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By Michael Hill, Senior Director of Product Marketing for SAP Cloud Platform, SAP

Part Six in The Digital Platform Blog Series: Laying the Foundation for an Intelligent Enterprise

Data and technology integrations are, perhaps, two of the most delicate aspects of digital transformation projects. One missed data source or a broken connection to an application or sensor can render any plans for automating business processes – even with the assistance of artificial intelligence or machine learning – meaningless.

No matter how detailed the integration plan, traditional approaches are no longer practical enough to keep up with the pressure of fast-paced technology innovation and business change. IT landscapes continue to expand as an increasing array of multi-vendor applications and tools are used in a hybrid environment of cloud and on-premise deployments. This reality is especially concerning as existing IT skills lag behind the pace of technical change – making any assurance of data governance, information security, and compliance more uncertain.

But integration efforts do not have to be this complicated. In fact, adopting a cloud platform may be the sustainable choice that businesses need to integrate a diverse set of technologies with simplicity, scale, and speed.

A Cloud-Supported Approach toward Trusted Integration Outcomes

Unfortunately, today’s integration challenges cannot be solved by hiring your way out of it. But with the help of a cloud platform, businesses can empower their existing employees with the right skill sets – from integration specialists to ad hoc and citizen integrators – to create well-defined integration strategies aided by our methodology and tooling.

By making sense of their growing multitude of data, devices, applications, digital collaboration, and APIs, businesses can simplify the deployment across hybrid environments of mobile, cloud, and on-premise applications in a secure and scalable way. For example, integration can be greatly streamlined with out-of-the-box flows that are ready to be deployed and are supported by SAP. In addition, businesses can leverage a library of over 180 non-SAP connectors to popular cloud applications to quickly build new integration flows.

Take, for example, Zuellig Pharma Holdings. The company wanted to support the growing needs of the healthcare industry across 13 Asian markets by transforming itself into a technological and digital innovations hub. However, its dominant market position and 100 years of business tradition were increasingly viewed as potential impediments to modernization.

Zuellig Pharma implemented a cloud-based integration suite to acquire the tools necessary to set the stage for its new position as a front-runner in technological and digital health innovation. With this approach, the company is achieving considerable integration outcomes such as:

  • Time efficiencies gained through data processing, reporting, and analytics conducted in a consolidated, consistent manner across the business

  • Increased decision-making autonomy, so sales teams have access to real-time data on the go

  • Coordination across the supply chain, while combating counterfeiting and quality incidents, with blockchain technology

  • Integration services that help manage the proliferation of digital healthcare applications both within and outside of the company

  • Digitalized, value-adding, and traceable business processes spanning multiple systems

  • Optimized efficiency and productivity at customer service centers with coordinated task management and 360-degree visibility

  • Improved customer satisfaction throughout the end-to-end experience and faster processing times

Zuellig Pharma’s experience is one of many possibilities that companies can achieve with a cloud integration platform. Now more than ever, people can get work done faster and smarter. Instead of spending weeks processing thousands of resumes, they can match hundreds of resumes in a matter of minutes. The same level of success is happening in finance organizations as they try to quickly match invoices to accelerate payments. And most impressively, more and more business units are beginning to process data as soon as it’s captured to improve the precision and speed of real-time decisions.

Once devices, applications, data sources, business partners, employees, and customers are connected, companies can apply intelligence to processes to improve overall experience. For example, creating service tickets before a customer detects an issue where no one needs to manually enter a service ticket and wait for a technician to call or arrive.

Intelligent Integration: A Prerequisite for Lasting Business Change

When such intelligent integration strategies pull together a considerably large domain of people, processes, data, and devices into one seamless network, businesses can innovate efficiently and synergistically in ways that allow them to impact operational outcomes, act instantly, and capitalize on opportunities based on sound insights from up-to-date information. But most of all, they can increase productivity by intelligently automating manual tasks.

Learn More

Connect people, processes, data, and devices everywhere in a way that empowers your business to tap into wide-ranging and synergistic integration approaches, intuitive tools, and prepackaged content. Read our brief, “Simplify Integration and Transform Your Organization Across Cloud and Hybrid IT Landscapes.”