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What's the best way to implement SAP NetWeaver PI?

NetWeaver Process Integration is a powerful tool for linking systems, software and business processes. Here are five tips for using it well.

While mergers, acquisitions and takeovers bring a slew of business opportunities to expand to new markets or capture...

market share, they also bring forth an enormous challenge to integrate different operating systems, system architectures and platforms to transfer business data and do meaningful analytics. An even greater challenge is to ensure that there is little or no disruption to the logistics and supply chains of the companies involved. SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI) in an integration tool that can bring data and processes together and make integration much easier.

Here are five tips for effectively implementing SAP NetWeaver PI:

Focus on integration by mapping business processes. While individual business processes may run in independent systems, focusing on business processes where data transfer between systems takes place can enable analytics that drives better business decisions. This may also mean ditching multiple electronic data interchange systems in favor of SAP NetWeaver PI.

Use effective change management. Make sure that people who use multiple systems and platforms know how their existing work and business processes might change, and how they can help to ensure a smoother transition during the SAP NetWeaver PI implementation.

Steer clear of unfamiliar interfacing technology. While it may be tempting to consider faster, cheaper interfacing technology, unfamiliarity or a lack of necessary in-house skills can lead to far greater and unknown challenges, resulting in project delays. It also makes sense to have an in-house team of SAP NetWeaver PI experts so that more processes can be integrated and the company can stay on a path of continuous improvement.

Minimize or eliminate manual interfacing. Once integration is stable and maturing, it makes sense to upgrade to the latest SAP NetWeaver 7.5 PI to avoid the need for manual intervention that can lead to data-transfer and processing errors.

Learn from similar integration case studies but remain flexible to handle unique business needs. As much as the company tries to take advantage of lessons learned from the similar integration experiences of other companies, often the specific architectural information or instructions for integrating certain systems are unavailable or inapplicable.

Next Steps

Get the basics on NetWeaver

Read Gartner's take on NetWeaver Process Integration

Learn how to do file transfers in NetWeaver

This was last published in December 2015

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