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How to Integrate with SAP S/4HANA Cloud

The value of an enterprise resource planning solution (ERP) over standalone business software is the centrality of data and the ability to use this combined data for insight and process automation. For the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition ERP, integrations and the SAP BTP Integration Suite play a key role in making that possible.

An ERP serves as the central nervous system for a business, encompassing and connecting all the various business functions inside and outside of an organization. To achieve this goal, S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition comes with a wide range of functionality that can be turned on or off depending on the needs of a business. Instead of stitching together standalone solutions, we estimate that S/4HANA directly meets about 80 percent of what a business needs straight out of the box.

The other 20 percent of what a business needs comes from external systems that must be integrated, partially because some things can’t be baked into S/4HANA such as payment processing, shipping, website integration, and third-party logistics (3PL). Some functionality also is best left as a standalone solution, such as an extended warehouse management system (WMS) or a digital manufacturing cloud.

These external cloud platforms and standalone software solutions must therefore integrate with S/4HANA Cloud for the ERP goals of centrality and automation.

SAP ERP Integrations + Extensions Website Page Graphic

 

Integrating with SAP's Business Technology Platform (BTP) Integration Suite

The main vehicle for integrating with software and services that are external to the S/4HANA Cloud is the Integration Suite within the SAP Business Technology Platform.

The BTP is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that enables businesses to extend an SAP ERP solution through off-the-shelf vendor and third-party add-on modules, drag-and-drop custom code creation, and easy integration services. It is this last part, the SAP BTP Integration Suite, that helps connect software and services with the S/4HANA Cloud.

The SAP BTP Integration Suite is marketed as a way to integrate everything with S/4HANA, and that may be correct.

With the SAP BTP Integration Suite, businesses get pre-built integrations managed and updated by SAP for commonly needed integrations and automatic integration with popular third-party cloud applications. The SAP BTP Integration Suite comes with tools for designing, publishing, and managing application programmer interfaces (APIs) for systems that don’t already connect. It comes with AI-assisted development and integration optimization. The SAP BTP Integration Suite also comes with a tools-based, guided approach to define, document, and govern a company’s integration strategy.

SAP knows that the cloud and connected systems are both the present and future of business, but there’s also the need for a centralized backend solution for managing and coordinating it all. The SAP BTP Integration Suite is the company’s solution for integrating this web with SAP ERP solutions.

SAPs Business Technology Platform

Watch this video that explains the SAP Business Technology Platform.

Integration Examples in Practice

Some examples of where a business might need the SAP BTP Integration Suite include the need for extended warehouse management, field service management, advanced spend or expense management, and the use of SAP’s Digital Manufacturing Cloud.

Extended Warehouse Management (EWM). Businesses that manage high-volume warehouse operations might want to extend their S/4HANA Cloud solution with SAP Extended Warehouse Management. SAP EWM is a modern, automated system that integrates supply chain logistics and helps enable risk-resilient and sustainable warehouse management.

Field Service Management (FSM). For companies that provide field service, S/4HANA Cloud can be extended with SAP Field Service Management for resolving customer issues faster with comprehensive, proactive, AI-enabled field service management software. SAP’s FSM comes with AI-based schedule optimization, long-cycle scheduling, self-service and augmented reality field service tools, and other assistance such as mobile worker enablement tools.

Advanced Spend Management. Companies that need greater visibility into spending can add SAP Arabia to their S/4HANA Cloud solution for advanced spend management. With Arabia, businesses can gain a holistic, real-time picture of company spending and can use automation for more actively controlling and optimizing spending patterns.

Advanced Expense Management. Businesses with lots of employee expenses can more accurately track, control, and reimburse employees with the SAP Concur expense management solution. When Concur is integrated with S/4HANA Cloud, businesses can see all expense data in one place, configure automation for managing or limiting these expenses, easily enforce spending policies, and automatically capture receipts and process reports and reimbursements.


Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Through the SAP BTP Integration Suite, manufacturing businesses can easily connect the SAP Digital Manufacturing Platform to their S/4HANA Cloud solution for a modern, cloud-based manufacturing execution system that supports sustainable, risk-resilient manufacturing operations through an Industry 4.0 approach.

Learn more about templated integrations and extensions.

Learn more about SAP's BTP Integration Suite

While SAP’s ERP solutions have long enabled a wide range of integration options, the SAP BTP Integration Suite makes configuring integrations far easier than in the past; the BTP and the Integration Suite represent a significant innovation toward easier, turnkey ERP integrations.

To learn more about the SAP BTP Integration Suite and how your business might use it, contact one of our experienced ERP consultants by calling (801) 642-0123 or writing us at info@nbs-us.com.

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