexities and nuances of an ever-growing organization. A large component of process integration is automation allowing for complicated task to be completed with the use of fewer human resources.

Mapping out an organization’s business processes would be the best place to start when considering process integration solutions. Process integration is much less reliant on point-to-point connectivity, as this can become unruly and hard to maintain as the business becomes naturally more complex. These process automations makes it more efficient for independent systems to communicate both internally and externally. Approaching integration, including SAP and Salesforce integration, through the lens of a process rather than simple data mapping or end-to-end connectivity will make your business far more scalable and efficient as a result.

enosix, Your SAP Salesforce Integration Solution

The enosix platform is your one-stop solution to a fully transparent SAP Salesforce integration solution. With implementation taking 80% less time than other, traditional approaches, our SAP- Salesforce integration framework provides real-time integrations and access to your SAP ERP systems inside Salesforce and all your front-end applications. In fact enosix can deliver SAP data into Salesforce clouds and solutions including, but not limited to: Sales, Service, Manufacturing,  B2B Commerce, CPQ/Revenue, Field Service, and more. Altogether, these products provide a centralized solution for all SAP Salesforce integration needs.

Looking to transform your business and add an extra layer of efficiency through seamless SAP and Salesforce integration? Schedule a demo with enosix today! For more information regarding our products, solutions, or general know-how, please visit our website or send us a message.

 

 

 

 

 

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