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How Manufacturers Can Ensure a Smooth Digital Transformation to Meet Today’s E-Commerce Needs

August 11, 2021 | By: enosix

Manufacturers are faced with the task of integrating their backend ERP platforms with front-facing CRMs – how should they go about it?

Key Takeaways

  • Most manufacturers are using SAP-based ERP platforms for their backend operations. These platforms do not have real-time integration with front-end CRM platforms such as Salesforce.
  • The lack of integration is the main hurdle to upgrading existing backend and front-end software to enable real-time quotes and e-commerce.
  • Accomplishing real-time integration between ERP and CRM platforms is an uphill battle with today’s middleware.
  • enosix is the solution that can save manufacturers from integration downtime and complications. 

Most manufacturing companies feel the need for a comprehensive digital transformation. To optimize revenue generation, manufacturers are looking to transition from a product and process-centric business model to a customer- and dealer-centric digital business model. 

However, on the path to a customer-centric digital transformation, manufacturers are encountering the problems brought about by a lack of integration between their SAP and CRM platforms. This absence of integration results in incoherent business data management systems as well as other technical and operational issues.

Salesforce-SAP integration

Most manufacturing businesses depend on SAP for their backend data management and processing needs. SAP holds the business rules that dictate customer pricing and vendor capabilities. However, the data systems running at the front end need to be fully integrated with SAP to access that data, which is essential for real-time sales quotes and e-commerce.

This lack of integration leads to problems such as:

  • A time-consuming and disjointed quoting process that creates a lack of confidence in customer data and a poor customer experience.
  • Lack of visibility into SAP data, such as available-to-promise inventory and account history, which also leads to poor business insights.
  • Manual processes for product configuration and pricing, which leads to a lengthy quote creation process and revenue leakage. 

To neutralize the above-mentioned problems, an integration solution must incorporate real-time integration between SAP platforms and front-end systems such as Salesforce. A hassle-free and fully compatible integration solution that can be swiftly implemented with very low risk of downtime is what manufacturers should be aiming for.

Things to look for in a Salesforce-SAP integration solution

Survey data suggests that while 97% of executives have digital transformation as their top priority, 84% of SAP projects are stalled due to integration challenges, and 40% of project budgeting is being spent on integration. It is therefore important to know the benefits that a good integration solution should bring to the table. 

A Salesforce-SAP integration solution should have the ability to virtualize data and allow for bidirectional updates of the data both in the SAP ERP and the Salesforce CRM, so changes in SAP are immediately reflected in the Salesforce CRM. 

The integration solution should also be built to be modified to meet your unique integration needs and allow for a rapid, low-risk implementation process. It should be up and running in days and there should be no risk of any downtime, business disruption, or any coding or testing on your part.

Why middleware is no solution for real-time SAP integration

As the name suggests, middleware is a software integration solution that acts as a bridge between the ERP data placed in the backend and the CRM that faces your sales team and customers. However, it can end up being the cause of some serious technical issues. SAP integration is not simple. Some middleware processes can call for complete recreation of the business logic. If any of the logic is not integrated properly, it can result in system malfunctions.

Middleware usually works by implementing a lot of importing and exporting strategies or just by syncing different fields. There are no real-time bidirectional updates. This ends up adding more complications to a system that is already based on complex processes. If the middleware integration stops functioning at any stage, the complexity can make it challenging to identify the underlying reason, which results in inaccuracies and errors that slow your business operations.

Middleware also requires a lot of resources to maintain, but usually only transfer 15% to 20% of SAP data into the CRM. Also, they often transfer only high-level field data and leave behind deep line-item details from SAP.

Middleware takes a lot of time to set up during the implementation phase, which can mean a considerable halt of business operations and increased expense. No manufacturing organization can do well with these extended delays in its operations.

All in all, middleware is a troublesome integration choice — and choosing the wrong integration solution will only exacerbate data management problems. Such solutions can lead to system downtime and introduce further complications. 

What enosix does different

enosix’s Salesforce-SAP integration solutions meet all the quality benchmarks. We use a patent-pending communication protocol and framework to create purpose-built advanced ABAP objects that make bi-directional integration a breeze. 

The enosix integration platform can be swiftly installed in the SAP application layer and provides real-time, bi-directional access to SAP data for your modern front-end systems of engagement. This allows complete integration of business rules and logic between SAP and Salesforce to enable real-time quoting and shorten selling times. 

enosix installation is 90% plug-and-play. We’ll make any unique customizations according to your business case requirements, and you are ready to go. This saves valuable time and ensures a swift transition. enosix can be up and running in 80% less time than any other custom integration project. 

enosix products have proven themselves to be the new standard in Salesforce-SAP integration. If you need an integration platform for SAP ERP and your CRM that can be swiftly implemented and is also modifiable for unique requirements, enosix is the best option. Schedule your demo today to see the difference for yourself.