Data Migration SMA Solar Technology AG

SMA Solar Technology AG

Sunny prospects for sales and service with data migration from SKYVVA

The specialist for photovoltaic inverters SMA Solar Technology AG introduced the Salesforce Cloud for worldwide sales and service. To ensure error-free data exchange and data migration, SMA invested in the SKYVVA integration solution.

When SMA Solar Technology AG talks about the energy supply of the future, it is inevitably also about digital networking. Now the specialist for photovoltaic inverters has given its worldwide sales and service team an intelligent customer management system (CRM) and introduced the Salesforce cloud.

For the deep integration as well as the smooth and error-free data exchange and data migration between Salesforce and SAP ERP, SMA relies on the integration solution SKYVVA Integration Cloud from the consulting firm Apsara Consulting.

SMA Solar Technology AG, based in Niestetal near Kassel, is driving forward the energy revolution with energy solutions for solar systems on the grid or in off-grid regions. The broad product and solution portfolio for solar roof systems, commercial solar power systems and large solar power plants enables a particularly efficient use of solar energy worldwide. Product and service quality have been a top priority since the company was founded in 1981.

If the inverter in a plant does report a malfunction, specialist tradesmen or EPCs (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) must be provided with current service messages so that the problem can be remedied quickly.

Thanks to an app, you can see on your mobile device which system it is, whether there are still guarantees for the devices, whether there have been similar malfunctions before and which spare parts are necessary for the repair.

In addition, SMA service technicians provide the installers on site with important details on the SMA inverters used. This is made possible by the new Salesforce cloud – in use at SMA for two years now. For Hans-Jürgen Borchert, Head of CRM Applications in Corporate IT at SMA, this is a blessing, because “the Salesforce platform brings sales and service together worldwide”.

The facts about the company:
With a turnover of around 900 million euros in 2017, the SMA Group is a globally leading specialist for photovoltaic inverters, a central component of every solar power system. The product portfolio includes rooftop systems, commercial solar power systems and large solar power plants. Intelligent energy management solutions, digital energy solutions and comprehensive services, including operational management of solar power plants.

The challenge of data migration:
Solar energy is becoming increasingly important for the global transformation of energy systems. In order to serve its customers around the globe, SMA has long relied on the further development of its existing sales and customer management system SAP CRM. However, the expense for the respective adjustments to processes increased with increasing internationalization.
The same applies to the cost of updates: if IT problems arose on site, experts from Germany had to intervene.

Solution:
Standard solutions such as Salesforce Cloud have many functions out of the box (e.g. customer portals or language variants). This is cheaper than in-house developments. Salesforce and its partners also have specialists to help with IT problems. To ensure that the data exchange between SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which is used by SMA, and the Salesforce cloud is error-free, a high level of integration is required. For smooth and error-free data exchange, SMA relies on the integration solution ‘SKYVVA Integration Cloud’ from the consulting company Apsara Consulting GmbH.

Benefit:

● Global solution: One integrated system instead of many satellite solutions so far
● Better customer service, more service and offers
● Development of market potential
● No additional middleware required between SAP and Salesforce cloud
● Better data quality thanks to error-resistant monitoring:
Errors in data transfer between SAP and Salesforce can be quickly detected and fixed.
● Support: Apsara is always available for its customers, delivers patches and updates on a regular basis.

For SMA to take full advantage of Salesforce Cloud capabilities, two worlds had to be connected: The Salesforce Cloud and the enterprise software SAP ERP. As in many companies, SAP is also the leading system at SMA in which customer master data and business data converge.

“The Salesforce world has been built around this core system since 2015,” says Hans-Jürgen Borchert. “We were faced with the challenge of achieving a high level of integration between the two systems while at the same time ensuring the integrity and consistency of the data”. If, for example, accounting changes or creates new customer master data in SAP, the same data must also be available in the Salesforce cloud – error-free, of course.

Apsara Consulting is the specialist that links both worlds with its SKYVVA Integration Cloud solution. The Munich-based company was active in the SAP world for a long time before becoming a “Salesforce Global Strategic Independent Software Vendor”. It is therefore very familiar with both software systems.

