SAP EAI


SAP EAI: Challenges and Key Considerations

What Is SAP EAI?

EAI stands for enterprise application integration. SAP defines EAI as the process of connecting independently designed software applications so they work together.

SAP Process Integration (formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Process Integration) is SAP’s EAI software. SAP EAI is a component of SAP Process Integration and is used to facilitate the exchange of information between a company’s internal software systems and software systems of external parties.

Evolution of SAP EAI

EAI has evolved over the years, beginning in 1980 when companies began using technology to connect on-premise business applications.

In the 1990s, with the inception of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, EAI technologies evolved to handle the communication and harmonization of a hybrid landscape.

Today, components like application programming interfaces (API), event-driven actions, and data mapping help link applications together.

SAP EAI Challenges

In August 2021, SAPinsider published a benchmark report, “SAP Integration Landscape.” A majority of respondents (90%) identified integrating third-party applications with SAP systems as their top integration challenge. While customers said they are leveraging existing SAP integration tools as well as technologies like electronic data interchange (EDI) to meet their integration requirements, less than 10% reported that their current integration strategy is completely meeting the organization’s needs.

In his report, Robert Holland writes: “The accelerated move to cloud-based applications over the last 18 months, combined with the increasing adoption of best-of-breed solutions, regardless of vendor, has significantly increased the complexity of these integration challenges.”

SAP EAI: Challenges and Key Considerations

What Is SAP EAI?

EAI stands for enterprise application integration. SAP defines EAI as the process of connecting independently designed software applications so they work together.

SAP Process Integration (formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Process Integration) is SAP’s EAI software. SAP EAI is a component of SAP Process Integration and is used to facilitate the exchange of information between a company’s internal software systems and software systems of external parties.

Evolution of SAP EAI

EAI has evolved over the years, beginning in 1980 when companies began using technology to connect on-premise business applications.

In the 1990s, with the inception of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, EAI technologies evolved to handle the communication and harmonization of a hybrid landscape.

Today, components like application programming interfaces (API), event-driven actions, and data mapping help link applications together.

SAP EAI Challenges

In August 2021, SAPinsider published a benchmark report, “SAP Integration Landscape.” A majority of respondents (90%) identified integrating third-party applications with SAP systems as their top integration challenge. While customers said they are leveraging existing SAP integration tools as well as technologies like electronic data interchange (EDI) to meet their integration requirements, less than 10% reported that their current integration strategy is completely meeting the organization’s needs.

In his report, Robert Holland writes: “The accelerated move to cloud-based applications over the last 18 months, combined with the increasing adoption of best-of-breed solutions, regardless of vendor, has significantly increased the complexity of these integration challenges.”

Key Consideration for SAP EAI

Don’t consider SAP EAI in a silo. To achieve agility, business value, and innovation, SAP customers need to take advantage of technology that not only addresses application integration, but also application development, data value creation, and extensibility of SAP and third-party application and data assets. In his article, Jagdish Sahasrabudhe, CTO of SAP’s Global Partner Organization, writes: “In the current environment of rapid change, enterprises need to develop an integrated view across all apps, data, and other assets to gain insights and make real-time decisions.”

Consider the increase in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications in your SAP EAI strategy. Sahasrabudhe cites a 50% increase in companies’ spend on SaaS applications in 2020 compared to 2018. This has led to management, cost, integration, and security implications. When developing an EAI strategy, factor in these complexities and understand the technologies that are available today to help, like SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Integration Suite, and SAP Extension Suite.

Understand SAP EAI’s role in business transformation. According to SAP, this role is fundamental. EAI can help you with everything from creating meaningful customer insights to complying with e-government and regulatory requirements and powering e-commerce. And, EAI can enable benefits such as information sharing, business process optimization, and agility and efficiency.

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