We often talk to SAP customers, partners, and consultants who are worried that OutSystems competes with SAP. But the exact opposite is the case. OutSystems is a complementary tool that you can leverage to extract more value from your SAP platform with less effort.
The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms For Professional Developers, Q2 2023
See why OutSystems was recognized as a leader.
Table of contents:
Every business needs to keep up with changing market conditions and new innovations. You need to stay competitive and focused – particularly in tough economic circumstances. From industrial or governmental regulation to global market forces, there are always pressures on your business to be leaner, stronger, and more efficient.
To meet these demands, organizations must be flexible – all while maintaining standards in enterprise governance, financial reporting practices, corporate reporting and auditability for stakeholders. And so you need a reliable system that is working with you, not against you.
From our perspective, the combination of SAP S4HANA best practice and OutSystems low-code gives you the best of both worlds. Or as defined by Gartner: SAP S4HANA is a world-class “system of record” and OutSystems allows the development of apps, which reflect the “system of differentiation and innovation”.
Built-In Flexibility and Integration
Why do we think this? Because both software platforms come with best practices, and can work together to give you a more rounded, agile solution — built for purpose, but ready for change.
SAP is the original modern-day ERP. It boasts best practices for financial management, including procure to pay, order to cash and master data governance, to name a few. Years of innovation from SAP across all industries allows projects to focus on implementing best practices for budgeting, accounting processes, managing accounting and corporate reporting. Using the SAP configuration system allows customization, setting different business rules within business processes.
This in turn allows businesses to implement best business practices in a short time. Organizations benefit from the experience of other users, and the continual development that’s part of the way SAP delivers its product.
So, the obvious question is, if SAP is so great, why do you need OutSystems?
Simply put, the OutSystems low-code platform delivers additional, ongoing innovation that helps your organization to become more competitive. It allows businesses to rapidly build and test new ideas and business processes without impacting the backbone of the business model.
SAP integration with OutSystems is made easy with SAP’s well-defined integration models, processes and structures in SAP BTP. And OutSystems has the ability to orchestrate new business processes with multiple integrations easily – and often multiple applications – through the OutSystems Service Studio.
To provide a user with the right information, right level of security to data, system processes for their job role, and to ensure auditable document flow without having to jump between multiple systems is why SAP and OutSystems compliment each other.
SAP and OutSystems in Practice
When we were designing our waste and recycling solution, Waste & Recycling One, we wanted a loosely-coupled application integration. Our aim was for bi-directional integration of both master data and transactional data.
It made sense to use an industry-leading ERP platform – SAP – for the core finance, order to cash and procure to pay systems of record and compliance. We then leveraged OutSystems to build the unique logistical business scenarios and processes that are relevant to the fast-changing waste and recycling industry.
This allowed us to build a system that can manage the sector's compliance, governance and legislation requirements without affecting the core SAP processes.
Keeping Data in Sync
In this example, if we add a new business partner, the payment terms attributed are important to SAP and are managed there. The NAICS code is important to OutSystems. So we built bi-directional integration to keep the data in sync.
When a new business partner service agreement is created, it starts in OutSystems.
The partner data is automatically sent to SAP, so by the time the new contract is ready for billing, all the details are in SAP and up to date with the finance data. The order can then be sent to the cash processes and the contract invoice number goes back into OutSystems. It's a simple but very effective setup.
Keeping the data in sync is easy. SAP records changes to the business objects it processes and submits via BTP. OutSystems web application framework uses its API adapters framework to send and receive data during the business process.
Importantly, both SAP and OutSystems have very complementary code management between environments. This makes changes, updates, and bugs easy to manage – something we’ll talk about in a separate blog.
Find out more about how we can use OutSystems low-code to work alongside your SAP system and deliver even more efficiencies, streamlining your business for the future.