The SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite is a modular integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) to connect the intelligent enterprise.
What is the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite?
As shown in the figure below, the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite includes the following components:
SAP Cloud Platform Integration
SAP Cloud Platform Integration seamlessly integrates anything, anywhere: application-to-application (A2A) and business-to-business (B2B) scenarios in real time.
SAP Cloud Platform API Management (SAP API Management)
SAP API Management enables an enterprise to expose their data and processes as application programming interfaces (APIs). This solution further helps in managing these APIs in terms of governance and lifecycle.
The Integration Advisor enables an enterprise to accelerate the implementation and maintenance of B2B scenarios.
SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors
SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors supports easier connectivity with a large number of third-party applications by providing standard connectors.
Let’s turn now to the role SAP Cloud Platform Integration can play in your company’s cloud strategy.
As SAP moves to the cloud, hybrid deployments will play an increasingly major role in businesses. Most customers who run businesses today must maintain existing IT landscapes. The idea that cloud deployments will completely replace current environments is simply unreasonable. Consequently, successful companies find solutions to help them combine their current environments, which are typically on-premise, with cloud-based applications where it makes sense. Hybrid deployments will be the solution of choice for most companies in the years to come.
As the market heads in this direction, hybrid deployments are where SAP sees investments in IT moving to the cloud. However, hybrid landscapes automatically mean integration needs: On-premise systems and cloud applications need to exchange data with each other. An integration platform such as SAP Cloud Platform Integration is designed to fill the gap by being responsible for reliable message exchanges between systems. Let’s explore what motivates a company to implement a cloud-based strategy.
Benefits of a Cloud Strategy
The move to the cloud can be made for many good reasons. The figure below summarizes the key business benefits of cloud computing, categorized into four major pillars.
When we talk about the cloud, we’re actually thinking about the benefits shown in the figure. First and foremost, cloud-based strategies are all about faster deployments. By deployment, we mean the first setup and customizing of a software to make the solution ready for productive usage. Deployment in the old days used to take months, even years. With cloud-based solutions, deployment time has been reduced drastically, sometimes to weeks or days. This trend is accompanied by a mobile user experience. The cloud is consumer-grade and is beautiful and flexible. Today’s users expect to access software instantly and to easily adapt to new solutions without the long training sessions and expensive courses of yesterday.
Access to innovation, the second pillar, is another important benefit of cloud computing. We’re moving away from upgrade cycles that once took years, to at least quarterly upgrade cycles with most of today’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. For many solutions, the innovation cycle may even be reduced to a monthly or even biweekly update. Regular, scheduled innovations are thus delivered to all users of a solution at the same time, which means the software can always be up to date. Consequently, all users will be working with the latest version of the software.
This consistency leads directly to the next advantage of cloud computing: Because all users are working with the same software at the same time, a short feedback cycle is ensured. Potentially millions of people are working with the software, and these users can report their experiences directly to the vendor. This regular feedback cycle helps the software become better and better each day, since the vendor can react to issues almost immediately. Compare this cycle to the old days: After a vendor sold a solution, its deployment, as well as its future upgrades, depended on the customer’s planning, and the vendor never really received feedback about the software’s usage. Today, cloud solutions allow innovations to be implemented faster, driving the quality of the software forward.
In summary, deployment and upgrade processes are becoming more and more agile, resulting in rapid configurations for faster adoption of the software without lengthy upgrade cycles. However, one problem must be solved in this new world of cloud-based software delivery: How do the systems residing in the cloud and on-premise talk to each other? Fortunately, prepackaged integration content comes to the rescue. Since the vendors of these solutions know their software best, they also know how to best connect them with each other. This connectivity is the home turf of SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Integrations between cloud systems, or between cloud-based and on-premise systems, are increasingly being delivered prepackaged. Thus, in essence, how those systems communicate and exchange data with each other can be defined in advance by the software vendor so that you, the consumer, only needs to complete a few configuration steps to make the solution executable—plug and play at its best. Customers can also choose to only move certain functionalities to the cloud. Out-of-the-box integrations can then be used to facilitate the smooth transition from the on-premise world to the cloud-based world according to the customer’s pace.
Finally, you’ve probably heard a lot about the lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and faster time to value resulting from cloud-based solutions. These benefits result from the advantages mentioned earlier: You won’t have to spend money on hardware and software hosted in your own data centers anymore. You can now outsource these tasks to a solution provider. You can optimize your TCO through lower fees for the initial solution and for its deployment, and you no longer need to shoulder maintenance and upgrade costs. Thus, focusing on TCO, typically, cloud solutions do quite well in this regard.
The advantages are obvious: The benefits of cloud deployments include freeing up time, money, and energy that can instead be spent on new innovations and new engagement models with your customers, partners, suppliers, and employees. You can now dedicate more time to serving your customers best. So, remember, when thinking about the cloud, to consider not only its functional benefits, but also the further innovations that are made possible because you have more resources to dedicate to what really matters for your business.
Why Choose SAP Cloud Platform Integration?
Now that you understand the advantages that a cloud-based solution can bring to the table, the need for an integration platform to weave together the loose ends between various combinations of cloud-based and on-premise solutions becomes even more obvious. SAP Cloud Platform Integration is itself a cloud-based solution on the SAP Cloud Platform. Thus, SAP Cloud Platform Integration benefits from all the advantages just outlined and manages reliable message exchanges between all participants.
Whether we’re talking about SAP applications on-premise or in the cloud, non-SAP solutions, or B2B integrations, SAP Cloud Platform Integration is the solution of choice to connect them. SAP Cloud Platform Integration is therefore SAP’s strategic integration platform to help companies successfully move to the cloud. An organization’s cloud strategy must include SAP Cloud Platform Integration.
SAP Cloud Platform Integration has another big advantage when compared to the competition: Because SAP knows its own applications better than any other vendor, SAP Cloud Platform Integration is shipped with preconfigured integration content that just needs a few configuration steps to become productive for most businesses. This approach reduces time and money for integration projects to the absolute minimum.
Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book SAP Cloud Platform Integration: The Comprehensive Guide by John Mutumba Bilay, Peter Gutsche, Mandy Krimmel, and Volker Stiehl.