SAP Cloud Platform Review

Content Modifiers and mapping features help connect customers with services

What is our primary use case?

We are currently implementing POCs for our client using this solution.

Our primary use case involves fetching data that has been entered into the dashboard and updating it in our database. We also are fetching data entered into SuccessFactors and updating the ECC accordingly.

The current deployment is on a private cloud, which hosts our own database and ECC systems. The second POC was to connect to the public cloud for Twitter, Salesforce, and SuccessFactors data.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has provided the means for our connectivity. The endpoint URL on the ETFs that we were using is on the public cloud. The problem is that the public cloud API could not access our private cloud, so we created a cloud connector. This allows our clients to use the public cloud to consume our services, which are established on the private cloud.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the content modifier. These are the mapping features that allow us to create cloud connectors. The content modifier also allows us to perform data conversions, encryption, and decryption within the cloud.

We also use mapping transformation and message transformation. The mapping transformation allows us to connect our on-premise ECC to the cloud system.

What needs improvement?

We would like the ability to create our own flexible data type, directly in the system. This is functionality that is available in the older, on-premises version, but not available on the cloud platform. Our current workaround is to create the definition and import those features. If this functionality were available directly then it would be a big plus because as it is now, it requires a lot of effort.

Better connectivity to on-premise systems would help us to support older systems that are migrating to the cloud. This would give us more confidence in telling clients with old legacy systems that SAP has the capability to handle their landscape.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the Cloud Platform for three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I believe that this solution is stable. We have not faced any issues, and apart from that, SAP will release updates to fix bugs and add new features on a quarterly basis. They're continuously updating the cloud system. Stability and security are not things that we are worried about.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had the chance to directly connect to the technical team for the cloud system. However, I have interacted with SAP for on-premise issues and notes. They have their own SLA and they're very good at it. I always get good support from the SAP team.

Based on my experience, I believe support will be good for the cloud system, as well. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to using the cloud platform, I had used the on-premise SAP integration solution for almost five years. I have also used other solutions to integrate with SuccessFactors.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward. The only thing to make sure of is access. A few tasks, such as creating a server account and creating a database connection, are necessary but straightforward to do. It does not require an expert, as long as the authorization is given.

Once the initial setup is complete, the deployment to the cloud is very fast. In a few seconds, we can deploy this service and start posting.

The number of people required to deploy and maintain this solution depends on the landscape and the number of interfaces. In the case of our client, where we have thirteen or fourteen interfaces, two people are sufficient. This could change based on the criticality and time that we are allowed.

What about the implementation team?

We have deployed this solution to two tenants. One is a training tenant, and another is a client tenant. The latter is where we are doing the POCs, and we have a dedicated team that has all of the authorizations.

For the training tenant, we have performed all of the activity. I have access to the SAP Cloud Cockpit, where we can create our own subtenants and you can use SAP Neo to create our Java services. Normally, however, we don't perform these types of tasks in real-time. They are done in the send-off systems.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing costs for this solution are based on the number of users and the bandwidth.

SAP is more expensive than other solutions, but they have total prepackaged content for ERP. They have a vast module, and a good hold on the complete ERP. It's not cheaper, but I believe that it is the best in the market in terms of ERP. 

What other advice do I have?

When you are using an on-premises version, you need to spend money on the dedicated infrastructure, licensing costs, maintenance, support, etc. In a cloud system, SAP Cloud Platform provides a solution where the licensing costs are based on the number of users and the bandwidth. You don't have to spend time and money on infrastructure or maintenance. The best part about using the cloud solution is that if there is any kind of memory issue in your production system then you can immediately extend your memory at the time.

For an enterprise that has the proper integration within their ERP systems, I definitely recommend this solution. If the majority of their business is on cloud systems then I suggest SAP Cloud. However, if most of the business is on-premises then they may not want to go with the cloud version. There are many issues with connecting a VPN between the cloud and an on-premises system. So, it depends on the landscape. Overall, I would definitely recommend going with a cloud system.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is that SAP has been able to save us a great deal of time. They know about businesses and provided us with most of the business scenarios. Suppose, for example, that I need to do an implementation for a client. They provide solutions that I simply have to import to provide the client with an efficient system, and can then be customized based on their requirement. It saves a great deal of development effort.

This is a good solution, but I would like to see more flexibility to connect to the on-premises systems. There are older systems that are being moved from on-premises to cloud, but they have years of data and sometimes there are problems. Supporting these systems is difficult, and better connectivity would help us perform better support.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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