There were three main reasons for choosing Apsara: SMA also uses SAP Process Orchestration and Integration (SAP PO) to ensure smooth data exchange between SAP and third-party systems such as Salesforce Cloud.

“With SKYVVA, we didn’t need another middleware solution,” says Hans-Jürgen Borchert. Second, the native SKYVVA solution fits seamlessly into Salesforce’s application landscape it runs entirely on Salesforce.com’s Lightning platform (formerly force.com). And thirdly, the error-resistant monitoring of the SKYVVA solution was convincing.

It quickly becomes clear why this is so important: SMA moves a huge amount of data every day. Product and device data as well as customer contacts have to be updated, offers have to be recorded or invoices have to be written. “And although we have a massive data exchange, the technical error rate is low,” the CRM manager praises the SKYVVA solution for data migration.

As a special advantage, he emphasizes the high degree of automation: “If a data transfer cannot be carried out due to a lock, for example, SKYVVA recognizes this and automatically tries again later.

„”Only if it doesn’t work after a number of attempts that we have determined, do we have to intervene,” explains Hans-Jürgen Borchert. However, this is very rare. Sunny prospects for sales and service.

For us, the most important thing is that data is exchanged consistently and correctly between our leading SAP system and the Salesforce cloud. This is where the integration solution SKYVVA from Apsara Consulting proves to be a very error-resistant solution.

Hans-Jürgen Borchert

Head of CRM Applications bei SMA Solar Technology AG
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Siemens Industry SAP Consulting

Siemens Industry

SAP Consulting for Siemens Industry Automation and Drive Technology

Siemens Industry Automation and Drive Technologies have established the central PMD product master data procedure as a basis for supplying products for their sales regions worldwide. SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP-XI) is used as an integral component for the distribution and synchronization of product master data.

Apsara Consulting has been supporting us for many years in ensuring the functionality and quality of the interfaces to supply the master data for the Siemens regions worldwide. This central, complex and mission-critical interface between PMD and PMI is the backbone of the international product data supply of the Industry Automation and Drive Technologies divisions in the Siemens Group. Apsara Consulting has played a major role in this process, e.g. in the annual EDI release change and in the permanent adaptation and further development of these interfaces.

Bernd Käfferlein, Service Manager PMD
Siemens AG Division Industry Automation
I IA IT PLM SO-PMD

The facts about the company:

Name: Siemens Industry
Location: Erlangen
Industry: Production, transport and building technology
Sales: EUR 34,869 million (2010 financial year)
Employees: 204,000 (30.09.2010)
Internet address: http://www.siemens.de/industry

Globalization and the oppressive competitive situation on the world market requires a fast and efficient supply of the sales regions with always up-to-date and correct product master data, e.g. for the supply process. Large corporations can no longer afford to pay for themselves due to delay in the topicality of the products, incorrect prices, etc. cannot create offers on time that indirectly lead to the loss of orders. A fast, efficient infrastructure is therefore required to supply the product master data for the sales regions worldwide.

SAP Consulting Highlights

• Use of Unicode as a basis for the internationalization of product master data

• Central automatic control of distribution via SAP-XI

• Complex intelligent mapping for dynamic generation of regional specific data

• Ensuring annual critical EDI release change

• Switching from a 14-day supply of master data to a daily update main benefit for the customer

• Ensuring the daily trouble-free supply of master data for the worldwide sales regions

• Simplification of processes and applications by harmonizing product data leads to cost reduction

• Product master data are thus group-wide:

1. current
2. Complete
3. Consistent and
4. correct

Available.

• Improved data quality and up-to-dateness

Decision for SAP consulting by ApsaraConsulting GmbH

• Competence, experience and high degree of specialisation in SAP NetWeaver XI/PI

• In-depth expertise and extensive SAP NetWeaver XI/PI know-how over the complete product lifecycle (XI 2.0 – PI 7.3)

• Reliability and quality in the planning, implementation and support of business-critical interfaces

• Best practice and solution approaches from numerous successful customer projects

• Experience with master data, replication,
Synchronization and harmonisation

Existing system landscape

SAP-based application landscape with ERP solutions on Linux hardware platforms, integration platform SAP NetWeaver XI as the central hub for supplying product data. PMI (Product Master Data Integration) Java platform.

