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Your Cloud Integrated Your Way

3-Pronged Strategy Integrates Cloud Applications into Your Landscape

by Nayaki Nayyar | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 1

January 1, 2014

This article lays out a three-part cloud integration strategy designed to help customers leverage and augment their existing on-premise investments — whether SAP, non-SAP, or custom applications — with cloud applications to get faster business outcomes.


As companies adopt new cloud solutions for faster innovations, consumer-grade user experience, and lower total cost of ownership, hybrid IT landscapes across on-premise and the cloud will become the norm. This makes successful integration top of mind for customers. And with the market for public cloud solutions projected to grow 18.5% in 2013 to a total of $131 billion worldwide,1 the need to integrate will only intensify. 

In a hybrid landscape, customers not only have to factor in the implementation time and cost of complex integrations across heterogeneous systems consisting of SAP, non-SAP, and custom applications, they also have to consider the ongoing support and maintenance of these integrations. In their journey to cloud, it is critical that customers prevent data inconsistencies and information silos, and ensure they have seamless end-to-end business process integration across their on-premise and cloud applications.

3-Pronged Cloud Integration Strategy

We’ve recognized this need for customers to leverage and augment their existing on-premise investments with cloud applications to get faster business outcomes. To help customers rapidly and flexibly integrate our cloud solutions with other systems, whether they are SAP, non-SAP, or custom applications, we have adopted a three-pronged cloud integration strategy. This strategy is comprised of:

  1. A new cloud-based integration technology, SAP HANA Cloud Integration
  2. Prepackaged integrations known as iFlows
  3. Open application program interfaces (APIs) and deployment choices for customers
SAP HANA Cloud Integration

SAP HANA Cloud Integration is a new cloud-based integration technology with process and data integration capabilities (see Figure 1). This was natively built on a multi-tenant cloud infrastructure, which supports the integration of SAP’s cloud applications to SAP, non-SAP, and custom applications (on-premise to cloud and cloud to cloud). This technology helps customers rapidly realize value from the prepackaged integrations (iFlows) delivered by SAP. Customers don’t need to procure additional hardware, set up a new middleware landscape, or invest in monitoring for the underlying integration technology. On this technology, they can extend standard integration content provided by SAP and build new custom integration.

Figure 1 — SAP HANA Cloud Integration technology

Prepackaged Integrations (iFlows)

SAP has invested in hundreds of functionally rich prepackaged integrations called iFlows across all of our cloud solutions (see sidebar). iFlows make it faster and easier for customers to realize the value of hybrid landscapes. The prepackaged integrations are supported through upgrades and product releases by SAP.2 With prepackaged integrations, customers get access to SAP’s deep domain knowledge and best practices for hybrid deployments of on-premise and cloud applications.

Integration Across the Cloud Pillars

Prepackaged integrations, or iFlows, can enable many scenarios for customers across SAP’s different line-of-business applications and the Business Network (see Figure 2). Some examples of readily available prepackaged integrations include:

  • For the People pillar: SuccessFactors Business Execution (BizX) Suite integration with SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM); and SuccessFactors Employee Central with SAP ERP
  • For the Money pillar: SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense with SAP ERP or with SAP ERP HCM; SAP Business ByDesign with SAP ERP; and SAP Cloud for Financials with SAP ERP
  • For the Customer pillar: SAP Cloud for Customer integration with SAP ERP or with SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM)
  • For the Supplier pillar: Ariba Sourcing with SAP ERP or with SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM); and Ariba Network with SAP SRM (and MM) 
  • For the Business Network: Ariba Network with SAP ERP or with SAP Business One 

SAP is developing prepackaged integrations for cloud-to-cloud solutions like SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense to SuccessFactors Employee Central, and SuccessFactors Employee Central to SAP Cloud for Financials.

Figure 2 — A sample of prepackaged integration offerings

Open APIs and Deployment Choices

We recognize that SAP cannot realistically provide prepackaged integrations for every scenario. To help, we offer a rich set of open standards-based APIs that customers can leverage to build net-new custom integrations specific to their needs. Customers can also choose to use their existing SAP NetWeaver Process Integration to deploy our iFlows. In addition to offering our own integration technologies, SAP also certifies connectors developed by third-party integration platforms, like MuleSoft, Cast Iron, and Boomi, to our cloud solutions.


SAP aims to enable our customers to take full advantage of the cloud and derive the intended business outcome. Through our integration technology, functionally rich prepackaged integrations (iFlows), and a rich set of open APIs, our customers have a trusted partner to help them with their implementation and support of their end-to-end integrated hybrid landscape.


1 Gartner, “Gartner Says Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market to Total $131 Billion” (February 28, 2013; [back]

2 Based on the particular scenario, prepackaged integration may be available on SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, SAP HANA Cloud Integration, point-to-point, or Dell Boomi AtomSphere for SuccessFactors Employee Central. [back]

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Nayaki Nayyar, SAP
Nayaki Nayyar

Senior Vice President
SAP Cloud for Customer Engagement


Nayaki Nayyar, SAP
Nayaki Nayyar

Senior Vice President
SAP Cloud for Customer Engagement

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