Salesforce and SAP integration: Pros and Cons, Best cases

SAP and Salesforce integration is one of the most widely used enterprise resource planning solutions on the market. UNL Solutions will help you to make such integration.

As there sometimes can be the question: “Is Salesforce and SAP the same thing?”, let’s learn more about these technologies first and figure out how they can help and improve your business.

What are Salesforce and SAP

The combination of two market-leading applications that are Salesforce and SAP is one of the most common contemporary API integration scenarios. No doubt, Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM software available over the web. It offers areas of Enterprise CRM solutions that can be used by enterprises and organizations to rev up their business operations. Whether you seek a solution that could simplify their operations or one that helps streamline critical processes, Salesforce is considered to be the best bet.

Salesforce itself is a cloud computing software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that has been in business since 1999. It started as a cloud-based CRM software company that provided CRM Solutions years before SaaS became ubiquitous throughout enterprises. Over 150,000 companies run Salesforce in some form.

As it was originally built for people and businesses that are connected with customers and sales, some of the main functions of Salesforce contain tracking prospects and companies in business applications, adding deals, and accessing sales collateral. Anyway, as Salesforce offers so many useful products, a lot of companies use the platform in a variety of additional ways. For example, Salesforce can be used to manage marketing campaigns, handle customer service inquiries, log calls, and create reports.

The software runs in the cloud, so all applications are hosted online. This lets users get access to Salesforce from anywhere and from any device, you just need to have internet connection. That’s why it’s a boon for remote workers or salespeople who are on the road and need to enter details of sales calls easily. It also allows companies to get up and run quickly, without having to set up hardware and other business applications.

SAP, on the contrary, is an excellent enterprise resource planning software, that allows you to keep track of your enterprise resources, manage them, and control your expenses. What’s best about the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is that you can not only streamline but also automate and optimize the processes, improving overall business productivity.

It is estimated that roughly 77 percent of all global transactions are somehow connected with SAP software. And there is a significant reason for it: SAP not only helped invent the ERP space, starting with an integrated accounting solution in 1973 and leading the industry as it grew into what it is today. It also is the largest ERP vendor and the 12th largest technology company in the world, used by more than 404,000 businesses across 180 different countries.

The largest businesses use SAP or its closest competitor, Oracle, and SMBs also rely on SAP software; 80 percent of SAP’s customer base is made up of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a surprising number given the company’s reputation for powering some of the world’s largest multinationals.

SAP certainly works with big business. But over the years, the company has developed distinct product lines that serve each segment of the market. There’s SAP Business One for smaller firms, SAP Business ByDesign for developing medium-sized businesses, and the company’s flagship SAP HANA for larger enterprise customers.

Experts believe that integration of a CRM software with that of SAP ERP would enhance its ability, adding to the features and functionalities provided by the same. Based on this information, you may have the idea that there’s nothing better than Salesforce CRM for your SAP infrastructure. Let’s have a look at some advantages of Salesforce and SAP integration.

Benefits of a Salesforce and SAP integration

  • Enhanced version of Data Management
    As we have mentioned above, the integration of Salesforce with SAP ensures that every data or piece of information added to the system is ubiquitously available to all other departments in the infrastructure. Be sure that you will not have the necessity to have all the copies of the same customer piece of information.
    Moreover, whenever you add new customer information in the portal, everyone concerned is notified about the same. For example, if the sales team processes the request of a new customer with his order, the data is shared with the manufacturing department to accelerate the production process. Besides, there are Salesforce to SAP connectors that are able to connect the ecosystems mentioned above with various open-source technologies. Thus, they make it possible to populate Salesforce data into SAP. Some technologies and templates can move a large set of accounts from Salesforce to SAP. 

  • Less errors and mistakes thanks to automatization process
    One of the most obvious benefits of integrating SAP with Salesforce is that it automates most of the data entry and processing tasks. What does it mean? The employees no longer need to insert data manually. Thus, the possibility of error is reduced dramatically. Moreover, all the process is going better and faster that can lead to general improvement of internal systems in your business. 

