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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