Fast and efficient infrastructure for Supply of the product master data for the sales regions

Globalization and the oppressive competitive situation on the world market requires a fast and efficient supply of the sales regions with always up-to-date and correct product master data, e.g. for the supply process. Large corporations can no longer afford to pay for themselves due to delay in the topicality of the products, incorrect prices, etc. cannot create offers on time that indirectly lead to the loss of orders. A fast, efficient infrastructure is therefore required to supply the product master data for the sales regions worldwide.

Apsara Consulting Siemens Industry Success Story Sap Netweaver

PMD Process Landscape

The SERVICE PMI (Product Master Data Integration) together with the corporate services CIP2SAP, EDI. Service and SPIRIDON Global provides the technical infrastructure for supplying the Siemens sales regions (clusters) with all those commercial product master data from the parent company, which are used to support all relevant sales and logistical processes are required. As an integral part of the technical infrastructure for supplying the master data, Siemens Industry Automation and Drive Technologies use SAP-XI as the technical middleware or enterprise service bus. SAP-XI enables data exchange between the R/3 systems in the individual business units to PMD (Product Master Data) and redistribution to PMI.

“The annual EDI release change is very business-critical. It requires adjustments in the complex XI mapping, the completion of all change requests from the specialist departments, and coordination between the teams involved. These activities must be completed on time and successfully. Apsara Consulting has been performing this task reliably and successfully in SAP consulting for several years”.

Norbert Faltermeier, Service Manager PMI
Siemens AG Division Industry Automation
I IA IT PLM SO-PMD

Objectives of Apsara Consulting GmbH for SAP Consulting

In order to ensure a flexible distribution of the master data to the region, a dynamic mapping to the specific regional organizational data is consistently applied. This allows new regions to be supplied with product master data immediately without having to make a major and lengthy change.

The lively character of the product data requires changes and adaptations and is reflected in the annual EDI release change. Change requests must be implemented, tested, accepted and made available promptly on the date of the release change. This appointment is extremely important and requires close coordination of the partners and services involved.

The need for daily updates of the master data resulting from competitive pressure could not be met, as the previous rhythm of data supply only took place twice a week. In order to counteract this circumstance, the updating of the master data was converted to a daily rhythm by automating the so-called PMI rejection. This was made possible by the introduction of the SICONPlugIn4XI.

Platform

Due to the challenge of keeping the master data reliably up to date and distributing it, a sophisticated and designed technology is necessary. Sap-XI is therefore used as a technology platform, which offers the possibility to develop standardized interfaces and thus ensure a homogeneous exchange of information/messages.

Previously, if minor adjustments and changes were made manually, error-prone and time-consuming, the SAP-XI Mapping Engine allows for flexible adaptation to the requirements of the tasks. In addition to Java and ABAPMapping, SAP-XI offers graphical mapping for creating flexible and complex conversions with little effort. The IDoc “MATCOND” was converted into a specific Siemens SIDOC format via graphical mapping and transferred to the SICONPlugIn4XI for further processing. The conversion to the final EDI format could finally be done with the SICONPlug-In4XI.

There was a recurring problem that it was not yet recognized when a transfer of master data is practically finished. The reason for this was the lack of information about the status of the messages already transferred to the file adapter. The solution was to implement the options provided in the adapter for your own code extension using a module exit. Thus, the logic could be implemented when a transfer is logically or physically finished. This was the basis for the complete automation of the distribution of master data for the regions.

We count on the further SAP consulting & Support from Apsara Consulting GmbH

PMD is currently and in the future the backbone for the supply of master data for the
regions in the Siemens Group. The primary goal is to keep them in operation trouble-free. Annual EDI release changes, bug fixing, and maintenance require both professional skills, know-how, and process knowledge as well as knowledge of the applications involved in order to continue to operate the system trouble-free. The process knowledge, procedures and excellent know-how in SAP-XI gained through many years of cooperation with Apsara Consulting is indispensable at this point.

Due to legal and corporate requirements, new requirements are constantly coming up. Likewise, the operation of PMD provides new insights and sees the potential for improvement, which lead to new, improved processes. One example is the new interface for image references, which has emerged from practical requirements. Such CR’s must continue to be implemented in the future. The interfaces are subject to constant extensions to include new functionalities. Apsara Consulting was and is reliant on the implementation of the tasks involved.