  • Real-time Processing
    As we have already mentioned, the integration leads to the creation of a centralized database with access to all the concerned details and departments. With automated alerts and timely notifications, the ERP department can in a single moment get access to the data of the newly acquired customer. Thus, the entire company can get the necessary data at the same time, regardless of where it is located. This advantage is especially relevant nowadays, since many employees in companies prefer remote work. Using this technology, the quality of work will not deteriorate, and may even accelerate.This optimizes the end-to-end operations improving performance and efficiency.

  • Organized Cashflow
    Salesforce and SAP ERP integration has another benefit of improving the cash flow within the organization. It is seen that the solution has a built-in feature of sending alerts and notifications to the concerned department at the right time.
    This function helps to manage cash flows reliably, quickly and correctly performing assigned tasks. For example, if there are overdue invoices, your company’s finance department will automatically receive a notification to resolve this issue. Thus, the function helps large and small companies to optimize the cash flow system.

  • Boosts ROI
    With all the info mentioned above, the integration of SAP with Salesforce helps you conduct your business better with real-time insights. Better management, improved cash flow, optimized customer experience, and real-time visibility, all of this boosts the overall ROI of the organizations.

  • Enable your sales department to quote exactly
    When you choose to combine the power of your Salesforce CRM with SAP, it aligns the sales and resource management processes. Here’s a clear example for better understanding: every time your product lists are changed and updated in SAP, the changes are automatically viewed in Salesforce Price Books and other correlated applications enabling your frontline sales department and sales agents to quote correctly without any chances to make a mistake. Importantly, they will be aware of product-related updates including prices and descriptions. This is how such a system empowers your sales team to get a holistic view of the order-to-cash process. Your financial managers can also gain the ability to conveniently plan procurement and production with updated sales information. This way you will be able to optimize all the necessary information, save your employees from unnecessary routine and establish fast and high-quality processes within the company.

Salesforce sap integration best practices

Now that you have a real understanding of SAP and Salesforce and their core benefits, it is high time to set up the SAP to Salesforce Integration. Here you can notice a phased approach to data migration.The first step is to use your Salesforce Development Account, create an API and download the required WDSL (Web Service Description Language) file and create the WDSL/XSD (XML Schema Definition) file. Once that is done, you need to create an upsert request and map that to the file using SOAP requests. Once that is done you create 2 ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and get data from ECC (ERP Central Component) using an ID Configuration to send it to Salesforce. 

Didn’t you catch the idea? Then let us introduce some popular Salesforce-SAP integration examples that will make the story clear.

Here are some of the best practices for integration of SAP with Salesforce:

  • “Warm up before you start running”. Firstly, you’d better connect the most common use cases. Start with the most common services. Here you can use pre-built templates, best practices, and experienced IT specialists. Common use cases are considered to be Opportunity-to-Order, Account and Contact Synchronization, and Quote-to-Cash, etc.

As soon as you integrate the most common use cases you are ready “to run”. Take your integration to the next level using the power of experienced developers to connect additional endpoints, build real-time integration, add data points or workflows, or customize integrations without coding.

  • Use pre-built integrations. Application Connectors provide pre-built and reusable connectivity to a specific endpoint. Salesforce Connectors and SAP Connectors are available. Integration Recipes are single, pre-built integrations that move data in one direction between like objects across two applications or systems.

Process Templates are pre-built use cases that accelerate the execution of specific business processes spanning many objects across multiple applications and systems. A lot of companies and their staff provide ready-made templates that can boost the whole process.

In this article, we have described in detail what Salesforce and SAP are, how they are able to interact and complement each other. Now you also know how you can improve your business and speed up internal processes using this technology. It turns out that if you want to implement this technology in your business, you’d better start with the simplest and most common services, and only in this case you can move on. As you can see, this process is very energy-consuming, and requires a lot of time and effort. Moreover, to implement this technology in your business, you need special knowledge and skills to make the whole system work efficiently. That is why we recommend to outsource this significant task to qualified specialists. Thus, you will be able to get the desired result in the shortest possible time, and also not spend a lot of time trying to figure out this issue yourself. Therefore, we can be absolutely sure that delegation is an absolutely reasonable decision in this case.


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