Working on ERP integration patterns is always been my area of interest. This is my 1st week as bilot, being over here around the best SAP experts and surfing about on-going HANA & Cloud projects; it’s hard not to think about latest trends on SAP’s Cloud Integration and the huge influence it wields over our daily work. While working on SAP integration landscapes, I always consider flexibility with cloud as the newly added flavor, at least if not immediately but in near future compatibility!
During annual SAP Sapphire Now conference – 2014, Orlando, SAP presented next level of integration framework – In-Memory Cloud Integration. After that, HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) becomes one of the most popular integration frameworks along with the legacy of cloud integration solutions. It provides all-in-one integration for ERP world. Many customers foresees better success rate with HCI for its strong hold on cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on premises integration. Although still the HCI’s popularity restricted within SAP cloud circle, this cloud broker looks strong enough to stand for conventional integration patterns and next generation integration platform as a service (iPAAS). The enhanced SAP Data Services, connectivity services (wide range of connectors/adapters), graphically molded (almost no coding) and simplicity (wizard-based development) are the key artifacts of SAP’s cloud integration. HCI can easily address the variety of use cases based on A2A as well as complex B2B integrations. With HCI, SAP has a step in the right direction towards the ESB solution and needless to say about the adoptability for eSOA (Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture). In fact with recent IT trends, cloud integration is inevitable.
Today customers of all sizes (particularly SMEs) are willing to step on SAP cloud. Turning to cloud is not just about saving money, but also provide faster, simple, secure and smarter solutions. This helps business to suit-up with innovation, flexibility, rapid response and precautions for ever-changing business needs and market dynamics.
Most of the customers inclined towards leveraging the existing live On-premises setup with cloud; few may consider entirely new platform. In my opinion, it’s rational to think of moving everything on cloud. It would be risky and expensive cloud . Certainly we should adopt the best of breed SAP cloud solutions on top of traditional on-premises applications. Business needs are best met with hybrid solutions. Even SAP’s solutions are indicative towards hybrid solution, to leverage existing investments with integration of cloud and on-premises landscape. It may feel like coming to a full circle to the point with a combination of on-premises and cloud solution.
But there’s a catch. Standing between what to move on to the cloud and what would be on-premises is the line of firewall. Then it comes to the way of integration across firewall, how the security maintained, what would be the data transition time, system maintenance and who will tie the knot 1st …..???
SAP has provided some appetizers (pre-packaged solutions) to play around safely with cloud. It includes the solutions for different line of Businesses (LOBs) such as SAP Cloud for Customer (“Sales on Demand”), eCommerce ( with Hybris ), Financial Applications, SuccessFactors, SAP’s go-to Market Cloud solution for HR & Payroll, Single Cloud Based Solution ( SAP Business ByDesign ) and so on… Also SAP In-Memory Cloud Integration enhanced for Mobility solution on cloud, ODATA services, Lumira Cloud and embedded data quality management with HANA with rich libraries of connectors, such as SFTP, SOAP, IDOC, OData and SuccessFactors etc.
We can leverage these SAP Solutions with existing on-premises applications. HCI provides faster and smarter way to simplify the complex integration landscape. But the larger issue, besides considering the integration technologies & solutions available these days, is the best approach to leveraging these tools and solutions when designing and implementing the end-to-end Business solutions. Using the right tool at right time and at right place is the key for winning the game. I believe; the quick or tactical integration solutions may solve the near problem, but in the long run it may become a liability to overall effectiveness of business processes. Best advice is to measure the business needs in future, explore the fitment of SAP provided cloud solutions in existing business and identify the “REAL” need of systems to move on cloud and then align the landscape integration with HCI.
Hana Cloud Integration might be best in show, but moving on cloud should be the enhancements to the existing business processes, not replacement. Heraclitus quoted, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”. But now change is accelerated! Number of sources, target applications increases by the day and in HANA + Big data + Hadoop world, integration plays major role to push the Business towards SUCCESS!
In the next blog I’ll drill down more about HANA Cloud Integration in 4 quadrants of integration.
Blogger Swarup, a Solution Architect in Bilot, has been working in SAP world for more than 10 years. He has experience on Pre-sales, project management, architectural solutions, integration, and application development. Swarup is extensively working on integration, HANA, Cloud, CRM & mobility solutions.