For so many companies around the world, SAP provides automation, integration, and intelligence that are critical to day-to-day business operations. So, when the company announced its new cloud-enabled SAP S/4HANA, moving operations to the new application generation became an inevitability for those who rely on it.
But as many have learned the hard way, it’s not as simple as lifting operations and shifting them to the cloud. Not only do you risk breaking connections (ERPs, MFT, B2B integration…), you could also miss out on the real potential offered by the Cloud. And when it comes to your B2B integrations, reliable integration with S/4HANA is critical.
Here’s how Axway B2B Integration Platform supports your full journey – to the cloud, to S/4HANA, and to the new integration methods of tomorrow.
Moving to cloud-ready technologies while protecting your supply chain
Change is hard – especially when your current setup is working. And yet, change is also inevitable. As we’ve discussed before, a crucial question to ask yourself is: will all the interconnections that allow for data flows today be impacted by the use of new applications in the cloud tomorrow?
S/4HANA represents the biggest change to the SAP core since the introduction of SAP R/3 in 1992. As many organizations started moving core backend SAP systems to the cloud to adopt S/4HANA, it started making a lot of sense to do the same for all their B2B integrations.
Now, they had to tackle questions like which cloud to choose and who will manage it.
Your cloud needs will depend on how you do business, which is why it’s important to have deployment flexibility; after all, the cloud of the future is in fact multiple clouds, as many organizations choose a hybrid cloud strategy.
Axway B2B Integration Platform implements SAP users’ B2B integration processes in on-premises, cloud, or hybrid integration scenarios. We do it for small companies as well as major international enterprises with hundreds of connected SAP instances and thousands of suppliers and business partners.
With Managed Cloud Services, Axway can manage your B2B integration processes, leaving you free to focus on your core business. For more than ten years, we’ve been securely managing critical business process environments and lowering operational costs.
Supporting multiple integration methods
S/4HANA isn’t a monolithic application: it is composed of different modules or parts, and from a B2B integration perspective, some modules still only support “older” ways to integrate (iDoc, BAPI, ALE/tRFC…). This is especially true for existing, on-premises applications or in private cloud scenarios.
Other modules, however, have moved to newer, API-based integration methods such as REST/JSON-based APIs. And if the S/4HANA environment is provided in the SAP public cloud, the connection can be set up via the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Platform Integration.
Beyond being able to support a cloud configuration, your B2B platform needs to be able to support both heritage and new API-based integration methods.
Axway B2B Integration Platform supports traditional B2B messaging protocols including EDIINT AS1, AS2, AS3, AS4, RosettaNet RNIF, OFTP, and ebXML ebMS. It also enables you to optionally leverage modern API-driven communication to connect S/4HANA with any type of business partner application.
Whereas previously, SAP S/4HANA took a relatively standardized approach to message formats, now S/4HANA’s different applications require different integration technologies – offering more possibilities but also introducing more complexity.
It’s why we are working with our customers to fine-tune their integrations to their needs: Axway can help customers navigate each unique use case.
Maintain regulatory compliance while transitioning to S/4HANA
B2B integration today isn’t just about EDI flows: it’s more of a platform experience connecting EDI, API, regulation processes (often driven by modern protocols like AS4), e-Invoicing flows, and other business networks.
All of these processes need to be maintained during a move to the cloud and transition to S/4HANA.
Companies today need to comply with a growing set of rules & regulations, depending on where they do business. And many of those rules & regulations require using specific B2B protocols – for example, the European Union runs through Import Control System 2 (ICS2), an AS4-driven EU-wide mandate for air, maritime, road, and rail cargo businesses.
ENTSOG – the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas – also uses AS4 as its communication protocol.
Read more about how AS4 helps bridge traditional EDI and API-native B2B integration here.
Another example is healthcare processes in the U.S. These demand specific B2B and B2G (Business-to-Government) communications, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency’s DEA Form 222, which effectively requires the use of a controlled substance ordering system, or the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA 2023) for tracking and tracing drugs.
Meanwhile, EU-wide VAT reporting obligations (CESOP) will require electronic recording and reporting of transactional data in cross-border payments starting in January 2024.
Axway’s recent acquisition of AdValvas, a European expert in e-invoicing processes, further enhances our B2B Integration Platform, adding new capabilities in the area of invoicing and compliance to support PEPPOL and the VAT reform in France.
SAP S/4HANA certification adds peace of mind
At this point, all SAP customers will eventually migrate step by step towards S/4HANA, and larger customers might need to take up to 5 years or more to update all instances and rebuild all customizations.
A trusted partner brings significant peace of mind during in this process, and it’s important that customers have the ability to maintain full integration with the existing SAP generation and S/4HANA. Integration is our lifeblood, which is why Axway was one of the first SAP-certified EDI vendors.
Whether you need to load a repository from SAP IDoc descriptions or transition your current ERP data and processes to the cloud using RISE with SAP, Axway’s B2B Integration Platform is fully compatible with SAP S/4HANA in any cloud configuration (public, private, or otherwise). Axway is SAP-certified for integration with SAP NetWeaver and integration with RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Beyond supporting a comprehensive set of protocols required for modern business in a global world, Axway B2B Integration Platform also boasts many implementations that are independently certified, such as by the Drummond Group.
Seamlessly connect SAP S/4HANA with Axway B2B Integration Platform
Managing an efficient SAP S/4HANA migration can be difficult: we’ve found that customers tend to “forget” about the migration of their partner integration as the process moves on.
As a long-time partner of hundreds of SAP customers, Axway supports your integration with the different flavors of SAP S/4HANA by providing backward-compatible and innovative integration technologies.
That’s why you’ll not just benefit from appropriately-designed integrations with our B2B Integration Platform; you also have the advantage of our SAP development knowledge and can call on PSO consultants for mapping and configuration setup.
Axway B2B Integration Platform allows SAP S/4HANA users to engage with partners securely, streamline EDI and API flows, and leverage value-added services such as e-Invoicing, PEPPOL, API management, and API-driven VAN.
See how Axway B2B Integration Platform can simplify and help modernize your toughest integration challenges.