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Realize True Digital Transformation: 3 Common SAP Integration Challenges and How to Solve Them

November 10, 2021 | By: enosix

To reach true digital transformation and provide the real-time data your business needs with speed, you need to overcome these SAP-Salesforce integration challenges

Key Takeaways:

  • CIOs are trying to achieve digital transformation, but 89% of these projects are stalled because of SAP integration challenges
  • Business success depends on effective front-end use of back-end logic and processes, which makes integration imperative
  • SAP doesn’t work or play well with front-end platforms, and middleware solutions are risky, expensive, and undependable
  • For enosix, these challenges presented the opportunity to pre-build solutions that can be quickly implemented at budget-friendly prices with no risk

Since the era of digital transformation (DX) began in the 2010s, there’s been a never-ending quest for improvement. Businesses want to operate more efficiently and profitably, have greater data transparency, and provide a seamless experience internally and for customers, among other goals.

While leaders are bullish on DX – 77.3% of surveyed CIOs say it is this year’s number one priority89% of these projects are stalled due to SAP integration challenges. You see, while SAP ECC is a powerful system, it was not built for a cloud-based world that demands real-time data integrations.

The success of your business depends on the effective front-end use of the complex business logic residing in SAP. Integration methods vary for delivering this information seamlessly and in real-time, but most of these integrations take many months, are riddled with risk, and are primed for errors. 

Integration challenges leech time, money, and resources that businesses can ill-afford to lose. Let’s look at common integration challenges, and how they are solved by the pre-built solutions offered by enosix, your only real choice for a truly effective (and 80% faster) integration. 

Integration challenges and the enosix solution

DX is impossible without SAP data, and lead-to-cash applications need customer-specific information to provide real value. This makes integration imperative for the modern enterprise. Custom integration work using traditional approaches is incredibly expensive – the average organization spends $3.5 million on IT labor costs to manage a point-to-point custom integration, 40% of their overall project budget.

While integration comes with challenges, it’s imperative to connect all of your systems and applications, as well as the essential data that drives your revenue engine. For enosix, these challenges presented the opportunity to pre-build a solution that can be quickly implemented at a budget-friendly price with no risk.

1. The challenge:  SAP doesn’t work or play well with others

While SAP offers integration interfaces for connecting using data and processes, it does not use industry standards, and they do their own thing with capabilities that include BAPIs, RFC, and IDocs. These can’t be used by third-party systems. A couple of examples include BAPIs, which are unable to cover all SAP transactions, and a lack of support and documentation around RFCs. This leads to a patchwork of integration methods utilizing middleware, replication, and risk.

The solution: enosix gets right inside SAP

The enosix platform runs in the application layer of your SAP ERP and replaces IDocs and the JCo connector. Our pre-built Rapid Integration Objects encapsulate the most common queries and transactions. 

This means there’s no need to call standard SAP BAPIs/RFCs and then piece together the results in middleware or on the front end. This results in significantly reduced load on your SAP system compared to traditional approaches. It also means far greater code reusability across different front-end systems (nearly 100% vs. typically <40% for PI/PO or iPaaS solutions, and 0% for solutions that live in the front end). 

2. The challenge: Lack of real-time data hinders CS 

It’s all about the customer experience. What you offer your customers and potential customers will be compared with the last best experience they’ve had. The only way you can provide what customers want is to have ERP data accessible in real-time — and delivering anything less than that is lousy customer service, which is important, as the statistics prove.

Among U.S. consumers, more than half have decided against a planned purchase because of bad service, 33% said they will buy from another company after a single bad interaction, and 32% would even leave a brand they love. Fully 80% want speedy, convenient, and knowledgeable help, which your agents can’t provide if you have data siloed in SAP.

The solution: A 360-degree view of the customer

The enosix solution reduces customer call resolution times and increases first-call resolution rates because your team has the data they need in real-time as soon as they pick up that customer call. 

Agents receive the information directly from SAP in the front-end interface they are familiar with, complete with order history, order status, invoices, and delivery information as well as line-item details. With real-time visibility, the most up-to-date information is guaranteed.

3. The challenge: Fast, accurate quotes that bring in business

Traditional middleware integration strategies for quoting tools and CPQ systems mean maintaining a duplicate set of prices outside of SAP. That’s just not very efficient. It is time-consuming and risky.

Do you really want to rebuild all of your customer-specific pricing, rules, logic, and other information and maintain it in the front-end? What if something changes and it doesn’t get updated? 

Not to mention Variant Configuration, which can handle incredibly complex rules for configuration and pricing that would be almost impossible to attempt to copy into a CPQ tool. You might have thousands of configurable products with hundreds of thousands of characteristics and characteristic values available for a given product line. Recreating and dual-maintaining these configurations and associated dependencies in two systems is untenable.

The solution: Improved customer responsiveness and quote acceptance

Your complex quoting and configuration logic is already in SAP, and with enosix, your sales team can access that information directly in the application they use. This saves time and effort because our CPQ software requires much less configuration expertise to create a quote.

Duplicate work and errors are eliminated because orders don’t have to be rekeyed into SAP, and you get a system of checks and balances because quotes that are wrongly configured are not delivered. Real-time validation guarantees accurate pricing and order acceptance.

You also get better analytics, visibility, and auditability, so you can examine and refine your quoting process for better profitability.

enosix solutions make integration fast, easy, and less expensive

If you’ve been hesitant to start your integration because clunky middleware was the only answer, it’s time to reach out to enosix. Our solutions can provide real-time transaction execution and access to your SAP ERP data inside all your front-end applications. 

The patent-pending enosix platform (certified for SAP ECC and S/4HANA integration and usability) empowers you to deliver powerful, real-time, bidirectional integration between your SAP ERP system and your front-end systems of engagement. And enosix can implement the integration 70% to 90% faster and cheaper than competing approaches. 

We also provide a human-centric interface to simplify your development work. We’ve created a library of ABAP Rapid Integration Objects (RIOs) that perform common transformations using all the right BAPIs and exits to apply your business logic. These APIs can be used by any front-end via REST API or through our SDK for Salesforce integrations.

We also have a suite of front-end applications that allow you to get started in days to weeks for the most common Salesforce use cases, instead of the 9-18 months typical of other integration approaches. 

To learn more about how enosix can power your business with real-time transactional execution and access to your SAP ERP data, schedule a demo today.