Faced with a growing sense of “transform or die,” most organizations today are somewhere along the journey toward becoming a digital business — in a recent survey, more than eight in ten respondents reported embarking on a digital transformation project. In addition, the customer experience has taken center stage, driven by consumers and businesses that have high expectations for exceptional experiences with the companies with which they interact. The shift toward the experience economy is now in full swing, signaled by moves such as SAP’s acquisitions of Callidus in late 2018 and Qualtrics in early 2019 to enable organizations to combine their operational SAP data with sophisticated functionality for product configuration, pricing, and quoting — and for capturing customer feedback and survey data.
The customer experience can be the difference between retaining and losing consumers and business partners — one survey found that 80% of customers chose to leave a brand due to poor customer experience — and needs to be a central part of an organization’s successful digital transformation strategy. One of the keys to creating an exceptional experience is the ability to access data in back-end systems seamlessly and in real time, which means that robust integration is key. This can be a challenge for large enterprises, however, which are managing a wide range of existing systems in their landscapes while adding new innovations.
Meeting New Expectations for Customer Engagement
A superior customer experience requires immediate insight and end-to-end awareness. Companies can no longer get away with a delayed response to a status inquiry from a customer or business partner. That simply doesn’t work in the new experience economy, where customers not only want real-time notifications when anything changes with their order, but also want a highly personalized experience. Customers want information immediately, and businesses need visibility throughout the entire customer engagement cycle.
This means making integration and access to data not just read-only, but bidirectional and seamless with the presentation layer that interfaces with the end user, whether it’s the customer, a sales employee, or a call center. For SAP customers, in today’s world, that means integrating the core on-premise SAP ERP systems that hold your data with a host of new cloud-based solutions and self-service apps that support event-driven communication, such as the SAP Sales Cloud suite, the SAP C/4HANA suite, Qualtrics solutions, and third-party applications. It also means planning for integrations in the future, such as a move to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Seamless integration is one of the core strengths of the SAP solution landscape — in particular, the SAP ERP world. In a traditional SAP ERP landscape, you can put in a pricing inquiry and then a quote that would go over to an order. Order inventory and shipping information can be accessed in real time, and everything is tied into the financial systems for invoicing and payment — all in real time. So, how do you bring the powerful, real-time integration capabilities of the SAP ERP back office to the customer engagement environments in the cloud as well? How do you support complex modern environments that include SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA back ends as well as multiple front ends and engagement points, without overextending your IT organization, so that you can grow as businesses and make a solid move into the new experience economy?
A Standardized Integration Approach
Integrating these types of systems can be a resource-intensive undertaking that can also pose challenges to digital transformation projects. In fact, one survey found that 89% of IT executives believe integration challenges are slowing their digital transformation, and that organizations are spending nearly 22% of their annual IT budgets on integration. There hasn’t been a clear path for integrating these types of complex environments, which can result in the use of multiple methods, six-figure implementations, and long time frames. This is a gap that software from enosix is designed to fill, by making it very simple to access data from back-end SAP systems and consume it anywhere an organization needs — in all the variety and flavors of its front-end engagement systems.
Previously, not all of the information that went into a quote was the most current. Now, the data is more reliable due to the real-time integration. It has cut our quote creation time by 50% and given us better accuracy.
– Gary Kreitzer, Senior Pricing Analyst, Verso Corporation
As such, enosix provides a platform for integration with SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA to surface data and to provide order entry with the back end for sales; configure, price, and quote (CPQ) and variant configuration (VC); service; and business-to-business (B2B) and community systems of engagement. It is installed in the SAP back end as an add on and generates prebuilt ABAP objects to enable access to SAP data and business processes, which are then linked to the front-end systems through an Open API Portal, providing deep integration with the SAP system. The enosix platform supports key business process scenarios — such as lead to cash, opportunity to cash, and procurement to cash — through prebuilt integration templates that are pretested, reusable, extensible, scalable, and designed to present a seamless user interface to the customer.
Using these standardized integrations, companies that in the past invested significant resources to integrate their systems have accomplished the same levels of integration within weeks for a fraction of the cost and effort while simplifying the management of complex systems, enabling real-time response, and increasing efficiency and speed for IT organizations.
Enosix accelerated our implementation plan by nine months.
– Katrina Agusti, VP, Solution Delivery – IT, Carhartt
A Path to Innovation
Access to innovation is one of the key drivers — and challenges — when it comes to integration. Customers faced with limited resources can find themselves with limited opportunities to take advantage of the innovation offered by new solutions such as SAP C/4HANA and Callidus applications. For example, a manual approach to integrating SAP ERP and SAP C/4HANA using SAP Process Integration can be challenging and can require significant effort. The enosix platform helps to reduce this effort through its prebuilt integration and enables organizations to take advantage of the functionality delivered by new customer engagement solutions and use them to transform their business for the experience economy.
This standardized, prebuilt integration approach also helps to smooth the transition from SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which is a pressing concern for SAP customers due to the approaching 2025 deadline to make the move. The integrations provided by enosix for SAP ERP will also run on SAP S/4HANA, and easily move to SAP Cloud Platform, saving IT teams from the effort of having to redevelop all of the back-end integrations to support the transition. This makes it very easy for SAP customers to leverage their existing investment in SAP technology and positions them to continue growing with SAP by moving forward with new innovations with the confidence that they can be easily integrated into their landscapes.
Digital initiatives continue to drive organizational strategies across markets, and companies that are focused on closing the experience gap and providing a superior customer experience are winning in the marketplace. These are the companies that will continue to grow and win, while those that are not focused on closing the experience gap will ultimately struggle to survive. Succeeding in the digital world requires a standardized approach to integration that ensures a seamless customer experience.
To learn more about how the prebuilt integration scenarios from enosix can help organizations accelerate their digital transformation and become active participants in the experience economy — and to read case studies about how customers are using the enosix Open API Platform to overcome their integration challenges — visit https://enosix.com.