Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What are Packaged Integrations?

Today a colleague emailed me and asked me what we mean by packaged integrations and how they are different from say a custom integration that a consulting team can build. I wrote him this email and thought that it might be useful for everyone.

1. Productized integration components provided by SAP
Productized components of integration include: packaged integrations, standard integration templates, best practice content for implementation, custom integrations from SAP professional services teams, and application programming interfaces. Packaged integrations cover the common integrations needed by most customers. They take very little time to implement; usually about 20 percent of what it would take to build and implement a custom integration.



1.1.1 Packaged Integrations
SAP has invested in identifying, developing, documenting, delivering, and maintaining a library of functionally rich integrations that most customers need to connect SAP cloud solutions to on-premise and 3rd party applications. This approach makes it faster, easier, and cheaper for customers to implement such integrations.

Each packaged integration is designed by SAP software architects using knowledge gained by studying thousands of customer implementations, and in collaboration with tens of co-innovation customers. Packaged integrations are managed by SAP product managers like any other software product, and are subject to the same design, testing, documentation, and release rigor as any other SAP product. Such rigor significantly reduces the risk of business interruption for customers.  With packaged integrations, customers get access to SAP deep domain knowledge and best practices for hybrid deployments of on-premise and cloud applications. Packaged integrations cover most foundational integrations required by SAP cloud applications.

1.1.2 Standard integration templates
Standard integration templates are built to connect SAP cloud products with 3rd-party software vendors in multiple categories. For example, there is a standard integration template to connect SuccessFactors Employee Central with 3rd-party time management software vendors.

1.1.3 Best practices content and custom integration services
SAP provides best practices content, for many integrations scenarios. Customers and partners can use these to implement integrations in a predictable manner. These best practices content is delivered free of cost to all customers and partners from service market place.

Packaged integrations cannot cover every integration scenario. To address this, SAP consulting teams provide custom integration services to build customer-specific integrations. SAP consulting teams have deep expertise in connecting SAP cloud products to 3rd-party solutions both on-premise and in the cloud.  They also maintain a library of reusable code that can be used to significantly reduce the risks and cost of implementation.

1.1.4 Application Programming Interfaces for customer specific integrations
Customers and partners often strive to build unique integrations to differentiate themselves from competitors. To help customers build integrations unique to their needs, SAP offers a rich set of open, standards-based, APIs to leverage for custom integrations. SAP customers and partners have already built thousands of custom integrations using these cloud APIs.




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