“Business & IT alignment creates a virtuous cycle that unleashes the true power and potential of technology”- Forrester
Technology and IT help all businesses deliver products and services faster than before and possibly is the only key differentiator in a competitive market today. The need for a modern software infrastructure that responds quickly and effectively to customer needs is slowly gaining impetus. There are no more extended timelines for delivery, changes happen constantly thereby forcing businesses to adapt at the drop of a hat. What lies ahead is a discussion of how optimal integration of two powerful applications SAP and Salesforce CRM helps businesses stay agile and relevant in today’s business environment.
With the right software framework in place, businesses can easily adapt to external and internal changes that they are subject to. If a business is set up to respond rapidly; handle supply issues caused due to a pandemic or say an improved service experience for customers- they are more likely to sustain and keep up the tempo of growth. It is however also important that this ability to adapt and lead change is carried out in a manner that justifies costs- optimizing resources and applications on hand without any compromise on the quality of their product or service is a possible solution.
Understanding system integration broadly
Connecting different applications or sub-systems handling pivotal functions of the business into a single larger system that optimizes management of them is integration. In the context of software solutions, system integration is typically defined as the process of linking together various IT systems, applications services triggering the exchange of relevant data and helping them all function together.
The main reason for organizations to use system integration is the need to improve productivity, quality of their operations, and overall performance. The ultimate goal of enabling applications to talk to one other through integration is to hasten information flows, reduce operational challenges and associated costs. Once this is handled, the business becomes ever-ready to handle change and embraces agility.
Using robust CRM and ERP applications such as Salesforce and SAP-
Salesforce is unarguably one of the most popularly used cloud-based CRM applications in the world offering a variety of functionalities to manage critical business processes –Sales, marketing, and service. SAP (Systems, applications, and processes) is, on the other hand, a successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that plays a key role in managing resources and cash flows in a given business. SAP applications allow the user to enter data at a very granular level in the backend – even a telephonic call to a prospective customer can be recorded in the tool as a Lead thus empowering the Sales team to deliver better results. It also acts as a perfect platform for the finance team to pull out all Sales and Marketing related data required when necessary. Combine this with the functionalities offered by Salesforce CRM in the front end- it becomes the perfect fodder to understand the business performances.
Businesses that embrace both Salesforce to manage front end information and SAP on the backend have a unique advantage in managing and tracking arterial business functions. Integration between SAP and Salesforce helps synchronize data between the two systems, enforce real-time information exchange and creation of relevant business records. For instance, let us assume there is a change in customer information who has called a service center, this customer information must be updated on time to handle financials, performance management, and other related business functions managed by SAP.
Benefits of Salesforce SAP integration-
1. Effective data management
Recording a return in a Salesforce application will have its implication on refunds, inventory as well as an update in the customer record. Now, this cycle of relevant updates is important in SAP to help assess the exact status of sales, stock, and finances of the business.
2. Reduced repeat entries and access to real-time information
By integrating SAP with Salesforce, the need for dual data entry gets naturally eliminated thus saving time and efforts of resources and as well extend access to real-time data information at all times. Moreover, this integration also results in lesser data redundancies and errors that are rampant in manual data entry.
3. Order deliveries are a lot quicker
When a new opportunity is successfully closed in Salesforce CRM, the corresponding order details are automatically captured and entered within the SAP system. Action is thus triggered instantaneously thereby estimated and clearing any related costs and expediting delivery of goods.
4. Increased cash flows
Integrating Salesforce and SAP enables the system to send alerts when overdue accounts are recognized. Now, this helps businesses optimize the cash flow system as well as gain insights on the exact financial status of the business at all times. Revenue potential can be recognized in advance and the monthly financial goals can be achieved at a better speed.
5. Boost ROI
Several functionalities can be leveraged in an SAP Salesforce integrated system that helps make business processes effective by providing a cloud-based business system environment. Streamlined operations over a period reduce costs thereby improving the bottom line- ROI.
6. Empowered Sales teams
Let us understand this better with an example:
Every time product lists are revised or updated in SAP, the changes automatically reflect the change in Salesforce CRM and other synced applications in the event of integration. Now this enables the frontline sales agents to quote correctly without any manual errors while being completely aware of product-related updates including prices and descriptions. Integration thus equips the sales team with a holistic view of the streamlined order-to-cash process. Financial teams gain the ability to conveniently plan procurement and manufacturing with updated sales information.
Integrating two application behemoths such as Salesforce and SAP drives scalability, accessibility, responsiveness, and makes the business extremely agile. For continued sustainability and profitability, businesses must be agile. The first step is to harness the power of functionalities offered by both these platforms to streamline processes to the largest extent possible.
Using the ESB middleware or the Enterprise Service Bus approach in integrating SAP and Salesforce not only provides effective bi-directional data sync but also joining hands with maximum SAP-based technologies. Mule as an ESB offered by MuleSoft (now owned by Salesforce) is the only SAP-certified enterprise service bus that can be used for this integration. Further, this also provides Cloud Connect technology to be used along with the SAP-certified connector to simplify integration with Salesforce’s many APIs.
Why Choose AppShark?
AppShark is both a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner and a Product Development Partner based in Dallas, Texas. Our implementation process which includes customization, set up, and configuration – has been perfected through the many years served in the Salesforce industry. Our software integration services include strategy, development, and management to enable a continual flow of information from the cloud, premise to premise, or from cloud to premise platforms.