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I hope you all had a wonderful professional 2019 and all are looking for exciting 2020. Let’s get into business by understanding what Intelligent Enterprise and Integration Service Advisory Methodology (ISA-M) has to offer to Enterprise Architects (EA) who are looking to implement this sophisticated methodology to lay the path for the digital transformation of the landscape. I don’t want to go into an overview of this methodology as there is a detailed blog about this topic from one of our peer Matthias Allgaier. Please find the link below.

Let’s take an analogy, say if you have a million-dollar home and some great luxury fixtures in the bathroom but you have very poor plumbing. It a dangerous situation, which may cause flood and ruin the million-dollar home. Likewise, if you have a million-dollar business and have great products and solutions but have a poor integration strategy. It is a dangerous situation, which may cause business bottlenecks that may result in million-dollar losses.

A few years ago, there was no specific methodology for strategizing integration touchpoints in the landscape because the organization was more widely using on-premises system(s) which is referred to today as the classical landscape. These required more functional architecture then technical due to a number of limited systems in the landscape. Over a period of time the way business is conducted has changed and it has laid the path for the digital transformation of the landscape. Companies have adopted new technologies to generate more revenue by creating Omnichannel, Simple navigation and great user experience for their customers and shifting to a platform-based business which has helped companies to establish transparency between suppliers and consumers. In fulfilling these needs companies have added a lot of complexities to their existing landscape. In complex landscapes always integration strategy plays a key role.

Let’s take a real-world example. A Company is running multiple ERP systems and has live data of 30+ TB at any given point of time. They have both on-premise and cloud solutions forming a hybrid landscape. The systems include ERP, CRM, SCM, BW, APO, MDM, SAP PI, Hybris, AS400 Legacy systems and cloud solutions like C4C, Salesforce, and IBP.  As of today, they have multiple integration touchpoints that are created with respect to Transactional, ETL data. These include SAP PI, AS400, Web Methods, OData services, EDI. Now the company needs to create a strategy for integration since it is tending to become fragile and the company is spending money to maintain the landscape. In parallel, they are looking into making a shift from sales-driven business to data-driven business in which they are planning to implement intelligent enterprise and data governance which is very critical for auditing purposes of the company. The above-mentioned landscape is very common in big companies that have multiple lines of businesses. Imagine if an enterprise architect needs to build an integration strategy from scratch. This is doable but will take a lot of effort and it is again a cost to the company as it involves multiple cross-functional departments and teams.

Now let’s adapt ISA-M and try to solve the problem. This methodology provides four types of integration as mentioned below.

  • Out of box integration

  • Open Integration

  • Holistic Integration

  • AI-driven Integration

ISA-M is provided with a template that will help EA’s in solving complex integration landscape. The template is divided into 3 categories as mentioned below.

  • Integration Domains

  • Integration Patterns

  • Integration Technology Mapping

Apply ISM to classify the landscape complexities

Integration Domain Integration Patterns Integration Technology Mappings Integration Technology
ERP A2A, B2B On-premise SAP PI /PO
CRM A2C, A2A On premise SAP PI/PO
Hybris A2A, A2C On-Premise or Cloud SAP PI/ PO
SCM A2A On-Premise SAP PI/PO
APO A2A, Data Integration On Premise SAP PI/PO, CIF
MDM A2A, Data Integration On Premise SAP PI/PO
C4C A2C, A2A Cloud CPI
Salesforce A2C, B2B Cloud CPI
Ariba A2C, A2A Cloud CPI
IBP A2A, B2B, A2C Cloud DS

If you observe the above table in which it clearly maps the landscape complexities. This will make EA’s to get a perspective of the problem and then dig deeper into how best to design the hybrid landscape so that fragility is eliminated, and robustness is introduced in the landscape.  Using the above data, it will be easy to classify the systems and the processes and make further deeper dive into the problem as mentioned below.

Systems Integration Technology System Type Data Connection/Type
ERP SAP PI /PO Dual-stack Number of BPM
CRM SAP PI/PO Dual-stack Number of Legacy Connections
Hybris SAP PI/ PO Dual-stack Number of services and Number of SSO
SCM SAP PI/PO Dual stack Number of BPM, volume and frequencies
APO SAP PI/PO, CIF Dual-stack Data loads and volume
MDM SAP PI/PO Dual-stack Data volume
C4C CPI Out of box integrations Number of integrations
Salesforce CPI Custom integrations Number of integrations
Ariba CPI ASN or API API calls
IBP DS Data services Data load and connections

If you observe the above table provides information at the system level so a decision can be made whether to take a technical upgrade approach or migration approach so that you can enhance the performance of the integration touchpoints which would, in turn, reduce the business bottlenecks. Depending upon the following criteria you can decide the approach.

  • Number of Business Process Management (BPM)

  • Number of Legacy process

  • Number of Database connection

  • The volume of the data

  • Frequency of the process runs

  • Number of the ETL process

  • Number of Custom cloud solutions

  • Number of synchronous calls per day

  • Opportunities to use standards and rearchitect the solutions\

Note: It is always good to take one-time pain to create a solid architecture rather than temporary stability because, in the long run, it would pay big returns.

I think you got the point. Moving on.

Now let us take another landscape issue which can be solved using intelligent enterprise and ISA-M

In an intelligent enterprise, the concept is using one architecture and multiple patterns. This architecture will help connect any number of LOB (s).  The data management, AI, IoT, Analytics and SAP cloud platform and its services form the intelligence of the enterprise. Leveraging which company can make their data into a revenue-generating source that would provide valid information to improve the business.

I am using an SAP case study with Health Care because it will be the best example to illustrate the intelligent enterprise. If you observe below architecture it is very complex as it involves multiple clouds, multiple third-party tools, and too many data interlinkage in which the data is less accessible and no clarity between supplier and vendor data relationships.

If intelligent enterprise architecture is used then we can implement one architecture multiple patterns which means that you can connect all the processes, data and LOB’s using SAP cloud platform and its services which will allow you to integrate multiple systems using one pitch stop solution as shown below.

Once the enterprise is intelligent then adapting ISA-M is very easy and will help to build a robust integration landscape so that you will run a million-dollar business successfully.

Hope this helps!

See you in my next blog!
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