Back Office Integration – SAP Customer Master versus Salesforce Accounts

Field level mapping of SAP Sold-To / Ship-To accounts is a pretty basic process. Everyone does it, just pick your flavor of Ice-Cream…. On-Premise Mapping Software, “Cloud Based” Mapping, Salesforce Data Loader, IO, Mash-up’s…. This list goes on and on…

 

Before you attempt to just “map” or “mash-up” some data between your salesforce and ERP systems take a step back and think about what you trying to accomplish. For example..

 

  1. Determine which system is the “System of Record”: Many organizations will just download SAP / ERP data into the salesforce application and work with a “copy” of the Sold-To account. A more careful consideration of your business process would be to determine “When” do you need “What” data? I would propose the following:

    1. Salesforce Leads / Opportunities: A great starting point to collect basic information about your prospect, capture this information in your account object!

    2. Once your Account wishes a price quote or estimate… Time to integrate to your back end ERP system “OR” create a Mash-up to create a simple ERP Quote directly in your salesforce application!

       

  2. Consider your ERP system when saving Accounts: If you are working an opportunity in salesforce it would make sense to take the salesforce object and require basic fields needed by your ERP system when you save the account object.

  3. Determine if you want real-time integration or a “Bulk Load”: How quickly you will need access your accounts in your ERP system will determine if you want to have real-time or “bulk” integration. Is a nightly load of Accounts to your ERP system acceptable?

  4. Load your ERP with “Prospect” Accounts: Once you have determined that your prospect account really wants to place an order with you then its time to consider migration of that data to your back end ERP system. There are many functions including availability checks, credit limits, shipping promise dates that need to be considered to get off on the “right foot” with your new customer!

 

These are just a few of the integration points you might consider when coming up with a integration strategy! Remember its more than just copying data from one system to another! I would love to hear your comments / experiences on this topic!