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!