Connecting SAP and Salesforce: SAP BTP/SAP CPI versus Packaged Integration Processes (PIPs)

Key Takeaways
  • Replicating data, logic, and processes in a middleware solution requires constant maintenance and increases the opportunity for errors
  • Synchronous access between SAP and Salesforce means 100% accuracy for quotes and orders
  • SAP lead-to-cash and order-to-cash functions can be presented within Salesforce via data virtualization for always-on, always current visibility of the data
  • The architecture you chose has a direct impact on current and future IT support needs and staffing levels, and can either enhance or limit the ability of IT to solve business challenges

Connecting SAP and Salesforce requires a key architectural choice: middleware or data virtualization

If your company is struggling with connecting SAP and Salesforce, you know integrating these platforms is essential to streamline your sales quoting processes, powering your B2B Commerce site, or improve service order resolution time, as examples. The big question is how are you going to make that happen–quickly, with minimal risk of data loss/corruption, without business downtime, and with limited and already-stretched-thin IT resources.

SAP offers their own solution, SAP BTP (Business Technology Platform–formerly SAP CPI. At its heart, CPI is a middleware solution with replication at its core. For complex businesses with decades of business logic embedded in all aspects of your SAP deployment, this architecture requires the business logic to be rebuilt in the front end and the data to be mapped and then replicated in your CRM system, your CPQ solution, or your eCommerce portal.

The alternate architecture is built on data virtualization, rapid integration objects (RIOs) and packaged integration processes (PIPs) to create a resource-lite solution: read-only or bi-directional transactional execution that leverage real-time data, business rules, and defined processes within SAP. All with minimal IT resources on your end, an elegant and simple transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, and 100% compliance to SAP-defined rules, pricing, discounts, availability, etc. (Spoiler: The enosix purpose-built framework is built like this to deliver lightning-fast, 100% accurate SAP information within Salesforce.)

The business case for simplicity

The business intelligence in SAP is complex and resides in a plethora of configuration tables, SAP code, and custom code. With BTP, every piece of logic in SAP has to be replicated in Salesforce every time you change something in one system or the other. With traditional mapping, there’s no validation in SAP, so if a required field goes unfilled, the order sits in a queue. If it’s evening or the weekend, it sits until someone is available to fix it. And if it’s a rush order, that revenue is probably lost.

enosix removes these challenges with real-time data visualization and transaction execution. Both SAP and Salesforce see the same input at the same time, they talk to each other, and SAP rules, processes and logic are applied at every step. There’s no waiting for a batch of orders to run – the status of each and every order is updated in real-time and includes all customer-specific and product-specific rules, such as minimum order amounts and available discounts. All of this is readily available via the user-friendly web and mobile-ready Salesforce UI.

SAP BTP / SAP CPI enosix
Implementation Time 6-12 months 3-6 months
Maintenance Ongoing and significant upkeep of duplicate logic, management of middleware Minimal maintenance required
Extensibility Screens and logic for each use case are custom built Reusable components work across Salesforce platforms, including Sales, Service, CPQ, B2B, Field and Manufacturing clouds
Mobility Development required for custom screens Prebuilt, responsive UI components
  • Requires duplication of logic and rules,
  • Limited to generic API functionality,
  • Relies on SAP standard BAPIs, RFCs, and iDocs
  • Inherits existing SAP customizations,
  • Leverages prebuilt Rapid Integration Objects (RIOs)
  • Stateless, single-call architecture doesn’t require iDocs or message queues

Front-end user experience to back-end efficiencies

enosix purpose-built framework means up to 70% shorter implementation times and an improved user experience inside Salesforce. Using data virtualization to bring SAP data directly into the CRM, quoting, and service platforms you already use  means increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and virtually zero maintenance. Why would you build your own SAP connections using BTP when a proven, pre-built, and customizable solution is just a click away? Let’s talk!

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