SAP Addresses Integration Issues

    SAP this week at the Sapphire NOW 2019 conference announced that it has developed a series of add-on software offerings that are designed to reduce the time and effort required to integrate its diverse portfolio of applications not only with each other, but third-party applications as well.

    Mike Flannagan, senior vice president for Intelligent Enterprise Solutions at SAP, says the first 15 SAP Guided Outcomes developed by SAP consist of code to address integration issues customers routinely encounter. In the first wave, the SAP Guided Outcomes specifically address cross-application scenarios involving cost optimization, revenue growth, customer experience, total workforce management and product and service excellence. Silver- and gold-level package options are now available for SAP S/4HANA ERP applications, the SAP C/4HANA customer experience suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and SAP SuccessFactors employee management applications.

    All the packages employ SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, SAP Conversational AI and SAP Leonardo machine learning software to facilitate integrations. The gold option provides additional access to SAP Analytics Cloud to provide access to predictive analytics software and visualization tools.

    Flannagan says SAP expects to develop hundreds of these integrations as part of an effort to provide customers with an application experience reminiscent of the suite of applications the company delivered before it started acquiring its portfolio of cloud applications.

    Rather than requiring customers to hire expensive external service providers to integrate applications, Flannagan says SAP wants to provide customers with integration software that has been validated by SAP.

    “We want to deliver on the integrated suite promise,” says Flannagan.

    One of the inhibitors to acquiring new applications these days is the simple fact that organizations often wind up spending more on integration than they do on the application itself. SAP has a vested interest in helping organizations reduce those integration costs. Whether reducing those costs will result in more software being consumed remains to be seen. At the very least, however, the total cost of acquiring and implementing SAP applications should noticeably decline.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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