SAP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for core business areas such as procurement, production, materials management, sales, marketing, finance, and human resources. SAP helps companies centralize information, analyze their operations, and make data-driven decisions.
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SAP and BPM software
SAP can be used to plan out almost every single task for a company and all its departments, from sales to finance to HR to IT. Having all these departments interconnected in a single platform facilitates the consolidation of all business data, gives more visibility to managers and provides an ultimate “source of truth” for information.
Business process management (BPM) software also helps companies manage their activities by allowing users to create phases for each of their business processes, assign phases to team leaders, create automations to eliminate repetitive tasks, and integrate with other programs.
Why integrating SAP and BPM software is important
Typically, BPM is integrated into an ERP system if the ERP does not properly manage a process. Because SAP is often connected to various departments and processes, making changes to the platform can have massive (and sometimes unpredictable) impacts on several core business functions.
Furthermore, making these changes usually requires the help of the IT department. While this is not inherently negative, it may be a drawback for companies that must constantly revise business processes. SAP also has a steep learning curve, and implementation costs can be extremely high — both in terms of time and money.
To offset this, some businesses rely on BPM software to test and manage some of their processes, particularly those that don’t directly impact the bottom line. In doing so, they can merge the flexibility and speed that BPM software affords them with the reliability and dataset of SAP.
The BPM software can serve as a “testing ground” in which companies can try out improvements to their processes before fully committing them to their legacy systems. Many BPM software providers offer support for integrating their applications with SAP and other ERPs.
BPM software can also function as an extension of SAP’s capabilities in situations where teams may need more specific tools. For example, a marketing team can use BPM software to execute a specific, time-limited campaign.
When properly integrated, SAP and BPM software complement one another by bridging the divide between optimizing business functions and customizing specific workflows.
Use cases could include:
- A marketing team wants to manage a one-off campaign using a different process and needs a quick-to-implement tool that can be used only for this occasion.
- A company has modeled its business process in a new way and wants to test it out on a light and easy-to-use solution that can integrate with SAP before committing to that new model.
- A department needs a software solution with more speed and flexibility, but also wants to make sure they leverage and add to the rest of the company’s dataset.
How to integrate SAP with BPM software
The exact process for integrating SAP with BPM software varies according to the solutions you are using. In most cases, it involves using an integration option on the BPM side to communicate with SAP. In some cases, this can be done directly, or with the help of an integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) software, such as Zapier, without the need for any coding.
Integration best practices
There are a few best practices for SAP integration with BPM software that will ensure a good outcome and reduce the chances of problems showing up in the future.
1. Outline precisely what you would like to integrate
During the integration process, you may need to explain your business process or sales funnel to a third party. It is crucial that you and your team understand each process and the integration you wish to achieve.
2. Make sure team leaders are on board
Integrating SAP with BPM software may end up changing how part of the team works. And even if it is a change towards more agility, this change can take some time to get used to. Because of this, it’s best to keep your team engaged and informed before beginning the integration process. Furthermore, bringing in external software to integrate with legacy systems may require special permissions from the IT department, so make sure to communicate with them before you start.
3. Reach out to your providers
Both SAP and BPM solutions have customer success professionals who can help you make the most of their software. Make sure to reach out to them if you need any help in getting software to interact as expected. They may even propose different ways of using their resources that can further improve your efficiency.
How to integrate SAP with Pipefy
Pipefy is a modern, intuitive business process automation solution that makes process management easy. It provides everything a business needs to implement effective, cost-efficient business process management. It empowers business users to automate routine processes using a low-code approach. It also integrates with popular business tools used by thousands of companies worldwide, including SAP.
Pipefy can integrate with SAP Business One ERP solution, and can also communicate via the SAP Odata protocol. This means you can ensure both software exchange information, and data about your business processes can be sent back and forth between the two.
This integration can also allow you to automate several processes and manage them with greater clarity, transparency, and efficiency. If your finance team uses SAP, for example, you can leverage Pipefy to manage your sales process. This way, as soon as a new deal is closed on Pipefy, tasks are automatically created on SAP for the finance team to generate that customer’s first invoice.
Pipefy’s low-code visual user interface makes it easy for teams to create and customize processes easily and track process performance to make more strategic, data-driven decisions.
If your team uses SAP, an integration with Pipefy can unlock the full potential of your business by automating repetitive tasks, centralizing information, keeping leaders fully informed, and providing improved visibility into all your processes.
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