SAP is arguably one of the most powerful ERP platforms available on the market, offering a plethora of product, customer, resource, and reporting management to its customers.
It’s only natural to want to combine its power and flexibility with your e-commerce platform. Luckily, this feat isn’t as insurmountable as it may seem.
SAP grants users the ability to create and expose web services into the SAP platform. Web services are hooks that allow outside applications access to a limited subset of data within a system. SAP primarily uses SOAP as its web services communication protocol. SOAP [Simple Objects Application Protocol] is simply a specification for exchanging structured information, so there is no limit as to what types of data can be exchanged.
Once you’ve exposed SAP’s web services, connecting with Magento is just a custom module away. While building web services properly for an enterprise-level application requires a strong developer, it’s not incredibly difficult at the surface level. So the obvious question is “What can I do with this?” Well, for starters, how about real-time inventory? Magento has its own inventory management system, but multi-channel retailers often need something more robust. By using web service calls from Magento into SAP, it’s possible to allow SAP to be the system of record for inventory. This way, you don’t have to worry about selling something that Magento thinks is in stock, but your warehouse doesn’t actually have. Of course, you could periodically feed inventory imports into Magento with Excel files, but a SAP integration makes it automatic and hassle-free.
By the same token, Magento has a robust order management suite, but if you’re an SAP user, you likely have your customer service people trained on SAP. So, why bother training them on Magento? Instead, Magento can be customized to feed orders to SAP via web services whenever an order is placed. This way SAP is always up-to-date and no one has to worry about manually entering orders from the e-commerce platform into SAP.
While these are just a few examples, the integration can go deeper, including payment processing, fulfillment management, CRM synchronization, and much more. Integrating Magento with SAP provides a powerful unification of your business channels, without the stress or potential error of manual processes. Gorilla recommends thorough ERP integrations to all of our customers presently using an ERP solution. SAP is one of the cases where the possibilities are nearly limitless due to the robust capabilities of SAP’s web services and the vast amount of data contained within the system. In this scenario, you really can let Magento do all of the work for you, giving you the freedom to focus on the more critical aspects of growing your business.