SAP integration refers to connecting SAP data and processes to other systems and apps within an organization so that business users can easily access the data they need. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why organizations must integrate their SAP systems to increase efficiency and competitive advantage, and what they should consider in their search for the right integration platform.
Why Is SAP Integration Important?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “best run businesses run on SAP”. And I say saying because it is more than a sales pitch.
Just to throw in some stats, SAP customers:
- Outperformed non-SAP customers in all three areas of business performance measured: finance, supply chain, and procurement, creating better cash flows and profitability through operational excellence.
- Save costs: on average, SAP customers with high digital maturity have generated $107M in working capital improvements and $108M in cost savings for the past five years.
- Have a higher vertical competitive advantage they run better than their peers in their industry.
However, if the pandemic has taught the world anything, it’s that agility and innovation are a key part in delivering competitive advantage and differentiation in today's business landscape.
To set themselves apart from the crowd, businesses need to deliver innovative use cases, new customer and partner experiences, and employee solutions that can drive internal productivity, better governance, and engagement. And SAP, as well as other systems of record, albeit critical for the business, have simply become a necessary condition for an organization to work.
But, for most companies, SAP is only part of the complicated business software universe. Although some companies still rely on only one software vendor to run their business, we see more and more business diversifying their software providers, choosing the tools that better fit their company's needs.
And as the software stack gets more complex and the need for agility increases, organizations are forced to find better and faster ways to optimize end-to-end processes and integrate multiple back-end systems. Many times this means simplifying business user access to applications, and data sources like SAP, Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamics, with intuitive and well-designed front-end solutions.
Except this is far from easy when the demand for skilled and experienced developers is increasing but not being met by the supply. And if this wasn’t enough, let’s not forget that SAP customers are expected to migrate to S/4HANA by 2027 and the additional work that means to developers.
Considerations When Choosing the Right SAP Integration Platform
So, how can you integrate SAP with your other back-end and front-end systems to allow your data to flow freely and be easily consumed by those that need it?
It starts by finding the right platform that allows you to:
- Build personalized front-end systems for user-friendly, intuitive experiences
- Easily integrate your different back-end systems and data sources
- Do all this with your existing resources and speed and agility your market demands.
And that’s where low-code can help you.
SAP Integration with a Low-Code Platform
Low-code platforms enable the visual development of applications through modeling and a graphical interface, allowing organizations to maximize the power of their existing developers by automating the repetitive work.
With the OutSystems low-code platform, you can extend your SAP LoB applications and deliver beautiful web and mobile front-ends that revolutionize your employees, customers, and partners' experiences, while adding new functionalities faster and without incurring technical debt.
OutSystems also allows you to integrate your SAP applications easily with other back-end systems like Salesforce or MS Dynamics to boost productivity and reduce data input errors.
And to further remove the complexity usually associated with integrations, OutSystems offers Integration Builder, a tool that allows developers to integrate OutSystems applications with systems of records without the need of writing any code.
With SAP pushing customers to adopt new strategies and protocols to integrate with their ERP (particularly, the usage of OData services for all external integration), Integration Builder includes an OData connector to simplify the whole process of connecting your OutSystems apps to your SAP systems.
This means seasoned developers can skip the integration complexities and focus on coding that last inch that really makes a difference. For more junior ones, it empowers them to build something quickly and be productive much faster.
I now invite you to see for yourself what you can do to your SAP system with OutSystems in our webinar Modernize and Future-Proof SAP with OutSystems. In this demo, now available on-demand, my colleague Paul Hearmon will show you how you can quickly build a mobile app and integrate it into your legacy SAP system. Take a look!