The XI 3.0 has been on the market for five years and further releases with SAP-PI 7.1 and currently 7.3 are available. Due to the many improvements, stabilizations and the new feature e.g. the Advanced Adapter Engine Extended, it makes sense to migrate to SAP-PI 7.3. Also due to the expiring maintenance of SAP-XI 3.0, an upgrade to a current release is inevitable. We see Apsara Consulting as our partner with its extensive special know-how in SAP-PI and because of your migration experience with other customers from XI 3.0 to PI 7.x.

Apsara Consulting GmbH – We stand for a customer-oriented partnership

Apsara Consulting is an independent, internationally active company in SAP Consulting, in the SAP NetWeaver environment and is at the side of its customers as an SAP NetWeaver technology partner.

We recognized the great importance of the sap NetWeaver integration and application platform at a very early stage and specialized in it. That is why we are experts in this field today and can draw on a wealth of experience that other companies have to build up first. Our experience with SAP NetWeaver topics enables us to find the right solution for your business success. We provide you with comprehensive advice and the support you need from a single source. Benefit from our sustainable technology and implementation expertise.

Consultant personalities with proven management and technology expertise support you on site with competent SAP consulting around the integration and application platform SAP NetWeaver. Apsara Consulting can support your business from goal and strategy development, through implementation, operation and maintenance, to migration throughout the entire lifecycle of the SAP NetWeaver platform. Our goal is to turn SAP-NetWeaver into a success story for your company.

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Salesforce SAP Integration Viessmann Group Success Stories

Viessmann Group

A comprehensive look at Salesforce SAP integration from the customer Viessmann

After the introduction of the CRM system Salesforce, the Viessmann Group implemented the integration solution SKYVVA in order to establish a perfect connection to the ERP system SAP and Saleforce. Viessmann is now one of our long-time customers for whom the SKYVVA Salesforce SAP integration solution has proven itself.

Industry 4.0, digitization, networking – the heating system manufacturer Viessmann in Allendorf an der Eder expects great opportunities from digitization. The company has now taken a big step along the way: It introduced Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which gives the field sales force a central view of consumers and industrial customers.
To ensure that Salesforce and SAP ERP understand each other perfectly, Viessmann relied on the consulting companyApsara Consulting GmbH in Munich and its proven SKYVVA Integration Cloudsolution.

Michael Ringlebe is completely satisfied. Salesforce’s customer management system (CRM) has been running in Allendorf (Eder) for over a year now. Since then, the sales staff in the Heating Systems and Industrial Plant divisions have finally been able to do what should be the core task of the sales force: “They can now look after their customers even more effectively,” he says. Mr. Michael Ringlebe is Program Manager CRM at Viessmann IT Service GmbH, a subsidiary of the heating system manufacturer. The 180 experts support the company’s information technology and thus also the cloud-based CRM system Salesforce.

For one year now, the sales force has had the powerful tool at its disposal for maintaining customer relations. No matter whether sales and turnover figures, conditions, meetings and talks at trade fairs, on the phone or by e-mail – where and what the respective sales representative has discussed or agreed with his customers is brought together in the CRM system. “This means that every sales representative has the entire customer history in front of him from the first contact to the most recent order,” says Mr. Ringlebe. The industry is therefore happy to speak of the “360-degree view”. What’s more, with Salesforce, field sales representatives can also manage customer visits faster and more effectively and capture potential new customers (leads).

It wasn’t always like that. The Viessmann Group is what is often referred to as the “hidden champion” or the backbone of the German economy: Since its founding in 1917, the family-run company has employed 12,000 people in 12 countries and is widely known for its outstanding heating systems.

Viessmann was like many other companies. The products developed faster than some company processes. The sales force in particular suffered from this, working with a wealth of software applications,” says Michael Ringlebe. For example, customer sales and service processes were not sufficiently transparent for the other area. Therefore, it was clear that something had to change. In September 2016 the time had come for the conversion to begin. With Salesforce, Viessmann wanted to solve two problems at once: Consolidate all customer data in one system and at the same time significantly reduce the number of solutions.

