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In one hand we have our dear SAP PO, Middleware that has evolved a lot during the last years (who worked with XI remember...). In the other hand we have the new SCI - SAP Cloud Integration, which inherits many of the lessons learned from his old brother on-premise and has been increasingly being offered to customers.

Who wins this battle? Which one has the best return on investment? Is it safe to go to this SAP Cloud Middleware world? Let's talk about this in a series of articles that begin here with a summary and will be treated in specific in others articles.

Licensing: Licensing is a complex topic, always causes headache. SAP is working hard to simplify, but the truth is that it depends a lot on customer to customer. But we noticed a big difference in this new scenario.

In the PO basically we had 3 types of licensing - By number of processors of the machine, number of transactions and (formerly) by number of users, but as spoken, this is complex in practice and often we do not have a clear picture that how much we will pay , how it will be charged or which is the best option.

In our new SCI, we are talking about "Cloud", that is, licensing is VERY simpler. Basically you pay a monthly fee for the SCP (SAP Cloud Platform), regardless of how much you use, what you use (the SCP has many other services), how much you transacted or how many users you have. Simple, right? But of course this depends a lot on how your contract was done.

Even depending on who your host provider is, creating new environments can be quick and simple (maybe not cheap...). I worked in a client for example that had as host to Amazon, that within a day was made available a new environment. This is amazing to have!

Functionalities: Let's start by saying that this question is not fair with SCI. The SCI is a "new" solution and the PO is over 15 years old (on 12/16/2002 - released for the first customers the famous XI - Exchange Infrastructure).

So even though we technically have the same functionalities in both solutions, it is clear that SCI needs more time to improve, inclusive the SAP are releasing new versions every 2 months, with major improvements. But we still have a lot to improve on SCI, for example in monitoring messages is very bad, there is no native data repository...

But on the other hand, it is much easier and simpler to develop in SCI. It's sad to admit this ... but SCI becomes a simpler and easier tool for development and monitoring (if you do it right, because it's full of tricks).

In PO we have SLD, Design, Configuration, certificate management, message monitoring ... all in different places and needing many configurations for a final result. In SCI everything is in a single place, with few clicks you finish an interface, perform deploy, manage digital certificates, manage messages, queues... And all this on a beautiful screen Fiori. Yes! No Java to disturb your life!!

Look how beautiful and intuitive this web development environment:

Another important point about functionalities is the ease of using standard SAP packages in SCI. Accessing the Discovery is possible to access the numerous integrations (today there are 132 available solutions - 112 developed by SAP) ready and very easy to use them:

Do you want to integrate your SAP ERP (R/3 or S/4) with Concur? Easy, just copy the scenario that SAP has available and be happy:

Scope: Let's face the truth, both are middleware tools and if you put your PO in a DMZ and using a proxy, you will have a very similar result than using SCI + SCC.

So why I have to buy two middlewares to do the same thing??? Calm down!

Do not kill the SAP commercial who is trying to sell you the SCI. The big difference is in what SAP is planning for the next few years and the answer is clear: Let's go to the cloud!

Each time we will have more solutions in "cloud", the SAP Cloud Platform are growing a lot, IoT, Predictive Analysis, more integrations with SAP cloud systems (SF, Ariba, Concur...) and here is the important point on this topic, because for these integrations the SCI has a great advantage, because it is much simpler to be used, with the plan to have many more standard solutions, with much less work for our team of Basis, much less development work... that is, a better return on investment in the long terms.

So the PO will die? Officially not. SAP continues to say that it will maintain the PO, because companies have been using this solution for a long time, and carrying out a migration would be extremely costly and risky. So today we have two solutions, one for cloud and one for on-premise integration:

In summary for now:

Do I need to buy SCI now? Do you have a SF? Ariba? SCP? S/4? Concur? Do you plan to migrate your solution to "cloud"? If yes, I believe it might be worth approaching these ideas. Embedded solutions have their facility and that even costing a little more, the advantages in development and maintenance make the difference.

If you answered no, be careful, you may not be seeing the future so clearly, you may be required to answer "yes" in the short term.

Can I kill my Process Orchestration? Not yet... SCI still has a lot to evolve and it is still necessary to keep both assets. I know... it's sad this scenario and sometimes it seems more "theory by theory" than really a practical return. We have to analyze case by case and design an architecture aimed at you. Call me! haha

Did you like the post? Hate it? Do you disagree with everything? Let's talk more about this? Leave your comment! Coming soon new posts on this subject! 🙂
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