With the growth of RPA, why have we not seen similar adoption in automating SAP? There are three 3 reasons that make automating SAP more challenging.
As a result of these 3 challenges, customers have been slower in adopting RPA for SAP systems.
To support SAP’s own internal automation capabilities, SAP provided a SAP Scripting API starting in version R/3. SAP ABAP developers could create their own SAP programs using this API to execute SAP transactions by emulating user interaction with a SAP system. Even if a SAP system is heavily customized, this API is very stable and resilient so changes to the SAP system usually did not impact the automation.
Blue Prism built an interface specifically to interact with this SAP Scripting API in 2013 so Blue Prism could support fast and resilient automation for SAP. Many of our customers having been automating SAP for years using our SAP Identification Mode which leverages this API. Blue Prism automation is easily developed by point and click using this SAP interface. Blue Prism is the only RPA platform that can automate SAP with no coding, screen-scraping, and sending function keys which simplifies the automation development. Another benefit is Blue Prism automation built for a SAP ECC system will also work on an SAP S/4HANA system if a customer does not significantly change their SAP processes.
To provide even more value when automating SAP, Blue Prism released in 2020 a library of pre-built automation that executes around 400 of SAP’s most used transaction codes. The Blue Prism Accelerators for the use of SAP ERP provides a shortcut so any SAP automation development does not have to start from scratch. These accelerators were built leveraging the SAP Scripting API and developed following Blue Prism best practices so they are easy to use and of high quality. Also, any customizations can be quickly added using the SAP Identification Mode. These accelerators are fairly complete as they include interacting with required screens/fields, relevant data items, intelligent wait stages, and exception stages to support proper error handling. These SAP accelerators can save up to 90% development effort in creating SAP automation. Many of our customers are averaging around 80% savings in development time when using these accelerators. This can significantly help the business case around developing automation for SAP.
Here are some of the benefits customers could realize if they automated SAP:
These benefits can be attained for normal operations, but also for upgrade projects. No matter where you start your SAP automation journey, there is an opportunity to re-use your SAP automation since Blue Prism automation for SAP will work on both an ECC and S/4HANA. For example, any SAP automation built prior on an SAP ECC system, the automation could be easily re-used with some modifications for an SAP S/4HANA project. The automation could continue to be re-used for normal operations after migrating to S/4HANA and for future upgrade projects as well.
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