Companies have invested a large amount of money and time in their SAP systems. Along with the systems’ license fees, the time and money mainly spent either to adopt the SAP system to the companies’ needs or to adjust companies to fit the SAP system processes. Although SAP systems are established in many companies now, this doesn’t mean the story ends here.

The SAP provides a standard core business processes for Inventory Management, Financial Management, Order Management, Procurement, Manufacturing etc. Each of these standard processes can be implemented as-is or can be customised based on the specific requirements during the deployment of the SAP system. In the face of quick and unprecedented changes in the markets and business environment, SAP systems have to be regularly revised and updated to keep up with the current requirements. Disruptive changes and new ways of workings are not always supported by the existing SAP implementations. These new requirements are usually addressed within different systems which leads to isolated information silos.

Flexibility and quick adaptation to change may not be reflected in the current SAP investment. All the necessary SAP changes are done by people with required programming skills, either using the company’s IT department resources or outsourced consultants. Both can be very expensive and increase your IT department’s burden, preventing them from focusing on other important tasks. And doing so also leads to losing your customisations in the next SAP upgrade.

There are two ways of keeping an SAP system up to date with the requirements of a company.

  1. You can modify the SAP system to satisfy the required functionalities. That means modifying or extending the SAP using ABAP program code. This strategy can lead to the risk of making the environment incompatible with future SAP versions and can work out very expensive and time-consuming.
  2. You can introduce a new system for a particular need with the interface to the SAP system. The newly introduced system may not fully support the requirements, which leads to the same problems with the SAP system itself.

PaperWorkBPM platform provides cost and time effective way to develop custom process applications, integrated with SAP to automate decision-making and ensure compliance.

5 Forms of Process Integration

There are five possible forms of integration between the SAP and the PaperWorkBPM systems.

  1. Upstream processes
  2. Downstream processes
  3. Supporting processes
  4. External processes
  5. Embedded processes

Upstream Processes

Upstream process integration improves the SAP processes by sharing required information with the SAP system and ensuring visibility. The process starts outside of the SAP system, within PaperWorkBPM environment. At a certain point or at the end of PaperWorkBPM process execution, collected data is passed to the SAP system for the continuation of the business process. Upstream processes are usually used to collect and verify data outside of the SAP system by the users or customers with no SAP access.

PaperWorkBPM provides out-of-the-box Process Connector for SAP and Content Services for SAP integrations to support upstream processes. The process data and documents collected within PaperWorkBPM platform are automatically passed over to the SAP process using PaperWorkBPM connectors for further processing. Because PaperWorkBPM integrates with SAP through BAPIs, any change to the SAP process does not necessarily require any modification of integration. You gain the flexibility to change data collection, validation and approval process using a visual process designer and form builder without coding.

Downstream Processes

Downstream processes are business processes started within the SAP system and at a certain point process execution and data passed over to PaperWorkBPM. Downstream processes are similar to Upstream processes, except they are usually follow-up processes running outside of the SAP system by the users or customers with no SAP access.

Supporting Processes

Supporting processes are the processes run to support the main SAP process, such as collaborating with non-SAP users for additional data collection or involving non-SAP users in the process. Supporting processes can also be new processes to compliment an existing SAP process which are not implemented in the SAP. At a predefined step of the process, PaperWorkBPM processes started to support the main process. PaperWorkBPM then passes over the process data and documents back to the main SAP process.

PaperWorkBPM SAP connectors enable process users to make queries from SAP for data consistency while working with the simple, clean, easy-to-use responsive user interface. PaperWorkBPM user form elements such as selection boxes or tables can be filled with SAP data using PaperWorkBPM visual SAP form connectors. The documents collected and processed during PaperWorkBPM process are instantaneously made available to SAP users within the process context. All process data and documents are returned to SAP for further processing using out-of-the-box SAP connectors without requiring any programming skills.

External Processes

External processes run from start to end independently outside of the SAP, but data is read from or written to the SAP when required. External processes generally replace a standard SAP process or extend the SAP by introducing a new process without compromising the SAP system’s data integrity.

PaperWorkBPM’s built-in SAP connectors provide the ability to interact with your SAP system and execute business functions, without the need for coding.

Using out-of-the-box Process Connector for SAP and Content Services for SAP, business users can query, create or update SAP records directly. Thanks to PaperWorkBPM’s graphical mapping tools, users can interact with any SAP module from any part of the PaperWorkBPM platform without any coding skills.

Embedded Processes

Internal processes are the PaperWorkBPM processes run inside of the SAP system. Like external processes, internal processes are essentially designed in and executed by PaperWorkBPM platform. SAP users participate in the process within SAP user interface with their SAP user identity, without requiring additional authentication. This type of processes requires a strong integration between the PaperWorkBPM and the SAP systems.

It is also possible to combine above-mentioned process integration types to address business requirements. For example, an upstream process can be started to collect, validate and approve data and passed over the SAP system and a supporting process can be triggered at a certain point in the SAP process to complement the SAP process.

PaperWorkBPM SAP Integration

IT departments are always under pressure to generate more results with fewer resources. It is required to find new methods to leverage existing infrastructure. PaperWorkBPM helps organisations improve their business operations by enabling them to create process-based applications from days to weeks without requiring any coding skills. As a digital process automation platform, PaperWorkBPM creates a digital layer around the SAP solution to enhance and extend it, eliminating the need to customise SAP.  