The facts about the company:

The Viessmann Group is a leading international manufacturer of heating, industrial and cooling systems. Founded in 1917, the family-owned company employs 12,000 people in 23 production companies in twelve countries. The Group has sales companies and agencies in 74 countries. Turnover (2017): 2.25 billion EUR, of which 54 percent abroad.

Challenge of Salesforce SAP Integration:

Isolated solutions, in-house developments and software from external providers – in contact with customers, the sales force of the three Viessmann divisions had a large number of IT tools at their disposal. What was missing was an integrated customer management system (CRM) that allowed a central view of all processes around a customer – whether sales and turnover figures, conditions, mail traffic or discussions at trade fairs.

Solution:

Viessmann was looking for a CRM solution that could be easily extended for future applications such as marketing or service. The heating system manufacturer saw the ideal platform in the Salesforce cloud. The connection to the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) used at Viessmann was handled by the consulting company Apsara Consulting with its integration solution SKYVVA Integration Cloud.


The benefit of Salesforce SAP Integration:

Mobility:
Wherever the field sales representatives of the Heating Systems Division or the field sales representatives of the Industrial Division are on the road in the five German sales regions – with the Salesforce Cloud they have access to all customer data.
Less complexity:
A consistent system instead of many, unconnected isolated solutions
Better data quality:
End-to-end monitoring guarantees that errors in data acquisition can be detected and corrected quickly. This avoids tedious troubleshooting and saves a lot of time with thousands of data records recorded every day.

Alarm function:
If errors occur, e.g. an incorrect e-mail address, users receive an e-mail via which they can call up and correct the incorrect data record directly
Future-proof:
Because Salesforce is a platform, additional elements such as marketing and service can be connected to the CRM solution if required Customer processes in sales and service for the other area are not sufficiently transparent.

Viessmann is now using SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) as the central corporate solution for all business-relevant areas. With Hybris C4C, SAP also offers its own cloud CRM solution As a market leader, Salesforce takes a holistic approach to the solution, which means that we can also use customer data as a basis for other scenarios in other business areas such as marketing and service,” explains Ringlebe.

Basically, Salesforce can also be used as a stand-alone solution. Viessmann therefore carried out its introduction in two stages. “We first imported a lot of data manually into the system because we could initially live without synchronizing the data from SAP,” says Felix Leber, who is a system administrator at Viessmann Global Salesforce. In September 2016, lead management went live without integration into SAP. As a result, customer master data in SAP and Salesforce diverged – an untenable situation for the field sales force. “For him, Salesforce SAP integration and a 360-degree view of the customer were indispensable,” says Michael Ringlebe.

This is where Apsara Consulting and its SKYVVA Integration Cloud solution come into play. The consulting company from Munich originally grew up in the SAP world before becoming a “Salesforce Global Strategic Independent Software Vendor”. “That’s why we knew that the Munichers
to know worlds in all depth”, says Michael Ringlebe.

With the SYVVA Integration Cloudsolution for SAP, Apsara Consulting also developed a key technology that met Viessmann’s decisive requirements: Smooth Salesforce SAP integration and no additional software (third-party systems or middleware), but “direct native end-to-end integration of SAP PI and Salesforce,” says Ringlebe. It is therefore understandable that Apsara Consulting prevailed against six competitors.

SAP and Salesforce exchange a lot of data. Every day, the field sales force updates thousands of customer data – with a clear distribution of roles: SAP acts as “master” over all the main data of a customer account, which means that the field sales force can view it in Salesforce, but can only change it to a limited extent.

Viessmann has now put twelve such inbound interfaces, i.e. from SAP to Salesforce, whether accounts, quotations, orders, deliveries or invoices, into productive operation. In the opposite direction (outbound from Salesforce to SAP), Salesforce is the “master” of contact information. However, colleagues from the IT department, not the sales force, take care of problem-free data transfer. He’s supposed to sell and look after the customers. “Thanks to the new CRM system, he’s got a lot more time today,” Michael Ringlebe is convinced.

Setting up a CRM system from scratch in an existing system landscape is anything but trivial. For us, it has paid off to have Apsara Consulting at our side, a solution provider who knows both worlds - SAP and Salesforce - extremely well and can provide the right solution for our system landscape.

Michael Ringlebe

Program Manager CRM - Viessmann IT Service GmbH
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