The ERP-CRM connection: S/4HANA and Salesforce integration made easy

Jul 15, 2021
  • IT
  • SAP

Connecting your ERP to your CRM is a great way to improve collaboration between sales, operations, marketing and other departments. However, many organizations find integration incredibly complex and don’t know where to start. Is it necessary to stay within the same vendor ecosystem, for example? Is it possible to efficiently integrate SAP S/4HANA and Salesforce without too much hassle? To solve these issues, experts from Scalefactory and delaware have re-imagined what ERP-CRM integrations could look like going forward.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a smooth CRM-ERP Integration. While a CRM handles front-end information, the ERP typically handles back-end processes. When the systems work separately, with their own databases, there is a constant need to keep them synchronized. This results in slower operations and a higher chance of errors. By integrating your ERP and CRM systems, synchronization runs automatically, resulting in clearer visibility, less errors and faster decision making.

 The largest benefit of all, however, is the increased visibility of your customers: their buying habits, but also their order history, outstanding invoices, service desk interactions, etc. This information can be crucial to building long-term customer relations and even deciding whether there’s potential for future growth. 

From dream to reality

So how does one establish such a utopian integration? Consider an organization running SAP S/4HANA looking for integrated CRM functionalities. The obvious choice would be to install SAP C4C, SAP’s own CRM solution, via SAP Cloud Integration. Yet what if you’re already running Salesforce as your CRM?

Not really. While SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) exists within the SAP ecosystem, integration is required to enable synchronization with your SAP S/4HANA system – just like Salesforce. To simplify this integration process, SAP offers off-the-shelf integration packages. However, in most cases, these do not completely cover the business requirements. Moreover, the risks are just as big, and the complexity is just as, well… complex. The key to a successful CRM-ERP integration lies not in making compromises in terms of which solutions you’re willing to work with, but in how you handle the actual integration. 

Integration packages that pack a punch

One way to do so is by bundling our expertise and best practices in an ‘integration accelerator’ or ‘integration package’ – which is exactly what Scalefactory and delaware did for S/4HANA and Salesforce. Not only does this package provide the mapping and basic information, it also offers prepared APIs and data structure mapping. As a result of this kickstart, the total implementation and integration time – including hypercare, testing, etc. – can be reduced significantly.

Important to note, however, is that while it only takes a few days to sync sales orders, accounts, product master data, availability, and pricing, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of functionality. The head-start the integration package offers provides all the wiggle room needed for a highly successful, complete integration in line with your business goals.

Closing the cycle

In the end, these type of highly efficient solutions for a smooth ERP-CRM integration point to a larger trend in business IT and data analytics. The era of point-to-point connections between systems is coming to an end and being replaced by a more modular approach. Individual blocks can work together, but they’re not entangled anymore.

As a result of these advanced integrations, end-users don’t have to worry anymore about the origin of the data they’re using. This leaves them unburdened and fully equipped to close sales cycles, and even create entirely new business models. 

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