By: Process Integration Consulting Leader
If you belong to a company or organization, where you have just purchased SAP Concur as a travel expense tool and you have been assigned to carry out the project from implementation to integration with your ERP system, pay close attention! you are about to know the best guide to achieve a successful project!
SAP Concur is an incredible tool that helps you keep total control of your business trips and your travel expenses check, however, to be able to integrate it with your ERP and thereby automate your verification process from point to point and accounting, you need a couple of technical knowledge that will be mentioned below.
There are multiple integration options, such as:
Custom development (using Concur APIs)
SAP ICS (SAP Standard Connector)
Exchange of flat files via sFTP
Third-party provider connector
Let’s explain a little more in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each of the integration options so that you can make the best decision that suits your company.
Option # 1 - Custom development (using Concur APIs)
If your company has a vast team of IT consultants and web application developers, we suggest this option may be ideal for you.
There is a technical and functional documentation site that provides SAP Concur where you can learn and investigate all the functionality and scope of the service or development as you plan to build to achieve integration between SAP Concur and its ERP system.
It is important to emphasize that this option could be the longest of the next three options available because it will be a project to build from scratch and to mitigate this, it is important to be clear about the scope of what you want to achieve. With the Concur APIs, 100% automated integration is possible. However, the more functionality, the more time you will have to invest in development.
In terms of cost, it can be so accessible, as expensive, everything will depend on the analysis, design, and definition that the company requires in its integration.
Option # 2 - SAP ICS (SAP Standard Connector)
If your business adheres to standard products and services or has a strict security policy and third-party providers, this is your choice.
The native SAP connector to integrate SAP Concur with SAP ECC, is called SAP ICS. It is a standard connector, native and developed by SAP, which with a very simple configuration, can be achieved in a short term, an installation and configuration project to have your SAP Concur system and SAP ECC connected and synchronized in the shortest possible time.
The only thing you have to consider before taking this option is the compatibility with your SAP system. Since it is only compatible with certain versions and enhancement packages.
Option # 3 - Exchange flat files via sFTP
This option is the most practical and simple of the four options available, however, it is the one that offers less scope. Since the entire universe of functionalities for integration, you can only integrate the information corresponding to the organizational structure and the master data of your employees.
It is important to emphasize that this option works only with what Concur calls: ONP that refers to “Overnight Processing”, which in a nutshell, refers to the information being updated overnight, in other words, it will not be in real-time.
This is the exchange of files in .txt format, which is an encrypted way and is deposited in a repository (sFTP) that refers to the Secure File Transfer Protocol. But for this, it will be necessary to hire the sFTP service with SAP Concur, which has an additional cost.
Option #4 - Third-party provider connector
If your business core is not really to develop technology solutions and your company is open to carrying out projects with external suppliers, experts in the field, this option is the one I recommend the most!
The suggestion is to go with who knows and who is dedicated to making integrations between both platforms. In short, with a certified SAP Concur partner. To whom you can find in the SAP Concur App Center.
By choosing this integration option, you can take advantage of all the experience and best practices that the partner will provide, based on the needs of your business. Saving development time, learning curve and above all a better cost/benefit.
Axosnet is a certified partner for integrations in SAP Concur, if you need support in validating which is the best option for your business, contact us at the following email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the Check-Up Integration service, which is the one we use to help you take the best integration decision with SAP Concur.
The recommendation is to always look for a third-party provider (certified by Concur) to take advantage of the experience you already have, your best recommendations, good practices, and technical knowledge. With this, look for an integration plan that details the scope offered and the need that the business has.