SAP ecosystem comprises disparate, countless technologies including legacy on-premises ERPs, various SaaS solutions acquired by SAP, modern S/4 Hana ERP, and a plethora of integration tools that make this landscape complex, brittle, and unmanageable. 

Additionally, it is notoriously challenging to integrate SAP ERP with other systems due to presence of factors such as logic, proprietary language, and processes. Companies that fail to integrate their SAP systems are prone to risks that inhibit the flow of important business functions, leading to reduced business process efficiencies and agility respectively. As a result, organizations are on the quest for ways to integrate a manifold of stand-alone applications into a single application for alleviating integration costs while looking for ways to accentuate growth and rate of innovation. In addition, SAP ecosystem has witnessed an enormous change over the past a few years, and so organizations that need to integrate their SAP systems have encountered an influx of SAP integration applications that have managed to transform business operations in entirety. 

For better understanding, we have enlisted the challenges of SAP integration. 

Challenges of SAP Integration

1. One of the biggest challenges of SAP integration methods is its incapability to extend well to third-party systems. SAP offers a multitude of integration methods as well as interfaces for connecting using data and processes. It doesn’t use existing industry standards and has developed capabilities including BAPIs, RFC, and iDocs. These capabilities cannot be used by various third-party systems which present many integration challenges in front of a business user. For example, BAPIs are unable to cover all SAP transactions, creating a challenge among business users. Also, SAP does not support and document RFCs which is a huge challenge for business users. Customers have to resort to a patchwork of integration solutions to create tightly-coupled, highly brittle connections that do not allow organizations from aligning to future business changes and achieving end goals. 

2. SAP ERP’s one of the greatest benefit is that it is highly customizable, and therefore a multitude of organizations take complete advantage of this flexibility. Nevertheless, this customizing capability enhances the complexity of integration, increasing the time and cost to connect to different systems. 

With digital expansion, many companies today create a new line of products, explore new markets and verticals. Along with that, companies often find the need to individually customize SAP modules to help the business grow and grab a larger market share. 

For better understanding, let us take an example of a multinational enterprise. Such corporations use customized SAP ERPs to integrate end-to-end cross-functional next-gen business processes to meet business goals. Though these handy customizations provide an aid to streamline business operations, they pose many challenges for the developers as well. The challenges escalate further went corporations merge or acquire a competitor with its own SAP instance. 

Challenges are present when enterprises have consistent customization because their third-party solutions will offer their personal object models that fail to match with the models of SAP. As the number of third-party software used increases, mismatch also increases, and ultimately challenges elevate. In the absence of access to proper tools, navigation through these idiosyncrasies seems impossible.  

3. Companies rely on SAP solutions coupled with myriad integration techniques including, BAPIs and IDocs to maintain consistent operations. This makes the software development and delivery process complicated. Such heightened complexity can only be dealt proactively by a specialized team with definite skill sets, and hence businesses are compelled to either build an in-house team for performing SAP integration or hire skilled SAP developers from systems integrators.

Owing to increased complexity and business-critical nature, SAP projects normally can take several months for completion. During the course of such long projects, businesses move into a major backlog that awaits for resourcing and prioritization. This builds frustration and confusion in end users who need to innovate in real-time. Hence, for even a small request of updating a functionality can take a lot of time, effort, and resources. These challenges can be conquered by adopting the right technological approach. You can employ modern SAP integration tools to meet your business needs. Get started today!

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation 2 - Florida Independent
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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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