PaperWorkBPM integrates with SAP by out-of-the-box connectors and modules. PaperWorkBPM’s built-in SAP connectors provide the ability to interact with your SAP system and execute business functions, without the need for coding. Out-of-the-box Process Connector for SAP and Content Services for SAP enables business users query, create or update SAP records directly. PaperWorkBPM’s graphical mapping tools help users interact with any SAP module from any part of the PaperWorkBPM platform without any coding skills.

Users can obtain necessary data from SAP without switching systems and instantly access their work from any browser or mobile device. Both the data and the documents related to the business processes can be accessed by the SAP and non-SAP users with a modern, easy-to-use user interface.

Process Connector for SAP

PaperWorkBPM platform helps organisations create process and document-oriented applications easily, quickly and cost-effectively. With its visual design tools and no-code integrations, PaperWorkBPM reduces the burden on IT teams and enables business users to design and execute business processes without creating information silos.

Process Connector for SAP enables interaction with the SAP system through configuration to query, create and update records directly in SAP. PaperWorkBPM offers graphical connectors to communicate with BAPIs where BAPIs can be mapped to PaperWorkBPM objects or vice versa. Interaction with the SAP system is configured by a graphical user interface without requiring any coding skills. The advantage of communicating through BAPIs is that the integrations take place on the business level, and data integrity is preserved by SAP.

Features

  • No-code – SAP integration is configured by using graphical mapping features for SAP inputs and outputs, avoiding the need for programming.
  • Robust – The SAP connector provides error handling to configure the process for certain actions to mitigate the error.
  • Secure – the SAP connector authenticates directly with an authorised SAP user, instead of delegating security to an organisation’s web service setup.
  • Flexible – The SAP connector can connect any number of SAP instances simultaneously.

Advantages

  • Maximise and extend your existing technology to make the most out of your SAP investment
  • Build powerful process applications using visual process designer and forms builder
  • Accelerate process applications development, deploy a new process from days to weeks
  • Connect PaperWorkBPM with SAP easily and securely, execute SAP BAPI commands in PaperWorkBPM
  • Read data from and write/update data to SAP on-demand

Enterprise Content Services for SAP (ECS4SAP)

PaperWorkBPM provides enterprise-class, secure document management and process automation platform, seamlessly integrated with the SAP systems. With the PaperWorkBPM platform, organisations can improve operations by eliminating manual tasks and document handling, and eliminating human errors.

PaperWorkBPM ECS4SAP allows SAP users and non-SAP users to access process documents like invoices, purchase orders, contracts etc. directly from the SAP transactions and records. PaperWorkBPM stores documents in its repository and reduce the size of the SAP database. This makes it easy to manage SAP databases, such as upgrade, maintenance and backup tasks.

Features

  • Easy access – SAP end-users access to documents in the right context of the SAP business objects (e.g., transaction, record, etc.).
  • 365 degree – Links transactional data in SAP to related documents outside the system, like vendor invoices or contracts.
  • Collaboration – SAP end users upload, scan, search, view, edit, annotate and chat around the documents within the SAP user interface while enjoying enterprise-class document management platform and functionalities
  • Robust – High performance and low maintenance document repository for all enterprise document management needs also available within the SAP environment
  • Secure – Secure connection between the SAP and PaperWorkBPM environments, encrypted document store for sensitive documents

Advantages

  • Eliminate the time-consuming search for information across multiple locations, file cabinets or network shares.
  • Enable users to add and update information in SAP, schedule events and manage tasks alongside supporting documents.
  • Provide employees with access to critical information from their preferred work environments (SAP, email, mobile phone, tablet, etc.).
  • Streamline SAP business processes by reducing the time per transaction (e.g., Finance, Sales, Support, etc.)

PaperWorkBPM for SAP (PW4SAP)

PaperWorkBPM for SAP (PW4SAP) provides SAP user interfaces to access process inbox, tasks and documents within the SAP. PaperWorkBPM extends SAP functionality, providing access to the processes designed on PaperWorkBPM platform. SAP users can start and participate in processes designed on the PaperWorkBPM platform within the SAP user interface. This eliminates the need to log into different systems to start and execute the processes, eliminating the need for training while taking advantage of PaperWorkBPM process platform’s full capabilities.

SAP users can start and participate processes that are not a part of the SAP processes within SAP user interface such as expense claims, leave request, contract approvals etc. PaperWorkBPM process inbox is made available to SAP users within the SAP. The SAP users don’t have to log in to different systems to review and approve tasks that are not a part of SAP.

Features

  • Ease of use – Extend the natural SAP user experience to process management. Completely integrated with SAP’s menus, PW4SAP blends the rich user experience and functionality of PaperWorkBPM with the SAP data and processes.
  • Secure – PW4SAP automatically authenticates with the authorised SAP user eliminating the need to logging in to PaperWorkBPM.

Advantages

  • Reduce training needs and improve user satisfaction with a seamlessly integrated, unified user interface.
  • Improve productivity by eliminating the need for logging in to different systems to complete tasks or start processes.