iii Technologies inc.
External Systems Integration with SAP PI
Our typical SAP systems integration team include an integration lead and SAP PI consultants. The number of SAP PI consultants or sometimes called as integration analysts depend on the size of the project and also the number of systems that have to be integrated together. We sometimes recommend a SAP Integration Architect on large scale projects where many external or inter-company applications have to be integrated with SAP ECC. Using SAP Netweaver Process Integration (SAP PI) you can integrate inter-company legacy, external, multiple SAP or non-SAP systems. You can expose your existing core SAP business processes to external systems by service enabling using SOA technology supported by SAP PI.
How Can We Help With Your Systems Integration ?
As most SAP implementations use the proven and universally acknowledged ASAP methodology, iii Technologies can adopt to any methodology even when it comes to your enterprise systems integration. For a full lifecycle SAP implementation, we engage right from the beginning in the following phases :
Project Preparation Phase
The main goal from during project preparation from "Systems Integration" perspective is to analyze size and complexity of your company wide applications that need to be integrated together with SAP ECC system. The output of this exercise at the end of project preparation is an integrated work plan with roles and resources required for integrating your SAP and non-SAP systems. We send in a SAP PI Architect or SAP PI Lead that typically has 2 or more SAP PI implementations experience as an integration lead or architect. This phase begins with analysis of the existing legacy systems that you plan to integrate with your future state SAP ECC system. High level work sessions are conducted with the business and IT teams to understand the magnitude and complexity of inter company legacy systems as well as external applications that exist today. The work effort estimation is done and resource plan is prepared. Finally an integrated work plan is prepared together with the business team work plans along with a systems integration project charter.
The project staff is ramped up slowly during blueprint that include SAP functional consultants and SAP PI consultants to facilitate detailed requirements gathering. Cross SAP and non-SAP system business processes are discussed in detail in planned work sessions with business and IT. For external applications, current system processes that are expose to external applications and users are analyzed. The systems integration deliverables during this phase include Business Process Requirements and Design (commonly referred to as BPD or BPRD) documents are prepared for each legacy or external application that has to be integrated with SAP ECC system which includes detailed business requirements. Our SAP PI consultant will work with the SAP Basis consultant to setup the SAP PI sandbox system and connect it with the SAP ECC Sandbox environment. Some of the business processes are prototyped in the sandbox system to demonstrate A2A (application to application) and B2B (business to business) process integration. All interface obects are identified and added to the RICEF object list. These objects include legacy application enhancements, SAP PI configuration and SAP ECC enhancements required to support the business process logic and expose any APIs that are called from SAP PI. BPDs and RICEF inventory is reviewed with business and IT team leads and signoff is obtained to mark the completion of systems integration deliverables for the blueprint phase.
Once the SAP development system is deployed by the SAP Basis team, our SAP PI Architect or Lead will configure the System Landscape Directory where all SAP systems and corresponding components are defined. Also all internal and external non-SAP systems that need to be integrated together are registered in the System Landscape Directory. SAP PI Consultant (also called SAP XI Consultant) will write the interface functional specifications working together with the business and obtain necessary sign offs upon completion. If iii Technologies is using an onshore-offshore model, then most of the technical and development team works from our India development center. Depending on the engagement model, the technical specifications are written by the SAP PI consultants either onsite or offshore. During this time the consultants work with the onshore SAP PI Consultant to align closely with the business teams. PI Lead conducts technical design specification review followed by client IT lead approval on the document. Next step is to begin with configuration and ABAP development together with legacy system ennhancements. Both onsite and offshore PI consultants configure the data dictionary, message types, message interfaces followed by mapping and integration in the Integration Repository. Message senders and receivers are defined in the Integration Directory. Finally the communication is tested whether using IDOC, flat file or web services. All dependent enhancements to legacy systems and ABAP development within SAP ECC system is done simultaneously. Upon completion end-to-end assembly tests are done and user acceptance tests are conducted by the business teams. Our team hands over the delivered interface to the business upon approval and signoff.
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