Sunday, May 18, 2014

Business ByDesign Integration with SAP ERP

I spoke to my Business ByDesign colleague Mike Morel to understand how they go about integrating Business ByDesign with SAP ERP. Mike explained everything to me and was kind enough to share a lot of resources. To get my head around it, I mapped what they do to what the SuccessFactors, Ariba and SAP Cloud for Travel teams are doing to integrate the respective solutions to ERP. Here are my notes based on my understanding of what Mike told me.

1. What is SAP Business ByDesign?
SAP Business ByDesign is ERP in the cloud designed for small businesses and subsidiaries of large companies.

2. What are the Business ByDesign deployment models for subsidiaries?
Subsidiaries  using Business ByDesign can use the Two-Tier ERP deployment model.

Many companies that run the SAP® ERP application as their corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) system are moving to a two-tier model to support their subsidiaries. With this model, they choose a subsidiary ERP system that meets subsidiary functional requirements and is less expensive to deploy, easier to change, and simpler to manage. Yet it also satisfies corporate requirements, which typically include regulatory transparency, operational metrics visibility, use of centralized business functions, and key data rollup.

3. What are the packaged integrations available for this deployment model?
SAP Business ByDesign supports multiple  integration scenarios with the HQ SAP ERP system. Packaged integrations are provided for master data integration, financial statement consolidation, procurement integration, payroll integration and analytics integration, Business ByDesign provides a set of web services for scenarios not supported by packaged integrations.  

4. What are the integration technologies used?
There is a proprietary ERP Add-On available. Certain packaged integrations use files to exchange data. Almost all other packaged integrations use iDocs or web services to integrate. SAP NetWeaver PI is optional. Customers who want to use SAP NetWeaver PI as middleware can choose to do so.

You will notice that the approach the Business ByDesign team has taken has a lot in common with all other cloud products from SAP. The only difference is that different teams think about these integrations slightly differently. Sometimes they tend to use slightly different terms for the same thing.

However, the underlying approach and integration architecture is more or less the same for all cloud products.

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